8 common rat behaviors

8 common rat behaviors

Rats make wonderful pets because they are bright, intelligent, and they enjoy being in human company. As long as you provide the necessary Rat behaviour, Rat Food, Rat Platforms, and care, your rat would give you little or no problem. Those who share their lives with pet rats can affirm that these little dynamos are intelligent, active, and curious. This means that you have to commit some time to interact with your rats, but they will repay your effort.  If you fail to devote some time to your rats, they get anxious and may bite when you do try getting them out.

New to rats or perplexed by some of the behaviours your pet rat displays? Here are some common rat behaviours and what they mean.


  1. Chattering

Even though rats are not particularly loud, they vocalize their emotions. They chatter and make noises almost all the time. These noises are in the high-frequency range and people cannot properly hear. Owners will start to pick up on the noises, and as the bond between them and the rat grows. Rats might be inclined to make noises when they are waiting for food or when they are out of their cage.


  1. Licking

Rats lick as a means of showing emotion and communicating with you. They do this as a social tool as scent recognition is an important social response and the better your rat recognizes your smell, the closer your bond becomes.

There are some other reasons rats lick their owners. The most common reasons are that they taste a food on your skin or they are to get used to your smell.

Even though there are many reasons a rat might lick its owner, none of those reasons are negative.


  1. Grooming

Rats always lick themselves as a way to self-groom. Self grooming is something rats do when they are happy, content, and comfortable. If your rat is anxious, it would not groom itself.

If your rat sits on you while grooming, it is a very good sign that they are comfortable in your presence. Your rat will not perceive you as a threat as they see you as a protector.


  1. Cuddling

Rats are very affectionate. Experienced owners will have to know this first-hand.

A rat that feels close to you will be more than happy to get cuddled up. Rats are much smaller than owners so you need to take care to prevent any injury and to ensure that you don’t cause excessive pain or harm to your pet.


  1. Hissing and Scratching

Rats have an incredible threat response. Even though they are as loving and sweet, rats will hiss, scratch, growl, and make a lot of other noises at anything they deem to be a threat. If you bring a new rat home, they may respond like this initially, and it will take time for your rat to get used to you.

If your rat stops responding to threat behaviour, it is evident that a bond is being built and that your rodent is starting to trust you.


  1. Pink Ears

Your rat can display unexpected responses to love, affection, and tickling. It will chatter at you in such a way that it sounds like it is laughing, and if it is enjoying having its chins tickled, its ears turn pink and also hang loosely from the side of its head.


  1. Boggling

This can be a disconcerting behaviour. It is when a rat’s eyes pop in and out of its eye socket. Its eyes appear to close and then become very large. This is a sign that it is grinding its front teeth together, which is something that rats only usually do when they are content and happy.


  1. Avoiding you

If a rat doesn’t like you, it is likely to stay out of your way. Rats recognize their owners smell and they may choose to approach their cage bars to greet you when you enter a room or simply because they want some attention or want out of their cage.



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