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Today I heard someone talking about the puppy she's going to get in a few weeks and I asked how long she spent finding a responsible breeder(I know that this girl does do research before getting a pet). I forget her response,but I said that I'd be willing to go out of state for rats from a good Rattery,and someone was just sooo surprised (not rude,but suprised)and said "Rats!?As pets?!?"so I said "Yes,they're like tiny dogs only better in my opinion."she said "don't they escape and run around your house?Dont they jump out of people's hands and runaway?"I said "I've only heard of that a few times in over half of a year on the rat forum,and most were really small or bar spaceing that was too big."she said "Ok,I guess if that's your kind of thing...Do you have rats or will you have them in the future?" I said "I don't have them yet,I'm slowly saving money,but I'm not in that much of a hurry because I'm still researching."she asked how much they were and I said they need a lot of stuff but a big cost is vet bills she said "vet bills?You can take a rat to the vet?"I said they need to go to the vet like a dog or a cat.

Why are people so suprised that rats can be pets,and people actually care about them?why would they think that we would care less about a rat than a cat or dog?
 

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I think it's because rats have a bad reputation of being "vermin" and being the cause of the plague (Which we all know they didn't cause it).

They're also not as popular as dogs or cats, so it's not an every day thing! People have stopped me in public when I take my ferrets outside, asking what they even are. LOL

The reputation isn't helping at all, and I've had some disgusted looks when I said I had rats. There are stereotypes, even for rats. It's all about education and sadly there aren't that many educational resources out there for pet rats.

The thing that bothered me the most is where having a pet gerbil is totally okay but having a pet rat isn't?!
 

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But why do people hate rats so much if they don't even know what they look like?They think they are wonderful until they hear rat.(not the person I mentioned above but others)
 

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Just wait....in a few years some super mega celebrity will instagram/tweet/facebook their pet rats and then it will take off. I'm surprised it hasn't happened yet. I wonder how much rat ownership increased with movies like Ratatouille or Harry Potter?
 

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The rat in Harry Potter turned out to be a gross, creepy and murderous old man and somehow I don't think a lot of people went to buy a pet rat after watching the movie.
 

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But why do people hate rats so much if they don't even know what they look like?They think they are wonderful until they hear rat.(not the person I mentioned above but others)
The last time I tom my boys to the vets, I had them in the small carry cage and a pillow case over the top to keep it a bit darker and keep them calm. I was talking to them and touching them and a lady saw one of my boys heads and was like 'aww how sweet, are they mice or hamsters?' (Lord knows what kind of messed up looking hamsters she kept as a child!?) And I said 'no they're young rats' and she just went 'oohh' and sat back in her seat like I'd just told her it was a cage of maggots or something.... like why are rats less cute than a mouse or a hamster? Both of which aren't nearly as affectionate or responsive as rats.
I took it all in my stride because I love my boys and her opinion was misinformed at best. Rats are great :)
 

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I still think it's about education and eliminating all the horrible, dumb stereotypes that are out there in the public. Rats are definitely interactive and make good pets for the right people, but not everyone is going to find them awesome or cute. Example, some people think pugs are absolutely ugly while others find the wrinkles irresistibly adorable.

My neighbour doesn't like my ferrets and she actually refers him as "the white rat." She says it jokingly, but I can't imagine what her response would be if she knew I actually had pet rats. Everyone have their own interests and determine which pets were right for them, but what bothers me is when others judge and treat you disgustingly because you have pet rats. It's just so ignorant and naive.
 

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I remember when I took Templeton to the vet I had him in a small carrier and was trying to make sure no one would see him because I didn't want a scene. There was a young guy with a beautiful German Shepard puppy and I was talking with him for a while when he asked what I had in the carrier, I considered lying but decided against it and told him it was my pet rat. I was expecting a bad reaction but all he said was "oh ok, you don't see that many pet rats around her." Then went on to explain that he had had pet mice when he was younger and he wanted to get a rat but his girlfriend wasn't a fan and he didn't want to stress rats out with a puppy.
It was such a nice experience!:)
 

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I find these types of reactions quite comical really :) I understand why people who has not had much exposure to the small animal pet industry might not understand the whole rats as pets thing.. And there are even people in the world who keep rats, that dont think they need to be taken to the vets (which is a horrible way of thinking)! When I meet people who has no idea that rats can be pets and should be treated just like all other pets, I see it as a good thing, because now they know :) And now that girl knows thanks to you, and if she kept asking questions she could be intrigued and curiosity could lead to research, which could lead to being a rat owner!
 

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It seemed like it was a good opportunity to educate! I enjoy telling people about rats, especially people who hadn't heard of them being pets before. I hope a celebrity doesn't popularize rats! I don't need to see a bunch of people toting around terrified rats in handbags and sticking them into tiny cages at night.
 
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