One of my rats, Lucy, died last week. She was almost exactly 2 years old and had started to slow down some over the past several months, spending a lot more time napping than she use to. Lucy and her sister Georgie were my first two rats, who I got as babies in the fall of 2010.
One of the only bad things about having rats as pets is their short livespan. The rat lifespan survey, which has collected data on several hundred pet rats, reports that the average pet rat lives just slightly more than 2 years.
Lucy suffered what the vet thought was a stroke when she was about 7 months old. She had impaired motor coordination and a choppy gait for the rest of her life, although she still was pretty active and could climb all around the cage and play area. She was not quite as rambunctious as my other girls and preferred to just cuddle up in your lap and have her ears scratched.
My other 4 rat girls seem to be doing okay. I am really glad I adopted my 3 SPCA rats this past spring. Lucy’s sister, Georgie, gets along fabulously with the new girls. Rats are very social creatures and I’m sure she would have been very unhappy if she was an only rat. In the photo above, Lucy is in the middle, with Georgie to the left, and Isabella (one of the SPCA rats) on the right.