If you’re a fan of the classic cinematic masterpiece Ratatouille, chances are you’ve considered adopting a rat as a pet. (You have to admit that it would be awesome to have a furry little sous-chef by your side guiding you to culinary excellence!) And while rats might not be as popular as cats or dogs, maybe they should be. They’re extremely intelligent, and let’s be honest, adorable too. If you’re not convinced that rats are incredibly precious creatures that make for excellent companions, we hope this list will change your mind. And if you already love these furry little rodents, you’re in for a real treat!

Down below, we’ve gathered photos of some of the cutest and most lovable pet rats from all around the world to remind you that dogs, cats and bunnies aren’t the only fur babies we can have. Be sure to upvote the pics that make you want to adopt a pet rat ASAP, and let us know in the comments if you’ve ever had a rat companion of your own. Then, if you’re interested in admiring even more of these adorable little creatures, you can find a couple more Bored Panda articles featuring rats who have no right to be so cute here and here!

#1

They Often Tell Me That Rats Are Vile, But I Have Been Lying For 30 Minutes Without Moving My Hand Not To Wake Him Up

They Often Tell Me That Rats Are Vile, But I Have Been Lying For 30 Minutes Without Moving My Hand Not To Wake Him Up

growls Report

Dani M
Community Member
2 weeks ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

vile?! No! they are such sweethearts and yours is absolutely melting my heart right now. the little cuddly smile....

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#2

When My Daughter's Rat, "Wasabi Bobby", Is Nervous Or In A New Situation, He Holds Her Hand For Comfort

When My Daughter's Rat, "Wasabi Bobby", Is Nervous Or In A New Situation, He Holds Her Hand For Comfort

atodaso Report

#3

He Has His Thinking Rat On

He Has His Thinking Rat On

DontWorryImMedicated Report

Rats tend to (unfairly) get a bad reputation. They’re often associated with unclean areas of cities where they can be seen scavenging for food in train stations, scurrying down the street holding a slice of pizza or attempting to find a way into our homes to seek warmth or steal food. But the rats you see out in the wild (or running along subway tracks) are not the same rats that are commonly kept as pets. Those rats certainly shouldn’t be shamed either, but rats bred to be household pets are incredibly cute.

One reason rats don’t always get the positive press that they deserve is because they aren’t an extremely common pet. Of all the animal owners in the United States, only about 4% of them own a small animal. From there, only about 6% own a rat or a mouse, well behind guinea pigs, rabbits and hamsters. But rats might just be the ideal rodent pets. Veterinarian Cory Basset, who specializes in exotic pet care, told The Washington Post that most pet rodents are prone to biting their owners, as they are bred for quantity rather than personality. But rats, on the other hand, tend to be much more calm and bond emotionally with their cage mates and owners. 

#4

"I Smell Cheese"

"I Smell Cheese"

shibaisthebestboi Report

KOTLC_Fan 🇺🇦
Community Member
3 weeks ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

imma just die now, this is all i needed to see in life

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#5

Just Thinkin' Bout You

Just Thinkin' Bout You

WinceBeatably Report

#6

A Rare Image Of All My Rats In Focus, Still And Looking At The Camera

A Rare Image Of All My Rats In Focus, Still And Looking At The Camera

reddit.com Report

“Rats are a misunderstood pet,” Bassett told The Washington Post. “People think of them as vermin and pests. People who think they are a really gross pet just don’t realize what they have to offer. If you are looking for a rodent pet that you are going to have a personal connection with, I would recommend a rat.” Rats are also quite intelligent and might have more in common with you than you ever realized. 

Studies suggest that rats dream when they sleep, giggle when they’re tickled, and grind their teeth out of pleasure when they are pet, similar to how cats purr. They have also been known to display empathy, by working hard to help a fellow rat that’s been trapped and by turning down rewards when it means another rat will be harmed. “Rats will help other rats, and that is pretty amazing,” said Peggy Mason, who conducted a study on empathy and pro-social behavior in rats. “They were doing it because they not only recognized that another rat was in distress, but they actually felt that another rat was in distress.”

#7

Look At This Photo Of My Rat After I Gave Him Pasta

Look At This Photo Of My Rat After I Gave Him Pasta

carli_elaine Report

#8

Rescue Dog Who Had No One To Play With Becomes Best Friends With A Rat

Rescue Dog Who Had No One To Play With Becomes Best Friends With A Rat

osirisandfriends Report

#9

Rats Can Be Cute

Rats Can Be Cute

ratsmakemehappy Report

If you’re considering getting a rat of your own, or you weren’t previously but these heartwarming photos are giving you ideas, it’s important to know what you’re getting yourself into ahead of time. First of all, rats make excellent pets due to their intelligence and emotional capacity. They will recognize your voice and, as long as they’re appropriately socialized, they’ll want to spend lots of time with you. Rats also love to play, so it’s important to get them some “toys”, which can be as simple as a feather on a string or a ball they can run around in.

