SAN DIEGO, May 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- While most people come home to curl up with their dogs or cats, an estimated 500 thousand Americans come home to pet rats. It may be surprising to learn that rats are rather social creatures and actually love to snuggle and crave company – either in the form of other rats or their lucky pet parents. To learn more about these great cuddle buddies and how to care for their physical, mental, social and emotional needs, attend any of the Petco™ free, family-friendly Meet the Critters events taking place nationwide May 18-19, 2013 from 1 p.m. – 2 p.m.
Below are five reasons why rats make great companions:
- They're appreciative: While spending time with their pet parents, rats may grind their teeth in something called "bruxing." Reasons for bruxing are similar to why cats purr – they're emotionally happy!
- They're considerate: Rats have been known to travel in packs and like to be socially engaged. They may even take care of their sick or injured friends.
- They're clean: Rats like to stay clean, and to keep physically fit they will comb their hair and help a friend out at the same time by using their teeth to help them stay attractive.
- They're likely to remember pet parents: Rats have been kept as pets since the early 19th century and are considered the most intelligent rodent for being able to learn simple behaviors such as recognizing faces they see often. Attendees of the family-friendly "Meet the Critters" event can learn more about how to keep rats mentally alert.
- They're engaging: Pet rats enjoy climbing up and down their habitats, but they also enjoy out-of-cage time. Keep rats physically fit by allowing them to run around in an exercise ball to get some energy out.
Caring for rats can be a fun and unique experience! However, parental supervision is recommended for pet parents under 12. For more information on this month's "Meet the Critters" event visit www.petco.com/kids.
Petco is a leading pet specialty retailer that provides the products, services and advice that make it easier for our customers to be great pet parents. Everything we do is guided by our vision for Healthier Pets. Happier People. Better World. We operate more than 1,200 stores nationwide and in Puerto Rico, including more than 50 Unleashed by Petco locations, a smaller format neighborhood shop, and www.petco.com. The Petco Foundation, an independent nonprofit organization, has raised more than $110 million since it was created in 1999 to help promote and improve the welfare of companion animals. In conjunction with the Foundation, we work with and support thousands of local animal welfare groups across the country and, through in-store adoption events, help find homes for more than 350,000 animals every year.