There comes a time in any parent’s life where your kid is going to ask you for a furry friend, often regardless of whether you’ve already got cats or dogs at home. And while some parents may oblige—and others may just stick with the family dog—turns out that the best pet for your children may not be one you already have. According to a new study, kids are happier with pet rats over dogs or cats, as reported by People.
Online pet services company RightPet conducted a whopping eight-year study—from 2010 to 2018—and surveyed over 16 thousand unique owners of an impressive 64,000-plus animal species. And when they looked at children ages 10 to 17 and their satisfaction with different animals—in this case, RightPet looked at 5,150 reviews—rats were ranked tops in terms of pets, above both cats and dogs.
Brett Hodges, the founder of RightPet, believes that kids prefer pet rats “include the fact that rats are easy to care for, don’t cost a lot, are great for freaking out your parents and are smart, fun companions,” according to People.
And while to be honest, while having a pet rat isn’t entirely conventional doesn’t mean you should table the idea completely. Just make sure to do your research first—or, at the very least, read the full PetRight study for more insights.