RSPCA urging the public to #loverats

Rat in a cage


Many people do not realise that the RSPCA rescue and rehome many rats and mice and the number in our care is continuing to grow each year. In 2017 the RSPCA took in 228 rats compared with 204 in 2016 and 160 in 2015 on top of this we also took in 200 mice in 2017 compared with 109 in 2016 and 147 in 2015.

Unfortunately, rats seem to be faced with a negative stereotype but they can actually make really great pets!

RSPCA rabbit and rodent welfare expert Dr Jane Tyson said:

They are fascinating and very intelligent animals and could make rewarding additions to a family. People don't realise that each rat has their own personality. There are many different species of rat across the world, and they have an incredible sense of smell. Some have even been trained to safely locate landmines in war zones so that they can be removed - they really are an extraordinary group of animals.

Rats can make great additions to the family, they laugh when tickled, love belly rubs, dream whilst sleeping and show empathy and will try to help other rats in distress. You can also have lots of fun teaching them to do tricks for treats!


12 year old school boy from Haywards Heath, Oliver, is determined to squash this negative label that rats have a been given and is championing our #loverats campaign. Oliver said:

I really love my two rats, Sybil and Polly. We adopted them from the RSPCA at South Godstone a year ago. Rats are very smart, they can make good pets because they are so clever and very friendly. My friends love our rats too. Two of them come to my house every morning before school and the first thing they ask is if they can see the rats. We have to check they haven't hidden them in their blazer pockets before we leave for school! The rats are very friendly and if I put them on the floor they follow me around. They love to sit on my lap watching tv with me. My favourite things about the rats is that they sit on my shoulder and whisper in my ear and their whiskers tickle my face.

Rat in cage


We would urge anyone thinking of getting rats, mice or any other rodent species to check out Find a Pet to see if they can offer a rescue rodent a loving home.