Acquired: Pet store
California, United States
Posted Jan 05, 2012
My mother acquired a dumbo-eared rat from a pet store, not knowing that she was already pregnant. When the rat gave birth, she couldn't keep all of the litter. I wound up taking 4 total rats, when she eventually had to move.
I've owned rats before, and they've always been friendly, even when I was very young (3 or 4). But they were always standard rats. Standard rats, though friendly and easy to handle, aren't quite as active or intelligent (in my experience) as these dumbo rats were.
These 4 rats were active, jumping a lot (they would often try to jump out of their box, while I was cleaning their cage). They were intelligent, learning very quickly. And, they were even sweeter, friendlier, than other rat types I've owned in the past.
As far as negatives go, I can only think of three (potential - depending on your specific situation/family). One: they are more fragile than many pets (large dogs, or even cats, for instance). So, if you have small children, or children who are perhaps a bit more high-strung than others, they may not handle these little guys with the best care. Also, I did mention the jumping, the rats may jump out of your hand and become injured, if you aren't particularly careful while handling them. Two: some people don't like the appearance of rats. I think they're adorable, and the tails don't bother me at all. But many disagree with my assessment. And three: cleaning out their cages can be quite a chore. It has to be done regularly, to keep the smell down, and for the health of the rats themselves. Many may not want to do this as often as it should be done.