You should always pick up a rat around its middle and then support his or her feet with your other hand or your body. This makes the rat feel secure and reduces the chance of him or her being dropped. Rats that are regularly lifted by their tails tend to harbor a distrust of humans, and may not make the best pets. By treating your rat with love, respect, gentleness, and care he/she will learn to love and trust you.
Picking Up A Rat
When picking a rat up, you should never grab him or her by the tail. Doing so is very uncomfortable for the rat, makes him or her feel unsafe, and does not help in his or her socialization. Tails can "deglove" that is break off or lose skin with improper handling and it is very painful for the rat. Skin that has come off the tail cannot be reattached, nor will the tail grow back. Amputation of the tail tip is opten required. Please read the article "Wounds to Extremities" under the Healthcare section.