Places To Buy A Rat
When looking to obtain a rat as a pet there are 3 main sources to consider.
Buying A Rat From A Breeder
The advantages of buying directly from a breeder is that breeding has usually been carefully planned and thought through with regard to producing robust, healthy rats of good temperament. Many breeders will also offer some form of guarantee contracting to take the rat back if not suitable. Unfortunately the same cannot always be said for rats sold in pet shops where the history of the rats for sale is often unknown.
Many breeders also show their rats and so breed towards producing a good healthy show rat with a view to keeping one or two themselves so quality and temperament is of vital importance when planning the breeding.
There are also owners who have bred their pet rats. These may be the result of a planned or unplanned pregnancy but the rats have usually been well cared for and brought up in a family environment and so most often make very suitable pets.
Buying a rat direct from the breeder means that there is the opportunity to see the parents and know the date of birth of the rat that it is intended to purchase.
Unfortunately not all private breeders are reputable - there are small time breeders who, whilst not "commercial" take on rat breeding as a financial hobby and as such their main aim is financial gain and not their production of healthy and well mannered rats. These breeders are most often not members of any rat club. If buying a rat from someone who regularly offers rats for sale and yet is not a member of any rat club it is wise to ask for contact details of a previous purchaser or two with a view to contacting them about their purchase to ensure that the rat purchased remained of good health and temperament. Unfortunately many such breeders may not keep records of previous purchasers and without this it is not easy to assess the quality of rats they are producing for sale.
Buying A Rat From A Rescue Home
Another option when seeking a rat as a pet is to obtain a rat from a rescue home. Many rats, both young and old, unfortunately become abandoned or homeless through no fault of their own every year.
Rescue homes usually assess the rat's health on arrival and ensure it is in good health before offering for rehoming.
Depending on the rescue organisation they may require the completion of a series of forms, interviews or even a home visit to assess suitabilty as a potential rat owner. Their primary concern is to ensure the correct placement of the rats in their care with a suitable new owner.
Buying A Rat From A Pet Shop
Some pet shops offer rats for sale. These rats are unlikely to have come from a reputable show breeder and are most likely to have come from a pet owner with an unplanned pregnancy or from commercial rat breed facility. There is some risk as to whether these rats will be of good temperament or health as the parents cannot be seen and often little or no information can be given about their background or breeding.