Category Archives: Rat Behavior

Rat Training Miracle: What’s a Pee Rock, How Do I Use It?

What’s a Pee Rock, How Do I Use It?

A pee rock is a rock that is sworn by in the world of experienced rat owners, trainers, and breeders. Pee rocks are named as such because they are used to encourage territorial marking and urination. They are placed inside of a rat’s litter box, persuading the rat to use the box instead of the cage. If you haven’t tried the pee rock, you should today! It is one of the most useful tools when training rats to use a litter box. We’ll even show you where to get them! Continue reading Rat Training Miracle: What’s a Pee Rock, How Do I Use It?

A Breeder Sold Me Sick Injured Animals: What Do I Do?

A Breeder Sold Me Sick Injured Animals: What Do I Do?

bumble foot in pet fancy rats
this is a guinea pig, but it is exactly the same as rat bumble foot. Very gross, very painful, and very difficult for a rat to go through.

Rat breeders and rescuers make it possible for owners and prospective owners to find ratties to adopt and love. However, not all breeders are created equal. Some breeders are poor quality “feeder breeders.” These breeders do not take care of their animals as they should, significantly increasing the risk of a sickly animal. If you have purchased a sick or injured rat from a poor quality breeder, there are several steps that you can take. Continue reading A Breeder Sold Me Sick Injured Animals: What Do I Do?

How to Teach an Old Pet Rat NEW Tricks!

How to Teach an Old Pet Rat NEW Tricks!


Rats are completely capable of being trained to perform tricks and simple commands. Owners train rats to exercise the rats’ minds and display their intelligence. There are hundreds of tricks, commands, phrases, and games that rats can learn very quickly. The owner must be prepared to spend several hours training the rat to execute particular commands and tricks, much like a dog or any other pet. Rats actually ENJOY learning new things, as they have a need for mental stimulation.

Continue reading How to Teach an Old Pet Rat NEW Tricks!

Why Is My Rat Going Bald? Natural Hair Loss, Disease, or Parasites?

Why Is My Rat Going Bald? Natural Hair Loss, Disease, or Parasites?

rat-624868_1920A rat going bald could be something as simple as a unique coat variety, or as serious as a deadly infection, parasite, or severe bullying. If a rat suddenly begins losing hair, his or her age, coat type, sex, overall health, and relationships between cage mates must be noted. All of these different things can play an important role in baldness. For a rat going bald, the owner can rest easy once he or she knows that the fur baby is safe and healthy!


Continue reading Why Is My Rat Going Bald? Natural Hair Loss, Disease, or Parasites?

Why Is My Rat’s Eye Turning White? Glaucoma, Infection, Cataracts?

Why Is My Rat’s Eye Turning White? Glaucoma, Infection, Cataracts?

Rats can develop white eyes, giving the impression that the rat has become blind in one eye. Usually, a blind eye will be completely and totally bluish white, as if it were cloudy. However, white spots can occur as well. The severity of the condition depends upon what is causing the eye to become white.


Continue reading Why Is My Rat’s Eye Turning White? Glaucoma, Infection, Cataracts?

Choosing a Safe Exercise Wheel for Your Rat

Choosing a Safe Exercise Wheel for Your Rat: Avoiding Injuries and Pain


Between caught  toes, disfigured backs, and tail injuries, the exercise wheel can be a very dangerous territory for domesticated rats. If you plan to buy a wheel for your rats to run on, it is necessary to do some serious research and find the right wheel for the health and safety of your rats. Here, we will highlight some do’s and don’ts, as well as link to some appropriate wheels!

beautiful hooded rat Continue reading Choosing a Safe Exercise Wheel for Your Rat

Do Female Rats Have Periods or Menstrual Cycles?

Do Female Rats Have Periods or Menstrual Cycles?


Sometimes, female rats may bleed from the vulva. Some people might assume that this is a rat in heat, or estrus. Others might assume that female rats have periods or menstrual cycles. However, the truth is there is something going wrong in there! A female rat should never bleed if she is healthy; unless she has recently given birth or is in the process of giving birth.

800px-Babymouse Continue reading Do Female Rats Have Periods or Menstrual Cycles?

3 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Your Rat!

