Many people love having pets but have never thought of getting a rat. Due to not knowing much about rats, people tend to think they are unclean and can not be proper pets. The truth is rats are just as cuddly as all of the other animal species kept indoors.
Rats are similar to guinea pigs but aren’t as popular because of the negative history they have. You might change your mind about the rats after you read these seven facts.
1. Rats have amazing personalities
Each rat has its unique personality and features which you easily notice if you take the time to get to know them. For example, my boyfriend’s rats have individual tastes in food, desires different toys, etc. One of them is very sociable while the other one is more of an introvert. Overall, each one of them is unique with distinct preferences.
2. Rats are very clean
Rats aren’t what media presents them to be. They actually care about their health and are very tidy. They organize their food and groom themselves whenever they feel like they are dirty. If you clean their cage, there won’t be anything much left to clean. Actually, there has been a whole theory that rats weren’t the unclean animals that brought the plague into Europe: Rats are exonerated.
3. Rats can laugh
When they are being tickled, rats let out an adorable cheerful sound of laughter. They have “tickle skin” areas on their body which make them giggle and laugh when tickled. It sounds too cute for this world!
4. Rats can learn tricks
Similar to mice, rats can recognize their names being called out and can even sort out the person by their pitch of the voice. High-pitched squeaks are actually very familiar to them because they communicate that way. Rats are very intelligent creatures, and it isn’t be hard to teach them to do tricks such as to come, shake or stand.
5. Rats are empathetic
Rats bond with people easily and they have a sense that tells them to help. They take care of injured and sick rats in their group and help their rat friends whenever needed.
There was a study where the scientists put a free and a caged rat in the same living space and offered the free one a choice: to free the other one or to eat chocolate. The rat chose to help his fellow animal friend (you can read about it here).
6. Rats are similar to people
Just like people, rats love company. They are use their senses to detect affection. A study showed that rats are as amused by touch as people and it’s been proven that tickling a rat can create a feeling of joy.
7. Their hairless tails have a big purpose
One of the reasons many people don’t like rats is because of their hairless tail, which some people consider…. well, not visually appealing. But those hairless tails serve a big purpose for rats! Rats use their tails to regulate their body temperature. If their tails had hair, they would overheat. Their tails also help them balance. Thanks to their tails, rats are skillful little walkers and climbers!
Rats have gotten a bad rap that they do not deserve. I hope my posts sheds a good light on these cuddly little animals and people will reconsider their negative image of rats.
Written by Monika Kucic, Animallama, for LAA Pet Talk. Monika is a huge animal lover, currently having two cats in her life. She is the owner of the pet blog called Animallama, where she writes about pet care, pet tips, and advice.
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