Average Lifespan of a Rat?

Genetics, care and the origin of your pet rat will determine life expectancy more than anything else. In general, rats are expected to live around two years, although this varies. Life expectancy is not one-size-fits-all — not all store-bought rats are doomed to die an early death, and not all fancy rats come from reputable breeders.

Research your prospective breeder before purchasing your rat as some breeders are not responsible; over-breeding, breeding from feeder rat origins or neglecting to breed for health and strength of stock can lower life expectancy. Rodney belonged to the Mitchell family in Tulsa, Okla., and it’s unknown as to what may have contributed to his longevity.

While no studies can demonstrably show concrete proof of longer life expectancy, factors such as new and stimulating environments, a free-feeding diet or exercise all offer possibilities.

How long do rats live as pets?

“Rats tend to be nocturnal but are active for periods during the day.” Rats live, on average, 2 to 3 years. Children should be informed of this so that the ‘sudden death’ of their 2 to 3-year-old pet does not come unexpectedly. Rats love to chew and are great escape artists.

Can rats live for 7 years?

Pet rat life expectancy is better, and the average lifespan is around 2 years, though some rats will live to see their third birthday. … The Guinness Book of World Records (1995 edition) puts Rodney the rat – who lived to be 7 years and 4 months – as the oldest verified rat.

Why do rats only live 2 years?

Domesticated rats have a longer lifespan than that of wild rats. Because domesticated rats are protected from predators and have ready access to food, water, shelter, and medical care, their average lifespan is around two to three years, in contrast to wild R. norvegicus which average a lifespan of less than one year.

Can rats live for 10 years?

The average fancy rat lifespan is about 2 to 3 years. And the pet rat generally lives longer than a wild rat, except for the hairless rat, which also has a short life expectancy even in domestication.

Welcome to our complete guide to pet rat lifespan. Since small pets like rats, mice, and gerbils have shorter lifespans than other animals like dogs and cats, this can be an important subject.

In England, during the early 1800s, the rat began to make its transition from pest to pet. Exterminators came across a wide variety of rats, including some with unique colors or traits.

They began to keep these unusual rodents and bred them to create different types of rat. This eventually led to the creation of the fancy rat, and the different body types such as hairless and dumbo. In the early days of domestication, the pet rat lifespan was around 1.5 to 2 years.

Improved knowledge about proper rat care, feeding, and veterinary care in recent years has made it feasible for rats to live as long as 4 or more years in captivity. Besides coat type, there are also hairless, tailless, and big-eared (dumbo) fancy rat varieties. They come in a wide range of colors, and their fur patterns include agouti (or ticked), Siamese, merle, and spotted.

With an attentive owner, Pet rats can also receive veterinary care when they show signs of illness. All of these factors contribute to a longer life expectancy for domesticated Pet Rats. They grow quickly, beginning to crawl at 5 days, and their eyes will open at 2 weeks.

Rats over a year old can be less active and may develop health problems that are common to older pets. The rats hind limbs can weaken, the tail may move abnormally, and they may exhibit signs of stiffness or reduced mobility in their joints. An inexperienced breeder can pass on undesirable traits, like a hereditary health condition, along with a particular coat color or pattern.

Proper nutrition for your pet rat is key to a long and healthy life. Lets take a look at specific health problems that can affect a pet rats lifespan. Rats can be prone to upper respiratory infections, pneumonia, tumors of the mammary glands, and skin parasites.

Viral infections require good supportive care like a quality diet and proper cage conditions. Also, you should feed your pet a proper nutritious rat diet, and try to prevent them from becoming stressed. Some vets recommend that you weigh your pet on a small scale, as deviations from their normal weight can indicate that something is going on before any other physical symptoms are present.

Check your rat regularly for signs of hair loss and skin problems. Remember that rats tend to hide signs of illness, so dont wait until it has become highly obvious something is wrong. Early detection of diseases is important for treatment options and life expectancy.

