This is my first rat (never even lived anywhere where rats were pests, so could use any advice from reader rat aficionados), but I’m really enjoying him. He’s a bit shy as far as being picked up and handled (and a bit round and difficult to hold on to), but enjoys a good petting/scratch behind the ears and will make that happy chatter sound (which I had to Google for explanation because in my guinea pigs, chattering means mad). His cage came with wood shavings in the bottom, and when I cleaned it and put Carefresh natural (what I swear by for my guys) in the bottom, he plopped down for a rest in the pile of new fluff with a contented look on his face. He loves the paper stuffing that they put in handbags, and I tear a bit of that up each night for him to shape into his “nest.” He sleeps more in the open than in his hidey-hole, which I’m not used to with hamsters.
He was a snappy and grabby at first with food tibdits, but has since gotten a bit gentler. He definitely wasn’t used to fresh fruits and vegetables, and threw a baby carrot to the side the first time I gave him one. His people-food snack favorites are bits of bread and cereals such as Cheerios and Crispix (hello, kiddie-size variety pack to share). He gets along great with my other pets and has never snapped at them. I find his extra-long snake-ish tail fascinating to watch. Red’s just a very sweet rat with a twinkle in his eye. And he promised not to tell about the piece of french fry I let him eat.