Can Rats be Emotional Support Animals?

Can Rats be Emotional Support Animals?

People suffering from emotional or mental disorders are generally advised by the mental healthcare professional to carry an emotional support animal. These animals are helpful in dealing with a wide range of mental disorders such as anxiety, stress, depression, or loneliness. 

What is the first animal that comes to your mind when we talk about emotional support animals? Well, most of you say dog or cat. But you must understand that these are not the only animals that can qualify for emotional support. But this does not mean any animal. The animals that can be domesticated generally qualify for being an ESA. These animals do not require specialized training to be around humans and socialize with them. 

Generally, people opt for dogs and cats as their emotional support animals. What about rats? Can rats qualify for an emotional support animal?

Well, certainly. Rats can qualify as an ESA (emotional support animal).

Rats Have High Intelligence Level:

Well, while selecting an emotional support animal, intelligence won’t be your prime factor. But the intelligence aspect but be given equal priority. Rats are considered one of the smartest types of rodents. Not only this, rats have higher intelligence levels as compared to any other members of the animal kingdom. Rats can be easily trained to live neatly in your home and enjoy their own food instead of raiding your pantry and destroying the food. Rats also have the potential to learn how to do tricks like rolling over, shaking hands, and even dancing. Moreover, rats can even be trained to use a designated excretory system just like cats. In this way, you can ensure that they are not spoiling your living spaces and furniture. Rats are not only smart, but their emotional quotient is also high. They have the capability to quickly form a strong bond with the owners. 

Rats Can Be Trained To Be Social: A rat is an animal who would not like to spend all day in the cage. But before you let them out, you must ensure that you have provided the proper training to be social with the other members of the family. Rats do love to spend time with their owners or human companions, they love to cuddle with them, play with them Besides this, they quickly evolve from pets into best friends. Rats have a loving nature and help alleviate feelings of loneliness. 

Rats Are Easy To Take Care Of As They Are Relatively Small and Easy to House:

Due to the extremely small size of the rats, it is quite easy to take care of them in the house. You can observe that even an urban shoebox would be large enough to house an emotional support pet rat. You just have to invest in a high-quality cage that has various features with different levels, a plastic nest, comfortable bedding, and food and water trays. 

Rats Are Known For Maintaining Cleanliness:  

Generally, we find rats in filthy areas, and due to this, we make an assumption that rats might love to live in the dirt. But the fact is completely the opposite. Rats are actually very good at maintaining cleanliness. Rats will spend maximum time grooming themselves and each other. Rats are smart enough to understand and learn how to use a litter box, and this is what shows their ability to domesticate quickly. Rats are so witty and fast that you will never need to go out of your way to groom your rat. Even if you choose to bathe your rat, just set up some water and soap, rats will do the work on their own. The clean and self-reliant nature of the rats is what makes them one of the best emotional support animals. 

Rats Are Affordable And Easily Available:

Rats are extremely common pets and you can find them in any pet shop. In comparison to dogs and cats, rats do not require any expensive things. The food, cages, and toys can be easily affordable. The most important thing that you should keep in mind is that your pet would seek out love and attention from you. This is necessary for you as well as the rat in building a strong emotional bond. All these aspects make rats the perfect type of ESA!


Emotional support animals are essential if you want to get rid of your loneliness, stress, anxiety, and depression. But it is not necessary that you can only adopt dogs and cats as your emotional support animals. Even rats can be emotional support animals. 


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