Studies have shown that even a small reduction in food quantity can significantly increase a pet rats lifespan and improve its overall health. Feed your rat a diet rich in antioxidants to help increase its lifespan. Be sure to feed your pet pellets designed for rats and no other small rodents, as every animal has different nutritional needs.

Rats enjoy people food like bread, nuts, and cooked eggs. Additionally, diets high in sugar and fat are unhealthy for your rat and can lead to health issues, similar to that in humans. The main factor that could contribute to poor health or a shortened lifespan is inbreeding.

Inbreeding of dumbo litters can pass down other, unwanted characteristics besides the desired large ears. Therefore, reputable breeders will outcross their rats to remove negative traits and add positive ones. They are often bred from unhealthy genetic lines, are prone to illnesses, and have a short life expectancy.

Although there are a lot of factors that can influence the length of a fancy rats life, proper nutrition, clean living conditions, and vet care can all help your pet rat live a long and healthy life. Despite being fairly short-lived creatures, with proper care, your pet rat can live a happy and healthy life for as long as possible! Spontaneous Mammary Tumors In Domestic Rats (Rattus Norvegicus) . Donnelly, T. M. Accessed 2019.

Morbidity and disease management in pet rats: a study of 375 cases . Veterinary Record. Significant life extension by ten percent dietary restriction . Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences.

Rats are intelligent and social animals that can make wonderful pets. They are also easily tamed, making rats especially great for someone who likes to handle their pets.

Rats have a wide range of markings as well as breed varieties, including standard/smooth, rex, hairless, and tailless. Females go into heat for about 24 hours every four or five days once they reach puberty and may seem agitated or restless during this time.

They require a fair amount of attention and exercise time outside of their cagesat least an hour a day is ideal. Keeping rats in groups does not make them more difficult to tame if they are handled from a young age. Breeders (called ratteries) are the best option for finding a well socialized young rat.

A good breeder will make sure the babies are socialized and handled from an early age. When choosing a pet rat, try to avoid ones that are panicky when handled, especially if they do not relax quickly. On the opposite end of the spectrum, also avoid those that are overly quiet and calm as they may be ill. Quite often, a good choice is a rat that is curious enough to approach you.

Their body should be firm and well rounded but younger rats are likely to be on the lean side.

Luckily, fancy rats have all the benefits of living in a comfortable home, protected from predators, environmental dangers, and supplied with the best rat food.

In this post we will cover just that and show you the equivalent of your rat‘s age in human years. Rats are known as being hardy little creatures, however in the wild they rarely live beyond the age of one year.

Luckily, fancy rats have all the benefits of living in a comfortable home, protected from predators, environmental dangers, and supplied with the best rat food . One thing is for sure, our rats are living the life of riley, and this is reflected in the lifespan. In recent studies surveys conducted in the UK showed that on average rats lived to be 21.6 months old, that’s 1.8 years (Clark 2004).

These studies also showed that 95% of fancy rats had died by the age of 3 years. Despite these figures, it still isn’t uncommon for rats to live for 2-3 years, or even 3 and beyond… As the study showed, only 5% live beyond 3 so if your rat is beyond that age, they’re doing really well! Some factors that may lower a rat lifespan include poor diet, poor living conditions and genetic issues.

So giving your rat the best shot to live a long and happy life can be improved by focusing on those factors, where possible. Using the rats average life expectancy, and the fact that only 5% of rats make it past 3 years we can use human life expectancy data to give you an idea of your rats age in human years.

Store-Bought and Feeder Rats

Store-bought rats, also commonly referred to as “feeder” rats, are sold both as pets and as food for predator reptiles such as snakes. In general, store-bought rats come from weak genetic lines, are susceptible to illness and cancers and are not expected to live as long as fancy rats. Most store-bought rats will live 12 to 24 months. Some pet stores will receive lines from local fancy rat breeders, and your store-bought rat could live up to 36 months with great care, a stimulating environment and nutritious food.

