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Average Lifespan Of A Pet Rat – How Long Do Pet Rats Live?

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The average lifespan of a pet rat will depend on several factors. What is your rat’s diet? How is their general health? Other factors that generally determine a rat’s lifespan include genes and the environment. However, rats have a short life span, whether they are living in the wild or are domesticated. 

If you want to get a pet rat and are wondering how long he/she is going to be in your life, then we have the answers.

Related: Cheap Rat Cages

The Average Lifespan Of A Pet Rat

A pet rat has an average lifespan of 1.8 years. The cozy life of a pet rat, plus a better diet and a safer environment from predators, help in adding their lifespan. However, they are more susceptible to diseases like respiratory infections and tumors. This is why they rarely live for 3 or 4 years. 

In the wild, a rat has an average lifespan of at least a year. In human life, this is about 30 years old. Wild rats are exposed to predators like owls, foxes, and hawks. A wild rat is also likely to die from poison and rat traps in case it invades homes. 

There are other types of rats, fancy rats. These are rats whose genetics are traceable. The owners of fancy rats are usually very experienced, and knowledgeable fancy rats have a longer lifespan compared to pets and wild rats. Their lifespan is 2 – 3 years. Fancy rats are also less susceptible to diseases like tumors and respiratory infections. 

While it is believed that rats live up to 3 years, or 4 utmost, there is a rat that has broken the Guinness book of records for outliving these years. Rodney, a domesticated rat, living in Tulsa, died at the age of 7 years and 4 months on May 25, 1990.  

How Can I Make My Rat Live Longer?

Yes, it is possible to lengthen the life of your pet rat. You can do this by: 

  • Being careful about the rat you pick as a pet – if you want to get a pet rat, then get one from a breeder who is knowledgeable about rats and is also ethical. This will ensure that you get a rat that is not overfed but is always on a proper diet. Good breeders will also ensure that they breed rats from healthy parents, thus ensuring your pet rat does not have genetic issues.
  • Watch their diet – your pet rat’s diet needs to have fruits and vegetables as they need antioxidants. Antioxidants help reduce damage and inflammation of cells that result from old age. Some of the fruits and veggies to feed your pet rat include kiwis, berries, beetroot, carrots, broccoli, kale, and red bell pepper
  • Have an open and active environment – rats are social and playful animals. Therefore, your pet rat needs an environment that is open so that they can remain as active as possible. Lack of activity and exercise makes your pet rat unfit, which will make it difficult for them to be physically active in old age when their hind legs are weak.

The average lifespan of a pet rat is 1.8 years, but you can lengthen your pet’s life by watching his/her diet and ensuring they are active from a young age. 

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