Study Shows That Kids Prefer Owning Pet Rats Over Cat and Dogs

PetMD Editorial
Published: August 29, 2018
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The RightPet Pet Ownership Study found that children between the ages of 10-17 experienced more satisfaction in owning rats compared to any other pets, including cats and dogs. RightPet collects data from clinical studies as well as reviews from animal professionals and owners to discover the most effective animal products.

The study, conducted from 2010 to 2018, collected 64,284 animal breed/species reviews from 16,792 individuals from 113 countries. The survey asked questions about each participant’s experience owning and caring for 32 types of pets and livestock animals.

The study had a number of key findings. According to the survey, dog owners are generally happier with larger dogs. It also found that women like cats more than dogs, and dog lovers are more curious and open to new experiences compared to cat lovers.

Arguably the most curious finding was the preference that children had for rats over dogs and cats. The study also found that the satisfaction that children experienced with rats waned as they got older. The case was the opposite for cats and dogs, as satisfaction with these pets appears to grow over time.

Brett Hodges, founder and editor of RightPet, attributes the satisfaction kids share with rats to a number of reasons: rats are curious, intelligent, educational, inexpensive, clean and small. Plus, they freak out their parents. 

For more information on the RightPet Pet Ownership Study, visit

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