#11

Lillard, My 3-Year-Old Baby, Likes To Lie Down Like This. 14/10 Very Good Flat

Lillard, My 3-Year-Old Baby, Likes To Lie Down Like This. 14/10 Very Good Flat

dnabindingdomain Report

#12

A Family Member Gave Me Their Rat Because They Couldn’t Give Him The Attention He Needed. He’s Been Alone His Whole Life So I Got Him A Buddy

A Family Member Gave Me Their Rat Because They Couldn’t Give Him The Attention He Needed. He’s Been Alone His Whole Life So I Got Him A Buddy

Meet Splinter and his new baby, Puddle!

-kiesha- Report

But aside from how cute and fun a pet rat can be, they’re also a lot less maintenance than some of their larger counterparts, like dogs and bunnies. Their compact size makes it easy to have room for them in a small apartment, and they’re very easy to clean up after. They are also a great low-commitment pet for those who don’t have much time to take a fur baby on walks or out to play with others. Rats also only live for about 2-3 years, which can be heartbreaking for owners, but it can also be a pro for individuals who move often or don’t know if they can handle the commitment of having a pet around for 10+ years. 

#13

My Rat Fou Fou Trying To Steal My Cinnamon Roll

My Rat Fou Fou Trying To Steal My Cinnamon Roll

morganmakana Report

#14

Scientists Recently Discovered That Rats Love Driving Tiny Cars, Even When They Don’t Get Treats. When Put In Mazes Adapted To Tiny Cars, The Rats Just Enjoyed Cruising Around

Scientists Recently Discovered That Rats Love Driving Tiny Cars, Even When They Don’t Get Treats. When Put In Mazes Adapted To Tiny Cars, The Rats Just Enjoyed Cruising Around

bbc.com Report

Zara the squid 🦑 (she/they)
Community Member
3 weeks ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Who wouldn’t enjoy zooming around in a glass jar! That looks so fun

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#15

She Is In Awe Of The Fairy Lights

She Is In Awe Of The Fairy Lights

gucci-tinfoil-hat Report

tara
Community Member
3 weeks ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

She looks so sweet! I used to have pet rats, I miss them so much!

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Although rats can be wonderful pets, it's still important to do your research before jumping into becoming a rat parent. There are a few things you should know about rats if you’re considering adopting one. For example, they’re very social animals, so it’s not recommended to adopt just one at a time. Rats need a friend or companion so that they don’t become lonely, but that usually isn't an issue as two can share the same cage. Another factor to consider is that it’s best to get two rats of the same sex. A litter of baby rats can have 8-18 pups, which can become overwhelming incredibly fast. To ensure that you’re not contributing to rat overpopulation, make sure your little ones won’t be starting a family. 

#16

Phoebe Would Love A Bite Of That Lemon Cheesecake

Phoebe Would Love A Bite Of That Lemon Cheesecake

Laurisimas Report

Zara the squid 🦑 (she/they)
Community Member
3 weeks ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Ok, I’ve never liked rats very much but this picture is positively ADORABLE

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#17

Willow, My Pet Rat, Only Has A Few Days Left. I Won't Deny Her This Privilege

Willow, My Pet Rat, Only Has A Few Days Left. I Won't Deny Her This Privilege

bacon_n_legs Report

#18

You're Making Breakfast For Both Of Us Right?

You're Making Breakfast For Both Of Us Right?

RuddDuck Report

Rats have many things in common with humans, as we’re both social and intelligent animals. But one more thing you might not have realized we share with rats is the need to eat a healthy diet. Pet stores often sell seed mixes that new rat owners might think are perfect for feeding their little fur babies, but these are high in carbohydrates and fats and not intended for rats. “We see a lot of obese pet rats in our hospital, and research in rats has shown that higher-carbohydrate diets and being overweight shortens their lifespan,” says Jennifer Graham, a veterinarian at the Henry and Lois Foster Hospital for Small Animals.

#19

My Sweet Boy Rats Helped Me Make My Halloween Costume A Bit More Realistic

My Sweet Boy Rats Helped Me Make My Halloween Costume A Bit More Realistic

pussyforpresident Report

#20

This Is Sprinkles, She's Here To Show You Guys How Adorable Rats Can Be

This Is Sprinkles, She's Here To Show You Guys How Adorable Rats Can Be

Eefillil Report

#21

Little Marsupial

Little Marsupial

kapowiiee Report

Lorraine Woollands
Community Member
3 weeks ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I have had over 25 rats over the last ten years, they make very good pets and watching them play was better than watching TV sometimes. Sadly I can't manage them now

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And although rats are quite clean and tidy animals, they are still capable of transmitting diseases and pathogens to people. One of which is Streptobacillus moniliformis, which can cause rat-bite fever if left untreated. For this reason, you might not want to have rats around your young children. “Rats are not recommended for children under age five—as is true for all exotic-species pets, including other mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians,” says ZCAM veterinarian Marjorie Bercier. “Parents also should ensure that all members of the household wash their hands well after handling pet rats.”

