Where do I find a pet rat in NYC?
March 1, 2021 10:07 AM   Subscribe

Where can I buy or adopt a pet rat in Brooklyn, Manhattan, or Queens? Thanks!
posted by andoatnp to Pets & Animals (6 answers total)
Petco regularly has them (at least the one on the Upper West Side does)
posted by Mchelly at 10:12 AM on March 1

Don't buy rats from Petco or any pet store chain. Their rats will be from pet mills, and will not have been properly socialised. Also, there's a significant chance that they'll have been mis-sexed, which may result in an unwanted litter (I've know someone have this happen). Sometimes they'll sell them too young, or too old. It's not a great option.

Reputable rat breeders exist. They select for temperament and health. Their rats will have been handled from birth, and will be happy around humans. All of this comes at a price, of course, so don't expect their rats to be cheap. Also, they tend to have long waiting lists, and may require evidence that you're well prepared to take on rats. Rats plural, as it's recommended that you have three or more. Solitary rats develop behavioural problems; it's cruel to just keep one.

Rescue rats are definitely a thing. Bear in mind that some rescue rats are old, so may not have many months of life left. Others will be skittish and unaccustomed to handling. Others will be lovely. Wild rescue rats can also be kept as pets, and can be just as good a pet as a domesticated one.

Rats often have high associated medical costs, particularly towards the end of the two-and-a-bit year life. So I think what I'm saying is do your research! They're great pets.
posted by pipeski at 10:27 AM on March 1 [6 favorites]

Oh, and if you're on Facebook, join a rat group. People there will be knowledgeable about who the good local breeders are.
posted by pipeski at 10:28 AM on March 1 [1 favorite]

I had three rats, and two have passed away, and I’m trying to find a companion for my remaining rat. Anything with a waiting list isn’t a good option.
posted by andoatnp at 10:31 AM on March 1 [2 favorites]

Petfinder lists a few rats available within driving distance of NYC, but none in NYC. Sean Casey Animal Rescue has a mouse listed and is in the city, maybe you could contact them and see if they have any rats they haven’t had a chance to list yet?
posted by A Blue Moon at 11:47 AM on March 1

Apologies for my somewhat lecturing tone above, as I didn't realise you already had experience of keeping rats!

I'd still suggest online rat groups (either on Facebook or some other platform). I've seen plenty of helpful local advice on sourcing rescue rats. Sometimes people post on those groups looking to re-home rats in a similar situation to yours.
posted by pipeski at 5:56 AM on March 2

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