The kangaroo rat as a pet

Animal file: Kangaroo rat

The kangaroo rat is undoubtedly a curious, cute and unique little mammal to say the least, for this reason many people consider having a kangaroo rat as a pet. It is a tiny rodent similar to a kangaroo because of its long hind legs and its enormous tail, which it uses for balance..

We can find up to 22 species of this rodent that lives in arid and desert areas although all of them are enormously similar.

If you want to know more about kangaroo rat as a pet and if its domestication is possible, Animal Expert puts at your disposal useful and relevant information about its behavior and its needs., ¡Do not miss it!

You may also be interested in: The rat as a pet Index
  1. Is it possible to have a kangaroo rat as a domestic pet?
  2. Where can i get a kangaroo rat?
  3. Caring for a kangaroo rat
  4. Behaviour

Is it possible to have a kangaroo rat as a domestic pet?

The kangaroo rat is a rodent with a different morphology from the one we are used to. Its striking and unique appearance is what leads many people to consider having a kangaroo rat as a pet, but, ¿it is okay to have a kangaroo rat as a pet?

The kangaroo rat is undoubtedly a very resistant animal that adapts without problem to arid and dry climates, feeding on small insects and seeds. This little animal enjoys traveling long distances, washing itself in the sun-drenched sand and digging deep shelters strategically distributed to protect itself from its predators..

This means that it is an animal that requires high doses of exercise, a lot of available space, concrete heat and natural light during the day. Ask yourself if you can meet these requirements then, the kangaroo rat is not a pet.

Where can i get a kangaroo rat?

AnimalWised considers that the kangaroo rat is an animal that should not be kept in captivity since we will only get the little rodent stressed, sad and listless. An animal that will never be able to reproduce or learn what it means to live in the wild. Still, if you're hell-bent on getting a kangaroo rat as a pet you should be clear about some things:

  • These are sensitive and small animals, never try to catch a wild one, it could suffer a heart attack at that very moment or when being caged.
  • If you are thinking of buying, it must be essential that the seller has the CITES certificate (International Convention of Trade in Endangered Species) since it is threatened. Also without this certificate you can receive a sick rodent that can transmit any disease to you.
  • Be wary of individuals, do not finance the animal trade.
  • Search in shelters, this type of animals that are difficult to maintain properly are usually abandoned.

Caring for a kangaroo rat

Having a kangaroo rat as a pet means that we will take care of it as it deserves. Whoever has an animal only to enjoy observing it without paying attention to its specific needs as a living being should not consider having any.

For this reason and so that, together with us, you understand that it is not a suitable animal to have in a home, we are going to explain what you would need to have a kangaroo rat as a pet:

  • Kangaroo rat needs a wide field where it can run and dig without limits, for this and to avoid leaks you should consider fencing said terrain, a complicated task since it is a very small rodent. The soil substrate must be soft and fine, so that it can develop its natural instinct by digging and being able to make its "nests "
  • Its diet is complicated because it is based on roots, leaves and seeds such as the quenopodium or the reed. It may be difficult to obtain endemic flora from the United States.
  • You will need other kangaroo rats to interact with.


Unfortunately AnimalWised does not know in detail the behavior of the kangaroo rat but the truth is that while hamsters or domestic rats have been domesticated for generations, the kangaroo rat does not.

We can assume that the kangaroo rat being a wild animal (and more so if we speak of an adult specimen) will not willingly accept being touched and "trained" by humans.

¿Do you know the kangaroo rat? Tell us what you think of this article.

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