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How High Can A Rat Jump? 7 Rat Jumping Facts

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Have you seen rats jumping and are wondering, do rats jump? If so, how high can a rat jump? It should not come as a surprise, but rats are excellent jumpers. However, not all rats are good jumpers. Some are better at climbing through buildings and trees than others. 

There are two common rat species, black and brown rats. Brown rats are also known as Norway rats, while black rats are referred to as roof rats. Although roof rats are not better at jumping than brown rats, they are better at climbing through buildings and trees. 

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How High Can A Rat Jump?

Rats can jump in any direction, horizontally or vertically. Horizontally, a rat can jump up to 4-feet. A rat can jump up to 3-feet vertically. 

If you place a trap on the rat’s path and the rat is not used to that item along its way, then it will easily jump over that trap if there is no space around. This is why you need to keep your fence more than 3-feet high. 

Another fun fact is that a rat can fall up to 40-feet without sustaining significant injuries. This gives them the advantage of jumping from rooftops and in attics and still survive. Additionally, rats can burrow underground or in walls up to 3 meters deep. Due to this, it might be hard for you to get rid of rats by just blocking the fence with obstacles. 

Food sources for rats 

When a rat jumps over or burrows through fences to gain access to your home, they are probably looking for shelter or food. These include:

  • Garbage
  • Trees
  • Pantries 
  • Sewers 

How to keep rats away

  • Keep trash in airtight sealed containers. Any trash left out attracts rats since it is a source of food.
  • Keep the garage and the attic clean and organized. Rats love dark and untidy areas. If you keep these areas untidy, then you are sheltering rats.
  • Keep items in storage areas elevated, e.g., elevate firewood at least 12-inches away from walls and 18-inches above the ground.
  • Clean storage areas like the attic, basements, garages, and pantry regularly
  • Trim the branches of any trees around your house regularly. This will ensure rats don’t have easy access to jump over to your home.
  • Keep any bushy areas around your house tidy and trim. If there are any dead fronds, remove them as often as possible.
  • Do not double the fence. Double fences are hard to maintain. Trash and weeds tend to accumulate faster in such areas, which makes them ideal shelters for rats.
  • If there are any openings or holes on walls, the roof, and fences, you can seal them using hardware like steel wool. Other materials to use include iron grills, sheet metal, perforated metal, and cement mortar, expanded metal. Rats cannot chew these. 

Yes, rats are excellent jumpers and climbers. Rat jumping measurements depend on whether the rat is leaping across or downwards. A rat can jump as high as 3 feet and 4 feet across and downwards. The best way to keep rats from jumping and gaining access to your home is by keeping it tidy. Trim any bushes and trees within your home, and you have a chance of keeping rats away.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can rats jump at you?

Yes, but only those that are domesticated. The fancy rat is a pet rat and will run, jump and play with you. The undomesticated brown rat are generally afraid of humans and will run at the first sight of one. If a rat is backed up into a corner and is afraid for their life then they have been known to jump escape or try to attack a human.

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What are rats afraid of?

Rats are show fear just like every other pet. Roof rats, for example, dislike changes in their surroundings and dislike odors or smells that that are unfamiliar with. If you want to scare a rat away from your house then use cotton balls submerged in clove or peppermint oil around entry and exit points. You can even sprinkle cinnamon on problem areas as cinnamon has a strong pungent aroma that rats dislike.

Why do rats scream?

Rats have high pitched squeaks and scream depending on whether they are scared or in distress. If you hear them screaming next to you they are probably in pain, caught on a trap or are in fear of being caught and are panicking. Pet rats may also scream if you pick them up by their tale as it’s a sensitive point on their body.

Are rats scared of water?

No, but you should never force pet rats to swim. Some rats enjoy paddling and playing in shallow water. However, forcing them to play in water can be distressing and frightening. Conversely, too much water will have lethal drowning consequences.


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