Pet Rats and pseudomonas aeruginosa


New member
My husband has cystic fibrosis. We have 3 kids. The oldest is 4 (Yay adoption from foster care! The quick way to grow a family) and very interested in getting a pet. I was thinking 2 female rats would make great first pets. However while researching them, I saw they can be susceptible to pseudomonas aeruginosa which my husband has cultured for years.
So, I'm thinking it is probably not a good idea to get a pet rat so they can trade bacteria back and forth. However I couldn't find any info stating this. Has anyone else looked into pet rats and decided it was a bad idea? How about guinea pigs?


New member
Pebbles, I think you are wise to be cautious. My parents nixed my pet rabbits for the same reason. That being said, during college I had a pet rat in my dorm room. Those three years were relatively quite healthy for me. I am also around my parents GP several times a week with no apparent ill effects. I would think any rodent would be suceptible to PA. Maybe there is some species specific difference that would make one better than another, but I looked around a bit and couldnt find it. As both a former rat and GP owner, the rat was far more interactive with me when out of the cage, but the GP was very very verbal and interactive when in the cage, but wasnt thrilled about being held. If you can find more out about the PA issue, a pet is a wonderful thing for a kid!! Its very possible that if your kiddos are willing to handwash after holding said pet and the hubby doesnt go near the pet, the risk may be very low. Keep asking around! Let us know please if you find out something (my kids want a rat or a GP too!!!!!)


I have had both and loved them so much. The rat knew her name and came when I called and the GP's talked to me all the time, especially when I shook a plastic bag which often contained dandilion weeds from the yard! I agree, sanitary handwashing before touching dad and dad doesn't clean the cages. However, these animals live for years and are often messy, especially GP's. The smell is bad if you don't keep them exceptionally clean. They are also social and should not be alone. When their friends die they grieve very much so you have to think about staggering the introduction of animals. Rats can climb and need secure housing. GP's can't climb and can have open housing that is much less secure. Most animals can carry bacteria, especially when ill. So can other humans... I decided for our family, we would be careful and take the chance. It might not be soresponsible, but what is a life if it is not lived? My kids appreciate the attitude...