Rats have been given a bad name by decades of bad press. Far from the dirty, disease-filled pests that are portrayed on our screens, these sociable, clean animals have a few surprising perks to owning them.
These sociable, friendly pets are highly trainable animals who show affection for their owners and have many cute little quirks that make them great companions. They also have a very strange way of showing they’re happy!
With that in mind, here are three surprising behaviours of pet rats.
1. They are incredibly playful animals
This one will be no surprise to those who will have seen the boxing, chasing and excited jumps with their own eyes, but many are unaware that rats spend lots of time playing with each other and their owners. One scientific study actually showed that rats giggle when they are tickled. It’s highly recommended that you fill your pet rat’s cage with lots of enrichment toys and interact with them daily. Many owners report that their pet rats love being chased or to wrestle their hands!
2. They are incredibly social animals and love to show affection
Rats are incredibly social creatures. While of course every animal has its own personality and there are exceptions to the rule, they need to live with at least one other rat and most enjoy lots of daily interaction with their owners. It is not a rare sight to see pet rats snuggled up in the laps, pockets and sleeves of their humans. They will also nibble and lick them, as they would other rats, in a show of affection.
3. They boggle their eyes when they are happy
Surprising when first witnessed, one of the most peculiar aspects of rats is the way they display their contentment. While cats purr and dogs wag their tails, when a rat is very happy or relaxed they will brux and boggle – which is a sort of teeth grinding and very fast bulging of the eyes.
Rats are brilliant pets for all ages and there are many positives that come from owning these friendly, misunderstood animals.