Looking after your rat
Congratulations on acquiring your new rat
There are around 30 varieties of ‘fancy’ rat in a range of coat types, colours and markings. These domesticated rats are descendants from the common, wild brown rat.

Well-kept rats live on average for two to three years. They are clean, lively, intelligent and inquisitive social creatures that like to live in groups with other rats and bond well with humans. To prevent unwanted breeding, rats should be kept in single sex pairs or small groups. Ideally, the group should consist of litter mates as they get on the best.
Rats are easily tamed with quiet gentle handling and they rarely bite unless scared. Children should only handle them under close adult supervision.   Let your rats get accustomed to your hand first of all. Let them investigate and step onto your hand. Once your rats are happy, you can gently scoop them up with both hands. Approach them from the front, not from above, and do not approach them in their sleeping compartment. Hold your rats firmly but not too tightly. Always take care to avoid any potential falls, as even a small drop can cause serious injury. Rats should never be picked up by their tails.

If your rat bites you and is holding on to your finger, be brave and gently lower the rat on to a flat surface where it will let go. Do not try to pull it off (it will bite harder) and do not flick it off (it will be seriously hurt).
Check your rats daily. They should be alert, bright eyed and active. There should be no discharge around their eyes, ears, mouth and nose or under their tails. They should have quiet, regular breathing with no sneezing. Their coats should be glossy with no bald patches. There should be no lumps or bumps and their nails and teeth shouldn’t be overgrown.