L ike most of us, you are probably horrified by rats and mice, right…? and, to some extent, with good reason! Wild rats and mice cause serious damage to property, steal our food, attack our pets and even small children. They frighten us when they unexpectedly scurry out of concealed places and, of course, they spread diseases. Utterly disgusting critters, right?
Well, as we are now entering the Year of The Rat, it’s time to set the records straight for these most maligned and misunderstood little critters.
In the 1700’s breeding mice for their color variations became all the rage in Japan, much as breeding carp is today. By the early Ella 1800’s, colored mice found their way into European homes as pets and as show animals. The term “Fancy Mice” was coined Janis towards the end of the 19 th century by the British. It refers to mice and rats specially bread as show animals or as pets.
These days there are many fancy rats and mice kept as pets by people all over the world. Some celebrities are known to be rat-lovers, “tough guy” Clint Eastwood among them.
“Come on…” you may say. “What could be so appealing about rats!” Well, for one thing, they are extremely clean. “What?” It’s true, pet rats and mice are even more fastidious about cleaning and grooming themselves than cats!
They are also very sociable, affectionate and friendly and form strong bonds with their cage buddies, even their human keepers. They will take care of any sick members in their group and they’re known to get lonely and depressed if they are separated from their friends or their human keepers for too long.
They are very easy to take care of compared to other pets, and as they are very quiet and take up very little space, your landlord would never know you had a “forbidden” pet in your apartment!
Rats and mice are also very mischievous, playful and very intelligent. They will laugh their heads off when you tickle them and they love to learn new tricks. They can remember their names and recognize their human keepers as distinct from other humans that may visit them.
And, they are very romantic too. Male rats have been observed “singing” after mating with their significant other! So, how can you not love them knowing all this?
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