My first rat lived to nearly five years. He was the sweetest most gentle rat I've ever had and I don't think any other rat will ever surpass him. The strange thing was he was the runt of the litter and I think there must have been either complications when he was in the womb or when he was given birth to because he was slightly deformed, he walked kind of funny and he was always very skinny no matter how much we fed him, so I couldn't understand how he lived that long. Good genes I guess.
We used to always get our rats from Wyevale garden centre, I didn't know any better but my Mum should have. They always lived past two years, except for a couple, like Billy who had a lump in his throat that was operated on, and it turned out the root of it went all the way down to his nether regions. He was ok a couple of days after that but he died suddenly one day.
The rest of the rats we've had have unfortunately come from a pet shop, and they struggle to reach the two year mark. They are a lot sicklier than the ones from the garden centre. I stupidly only found out recently that you shouldn't buy from pet shops, and this lot were meant to be from a rescue. I had a Critter 2 set up and everything, for THREE rats, according to the cage calculator, then my Mum comes home from work with FOUR from the pet shop. I am so incredibly frustrated by her 'want it now' point of view. Her question was 'how do you know that the ones in rescue haven't come from a pet shop?' I tried to explain to her but she often struggles to understand simple concepts. /rant over
Mum to: Sebastian, Sidney, Jacob and Jared.
R.I.P. to all who have come before, about 40 now, particularly Eddie, the most recent, who died of a stroke in my arms, and Ollie, my first ever rat who lived to the grand old age of four and a half.