Rats get a bad rap. There are so many things people don’t know about how great these little guys really are so here is a little quiz to make learning a bit more fun.
1. Rats carry diseases. TRUE or FALSE?
False. Rats will only get a disease if you expose them to one. Generally, the idea of a rat passing an illness to a human is slim to none! If you are talking about wild rats, consider this. If you go into the wild, every animal will have some type of germs or bacteria. It is extremely rare to get rabies from a rat. Back during the Black Plague, it was thought it was spread by rats when it was not. At that time personal hygiene was not practiced as it is today so germs were able to spread rapidly from person to person.
2. Rats are as clean as cats. TRUE or FALSE?
True! Rats will almost religiously groom themselves several times per day! In fact, once they are done playing with you, that will be the first thing they do! They will also clean each other in a move known as Power Grooming. And the best thing? No hairballs! A person with allergies can play with a rat quicker than a dog or cat because of the wiry clean fur they have, too.
3. Rats are friendly. TRUE or FALSE?
True! Rats are extremely friendly and love being with people as well as other animals. One of our rats was good friends with our cat and they would often nap together. When that rat died, the cat mourned for a week. True story! Rats are the most friendly of all the rodents.
4. A single rat will thrive in his own cage. TRUE or FALSE?
False. Rats are very social animals and need the interaction from other rats. If you choose to only have one rat, you will need to give that rat a lot of extra time and attention.
5. Rats take care of injured and sick rats in their group. TRUE or FALSE?
True. We currently have two females with respiratory illnesses: Ella and her daughter, Dara. Ella has always been smaller and has been through a lot in her young life. Another rat, Andrea, who can be quite adventuresome, is extremely protective of Ella and will place herself in the way when we attempt to remove Ella for treatments. When we have taken Ella to the doctor, Andrea will remain by the door waiting for her return and then check her out to make sure she is okay. Tonight Andrea tried sneaking into Ella’s treatment area to be with her.
6. If allowed loose, rats will have fun adventures all over your house. TRUE or FALSE?
False! Rats like to be in sight of their cage. When my son lets his rats out to play, he rarely will shut his door because we know they will not leave. In fact, when we have a rat downstairs and place them on the floor, they will smell out the way back and will be found climbing the stairway and traveling back to their room.
7. Rats are smart and are capable of learning their own name and responding to it. TRUE or FALSE?
True. When my son finds our adventurer, Andrea, in a precarious position, all he has to do is sternly say her name and she knows she is in trouble. Rats also can very quickly learn tricks…. many tricks! They love showing off their skills as well!
8. Rats are born with hair everywhere except the tail. TRUE or FALSE?
False. Rats are born pink and it takes seven days for them to grow hair.
9. Rats have no emotions. TRUE or FALSE?
False. Rats are packed full of emotion, some being more blessed with it than others. When our rat, Chester died, we allowed his body to remain on the bed until Cyrus saw it. As soon as Cyrus realized Chester was gone, he kissed Chester on the mouth over and over again. He refused to allow me to remove the body for awhile. It was heart-wrenching to watch but so very sweet!
10. A group of rats is called a mischief. TRUE or FALSE?
True! As funny as it is, it is also very true both literally and figuratively.. In fact, when Andrea is getting into trouble, she often drags Dara and Darcy along with her. My daughter’s rat, Sophie, leads the way into mischief for litter mates, Garcia and Jules. And Andrea has this extraordinary talent for being one place and mysteriously appearing elsewhere.
Well, how did you do? If anything, I hope you learned a lot and would consider a pair of rats as your next pets.They are a lot of fun and we get a lot of enjoyment from them.