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Do you know anyone with pet rats who would be able to discuss or show you parents what rat ownership is like? If this is not an option maybe you could find an educational YouTube video... There is a HowCast series that's dry but has good basic information about rat care and dispelling myths about rats. I didn't begin owning rats until I lived on my own, so I didn't have to explain it to anyone, but when my mom came to visit me she was actually really surprised about how social they are... I had a series of aloof hamsters when I was a kid and she thought all rodents were solitary creatures. Maybe just supplying basic information such as how they are different from sewer rats, the basics of rat care, and the value they can bring to your life through their personalities and affection will be useful.
 

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I had the exact same problem. Here's how my request went down:
I proposed the idea of rats to them and instantly got the disgusted look from my step-mom. "Why rats?" She asked, obviously disliking the idea. I explained how I came to find out about them, the months of research I did and explained some of what I had learned. I told them how I would go about keeping them off the carpet and away from things they could potentially chew (Walls, bedroom items, etc...). It took quite a bit of explaining and my step-mom never got that expression off her face. It became even worse when I said that I had to get two. She absolutely hated the idea of having rats in her house, more because they actually frighten her than anything else.
It also went a long way that I have kept pets my whole life and I have always been the sole provider for them in terms of care and maintenance. Obviously as a child I could not pay for their expenses and you should be honest and say what it may cost them if you cannot provide for them in that way. Explain everything and be honest and don't get mad, no matter how much they may be resistant to you. It's not ideal to have a parent opposing you, but it isn't exactly a bad thing. Just as a note for you as well, if you cannot in any way save money for the rats you may be in trouble. In the last two months I have spent about $253 on vet bills for a single rat. Please take this into account, whether you have to tell your parents about the vet bills or whether you will have to save birthday/Christmas money for it, as I do.

If it helps, my life has been drastically changed by my rats. My mom tells me that I have been so much happier since I got them and I feel it. I have terrible posture and I should try to fix it, but it was hard to find the motivation to work on getting the muscles back into a healthy position. Once I got my rats I found my inspiration. Especially with Neera being sick, I decided I needed a job. To get a job, I had to look presentable. So, I now have as much motivation as I need to fix my posture simply for the sake of saving up for future vet bills. I have also stopped being so grumpy. I adore playing with my little scrambling scoundrels and I have never had a pet so perfect for me for what I need right now... (I feel the same about my dog, but I need her for a different reason). You may also wish to mention the whole dog-comparison idea. :3

EDIT: I started this thread when I first joined. It may be helpful to you. :3
http://www.ratforum.com/showthread.php?216242-Encouraging-Parents-to-Let-You-Get-Rats
 

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Well I had a rather unorthodox method of convincing my parents.....they started getting a divorce and my mom wanted to be the "cool parent" so she said I could keep them at her house...not to be outdone my dad bought me the cage....so I guess that's not really helpful show them pictures of babies if they think baby animals are cute....I think I've changed most people at my works mindset on rats with pictures of my baby rats.....education is very important though
When you day rats most people think dirty mean sewer rats just show them otherwise :)
 

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I wanted rats when I still lived with my parents; my mom said no and surprised me with a python (oh my god). this was so irresponsible of her! i was 16, could totally have looked after two ratties but was NOT ready for a snake. fast forward to now; i still have the snake, now i have two rats as well. i live on my own and take great care of them, as well as my other animals (3 cats and a cockatiel).
my opinion on "convincing" your parents - their house, their rules, is the bottom line. if after educating them they are still against it, what can you do, really? wait till you're 18 and have your own job and place.
 
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