pet rats

when did people start keeping rats as pets?

According to the fancy rat sites, back in the 19th century:

http://www.afrma.org/rminfo4a.htm

When you stop and think about it, why is having a pet rat any sillier or more disgusting than any other small rodent like a hamster, gerbil or guinea pig? The claim is that a rat is actually smarter and more responsive to affection than some other small rodents, though they are also shorter lived.

Capt Quark, do you have a pet rat?

A few years ago when I did a bit of research
I found , to my surprise , that many people have
pet rats especally the British ( why so many pet rat
fanciers there I don’t know). But there are many pet rat
clubs in the USA .

I got a pet rat; Samuel Suddenly became his name.
He was one of the most interesting pets I have ever had.
Unfortunately the life span of pet rats is short
and after Sam went to the land of eternal peanuts
I did not want to have another rat as a pet because one
can get attached to a rat as much as a cat or dog.

I find this subject near and dear to my heart, as I lost two just a few months ago.
[ http://www.livejournal.com/users/auntnut/
(read the Feb. 18th entry “My poor babies” first)

I am sure many people do not understand or agree, if so, please keep it to yourself, I am still rather sensitive about it.

Thanks
Auntnut

Rats make terrific pets. They’re very intelligent and enjoy interacting with their owners more than hamsters or guinea pigs.

I’ll always remember watching TV in the evenings with my mother, when we would let Ralph the rat–who usually lived in a cage in the garage–run free in the living room. While my mother was engrossed in The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Ralph would swipe Fritos from her bowl and run under the couch with them. We thought he was eating them under there until my mother moved the couch to clean under it and discovered Ralph’s stockpile.

Good ol’ Ralph. Sigh.