Rats | Life Span
Filed in Small Animals, Rats
Rats are short-lived animals, which can be disconcerting to new pet owners. Some experienced rat owners note that life spans vary according to ancestry and general treatment (proper diet and nutrition).
In reality, most rats will live to see their third our fourth birthday. A few have been know to live up to three years. (One rat is reported to have lived nine long years!)
Many parents feel that having their children experience the relatively short period of companionship and subsequent death of pet rats is a meaningful way to expose children to the natural order of life.
Elderly Care Tips
Old age can be your rat's golden years. More settled than younger rats, older rats enjoy the comforts of a good petting and being held.
By the time your rat reaches old age both you and he are set in your ways. Try to maintain consistency in diet and bedding products. Consistency will minimize stress from drastic change which can exacerbate existing health problems.
Older rats may lose mobility as they age and need help bathing. To occasionally bathe your rat use warm, not hot water, and a sponge. Make sure your rat is not exposed to drafts and use a gentle shampoo or soap. Gently sponge bathe your rat avoiding the eyes, mouth, and soaking your rat. Then carefully towel dry.
Irving Street Veterinary Hospital (San Francisco, CA) materials were used as an information source for this article.