Pet Rats/Tumours


Hi my names leah and I cannot decide which gender of rat I should get. I would prefer to get 2 female rats, however I have read a lot of articles about tumours in female rats. I wanted to know should I be put off by this? Should I get males instead? How often are tumours found in female fancy rats and should I be worried about this.



Hi Leah,
Mammary tumours are quite common in female rats. About half of them get them. And pituitary tumors, which are fatal, are also quite common. About 20% get them.  To help prevent these tumours, you want to get female rats spayed. Then the chance goes way down.

Personally I prefer boys. They are not as active and crazy as the girls. The girls always have to be doing something. The boys tend to be more mellow and tend to make better lap pets.

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Debbie Ducommun


I can answer any questions about pet rats, but you will probably be able find answers to simple questions more quickly on my website at If you have a life-threatening emergency you can try calling me at 530-899-0605. I am not usually on the computer on the weekend.


I have been "The Rat Lady" since 1985 and am recognized as one of the world's experts on pet rats. I have 3 published books and already answer lots of questions about rats daily.

President of Rat Assistance & Teaching Society

I am a monthly columnist for Pet Business magazine, and my writing has appeared in other magazines. I have 3 published books.

BA in Animal Behavior

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