Keep an eye on this post as I will keep updating it.
If you want to adopt some rats but Korean sites and language are difficult for you, I can arrange much of it for you, though I do charge for translation and communication. Contact me and we can work out a plan.
Keep in mind that you can not take your rats out of the country so if you get pet rats during your time in Korea make sure you’ll be here long enough to care for them throughout their lives.
Unfortunately, there are next to no responsible breeders producing healthy rats in South Korea and those who want to breed responsibly are hard pressed to find healthy rats with which to begin. As I and other rat owners compare notes over the years we have discovered trends of health and, in males, aggression issues. Be prepared to neuter your males to prevent aggression and to deal with anything from tumors to stokes to overgrown teeth in your rats.
Firstly, check with me. I might have some rats available for adoption. After that, here are your options:
Beware a breeder by the name “Hamlin”. They change their username but if you look at their posts there is usually a link to them or mention of their name somewhere. I bought a rat from this guy and his rats not only bite (badly socialized) but my poor baby died days after of what we assume to have been a deadly rat disease called SDA (http://ratguide.com/health/viruses/sda.php).
Also, if you see someone selling “tail-less” rats it is a scam. Cutting off the tails of baby mice and rats to make them more appealing is a practice I’ve observed in Korea all to often. Luckily, the strong community of Korean rat lovers has put enough pressure on certain breeders that the practice is becoming rare.
The only cafe I recommend for reliable information is Rat Community. A friend of mine runs it and she is one of the most reliable and educated rat owners I know. She has written a lot about irresponsible breeding practices in Korea.
래트커뮤니티 (Rat Community)
The following are active cafes but beware irresponsible breeders and misinformation. You might find rats for adoption that someone can no longer raise.
샵더마우스 (Shop The Mouse):
우리 래트 (Our Rat):
There are more cafes but I do not have experience with them.
Petholic Petholic occasionally breeds rats that are, in my experience, healthy. I got my first two rats in Korea from Petholic and they lived long, healthy lives. However, I don’t recommend them because their rats are not kept in good conditions. Petholic ships but, if you do choose this option, I recommend taking the weather into account and bringing a Korean-speaking person with you to the bus depot. Mine arrived via bus in containers packed in a cardboard box and were sitting in a bus line’s cold office when I got there.
Rodent Club in Ilsan, Goyang City sells rats. I know a few people who have bought from them. I don’t recommend buying from pet shops but I’ll include their information here.
HBC Rattery Located in Haebangchon, Seoul. The breeder speaks English and seems to be breeding as responsibly as they can. I have no experience with them, however.
And lastly, you can always try checking the Paw In Hand app to check shelters for any abandoned rats. Occasionally one will be available.
Food: Search any major online shopping site such as Coupang or Gmarket for ‘익스트루전’ to find options for buying lab blocks. Purina makes a block specifically for rats, as does Harlan, but the only formula I have seen available from Harlan is 2018 or the 18% protein formula, which is on the high side for rats. You can check various other lab blocks for 조단백질 (crude protein). I often buy a few types of blocks and mix them.
Finally, Selective food is available in Korea. Search 셀렉티브 래트. Gmarket often has the big bags available from certain sellers (Hamtopia sells it but their Gmarket minishop carries the large bag consistently so I’ve been ordering it that way). I recommend this food as your main food. I give about 60-70% Selective and the rest lab blocks.
You can also search various site for Oxbow products. Their rat food is very good but for whatever reason my rats don’t like it. If you feed Oxbow be sure to provide your rats with something to chew on to grind their teeth on.
I buy seed mixes in a pinch to supplement my rats’ diet but ideally you should make your own. Check some of the sites below for ideas and dietary guidelines. You can buy most of what you need at any mart or online. You don’t buy expensive, small packages of dried foods, nuts and seeds marketed to exotic pet owners, just buy them from regular grocery sources.
Cages: I got my main big cage by searching Naver for what I wanted and ordering it though a seller who got it from America. I got a Prevue cage similar to the Midwest Critter Nation. A friend of mine did manage to get an actual Critter Nation. Sometimes Amazon will ship as well. Do Naver searches and have a look around Coupang, Gmarket and the following sites to find something suitable for you. Recently, I’ve found large cages on Coupang from Marshall. Try searching ‘마샬 케이지’ and see what turns up.
Don’t underestimate Daiso in finding some good accessories. A child’s shower stool I bought there is still my rats’ favorite ‘igloo’.
Gmarket also has similar things.
On any site, the categories you are looking for are 반려동물용품 –> 소동물용품
My husband is a veterinarian and I’m a vet tech and he and I run Chansaem Animal Hospital 찬샘동물병원 in Incheon (check out the blog, there are a few articles I’ve written on rats). Because rats are complex to treat and my own standards as a rat owner and veterinary worker are high, I don’t personally feel comfortable recommending anywhere besides our clinic even though some claim to be exotic animal specialists.
That said, it’s good to find a vet close to you should you need regular medication refills or nebulizer treatments for your rats. Others have recommended Acris and Echo veterinary hospitals in Seoul. For other areas, ask in Facebook groups and Naver Cafes and feel free to contact me as I might have some recommendations. If you have a vet you trust who is willing to see your rats but needs some guidance or if you have any problems with communication, of course feel free to contact me and I will help you out as much as I can.
As for us, we have seen many rat patients and done a number of different treatments and surgeries. Also, I would not recommend getting your rat euthanized by any other veterinarian unless you are confident they can satisfactorily perform this delicate procedure humanely as it involves injection straight into the heart. Please read the euthanasia section of this blog I wrote.
My blogs on rat medical care:
Korean Rat Owners of Interest:
Rats are quickly gaining popularity in Korea. Most Korean rat enthusiasts can be found on Instagram and the number or people posting about their pet rats grows every day. This is also an excellent way to see who is breeding for hobby and has healthy rats available for sale. Try searching hashtags like #래트 #렛스타그램 #덤보래트
I’ll be honest, Korean rat owners are so proactive that if you do not have enough Korean skill to be keep up on news in the Korean rat communities, you risk missing out on some important information. I will try to keep this blog updated as much as possible, but I am not at liberty to share sensitive information shared in the private communities.
General Resources in English:
For anything you would ever need to know. Particularly helpful for medical things.
Rat Fan Club:
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