Surprising Facts About Pet Rats

Pet Hamster on WheelFact #1: Rats have touchy tummies and whiskers.

Rubbing a rat’s belly like you would a dog’s isn’t recommended until the rat trusts you and is very comfortable with you. And if you stroke your rat’s face, make sure to rub in the direction the whiskers grow (stroke back toward the ears) – pulling them forward is very uncomfortable for the rat.

Fact #2: Rats love to be petted in certain spots.

Your rat probably likes having the top of his head stroked and gently scratched. He also appreciates it if you pet him along his back, from his neck to about the middle – the area closest to the tail can be sensitive. Rats usually enjoy having their ears rubbed.

Fact #3: Rats are extremely sensitive to electromagnetic fields.

Rats have highly tuned senses and can become overwhelmed by the electromagnetic fields generated by electronic devices. Until a new rat is well acclimated to your home and shows no signs of agitation or irritation when exposed to electronic devices, you should keep her habitat in an area of the house with a minimum of electronic activity.

Fact #4: Rats can sense moods.

It’s always best to interact with your rat when you’re in a good mood and feeling calm. Rats can sense tension, fear and other negative emotions in the people who handle them and may respond in kind. Try to give off only good energy when you’re hanging out with your rat.

Fact #5: Rats have a wild side.

Your pet rat will keep his wild, wary nature – including a tendency to bite -- without frequent, gentle human handling. Like any pet, your rat should be considered a member of the family. Talk to him and interact with him regularly in a calm, gentle manner so he learns to trust and depend on you.

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