If you want your rats to be happy throuought their life, follow these steps.
Step 1: Cage
Buy them the biggest cage you can afford, preferably a wire cage for better ventilation. Rats can easily escape from wide cage bats, so be careful! they will also climb on the cage bars, so
its preferable to buy horizontal bars. + its better to have levels in your rat's cage.
Step 2: Bedding
Say no to cedar or pine! its bad! it can cause illness and/or sneezing! buy Eco Straw for your rats,
it is 100% biodegradable, natural, and if your rats nibble on it, it wont do any harm, its recycled straw! Put about half an inch of bedding and make sure not to waste any.
Step 3: Food
Your rats will like almost everything you give them. They can eat your leftovers but they may get "addicted" to it and not eat its normal healthy food. don't feed your rats mixes of grains because it will pick out its favorites and leave all the rest. Dont's: peanut butter is terrible for them, they may choke. raw beans/potato/meat or bruxel sprouts/cabbage/green potato.
Step 4: Decorating
Making your own rat supplies (hammocks, tubes, ladders...) is a much greener and "funner" way to give your rats things to do. You may use wood ladders (they will chew on it wich is good for their teeth), rope ladders (braided), bowls (to snuggle in), hammocks... They will enjoy everything you make them. I made this out of a sock and cans:
Step 5: Rats
Females are more hyper and love to explore. They will sit still sometimes but they prefer to run and play. Males will lay down all day and come to you for a belly scratch. Any gender is fine. i was going to buy males, but changed my mind last minute and got 2 females! Males are also very dirty compared to females. And they grow much bigger. Make sure you get a healthy rat by checking its ears/nose for blood, and other various things you can google up. Dont pick a rat for its coating, pick it for it's friendlyness.
Step 6: Games
rats love to play. Give them balls, paper, and other various things you find laying around. fun games for your rats are: the ratty pinata: fill a ball of paper with treats, and hang it from the top of the cage. they will hit the ball t'ill the treats fall out!. Another thing i discovered is: crumple paper into a ball, and tie it to a string, drag it on the floor, and your rat will follow it around! you may play with your rat (wrestling with one hand) and flip it over a few times.. make sure you let it win!