Are Rats Happy When Kept on their Own?

Are Rats Happy When Kept on their Own?

Rats are very social creatures and in the wild they live in large colonies so even when they are kept as pets, they are much happier living with others of their own kind. Many people think that a solitary rat would be happy enough, but in reality if you want to have a very happy, content pet, then you should consider buying two or more rats so they can interact and play with other whenever they feel like it.

Over the years things have changed and there's a much deeper understanding of a pet's needs which includes that of rats. A reputable breeder or pet shop owner would not sell a solitary rat because they know it would be unfair on them to have to live on their own, no matter how much interaction they get with their owners.

However, some people believe that a pet rat living on their own will bond better with them which to a certain extent may be true. However, there are other factors to think about which is especially true when you watch two pet rats playing with each other. They groom one another and play fight pretty hard which a human just cannot replicate no matter how strong a bond they have with their pet.

Add to this the fact that when you are out at work or fast asleep, a solitary pet rat would find these hours quite hard to have to cope with which makes it a little unfair to keep such social creatures on their own.

The More Interaction the Happier the Rat

The more interaction a rat receives every day (and night) the happier the rat will be. However, it is also a lot more fun to interact with two or more rats than just a single one because each of these delightful creatures has their own very unique personality which is great fun to get to know and the best way to do this is by playing with them all at the same time.

The biggest compliment a pet rat can give you is when they decide to play with you rather than another rat, but you'll soon find they all want to join in the fun because if there is one thing rats don't like, it's missing out on something whether it's food or fun!

Cleaning Out Cages is Play Time

One of the things you cannot avoid no matter how many rats you decide to keep as pets, is cleaning out their cage. This needs to be done on a regular basis so that everything is kept nice and hygienic. It's also the ideal time to let your pets out of their cages so they can play around on the "outside". However, you may find your pets want to help you clean out their cages because as previously mentioned, they don't like to miss out on anything and they like to know what's going on in their own personal space!

Rats Come in All Shapes, Colours & Sizes

These delightful rodents come in all shapes and colours. When young, they are really quite small, but they soon grow into full size adults with the one constant being that in general females tend to be smaller than their male counterparts. The more pet rats you keep in a single environment, the larger this needs to be. In fact, rats like other small pets need to have as much space as possible to live in so they can romp and move around to their heart's delight.

Rats are busy creatures and it would not be fair on them to be kept in small cages because it could lead to all sorts of behavioural problems which includes nipping and fighting with each other. If you decide to get several rats, make sure they are same-sex to avoid any unwanted pregnancies which could become a real problem.

Males should be kept with males and females with females without the worry of them fighting with each other. A pair of males usually get on fine as long as you introduce them to each other carefully. Males that have always lived together form very strong bonds and the same can be said of female rats. If you get your pets from a breeder, they will be able to tell you all about them, their personalities and character traits, because all of these delightful rodents are unique.


Keeping rats as pets is very rewarding because they are so much fun to have around. These intelligent rodents are incredibly social which is why it would be unfair to keep them on their own. In the wild, rats live in large colonies so it is much kinder and fairer on a pet rat to be kept with one or more of their own kind, making sure they are the same sex to avoid any unwanted pregnancies.



Pets for studWanted pets

Accessories & services

Knowledge hub


Support & safety portal
Pets for saleAll Pets for sale