This isn't a true FAQ, but if you read through all of these, you'll probably find something you always wanted to know about rats.
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medical advice) you can get help from a few knowledgeable rattie people (myself included) here: . If you do not have an emergency but need advice about pet rats
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- Rats have poor vision. To compensate for this, a red or pink eyed rat will often weave its head side to side to add "motion" to see better. They also don't see in color.
- Rats normally prefer to have cage mates. It is possible to group female or male rats together, though care should be taken when introducing a new rat.
- While it's great to have both female and male rats, be wary of letting them play together; rats can complete the courting ritual and the whole romantic relationship in about two seconds.
- Generally speaking, male rats make better "lap" pets, preferring to sit and have their ears scratched by an attentive human friend. Female rats are very curious, and love to explore and play games. Both genders make great companions.
- Rats can eat chocolate.
- Rats can also eat smaller pets. Rats are omnivores, and have enough predatory instinct left in them to consider birds, fish and even some smaller rodents as "snacks."
- Rats don't have canine teeth.
- Rats don't have thumbs.
- The oils in cedar and pine are toxic to rats, and should not be used in their bedding materials.
- A rat's temperature is regulated though its tail (assuming it has one). A really hot rat will lay on its back so that it can "sweat" through the soles of its feet.
- A group of rats is called a mischief.
- Red discharge from a rat's nose or eyes is usually porphyrin, not blood. Unlike blood, porphyrin is flourescent under UV light. It is produced in glands behind the rat's eyes. Overproduction of this discharge can be caused by stress or illness.
- A happy rat will chatter or grind its teeth. Often, chattering teeth results in "vibrating" eyes, caused by the lower jawbone pressing the backs of the eyes. This is a good sign, regardless of
how silly it looks.
- A rat's jawbone isn't fused in the middle like ours, so it can make it looks as though the lower incisors have wiggled apart a bit.
- Rats can't vomit. A rat can, however, gag on something if it eats too quickly. The plus side of this is that rats can usually eat and drink before surgery.
- It is unlikely you will ever catch rabies from a rat.
- Soda does not make rats explode.
- Rats bathe themselves, usually six times a day or more. A rat's saliva has some pink pigmentation, which can cause a light-colored rat to look discolored. A warm washcloth with baby shampoo is great for those trouble spots.
- PEW stands for "Pink Eyed White" the fancy rat terminology for "albino" or any all-white rat with pink eyes. Conversely, BEW stands for "Black Eyed White" (which is not an albino).
- Rats have bellybuttons.
- Rats don't have gallbladders.
- Rats don't have tonsils.
- A rat's fur smells like grape soda.
- Rats can be trained to do simple tricks.
- Rats can train humans to do simple tricks.
||This compilation is © 1996 - by Kristin J. Johnson. The text of this "FAQ" may be reproduced for personal use and rat web sites, as long as this notice remains intact.