Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Falling Into A Rat Routine

By Shellyane Bryan
A rat owner from England shares tales of living with her rats named Mouse, Slinky and Diddy.

Click image to enlarge
Rats Mouse and Diddy
Photo Courtesy Shellyane Bryan

The rats Mouse and Diddy (right) have learned the difference in sound between their food bag and a bag of walnuts.

My pet rats are currently obsessed with walnuts. They’ve learned to recognize the noise the bag makes when I get it out; whatever they happen to be doing when they hear it, they rush to the door for treats.

The rats all seem to know the difference between the sound their normal food bag makes, the bag of nuts and the yogurt drops they love. That just goes to show how clever they are! Though, that is sometimes difficult to believe when they jump on top of one another and end up tumbling off the bars, or when one of the rats runs into things when they excitedly dash for something.

Slinky is very defensive of her food. If either of the other two rats come within a few inches of her while she’s eating, she starts to squeak and runs off to find another spot to eat. Mouse still tries to steal food off them both, but it seems almost half-hearted now.

Mouse has calmed down quite significantly. She is acting a lot less like a bully, though she is still biting toes through the bars. I don’t think that is particularly a sign of aggression, but more her just wondering about the little claws, and failing to understand they’re attached to someone. Slinky and Diddy are still wary of her at times, but I’ve seen them all curled up together sleeping, so they must have some kind of ratty understanding.

All three rats squeeze into the very small tub I’ve had for years, all legs and tails sticking out like a Picasso painting. All of their bottom halves are white, so when they do this it’s impossible to tell who’s who!

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