Jun 29 2015

June 2015′s Animal Of The Month – Rats

June is nearly over and it’s time to bid the friendly rat a fond farewell. We hope you enjoyed our tweets on these charming but misunderstood rodents as you followed us on Twitter @ExoticPetVets. If you missed any of our fun and fascinating facts on rats, here is a summary of our tweets. You can also find out more information about rats in the illustrated articles section of our web site. Did you know?:

  • In scientific classification, rats belong to the Muroidea – a superfamily of rodents, that includes mice and gerbils.
  • Domestic rats, those kept as pets and used in research, are descended from the wild brown rat (Rattus norvegicus).
  • Domestic rats have been bred and kept in captivity for about 100 years.
  • There are different varieties of domesticated rats, such as Hooded, Rex and Dumbo.
  • Rats have various colours, including solid, patterns and coats in which individual hairs are banded in multiple colours.
  • Rats’ coats can vary depending on rat type. Some have course or stiff hair, some have curly hair and some have no hair.
  • Rats are intelligent, social, interactive pets. They’re very clean, despite popular belief, and are diligent at grooming.
  • Rats can also be taught tricks!
  • Rats are used extensively in research, hence the term “lab rat.”
  • Because of their intelligence, rats are the subjects of many psychological experiments.
  • A study from the University of Minnesota found that rats, like humans, can feel regret.
  • Another study suggests rats are capable of empathy and altruism.
  • Rats are opportunistic omnivores, meaning they eat anything when it is available (both plant and animal protein).
  • Pet rats are prone to obesity if not fed properly.
  • Pet rats’ diet should mostly be pellets formulated for rodents + a variety of small pieces of fruits & veggies daily.
  • Rats can have the occasional treat. Small amounts of healthy “people” food is OK, but never give them junk food.
  • Rats in captivity can be housed peacefully together as they are social creatures and rarely fight.
  • Male rats can live well together if housed together starting at a young age.
  • Female rats are more accepting of new cage mates at any age, but if she’s a new mom she may fight with other females.
  • Rats are easy to train and have an excellent sense of smell – two traits that have garnered rats employment with humans.
  • There are rats who have been trained to detect landmines and tuberculosis with their keen sense of smell.
  • There is also a case of a rat named Rattie, who helped wire U.S. schools to the Internet.
  • Rats abound in folklore, literature, popular culture and everyday speech, with mostly negative portrayals.
  • The Pied Piper of Hamelin is a famous tale of a rat-catcher who lures rats – then kids – out of town by playing a pipe.
  • “Rat” is used to describe a person who betrays associates. It’s also used as a verb to describe the act of snitching.

lracadmin | Blog

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Location Hours
Monday9:00am – 7:00pm
Tuesday9:00am – 7:00pm
Wednesday9:00am – 7:00pm
Thursday9:00am – 7:00pm
Friday9:00am – 7:00pm
Saturday9:00am – 2:00pm

By Appointment Only - Appointments start at 10 a.m. Drop offs and pick ups as of 8 a.m. For Emergencies after hours call: The Veterinary Emergency Clinic - 416-920-2002. *The doctors at the Veterinary Emergency Clinic may not always have the same intimate knowledge of, or comfort level in, dealing with certain species of animals as we do at The Links Road Animal & Bird Clinic. But they will always be honest with you and do the best they can to get your pet through an emergency.