Rats can be wonderful and loving pets in the right home. They are fun to watch on their own and even more loving and caring when being held and played with. Training books and taming them go a long way to promoting a life-long friendship with owner and rat but there are also a few things that are not mentioned as often that are helpful to know in the beginning stages.
Rats and Sensitive Areas to Avoid
Their bellies are very sensitive and private on a rat. Where as a dog love to have its belly rubbed, it’s not suggested owners try this with a rat until it is comfortable with the handler. This is a more intimate part of being friends and trusted with rats and should be taken slowly. Picking them up is one thing but rubbing or teasing along the belly can irritate a rat if it isn’t used to the handler.
When petting the side of the face, make sure to stroke back with folding the whiskers toward its face. Don’t ever pet them forward. Their whiskers are very sensitive and used for multiple purposes as mentioned in the site ratbehavior.org. Rubbing them forward is not a natural feel for them and irritates them.
Places Rats Typically Like to Be Petted
Rats love the top of their head to be petted. Gentle soothing strokes, small scratches and the rat will typically calm down laying its head on the bedding and enjoying itself. Along the side of the whiskers can be calming to some too. Also along the front back can be safe for the first petting. Avoid near the tail until it is calm and trusts the handler.
Rats also usually enjoy their ears to be rubbed. Be gentle and caressing but mot rats will find this soothing and enjoyable. Not usually for when being held and they are active but for the moments of passing by the cage and reaching in and saying hello. Make sure to talk to them too so they can get used to the voice.
Electromagnetics and Rat Sensitivity to Computers and Electronics
While documentation is a bit more difficult to find on this subject that doesn’t involve some scientific study where the rats are just laboratory equipment, personal experience says it all. Rats have super sensitive senses. They can feel the fields and energy created by electronics more than most animals. Until they get used to their home, limiting their exposure is advisable.
The high pitch sounds that people can’t hear or can but doesn’t bother may still bother their pets. The Roomba vacuum bothers many rats that are first exposed to it. They get irritable and should be allowed to stay in their home where they can hide in a home and dampen the sounds until they get used to it. Even regular vacuums will frighten them due to the loud sound and they should be secure before introducing them to it.
Computer rooms, especially ones like small offices that have more than one computer and various other electronics such as printers, cameras, USB accessories connected should be avoided for at least a week after the rat’s arrival in the new home. Introduction to too much fields and strange energy on top of a new home and the stress of change can cause them to take longer in adjusting to their new surroundings.
After that week, slowly introduce them. Take 15minutes with rat in the computer room for a few days. Then lengthen it to 30mins. This process should occur over a week, week and a half. Just pay attention to the rat. He or she will typical find ways to tell the handler they have had enough or are not comfortable.
Reasons Rats May Bite
Yes, some rats can be just mean and bite everyone. However, this is typically not the case with the majority of pet rats in good, loving homes. Rats will stay wild and timid if their owners do not take the time to tame them. They have to be handled a lot and often. Talk to them, include them and make them a part of the family. Otherwise, why get one?
Rats may bite when feeling defensive or frightened. In the fight or flight mode, rats will fight. They are predatory by nature and will stand and fight when they feel threatened. If the rat is one that tends to bite a lot at first, use leather gloves. Also, try to be calm. Rats, even more so than dogs, can sense tension and fear and will react to it.
Use leather gloves and long sleeves (their claws are sharp) at first if needed to ensure they get handled as much as possible to get them tame. It should start calming down with time, dedication and love to where the gloves are no longer needed. They aren’t raised to want to hurt people. However, like most in pet stores, they aren’t really taught to be pets until brought to a home.
Rats Give Love and Understanding: Wonderful Friends and Pets
Loving rats is a personal thing. Some people will never understand how another can own a rodent as a pet. The rat and other rodent owners out there though, they know. Intelligent, creative, loving and loyal, rats make terrific pets for all ages. Like any pet, they require understanding and work but it’s all well worth the effort for what they give in return.