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Pet rat behavior: what does it mean?

While rats are some of the smaller pet species Small Pet Select caters to, they have huge, playful personalities. Our Customer Service Manager, Grace, often shares tidbits from when she had pet rats, stating, "They're like tiny dogs." However, if you’re new to the rattie pawrent world, you may be confused by their antics. Today, we’ll explain rat behavior and three easy ways to figure out what your rattie friend is trying to say.

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When your rat speaks, listen!

Like many previous pets, rats make noises at high frequencies undetectable to the human ear. However, they're content when they chirp or cluck while snuggling with you or a rattie friend. Conversely, a high-pitched squeak or hissing conveys fear, pain, or anger.

Pet rat snuggling with their pawrent

Busy rat = happy rat

Besides spending time with you, rats love to keep busy as sentient beings with high intelligence. Whether digging in their bedding, chewing on toys, or climbing in their enclosure (or being supervised in your home), supplying enrichment for your rat is key to seeing this type of rat behavior. If you notice a decrease in your rat’s energy or activity level, pay attention and give your trusted exotic vet a call. 

Looking their best is important

Rats are fastidious about their appearance and groom themselves regularly. Also, they will groom each other or even you to show their love and appreciation! So if you notice your rat isn’t as well-groomed as usual, observe them; this rat behavior is a clue that they’re not feeling well.

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The key to knowing what your rat is trying to tell you is to spend a lot of time with them. Gain their trust and learn their quirks and communication methods. What is your rat's favorite way to communicate with you? We’d love to hear all about it. Please comment on our socials or email us. As always, thanks for reading!

DISCLAIMER: The links and information are being provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by Small Pet Select of any of the products, services or opinions of the corporation or organization or individual.

VETERINARY DISCLAIMER: We are not veterinarians, and none of our information should be construed as veterinary advice.  If your pet is acting unwell, you have concerns for their well being, or before adding any new product, please contact your veterinarian immediately. 

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