Our newest ambassadors are three brothers who were adopted by TNC in May 2019. Known for having larger ears, these Dumbo Rats needed a home and we were happy to give them one after our previous rat ambassadors had passed. They will spend their life educating others about rat misconceptions as well as their adaptations.
Rats are extremely social and affectionate animals. Pet rats live about 3 years and enjoy the company of other rats and domestic rats love being with humans too. Contrary to what some people may think, rats are extremely clean animals, spending several hours every day grooming themselves and have almost no odor. They are less likely than cats or dogs to catch and transmit parasites and viruses. Rats take care of injured and sick rats in their group and without companionship rats tend to become lonely and depressed. Rats are also very good climbers and are much more intelligent than hamsters, mice, gerbils, guinea pigs, or rabbits.
Pet rats can learn to perform tricks and to come when called and have excellent memories. Rats make happy “laughter” sounds when they play and when they are happy, rats have been observed to chatter or grind their teeth. This is often accompanied by vibrating eyes. Rats’ tails help them to balance, communicate and regulate their body temperature. Rats have sharp teeth that constantly grow and chew on wood to keep the teeth short and sharp. Although very curious animals, rats are also shy, and prefer to run away than confront a potential threat.