Rats are intelligent, social, creatures. They make an easy pet to care for, and are great for all ages.
Cage - Rats need a clean, roomy cage (the bigger the better!). It should be made from a safe, escape-proof material so they can't chew on it and escape. The flooring should be made from plastic or metal. Things rats need in their cage are an exercise wheel, a water bottle with water in it at all times, a sleeping box, and bedding. Bedding should be 1/4 of an inch and changed weekly. Try to stay away from cheddar bedding, as it irritates rats.
Diet - Rats are omnivores (they eat plant and meat). Rat's diet should consist of a few things, but will primarily consist of rat pellets. It's best not to use mixes because they'll pick out all of their favorite foods and leave out all of the healthy foods. Rats also love treats! However, don't give them treats regularly (better to be saved for training).
Medical - Rats are easy to care for. If you decide to breed them, note that they reproduce fast so prepare to have lots of pets! You should take your rat to a veterinarian 1-2 times a year. It's also a good idea to spay female rats early on to prevent mammary tumors, or reproductive tract tumors. Red tears or red nasal discharge indicate stress or some other disease that a veterinarian can help diagnose and treat.