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Pet Rats

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Date: Fri, 18 Aug 2006 Time: 12:00 AM

By Diana Davidson

What's a Rat Stare?

Do your rats have a disturbing habit? Do they stare straight ahead for long periods of time? Is it rather unnerving to see them staring, unmoving, with their eyes wide open for hours on end. I will be covering this rat behavior, and other rat behavior and body language you may have questions about. Understanding common rat behavior.

I'm about to take you" behind the scenes" into the rat mind. You could say this is a Rat /People dictionary on Rat behavior.

If you pay careful attention to the things I'm about to reveal to you, you'll definitely have more success with your pet rat.

Firstly...what's a Rat Stare?

What's a Rat Stare I hear you ask?

Do your rats have a disturbing habit? Do they stare straight ahead for long periods of time?”

Is it rather unnerving to see them staring, unmoving, with their eyes wide open for hours on end.

Do your ratties see dead people? Is it a sixth sense thing?

Don't fret your not the only one. For anyone that’s owns(ed) a rat this is this normal rat behavior.

The Rat Stare and other rat behavior’s and body language are explained in this issue.

Pet owners often speak to their 'babies' in human baby talk, but as with any animal (as smart as they are!) you're probably better off understanding your rats' behavior by their body language. With rats in particular, there are telltale signs that they will demonstrate, and that you will be able to interpret successfully.

The following are some of the typical things that owners of pet rats have witnessed their buddies doing from time to time. Some are funny, some may be a little frightening...but rest assured that most of it is just your usual rattie's behavior!

Note: these rat behaviors are generally perfectly normal of rats that are healthy and well socialized, with no current, apparent medical problems (they are active and their diets and bowel movements are normal). If your rat isn't eating right, has improper bowel movements or is demonstrating other unusual or destructive behavior - consult a small animal vet or your rats' breeder immediately.

Body Language -
Your one rat curls up its tail (while your other rat doesn't)

Possible Reasons:
Your rat is simply balancing itself. A rat's tail is for balance - even if one rat seems to use their tail more. Watch and you'll see both rats keep their tails ½" off the ground, particularly when they are balancing on your shoulder or climbing up to a higher space.

Body Language -
Your rat stands up and 'swings' its nose in the air Your rat sways its head from side to side.

Possible Reasons:
Your rat is catching a whiff! Rats have incredible senses of smell, and they are just identifying something in the air that is intriguing to them.

Rats don't have superior vision. Never fear, your rat can see - but sight isn't it’s strongest sense, making this normal behavior part of your rat's vision process.

Body Language -
Your rat is licking you all the time.
Your rat is grinding their teeth in your ear!
Your rat's eyeballs are bugging out of their head!

Possible Reasons:
Face it - you're one big rat to them!
That's actually a big compliment to you, and all of those behaviors (teeth “bruxing” and eye 'boggling') mean that your rat loves you and will try to groom you like a true companion (they probably also like the taste of salt of your skin!).

These are some common rat behaviors and rat body language people have questions about, and experienced with their pet rat. These explanations I have provided will guarantee to help you understand your little buddy(s) and ensure you are a successful rat owner.

About the Author

Diana Davidson is author of a new neat book on pet rat care which is a great resource that contains information you wouldn’t find at your local library. For lots more pet rat care information, tips, quirky and interesting facts, and answers to your questions visit Diana’s site at


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