Study Says Kids Are Happier with Pet Rats Over Dogs and Cats

Maybe a rat is right for you!

Child With Two Pet Rats On Shoulders
Photo: Getty Images

The rats are where it’s at according to a new study from RightPet, an online pet products and services review site.

The RightPet Pet Ownership Study, which was conducted online between 2010 and 2018, surveyed more than 16,792 individuals from 113 nations and received 64,284 reviews on 32 types of pets and livestock.

Perhaps one of the most surprising take aways from the extensive study is the deep love today’s children have for pet … rats.

Based on 5,150 reviews from 2,867 RightPet members from 74 countries, adults and kids who owned animals between the ages of 10 and 17 reported that pet rats gave them more satisfaction than any other type of pets, even more than cats or dogs. Unlike cat and dogs, age was negatively related to satisfaction with rats, meaning that young children found satisfaction in rats that waned as they became older, especially once they passed the age of 17. For cats and dogs, satisfaction built as the owner became older.

RightPet founder and editor Brett Hodges believes that some of the reasons for this rodent love, especially at an early age, include the fact that rats are easy to care for, don’t cost a lot, are great for freaking out your parents and are smart, fun companions.

The same study also found that women prefer cats to dogs, while men like both pets equally. Dog owners tend to be happier with larger canines, too.

To learn more about RightPet Pet Ownership Study and see more results, visit

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