Fancy Rats

Fancy rats are those that have traced genetic lines, and are bred in “ratteries” by knowledgeable and experienced rat owners. Fancy rats typically live to 2 or 3 years of age, and are less prone to upper respiratory diseases or malignant tumors. Research your prospective breeder before purchasing your rat as some breeders are not responsible; over-breeding, breeding from feeder rat origins or neglecting to breed for health and strength of stock can lower life expectancy.

Wild Rats

In the wild, the life expectancy for a rat is much lower: 95 percent of wild rats die before they reach their first birthday. A 1-year-old rat would be around 30 years old in human terms. The most common cause of death in wild rats comes from predators, such as owls, hawks and foxes. Perhaps equally as dangerous for wild rats are humans; cars, rat traps and poison all affect wild rat life expectancy.

Fancy Rats

How long is the average fancy rat lifespan?“Fancy” is a term commonly used to describe all domestic rats. A fancy rat is not a specific breed of a pet rat.Fancy rats come in 7 different varieties, mostly related to the thickness and texture of the coat.Besides coat type, there are also hairless, tailless, and big-eared (dumbo) fancy rat varieties.They come in a wide range of colors, and their fur patterns include agouti (or ticked), Siamese, merle, and spotted. They can also have head markings called hoods, caps, and masks.But the fancy pet rat lifespan is the same as any pet rat.How long do domestic rats live? The average lifespan of a pet rat is 2 to 3 years, but some rats may live up to 4 or 5 years.

Wild Rat Lifespan

Domestic rats (fancy rats) are descended from wild rats.Rats in the wild are generally black or brown. But people began trapping white (albino) rats, born to common wild rats, and keeping them as pets.How long do wild rats live? Many wild rats will not make it to their first birthday. Experts report that the average lifespan of a rat in the wild is between 6 and 11 months.Rats in the wild face many more dangers than pet rats. They are a common prey animal for many predators.And wild rats are also impacted by fluctuations on the food supply, such as food shortages caused by drought.Given these threats, it’s not surprising that the lifespan of a wild rat can be very short.

How Long Do Rats Live As Pets?

As mentioned above, the average fancy rat lifespan is about 2 to 3 years. This is 1.5 to 2.5 years longer than the average life expectancy of a wild rat.As a pet, fancy rats are less vulnerable to both predators and food shortages.They should be safe when kept inside and fed a daily, healthy pellet diet. With an attentive owner, Pet rats can also receive veterinary care when they show signs of illness.All of these factors contribute to a longer life expectancy for domesticated Pet Rats.

Pet Rat Life Cycle

Now that we have an idea of the average lifespan of a pet rat, let’s look at the rat’s different stages of life.Rat experts generally divide the rat life cycle into 4 phases: newborn, 4 weeks, 1 year, and over 1 year.Newborn rats are tiny, blind, and dependent on their mothers. They grow quickly, beginning to crawl at 5 days, and their eyes will open at 2 weeks.At only 4 weeks, a young rat will no longer need its mother. They are fully alert and can feed themselves. But they will still need their siblings to ensure they develop socially.Around 6 to 8 weeks is the right time to bring home a baby rat.Rats reach full adulthood at 1 year of age. They are active, playful, and easy to train.Rats over a year old can be less active and may develop health problems that are common to older pets.

Factors Affecting Pet Rat Life Expectancy

Inbreeding can affect a rat’s health and lifespan. An inexperienced breeder can pass on undesirable traits, like a hereditary health condition, along with a particular coat color or pattern.Proper nutrition for your pet rat is key to a long and healthy life. Ensure they are eating food specifically designed for rats and be aware of what human foods are safe to give as treats and which ones are toxic.Let’s take a look at specific health problems that can affect a pet rat’s lifespan.

