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While there is an increased surge in pet rats’ ownership, not many owners can tell the different moods of their pet rats. For example, how to tell if your pet rat likes you? With a pet dog, they will waggle their tails and even hug you and lick your face.
As a pet rat owner, you must know if your pet likes you and when they are in the mood to play. A rat that does not like you becomes territorial and aggressive. Sometimes, they can bite if they feel cornered. Rat bites can be infectious and sometimes be fatal if not treated.
Related: Best Rat Cages
How To Tell If Your Pet Rat Likes You
It is quite easy to know if your pet rat likes you. When you reach inside the cage and your pet rat retreats, acts territorial, or squeaks, then it is a sign they do not like you. It could also be a sign that they are not in the mood to play.
Rats are generally social animals, and they love to play around, even with their owners. Now that you are past the stage of getting to know each other and your pet rat knows you, the next step is telling when he/she is happy or in pain. Rats do not talk or bark, but reading their body language will make your relationship worthwhile.
According to research, a happy rat will relax his/her ears and will have them hanging loosely on the side. When in pain, a rat will curl its ears forward, narrow or squeeze the eyes, and flatten the cheeks and the nose.
Rat Body Language Tips
It is easy to build a connection with any pet; rats included when they are younger. However, if you adopt an older rat, more than 6 months, you will need to be patient. It will take time before they get used to human interaction, especially if they are not used to being around humans.
You can learn how to show your rat affection by:
- Offering treats – give your rat treats from your hand rather than leaving them in the cage. The more your pet rats associate your hand with food, the more trust you gain. You can start by feeding your pet rat treats and food from your fingertips and scale up to your palm as they get familiar with you. With time, your pet rat will start walking up to your hand instinctively.
- Speaking softly – rats are intelligent creatures, and if you repeatedly speak softly to your pet rat, he/she will start recognizing your voice. Rats have small eardrums, hence the need to speak softly. You can start by saying their name close to their ears. As your pet rat gets used to your voice and their name, they will gain more trust in you. They will also remember their name and walk to you whenever you call unto them. To cement this trust, remember to have a treat as a reward when your pet rat answers your calling.
- Be gentle – when you hold your pet rat, be gentle, and keep your palm open to avoid squeezing them. Also, an open palm means more surface area for your pet rat to play. This will help boost the rat’s trust in you.
Your pet rat’s ears are one of the secrets on how to tell if your pet rat likes you. If the ears are hanging loosely and relaxed, they are happy and love your company. Try to be considerate, patient and observe the clues your pet rat show you. That’s the fastest way to bond with your pet rat!
Hey, I’m Amy and I’m in love with my Pets! I have a diverse variety, including 2 cats, 1 dog, 3 rabbits, 2 guinea pigs, a rat and a beautiful macaw. I love writing about everything pet-related and spend as much time as I can sharing my personal experiences.