Throughout history, rats have accompanied humans around the world on boats and settled wherever humans go. They live underground and are mainly nocturnal. Even though they outnumber humans, we seldom see them. Research on rodent behavior shows that rodents are actually very sociable creatures, and rats become the most social rodents of all. Rats typically nest inside the house and eat human food without you even noticing it. Rats prefer to live in a group with other rats and are very attached to their family. Due to their ability to have intimate relationships with humans, rats are also called “commensal rodents.”
Rats are not only highly intelligent animals, but they also have great memories. A rat can map out a room and remember its routes for a long time. Rats have a terrible reputation as filthy animals, but they are actually very clean animals and hate to get dirty. Rats groom themselves regularly throughout the day, even more frequently than cats! Rats’ whiskers allow them to have a highly sensitive sense of touch, despite their lack of sight. Their whiskers are a sensory cue that supports their day-to-day activities, such as touching objects, navigating directions, and finding and discriminating food. Rats have very sharp teeth (incisors) that continually grow throughout their lifetimes. Their strong and sharp teeth serve as both defense tools and weapons for breaking down complex objects to gain entry access inside your house through the wall or roof. Rats’ sharp teeth, however, can be a blessing and a curse at the same time. Rats have to control their strong teeth, or they will grow uncontrollably and die. As a result, they chew and gnaw on objects such as aluminum, wood, wire mesh, and soft materials, like plastic and electrical cables, to sharpen their teeth.
Sadly, pet rats don’t receive as much love as they should. Partly due to their historical role in spreading the plague, they are often thought of as gross and filthy animals. However, domestic rats groom themselves just as cats do. Rats learn tricks very quickly as well. Like dogs, they can recognize their own names, rollover, and play catch. Also, they are very affectionate with other rats and their favorite humans.
Here are some adorable photos of cute rats that will make your day. Vote your favorites, and don’t forget to share.