Woman who owns 50 rats thinks of them as ‘her babies’ – and bathes them in kitchen sink

An animal lover has gone viral online after sharing a look at her 50 pet rats who she describes as being ‘her babies who can do no wrong’ – and she even washes them in her kitchen sink

Michele kissing a rat
Michele loves her rats

When it comes to pets, some people want a puppy, while others prefer to opt for something a little less common, like a lizard, tarantula or even a rat.

And one woman hasn’t stopped at just the one rat – she’s got 50 of them.

Michele Raybon, 51, received her first few rats back in 2018 and now owns so many of the ‘cuddly’ critters, with 25 females and 25 males.

After welcoming Naked Rats, Elvis and Chuck, as well as her two Hooded Rats, Lucy and Ethel, into her home the mother-of-two hasn’t looked back.

Michele, from Palmdale, California, USA previously went viral late last year after posting a video of her rats bathing in her kitchen sink on Facebook, receiving over 350K views.

She bathes them in the kitchen sink


Michele Raybon / CATERS NEWS)

She has 25 females and 25 males


Michele Raybon / CATERS NEWS)

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The retired mum describes the rats as her “babies” and says they “can do no wrong”.

She explained: “They’re my babies, they can do no wrong.

“They each have their own individual personality so several rats stick out to me more than others.

“They’re very social and when you feed them, they all come running.

“Some you’ll know if they’re not as friendly and some other ones are a lot more friendly.

“I got them from a breeder in Texas, and when I moved to California there were no rat breeders out here.

“So that’s why I have so many because I bred them for temperament just so I could sell them to other people who love rats.

“Then I stopped selling them and now they’re my pets, that’s why I have so many. There are a lot of them!”

Michele says the rats can do no wrong


Michele Raybon / CATERS NEWS)

When visitors enter Michele’s home, they are often shocked by the number of rats they encounter, but Michele claims her babies often win them over.

“Some people are very open, but others not so much,” she said.

“So, some people have a predisposed idea about rats, they think that they’re dirty, diseased animals.

“All my rats have a good temperament, so I’ll introduce somebody to one of them and I usually win them over, or the rats win them over.

“But some people just can’t get passed the idea of the stigma.

“A lot of people have changed their minds and they surprisingly want them as pets.”

And rats aren’t the only pet Michele owns – she also has four dogs, three cats and two pigs.

She continued: “The pigs live in a barn which is their little area, I feed the cats when I feed the dogs so it isn’t a lot of work.

“I love animals, I wanted to be a vet when I was growing up, but it never happened.

“I wouldn’t call it an obsession, but because I do love animals, I rescue a lot of animals.

“I have a heart for them so right now I have four German Shepherds. Two I bought as puppies, and two were rescue dogs.

“I do tend to rescue animals, so my ex-husband calls me Dr Doolittle. I take care of them; I take them to the vet.

“Before I had, two sheep, two goats, 25 chickens and about 15 ducks and geese.

“I was in the US Army and became disabled, so I was taking care of them by myself, and it became a lot so I gave them to new homes.

“I used to rescue cats, feral cats, I took care of them and rehomed them.

“I really do have a heart for animals.”

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