I preffer female Ratties, but males are extreme cuddlebugs and are realy cool too! If you don't mind a stinkier rat with large testicals trailing behind it, and want a pet you can cuddle and pamper better, get a male. I would get a rat from a breeder, but pet store ones...You see, theres controversy. You can save a rat from a pet store where it might have been abused if bought by another owner or just in the petstore. But with petstore rats you don't know what your getting really. You could purchase an amazing rat that you will love and who will love you, and that will live a very long, healthy life. But it's more likely you'll get an under-socialized, sick rat that will bring you nothing but grief. From a good breeder you can be almost certain you are buying a great friend that will live for around two years. So your going to have to make a choice. I must say I was amazingly lucky with my pet store rat, my first rat. She is my best friend in the whole world! I can't imagine ever losing her. She was trained very quickly and has gotten sick only once with a slight upper respitory infection that she is taking meds for and should be healthy by Tuesday! On what to feed them, I feed my rats KAYTEE rat and mouse mix with a few rat blocks and 'Healthy Toppings Almond and pumpkin Seed' mix on the top. Once a weak I give them some fresh carrot and a little piece of ground beef. Rats only bite if they are (a) insane or (b) being hurt. Don't mistake a rat's nibble for a bite, these nibbles are the rat grooming you or seeing how you taste, and they will never put pressure with their teeth on your fingers or anything else when they nibble. Remember to use recycled paper bedding, not wood chips as wood chips have oils and dusts in them that can kill a rat.