Pet Rat Lifespan And Health Problems

Besides feeding your rat a healthy diet, you should also monitor your pet for certain medical conditions common to domestic rats.Rats can be prone to upper respiratory infections, pneumonia, tumors of the mammary glands, and skin parasites.

Pet Rat Lifespan And Respiratory Disease

Respiratory disease is the most common health problem in rats.Look for discharge from the eyes and nose, as well as sneezing.Most respiratory infections are bacterial and can be treated with antibiotics. Viral infections require good supportive care like a quality diet and proper cage conditions.To prevent respiratory infections, your rat’s cage should be kept clean and well-ventilated.

Pet Rat Lifespan And Cancer

Fortunately, while common, most rat mammary tumors are benign and not cancerous.Cancer is more common in female rats and mammary tumors often start to occur from 18 months of age, as this is when the female rat ceases to ovulate.If you feel any kind of lump under their skin, contact your vet. There are different treatment options, including surgery, to remove the tumor.

Pet Rat Lifespan And Skin Parasites

Rats are most prone to skin mites. The prevalence of skin mites can range from a few to a full infestation.A few mites are commonly found on most rats and not a problem. However, if a pet is stressed or ill, they are vulnerable to developing an infestation.This can be treated with medication. However, prevention is always the best.You should keep your rat’s cage very clean and disinfect it often to prevent mites. Also, you should feed your pet a proper nutritious rat diet, and try to prevent them from becoming stressed.

Increasing Your Pet Rat’s Lifespan

Remember that rats tend to hide signs of illness, so don’t wait until it has become highly obvious something is wrong. Early detection of diseases is important for treatment options and life expectancy.If you are concerned about your rat, the best thing to do is to take them to the vet. You can also look at our article on caring for a pet rat.

Feeding Your Pet Rats

Like other pets, rats that are fed too much unhealthy food can become obese. Studies have shown that even a small reduction in food quantity can significantly increase a pet rat’s lifespan and improve its overall health.Feed your rat a diet rich in antioxidants to help increase its lifespan. As with humans, oxidative stress caused by free radicals in the body can cause disease and accelerate the aging process.Healthy food for your rat includes quality commercial rat pellets as well as fresh vegetables like carrots, broccoli, and peas. Be sure to feed your pet pellets designed for rats and no other small rodents, as every animal has different nutritional needs.You can also feed your rat fresh fruit as an occasional treat. Rats enjoy people food like bread, nuts, and cooked eggs.However, save these foods for special treats as too many treats contribute to unhealthy weight gain. Additionally, diets high in sugar and fat are unhealthy for your rat and can lead to health issues, similar to that in humans.

How Long Do Dumbo Pet Rats Live?

Dumbo rats are a variety of fancy rat. They are distinguished by their large round ears, set low on the head.Dumbo is a recessive genetic trait, meaning that if both parents are dumbos, all the babies will be dumbos. One dumbo parent mated with a regular rat could produce litters with either some dumbos or no dumbos.How long is a dumbo rat lifespan? A healthy dumbo rat should have a normal Pet Rat life expectancy of 2 to 3 years or more. The main factor that could contribute to poor health or a shortened lifespan is inbreeding.Inbreeding of dumbo litters can pass down other, unwanted characteristics besides the desired large ears. Therefore, reputable breeders will outcross their rats to remove negative traits and add positive ones.Good rat breeders will breed not only for physical characteristics but for overall health. You should get your pet from a responsible breeder to help ensure that you get a rat with a normal dumbo rat lifespan.

How Long Do Hairless Pet Rats Live?

Like the dumbo, the hairless pet rat lifespan is also a variety of the domestic fancy rat.Hairless rats can have any color of skin, but the skin should be smooth and blemish-free. Many hairless rats will have short, curly whiskers, or none at all.Unfortunately, hairless rats have a lot more health problems than their haired cousins.Hairless rats are not just missing their hair, they are also missing their thymus gland. A gland integral to the development of the immune system.So, in short, how long is a hairless rat lifespan? Hairless rats tend to have a shorter life span than the average fancy rat, of about 6 to 12 months.Therefore, think carefully before bringing a hairless pet rat home, and make sure you check out our guide for more information.

