Love Facts? Facts About Pet Rats?
Who doesn’t love a good fact session? I’m digging up a few awesome rat facts for you guys, and hopefully everyone will enjoy them. So just where did the rat come from? Maybe you’re curious about their scientific name; or maybe about why they do the things they do? Either way, everyone can learn something new here! And off we go!
- The common pet fancy rat is actually known as Rattus norvegicus.
- “Fancy” as it appears in “Fancy Rat” is not actually referring to the rats as fancy. The term “fancy” is used in a way that means to appreciate or like, such as “I fancy my pet rat”.
- The first pet rats were domesticated in the 18th century, when people caught & tamed wild, rare albino rats (PEW’s, or Pink-Eyed Whites). These rats were kept for show and breeding purposes, especially for blood sport. Blood sports were later brought to an end.
- H.H. Donaldson ( European biologist who came to America) is believed to have brought the first domesticated PEW rats into the United States.
- The average lifespan of a pet rat is two to three years.
- Female rats tend to have a softer coat than their male counterparts.
- Dumbo eared rats do not have dumbo ears because of very carefully arranged breeding; the gene that causes dumbo ears is actually a mutation that results in deformity! Rats with this gene ARE overall healthy; they just have big ears, stockier bodies, and smaller lower jaws.
- Cedar can kill a pet rat quickly, as the cedar oils are poisonous to the rats.
- Mother rats are SO compassionate, that they will adopt virtually any baby and nurse it as their own with very little thought.
- Rats CAN burp, and if they accidentally get into a carbonated beverage, it will not kill them due to gas.
- Rat boogers are a red color! This is due to Porphyrin. It looks almost like a bloody nose when they are sick or stressed.
- When a female rat is in heat, she will bounce, dance, arch her back, and vibrate her ears.
- Rats can give birth to up to 22 babies!
- Pet Rats can be trained to use the litter box.
- They are also capable of learning advanced tricks and commands, as well as words.
- There are tailless rats out there as well, who are naturally born without a tail.
- Red eyed rats cannot see as well as ruby eyed rats, and ruby eyed rats can’t see as well as the dark eyed’s!
- Chocolate is not dangerous for rats, as it is for cats and dogs. They can have it!
- Virtually every pet rat is infected with Mycoplasma; however, it’s a silent infection that normally doesn’t affect their health. Much like the human population is infected with staphylococcus bacteria.
- Very few veterinarians practice rat/ small animal medicine, even though small pets are just as popular as larger cats and dogs.
- Rats will squint, hide, and cry/whine when in pain.
- Rats can reach puberty as early as 6-8 weeks of age.
- The average body temperature of a healthy rat is 99.9*F.
- Many rat noises are communicated at high frequencies that the normal human ear can’t hear. Therefore, they seem to be quiet pets.
- Rats have complex personalities and emotions, as well as social bonds.
- Baby rats will begin to open their eyes at around 12 days of age!