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Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Evolving Rat Personalities

By Shellyane Bryan
A rat owner from England shares tales of living with her first rat, Queen Dumbo Duncanson-Bryan, and a rat named Mouse.

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Mouse the rat
Photo Courtesy Shellyane Bryan
Mouse the rat has become friendlier now that she's more used to being handled.

I’ve noticed a change in my rat Mouse’s personality just lately. I can’t really remember what my rats Dumbo and Fidget were like when they were very young, but I presume this change is quite normal. It makes sense that the more a rat is handled, the friendlier it becomes, but this doesn’t always happen. Thankfully, in Mouse’s case, it has!

Mouse never used to willingly come out of the cage, and she wasn’t particularly affectionate as rats go, but over the past two months she has suddenly become very friendly. She must have taken a leaf out of her big-sister Dumbo’s book and learnt to become a little attention-seeker. She has also turned into a bit of a sneak, because the moment my back is turned while the cage door is open, she’s out like a shot exploring — and trying to get to know Leon the hamster, who is usually sound asleep next door!

I’m really glad though. As much as I would have loved Mouse either way, I’m happy she’s become more accustomed to being handled and petted. She used to be very scratchy, but she doesn’t wiggle anywhere near as much anymore and doesn’t cause anyone any accidental injuries when they’re playing with her. I still get the odd one or two scratches from her, but they’re never anything serious. It also means she is causing herself and Dumbo much less stress when her claws get a little out of control.

Nothing makes me squeal more though, when the two of them get all cozy and curl up together in their little wig-wam. This is their second wig-wam, because the first one collapsed. It seems they’ve learnt their lesson this time and haven’t chewed it anywhere near as much as the last one!

I was at my local pet store today and saw a batch of baby rats that all cuddle up with one another. It was difficult for me not to just grab a handful of them and bring them home because they were so sweet. It must be the massive black eyes and the silly ears. Sadly, I have been specifically ordered not to buy any more rats, which is understandable when they are so difficult to transport in a big cage. I couldn’t put more than two of them in the holiday cage.

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Evolving Rat Personalities

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Reader Comments
Wow!
Mike, Columbia, TN
Posted: 8/16/2009 4:38:09 PM
most animals usually get more friendlier the more theyre handled.
bobbi, sunbury, PA
Posted: 7/30/2009 1:32:12 PM
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