All rats need a buddy
Most pet stores will not encourage you to get two rats because the majority of the time, everyone wants to start out with one. However, it is for their own benefit as well as yours that you get them a buddy. It will make them have less social issues. A lone rat will often develop more aggressive behaviors if the owner does not have the time to properly socialize and maintain good socialization with their pet.
But I don’t have time for two rats.
Two rats really don’t take much more time than a single rat. If anything, it gives you a little lead way if you have a busy week and can’t take your rats out everyday (not that it’s an excuse to get two and never socialize with them again). Rats are social creatures that need other rats to cuddle with, groom and keep warm. As much time as a person could spend with their rat, it will never completely fulfill the things another rat companion will do.
Rats get sick easily. Be prepared for any illnesses by having a veterinarian’s contact ready
While working with a rescue, I cannot stress enough how easily rats can get sick. They are most susceptible to respiratory infections that can go downhill to death within a 24 hour period. Rats are prey animals and thus, they hide their sickness until it’s usually too late for treatment. Be prepared for when you catch your rat ill by having a regular veterinarian and an emergency veterinarian’s contact on hand. You will want an exotic vet and ask them questions and perhaps get references from other rat owners. There are a lot of vets that don’t know how to treat rats but will give them the medication that they’d use for a cat or dog. Double check your vet is knowledgeable in rat health care.