In some countries, rats are considered pests. Even so, many people treat rats as great pets. For them, these rodents are not just friendly. They are also easy to deal with. But then again, to be able to appreciate them, one must know and understand that these adorable creatures have unique characteristics and traits. To give you an idea about these, read the facts we have below.
Commonly known as the brown rat, the Norway rat can be seen in almost all countries all over the world. This is because of their excellent skills at hiding and stowing away on ships. In fact, in the mid-19th century, Queen Victoria’s rat catcher, Jack Black, discovered several variations of these species in those he caught.
When a female rat is in her six-hour period of receptivity, a state she experiences around 15 times in a year, she can mate up to 500 times with different males. No wonder why their population has spread throughout the globe.
Every year, the front teeth of a rat grow 4 ½ to 5 ½ inches. And since they gnaw on almost everything around them, such as brick, wood, pipes, and cement, its teeth just wear down.
They do not sweat, too. In order to regulate their body temperature, they expand or constrict their blood vessels in their tails.
Survival and Habitat
Rats can survive in the water for three days. They can even withstand being flushed down the toilet. But what’s more surprising is the fact that they can still live uninjured even if they have fallen down 50 feet to the ground.
When it comes to their habitat, not all of them live close to the human population. Among the 56 documented and known species, the majority lives in remote habitats, such as rain forests and marshlands. What’s sad about this is that some are already listed as endangered.
In a study by the National Institute of Health, it was found out that decreasing the caloric intake of these creatures can extend their life span. So as much as possible, feed them with the right food.
Even if they eat a lot, they don’t throw up. This is due to the very strong wall between their stomach and esophagus. With that body build-up, it is impossible for them to forcefully get rid of food out of their stomach.
But there are these very rare instances when they regurgitate, which means food in their stomach goes back into the esophagus. Again, this is just a very rare happening.
Rats and Local Beliefs
In Deshnoke, India, there is a Hindu temple made for the rat goddess Karni Mata. It now houses over 20,000 rats. Due to its popularity, tourists flock the place to give respect to the rats, which are said to be reincarnation of the goddess herself, as well as her people.
On the other hand, some Chinese believe that if you were born in the year of the rat, you are also a rat. Because of that, you are resourceful and witty.
For the founder of Animal Behavior Society, Martin Schein, rats are reincarnated teenagers. This is probably because they love to feast on foods that are loved by the youngsters, which include macaroni and cheese, cooked corn, and even scrambled eggs. But did you know that rats also eat their own dirt? Yes, you read it right. For them, their feces contain a lot of nutrients their bodies need.
Rats and Diseases
Although rats are notorious for transmitting fatal diseases to humans, such as plague, Q fever, Weil’s disease, and viral hemorrhagic fever, there is still a brighter side. It is quite rare for humans to acquire rabies from them.
Whenever they are near electromagnetic fields, such as electronic devices, they become quickly overwhelmed. Considering that fact, many rat owners do not expose them to electronic activities until they become accustomed to the environment.
They can also sense moods. They can easily sense any negative emotions like fear and tension. Hence, if you are planning to interact with them, make sure you are in a good mood so that they will also respond calmly.
Rats as Pets
Rats appreciate it when they are gently scratched on their head. They also want to be petted along the back to the neck. But if these rats aren’t comfortable with you, do not ever attempt to do so. Otherwise, you might just see their wild side.
Rats for Adoption
People who are interested in raising rats often visit the nearest animal shelter to adopt one. With their growing population, it is no longer shocking why they are frequently dropped off at these shelters. Thus, if you want to give them a better home, check your local animal shelter first and check out our premium range of rat cages for sale.
We all have our own say about rats. Regardless of what these might be, it is just right to treat them in a humane way. They deserve to be cared for and loved. Even if you have had bad experiences with them, just don’t hate them. In the long run, you will realize their importance in this world.