Following up on my post about bad habits, this post will be about how wonderful and funny and smart and sweet my ratties can be and why they make great pets. I could write on and on and on and on and well, on about it forever, but
instead I have decided to give you a top 5. Sorry, couldn’t stick to just 3, I had to make it 5. Enjoy!
Studies have shown that rats spend 1/3 of their day grooming themselves. That is twice as much a cats do! To that time you can add the time they spend grooming each other. Depending on the size of your pack, that time can vary. My Ruma also likes to spend time grooming me and on a lucky day, Koko will start fishing around in my hair. Rats are clean. Cleaner than cats, WAY cleaner than dogs. If your rat smells, you need to clean the cage, simple as that. They smell bad, because the cage smells bad.
4. Tail wagging
I am sure most of you have never heard of this behavior, but it exists and it is damn cute! This site has dedicated a well 2 lines to this behavior as it is not well researched and no one knows for sure why they do it. I have caught both my ladies doing it and strangly, they were both sitting in nearly the same spot, facing in the same direction. Ruma does it more often, but I have also spotted Koko doing it. Now it’s nothing to be compared to dogs or cats wagging their tales. It’s a quick, almost nervous movement that makes the tail wag quickly and shortly. It’s just so darn cute.
Rats are, like cats, very independent, they will decide what they do, when they do it and no human can change that. Like dogs, they can learn quickly and if you reward them, but also very much on their own. But they differ from dogs and cats in that they like to be together. I mean, sure, lot’s of people have 2 or more dogs or cats, but those animals do fine when they are alone in the family.
Keeping a rat alone, not such a good idea. Rats live in packs in the wild and even though the domesticated rat is hardly to be compared to the wild one, they still like to be in a pack. A pack can be two, if, like me, you don’t like cleaning the cage every 3 days and don’t have a fortune to spend on food. It’s so adorable to see them together, grooming, playing, sleeping.
Rats are nocturnal by nature but very adaptable in this rythm. They don’t need as much sleep as hamsters for instance, so they will wake up during the day, according to your rythm and are ready to play whenever you like. I’ve played with my girls during all times of the day. It doesn’t really matter what time I get up, as soon as they hear me scurrying about, they come out of their sleeping mode and greet
me warmly. Day and night, they are ready to come out, play, cuddle and explore.
1. Bruxing and Boggling
To some people this may seem scary, because of the eyes bulging out of their sockets (see a video here) but to a true ratlover, there is nothing better. It can be compared to a cat purring and it means the rat is very relaxed, and very happy. It’s not behavior they show everyday, so when I do catch them doing it, it makes me so happy because it means I am taking good care of my ladies.
So there you have it. Now if this hasn’t convinced you to buy rats, perhaps you should see some adorable pictures here.
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