How Long Do Albino Pet Rats Live?

Many potential owners have questions about the albino or white rat lifespan. And they wonder if coat color, in general, impacts pet rat lifespan.How long is the white rat lifespan or rats of any color for that matter?Although hairless rats don’t live as long, the coat color and markings of a rat do not influence its overall lifespan.Any color rat, including albino, can live a long healthy life if bred from healthy lines and cared for properly.

How Long Do Feeder Rats Live?

One important thing to keep in mind when buying a rat from a pet store is to make sure that you are getting a fancy rat from a breeder and not a so-called “feeder rat.”Feeder rats are sold as food for animals like snakes. They are often bred from unhealthy genetic lines, are prone to illnesses, and have a short life expectancy.Feeder rats are often white (although they can be any color), so it’s important to know that the pet store rat you are buying is not a feeder rat.

Oldest Living Pet Rat

It’s possible that the longest living fancy rat went by the name of Rodney. He lived to be 7 years and 4 months old.Rodney was born in Oklahoma in 1983 and lived until 1990. No one seems to know what helped him reach the ripe old age of 7.

Pet Rat Lifespan Summary

The average fancy rat lifespan is about 2 to 3 years. And the pet rat generally lives longer than a wild rat, except for the hairless rat, which also has a short life expectancy even in domestication.Although there are a lot of factors that can influence the length of a fancy rat’s life, proper nutrition, clean living conditions, and vet care can all help your pet rat live a long and healthy life. Also, getting your pet rat from a trusted and reputable breeder can help ensure you are getting a healthy baby rat.Despite being fairly short-lived creatures, with proper care, your pet rat can live a happy and healthy life for as long as possible!

How Old Is Your Pet Rat?

Do you have a pet rat? Let us know how old they are in the comments below!

Where to Get a Pet Rat

A few options exist to you if you are searching for a new pet rat. While the obvious option, a pet store is only a good option for getting a pet rat if the staff is knowledgeable about caring for rats. Look to see if they keep them in appropriate and clean housing with a good diet and handle them regularly. Also, look for stores that house males and females separately to avoid a surprise litter.Breeders (called ratteries) are the best option for finding a well socialized young rat. A good breeder will make sure the babies are socialized and handled from an early age. Also, a breeder is probably your only option if you are looking for a particular coat type or unique color of rat.Animal shelters should always be considered if you’d like to rescue a rat in need of a home. Check with local shelters or look for rat specific rescue groups. Choose a rat with a good temperament but keep in mind that rescued rats may be a little skittish or shy at first. With patience, you can usually overcome this shyness.No matter the source, avoid rats that are aggressive. This is harder to overcome and most rats are not naturally aggressive.

What Is The Average Lifespan For Rats?

Rats are known as being hardy little creatures, however in the wild they rarely live beyond the age of one year.Luckily, fancy rats have all the benefits of living in a comfortable home, protected from predators, environmental dangers, and supplied with the best rat food.One thing is for sure, our rats are living the life of riley, and this is reflected in the lifespan. So what’s the average lifespan of a fancy rat?In recent studies surveys conducted in the UK showed that on average rats lived to be 21.6 months old, that’s 1.8 years (Clark 2004). These studies also showed that 95% of fancy rats had died by the age of 3 years.Despite these figures, it still isn’t uncommon for rats to live for 2-3 years, or even 3 and beyond… As the study showed, only 5% live beyond 3 so if your rat is beyond that age, they’re doing really well!Some factors that may lower a rat lifespan include poor diet, poor living conditions and genetic issues.So giving your rat the best shot to live a long and happy life can be improved by focusing on those factors, where possible.One method we advocate is supplementing your rats diet with superfoods to stave off cancers and other diseases.