#22

Baby Rat Brothers

Baby Rat Brothers

Taggyz Report

#23

My Pet Rat Looks Like She’s Singing: I Came In Like A Wreeeeeecking Ball

My Pet Rat Looks Like She’s Singing: I Came In Like A Wreeeeeecking Ball

Jettriel Report

Marika
Community Member
3 weeks ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Aaaww, I love yawning rats! But yeah, looks also like singing, why do I now hear the intro from The Lion King? XD

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#24

Life Is Better With A Cuddle Buddy

Life Is Better With A Cuddle Buddy

2rescuerats Report

Is this article giving you rat fever? (But not rat-bite fever. If you think you have that, go see a doctor!) We hope these adorable photos are helping you appreciate rats if you weren’t previously a fan of them, and if you already were, feel free to use these pics to convince other people in your life just how wonderful rats are. Keep upvoting the photos you find particularly adorable, and let us know in the comments if you’ve ever had a rat of your own. Then if you’d like to check out even more precious rodent content from Bored Panda, you can find our other articles featuring the world’s cutest rats here and here

#25

My Cute Rat

My Cute Rat

SBF_YT Report

#26

May I Introduce You To One Of My Precious Rats - Gizmo

May I Introduce You To One Of My Precious Rats - Gizmo

sabsel95 Report

See Also on Bored Panda
#27

Best Of Alfred's Creative Sleeping Positions

Best Of Alfred's Creative Sleeping Positions

BaronVonPotato Report

Dani M
Community Member
2 weeks ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

the last one is melting my heart... precious little rattie

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#28

My Local Aquarium Posted This Little Guy Looking Excited For The Year Of The Rat

My Local Aquarium Posted This Little Guy Looking Excited For The Year Of The Rat

reddit.com Report

Katie Lutesinger
Community Member
3 weeks ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I love the legend of how the Rat came to be first in the Zodiac. The animals decided to hold a swimming contest to pick who would go in what order, and the clever Rat won by hitching a ride on the Ox's head.

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#29

My Girlfriend's Pet Rat Sleeping

My Girlfriend's Pet Rat Sleeping

Ogard Report

#30

Enoki's Hands

Enoki's Hands

petratfiles Report

#33

My Friend's Rat Enjoying A Movie And Some Popcorn

My Friend's Rat Enjoying A Movie And Some Popcorn

happyperson Report

#36

Rats Can Be Cute Too! Here's Porcini, A 4-Month-Old Female Fancy Rat

Rats Can Be Cute Too! Here's Porcini, A 4-Month-Old Female Fancy Rat

mariapage Report

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#37

My Coworker Eats The Loudest Food Possible Right Next To My Head, So Rude. If He Wasn’t So Cute, I’d Take It Up With HR

My Coworker Eats The Loudest Food Possible Right Next To My Head, So Rude. If He Wasn’t So Cute, I’d Take It Up With HR

potatopotatotomat Report

Laura Kelly
Community Member
3 weeks ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Wouldn't do any good. HR would probably fire you for not thinking that was the very cutest thing ever and they would give your loud chewing co worker your job with 3 times the rate of your salary.

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#38

Why Does He Look Like A Little Shop Owner?

Why Does He Look Like A Little Shop Owner?

littlenymphy Report

#39

In Light Of The Dumbo Rat Being Posted; Here Is My Double Rex Dumbo Rat

In Light Of The Dumbo Rat Being Posted; Here Is My Double Rex Dumbo Rat

Knifle Report

Marika
Community Member
3 weeks ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Oh my god, those curly whiskers are adorable!

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#40

Good Morning, I Love You

Good Morning, I Love You

invisibledirigible Report

#41

My Rat Tries Watermelon For The First Time

My Rat Tries Watermelon For The First Time

saint-dymphna Report

#42

How Can You Not Fall In Love With These Sweet Babies?

How Can You Not Fall In Love With These Sweet Babies?

pacificgemsrattery Report

PVR
Community Member
2 weeks ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

You can't. You just can't not fall in love with these babies. Not possible. The eyes, the wee feet, the noses, the whiskers......so much to love!

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#43

Sleeping With His Tiny Dinosaur

Sleeping With His Tiny Dinosaur

ratness_ Report

#44

A Real Rat With A Top Hat On The Top Of This Man's Top Hat

A Real Rat With A Top Hat On The Top Of This Man's Top Hat

kravitzz Report

Jan Rosier
Community Member
2 weeks ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

try saying that ten times in a row. really cute, the both of them.

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#46

Pulled Back The Blanket On My Bed To Find Pepper Just Chilling Like This

Pulled Back The Blanket On My Bed To Find Pepper Just Chilling Like This

reddit.com Report

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#47

They Were Very Concerned I Was Gone For So Long Yesterday

They Were Very Concerned I Was Gone For So Long Yesterday

moongardenne Report

tara
Community Member
3 weeks ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Leave them a nice note next time!

#49

This Rat Getting An Ultrasound

This Rat Getting An Ultrasound

reddit.com Report

#50

Rat Grabbies Are Superior To All Others

Rat Grabbies Are Superior To All Others

1337rattata Report

Note: this post originally had 108 images. It’s been shortened to the top 50 images based on user votes.