June 10, 2009
Visiting Baby Rats

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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Baby rats Sniff and Snug are curious and want to explore everything.
Courtesy of Shellyane Bryan
Baby rats Sniff and Snug are curious and want to explore everything

I visited my brother over the weekend and was happy to meet his two new baby rats, Sniff and Snug. One is a Berkshire dumbo, and the other is a hooded dumbo, and both are very sweet little creatures. They remind me of my rats Dumbo and Fidget when they were babies, so I was getting quite nostalgic about playing with them.

These baby rats act in a very similar way to baby Dumbo and Fidget, getting into anything and everything, exploring every tiny niche. They especially like to get into places they shouldn’t because they are sneaky and likely to start chewing things. Incidentally, I have come home today to discover that my little monsters chewed a tea towel to pieces and fashioned it into a kind of duvet. It’s a good job it’s an old towel.

Baby rats always have a different kind of smell to adults (arguably a nicer smell). They’re also always really soft and have quite blunt claws that — unlike Mouse’s — don’t tear my skin to shreds. This must be a trait of dumbo rats, because they are always very, very friendly and affectionate.

Sniff has a very sweet quirk. My brother has a little plastic bookmark that slots over the top of the page, and every time she spots it, she nabs it and runs off with it for no particular reason. Both of the baby rats also loved chasing my bead necklace around like tiny kittens. I always find that interesting, because it can’t really be a predatory instinct; they must just like to chase things for fun.

Speaking of rats and playtime, Dumbo really loves it when I throw her in the air (not high!) and catch her, because she goes wild with licking! She also really enjoys being tossed across the carpet. The second she lands, she bounces back for more. I’ve heard from one or two people that rats seem to like this game. Needless to say though, my rat Mouse is not a fan.

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Visiting Baby Rats

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Reader Comments
Mike, Columbia, TN
Posted: 7/16/2009 11:25:29 AM
Aw, very sweet!
Pam, Fox River Grove, IL
Posted: 6/15/2009 3:58:57 AM
I love baby rats! there sooooo cute!!! I don't have one. But I sure do want one. I'm so glad yours like to play. My Rabbit likes to run off with my mom's car keys. It's really funny.
Aiyanna, Eugene, OR
Posted: 6/14/2009 11:44:58 AM
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