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I have rats. No, not an infestation...they're my pets! Rats have a bad reputation, but comparing a wild rat to a domesticated pet rat is like comparing coyotes to golden retrievers. Rats are intelligent, clean (yes, clean!) and affectionate pets and are relatively low maintenance.

Mine are always excited to see me when I wake up in the morning and when I come home from work, will sleep on my lap or shoulder while I watch TV and one is even trained to come when I call him and will follow me around the house when he's let out of the cage.

They love attention, and many will "groom" your hands as though you're one of them. I love my rats just as you love your dogs and cats, and though some might find it strange or unbelievable, just remember—animals can inhabit your heart, regardless of size or shape.

— Alyssa Kelly of Florida
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