Basic Rat Care
Here's the first thing you will want to know: rats make wonderful pets! They are very intelligent, like to be clean and live for social interaction. Rats absolutely need at least one rat companion of the same sex, but as many often find, you will most likely want to add a third (or more!)
Ticklish, capable of laughing and playing games like hide-and-seek, rats jump for joy and genuinely love to interact with their fellow rat and human companions. Rats are capable of empathy for others, and are even aware of their own knowledge. Scientists have taught them how to drive tiny cars and play the video game Doom.
Rats are active and enjoy lots of open air space to roam, so nice big wire cages or large DIY'd plastic tubs are ideal. They thrive when they have lots of toys to explore and chew (this is important for the health of their teeth, which constantly grow,) hammocks, ladders and hiding spots. Fill the cage with fluffy, soft bedding for them to burrow into and sleep on. These adorable rodents drink from water bottles, but they also love to wash themselves and play in dishes of water.
You can feed your group of rats (known as a mischief) fairly inexpensive ready made diets created by pet food companies. However, I find that my rats thrive on a varied diet that includes veggies, grains, pasta, and more! Here is a basic overview of what I feed my mischief. And also important is this list of what foods to feed and what to avoid.
For more information about cages, food, head on over to the Rat & Mouse Guide for more articles!