Some surprising facts about rats

We automatically think of rats as disgusting, dirty vermin but there is much more to these creatures than meets the eye. With each other, rats are highly social animals and caring animals. They enjoy the company of other rats and domestic rats kept as pets are happy to be with humans as well.

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Amazing Facts About Rats

Rats care for wounded and sick mice in their community.

Without friendship rats have a tendency to feel alone and depressed.

Rats have very good recall and memory. As soon as they understand a route to somewhere, they’ll never forget it!

When excited, rats have been observed chattering or grinding their teeth. It is often accompanied by vibrating eye movements.

Rats make a happy “laughing” sound as they play.

As with all humans, rats feel peer-pressure too. Brown rats tend to ignore personal experience in order to copy the behaviour of their peers. The desire to adjust is so powerful that they prefer even to choose bad food to eat, as long as they are in the company of other rats that were eating it.

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Although the animals are very curious, rats also experience shyness, and prefer to escape from confronting a potential threat than facing it head on. Rats are surprisingly very clean animals, spending a good few hours each day grooming themselves and other members of their group. They are not as likely as dogs or cats to catch and pass on parasites and viruses. This is quite a surprising fact!

Another amazing fact is that a rat can spend longer without drinking water than a camel!

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The rat’s tail can help it with balance, communication and regulation of their body temperature.

Rats also feature in the signs of the Chinese zodiac, as one of the twelve animals. Those born during a year of the rat might think they’ve drawn the short draw. However, the characteristics associated with rats are truth, intelligence, creativity, ambition and generosity.

Rats are also in the Indian tradition. Rats are recognized as the vehicle of Lord Ganesha. They worship them at the Karni Devi Temple, where the priest and the congregation will feed them grain and milk. Lucky rats!

Fast facts

Type: Mammals (Rodents)

Diet: Omnivorous

Lifespan: 2-3 years

Size: The average body length of 25cm with a 20cm tail into further

Weight: 350-450 g for women and 450-650 for men

Habitat: It is very adaptable and can grow in most habitats provide a supply of food / water is sufficient.

Range: Originating in Asia, but has spread around the world.

Scientific name: Rattus genus