Handle rats the way you would other rodents, but keep in mind they are larger and can inflict more painful bites. Try to avoid using gloves since rats tend to respond favourably to the warmth of the hand and will be less inclined to struggle.

When starting with a new rat, let it get used to your sense of smell, by placing your hand close by to sniff. If it is not used to being handled, restrain it at the base of the tail with one hand and use the other to hold its back with your thumb or finger pressing its elbows towards its head so it cannot turn and bite you. Do not put pressure on the throat, however, as this tends to make the rat aggressive and struggle. The scruff can be held - but rats should not be picked up this way.

Rats that have been gently, regularly handled from a young age rarely bite.