Why You Should Get More Than One Rat
Humans are just not able to provide the same continuous interaction a rat needs and craves. A lone rat will survive, but its existence will be very lonely and the rat will be depressed. When a rat is depressed and is stressed too. This leaves the rat vulnerable to physical and behavioral problems. A stressed rat has a lowered immune system and thus it becomes much more susceptible to diseases, such as Mycoplasma. This means vet bills and probably a shorter lifespan of your rat. Why put your pet rat through all that!
A lone rat is likely to have behavioral changes too. Your rat will not bond to you in any different or better way than if you have 2 or more. It could be quite the contrary! Your rat could become shy and not want to come out of its cage. It may startle easily and run to hide from what it perceives as a threat. It might even become defensive and aggressive. Your lone rat doesn't have other rats to provide security, so it feels "open and exposed to danger."
It's best to have a pair or more of the same sex in a cage large enough to accommodate the number of rats you have. (See the article on housing). Making certain they are all the same sex will prevent unwanted litters. You could be stuck and quickly become overwhelmed with 15 or more babies that in only 5 or 6 weeks could be breeding even more litters!
These are all reasons why a breeder will only sell rats in same-sex pairs. A good breeder will only let somebody take one rat if they are certain the person already has another rat to give the new one company of its own kind.
I do hope this article has provided you with the understanding of why you should acquire 2 or more rats instead of just one. Believe me, your rats will be grateful!