Kids prefer rats over cats until aged 17

A large study covering 74 countries by RightPet Pet Ownership found that kids between the ages of 10 and 17 prefer rats as pets over cats and dogs. At the age of 17 their liking for rats waned.

Kids prefer rats until 17 years of age
Kids prefer rats until 17 years of age
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

In contrast, the study found that children’s affections for cats and dogs did not wane at age 17-18. The preference for rats as pets is associated with younger kids. This may be because rats are easier to care for than cats and less expensive. Rats may also be regarded as more interesting because they are less conventional (my thought).

Dogs were less popular with kids at any age. Cats overtook rats for kids’ affections at about 18 years of age.

The study conclusion was based on 5,150 reviews from 2,867 RightPet members living in 74 countries. The study included 22 rat owners, 273 cat owner and 1,924 dog owners.

Comment: If the parents agree to let their child have a pet to look after as opposed to a family pet, a rat might be the answer provided there isn’t a resident cat! It would be cruel to the pet rat to also have a cat in the house unless they were friends. The same goes for pet birds in cages. The presence of a cat may emotionally harm a caged bird. However, I have no expertise on this.

But if the parents and kids agree to get a family pet, the best choice would be a cat or dog as affection for them is more enduring from the kid’s perspective.

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Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

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