3 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Your Rat!

double rex dumbo rat, courtesy of Judi Cox.
double rex dumbo rat, courtesy of Judi Cox.

Our rats are beautiful, complex creatures that we struggle to understand sometimes. However, we still love them to the moon and back! We’ll never understand why it is necessary to stash our keys under the couch, eat all of the buttons off of the remote, or steal an entire chicken leg from the plate only to cover the wood floors in grease. But, it’s all part of being a rat! Anyways, I’ve got three little things that you might not know about your rats!

Rats Can Only See Within 3 Feet of Their Bodies- If That!

history of the pet brown rat Rattus norvegicus
Rattus norvegicus, aka the brown rat or fancy rat. This is where all of our pet rats came from; and while they suffered a dark, grotesque history, they would not be the modern pet rat that they have become without this behind them.

With the speed at which rats fly to the correct top corner of the cage when we enter a room or arrive home, you would think that the rat could see you as clear as day. NOPE! Rats actually have a very limited field of vision. The most they can see is within three feet of them; and even then, it is still blurry and out of focus.

fawn ruby eyed dumbo and top eared ratsRats’ eyes are not the primary sensory organ that they use to survive. Instead, their noses and ears are the ones who lead them to safety and their food. This does not mean that rats do not somewhat rely on their sense of vision too; as it has been proven in many instances that blind rats are more jumpy, caught off guard more easily, and are generally more timid than rats who have their normal sight. This points to only one conclusion: while the vision of a rat may not be very good, it is still well enough that they WILL miss it should they become blind.

Almost All Rats Are Infected with Mycoplasma

rat mouth teeth and incisorsMycoplasma infections can be super nasty, sometimes claiming the lives of the young, the elderly, and the ill. The active infection is called Murine Mycoplasmosis, while the bacteria itself is called Mycoplasma pulmonis. This bacteria is found on (and in) virtually every pet rat. The only way to eliminate it is to birth a litter via c-section in a sterile lab to prevent the mother from passing it to the kits. Like staph and strep, it can become active when the immune system is under great stress.

Rats Can Detect, Understand, and PREDICT Patterns

dumbo rats
Dumbo rats come in a wide variety of colors and coat types. Isn’t Pico the rat adorable? He’s in a brass like tiny vintage bird cage.

Believe it or not, rats are able to detect pat-terns, under-stand them, and predict what the pattern will do next. As a rat owner, you might see this trait subtly in their every day behavior. Your rats have probably picked up on your daily rituals, such as your night time or morning ritual. They know exactly when they will be played with or fed based upon your activities. They also understand voice cues as well. Rats have actually been able to make surprisingly accurate guesses regarding stock market trends. This was one of the most intriguing studies that I have seen yet. I thought it was PERFECT for showing to those who know very little about rats. It demonstrates their intelligence and ability to learn.

Red Eyed Rat Swaying, Weaving Back and Forth?

Red Eyed Rat Swaying, Weaving Back and Forth?

New owners might walk up to their rats’ cage to find that one might be huddled in the back of the cage, swaying back and forth. The rat might appear drunk, with a “caught in the headlights” type of stare. The rat might also be easily spooked, especially with quick movements or loud noises. This is more common in red eyed rats, but why do rats exhibit this type of odd behavior? Let’s find out! Continue reading Red Eyed Rat Swaying, Weaving Back and Forth?

Is My Rat Depressed? Alone After Friend and Cage Mate Died

Is My Rat Depressed? He/She Is Alone After Friend and Cage Mate Died


If you have a pair of rats and one suddenly dies, you as the owner will not be the only one mourning. Rats are very intelligent, social creatures who build strong lifelong bonds with their cage mates. Once the cage mate dies (especially one of only a pair), the remaining rat or rats will grieve. They might even be seen staying near the sickly rat as death approaches. Depression and grief is a very real thing for pet rats, despite the criticism they face from many humans who lack any knowledge regarding these animals.

Rats can become very depressed when a friend or cage mate dies. The mental health of a rat can deteriorate, as well as his or her physical health.
Rats can become very depressed when a friend or cage mate dies. The mental health of a rat can deteriorate, as well as his or her physical health.

Continue reading Is My Rat Depressed? Alone After Friend and Cage Mate Died