- Why Pet Rats?
- Introductory Materials
- Subject Headings
- Seminal Works
- Call Numbers
- Handbooks, Encyclopedias, and Dictionaries
- Abstracts and Indexes
- Government information
- Internet Sources
Caring for Pet Rats
By Robin Sanford
Why Pet Rats?
Rats are one of a number of rodents and other small animals referred to as "pocket pets." They can be found in the Small Animal section of most pet stores, often on "special." This is because most people do not consider rats when they think of pets. This is unfortunate, as rats can make wonderful pets. They are highly social, curious, and are more intelligent and trainable than other rodents. This Pathfinder is designed as an introduction to rats, keeping them as pets, and properly caring for them.
These are all good places to start your search for information on pet rats. These resources have either general information on rats, or are respected sources of information on pet rats specifically.
- World Book Encyclopedia
- This encyclopedia is aimed at students in elementary through high school. The article is an overview of wild rats and their habits, which includes information that pet rat owners can use to improve their pets’ lives. Pet rats are only mentioned in a brief sentence at the end. The 2004 edition was consulted for this Pathfinder. Many school and public libraries have paper copies of this resource.
- Critters USA
- This magazine is published once a year by Bowtie, Inc. and is available in most pet shops. It costs around $7.00, and some libraries may subscribe to it (if yours does not, ask about interlibrary loan at the reference desk, librarians can locate or order it with the ISSN 1093-9393). This magazine is all about small animals and how to care for them. Each issue covers hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, mice, rats, rabbits, chinchillas, and ferrets, and a few more exotic pets like hedgehogs, skunks, and sugar gliders. More information can be found at the website
- The Rat and Mouse Club of America
- This organization (see the Associations section for full contact information) has a website with lots of information on caring for pet rats. From the website, choose either "Rat FAQ" or "Articles by Topic" (Miscellaneous has information on choosing a pet rat, while Environment has information on cages and feeding) from the list of links on the left side of the page.
- The Fat Fan Club
- This organization (see the Associations section for full contact information) also has a website with lots of information on caring for pet rats. From the website, select "Helpful Info" from the navigation bar on the left to get to a page of articles on pet rat care.