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How Rodents Developed to be Pets

Mar 7

How Rodents Developed to be Pets

Rats have been living with people for thousands upon. They are able to find food much faster in our scraps than they would in the wild. However, rodents were never kept as pets in the last few centuries. This is unlike other animals such as dogs (who provide companionship, protection, and help with hunting), or cats (who help contain pests like mice, rats, and others)

A Brief History About Rats

Both gray rats and sable rats originate from Asia. They moved west with traders as well as travelers. However, black rats arrived in the west around 1000 years ago. In Europe, rats developed a very bad reputation for spreading bubonic plague though technically it was spread by fleas on rats, not the rats.

The Victorian era saw the rise of rat populations across Europe. This was especially true in England. Ratcatchers became busier than ever and started to lure gamblers with rat baiting. London had more than 40 baiting pits for rats by 1840. Rat baiting was eventually banned. However, it was legal for 70 years before that.

Around this time, Jack Black, a ratcatcher who was also ratcatcher for Queen Victoria began keeping rats and training them - which was the beginning of rat domestication. Black separated these rats into 2 groups. Some of them he taught to run with his arms up and down while referring to the effectiveness of his rat-catching service. He used this group of rats often to show how fast the poison he used.

He kept another group of rats and tamed them. These were "pretty", attractive, or uncommonly colored rats. These rats were decorated with ribbons and sold to the women as pets. The trend spread across Europe, and by 1901 Mary Douglas a pet rat display was held in England at National Mouse Club. Douglas' death led to little interest. The National Fancy Rat Society was formed in England in 1973.

What is the Difference Between a Fancy and a Rat

A fancy refers to a domesticated rat. Domesticated and wild rats are two completely different.

The wild rats have a tendency to not be social, other than mating. The strongest and most aggressive rats tend to survive in nature. They will fight back if threatened or trapped. Technically, rats of all kinds can behave aggressively if threatened. But wild rats are most likely.

Domesticated Rats (or Fancy) are more docile due to the fact that they were raised with this trait. They also tend to be very clean. They have a wider selection of colors than wild rats because they were first domesticated to look good.

Are Rats Aggressive?

Any animal can be aggressive whenever threatened. However, wild rats are less aggressive than domesticated "fancy", or "fancy", rats. High-Stress Levels affect all kinds of aggression in rats.

How Long Can Rats Live?

The average life expectancy of rats is approximately two years. Although it can take longer for domesticated rats, it is usually around two years. A three-year-old male rat is still a very senior rat. Wild rats live an average of 1.8 years.

How Long have Rodents been kept as pets by humans?

Mice can be seen by humans from the very beginning of human civilization. In fact, keeping pets was documented as far back as The 1700s. Europeans introduced the fancy mice to Europe and started breeding them with domestic mice. Mice were first domesticated in China, Japan, and later imported into Europe. "Fancy mice," which became very popular in Victorian times, was even adopted by England's National Mouse Club.

Rats are a relatively recent trend. It began during the Victoria era.

Tampa Pest Busters Rodent Experts

Tampa Pest Busters are the experts to help with your rat or rodent problem. It is likely that more rodents may be hiding if you only see one. We will help you live in a pet-free environment.


Tampa Pest Busters

Tampa Florida

(813) 796 6261