7 Common Pet Rat Behaviours

7 Common Pet Rat Behaviours

The best words to describe pet rats include; sociable, curious, and intelligent. All these come into play for explaining why a rat would make such a great companion. They enjoy being with people with whom they are familiar, are curious about people, and have the smarts to interact, explore, entertain, and be entertained. However, these wonderful traits can also put them into trouble.

Here are ten common pet rat behaviours;

  1. Play Fighting

Rats enjoy the occasional tussle with a cagemate. In the process chasing, pinning, and some vocalizations are normal. If you notice your rat has a raised fur or is repeatedly hissing, pay attention, this could get serious. If during a fight, it seems like one rat is constantly being kept from food or drink, not allowed to rest, you might need to intervene.

If blood is drawn during your pet rats' play fight, ensure you separate the rats. You will need to keep the rats in separate cages.

To help your rats have fun while playing, check out our interesting collection of  Pet Rat Accessories.


  1. Climbing

Your pet rats need a lot of exercise and one great way to encourage them is with rat-safe ropes, ladders, and climbing toys available here.  A rat-specific exercise wheel is another great option for exercise. The disadvantage of this is that because rats enjoy climbing, rat-proofing may be a challenge. So don’t be surprised if you find your rat climbing a mesh wall or scaling your drapes.


  1. Licking

 Your rat would lick you or other rats for many reasons. It could be an indication of affection, It could be that your rat is in priming mode,  It could be that your rat has tasted something delicious on your skin or the body part it is licking, and It could be just another way for it to explore. Whatever reason it may be, it is perfectly normal behaviour. However, ensure it doesn't become excessive or obsessive


  1. Biting

Since your rat has teeth, the possibility of biting must be mentioned. When your rat is startled or in pain, it might bite. Pet rats are among the most easygoing species of rodents, so your chance of getting bitten is minimal as long as you don’t stun them or pick them up when you presume they are in pain.


  1. Bruxing

This refers to the clenching or grinding of the teeth. Pet rats make this when they grind their incisors together. It is a normal sound and is often heard when a rat is relaxed, but can also occur when a rat is stressed.

Take your signals about how your pet rat might be feeling from the circumstances that surround its bruxing. Severe bruxing can cause eye-boggling in your rats


  1. Grooming

Rats are fastidiously clean animals. They love grooming themselves numerous times a day. They usually start by rubbing their front paws on the face, then moving down the body to the end of the tail. There’s usually no need to worry about bathing a rat because rats keep themselves quite clean. If a rat stops grooming itself or has an unkempt coat, it is one sign of possible illness.


  1. Burrowing

Another trait common to rats and other rodents is burrowing into the bedding. It is another instinctive need they crave to satisfy always. Help your rat out by providing rat-safe bedding for burrowing and a rat-safe dig box filled with clean dirt, play sand, biodegradable packing peanuts, or other rat-safe material. Also, provide a Rat Platform for them to rest or relax on after burrowing.


We hope you found this helpful.

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