A rat alternates between chattering, squeaking and hissing. The chattering noise is produced when a rat grinds his teeth together and can indicate both stress and relaxation, while squeaking and hissing convey fear, pain or alarm. Chattering is also known as bruxing.
A rat can squeak when happy, but these vocalizations are high-pitched and inaudible to the human ear.
Rats can emit ultrasonic vocalizations. Different frequencies are associated with different emotions or activities. A squeak at 20 kilohertz signifies distress, while the same noise at 50 kilohertz indicates happiness. Sex, aggression and contact calls are all produced at different frequencies.
However, a rat's squeaks can sometimes be confused with the abnormal breathing sounds that he makes when ill. Short, abrupt squeaks are a pet rat's way of communicating with a human, but when the sound is synchronized with the rhythm of a rat's breathing, he is most likely suffering from a respiratory disease. In general, a healthy rat does not make much noise.
Rats combine noise and smell to communicate with each other. A rat emits pheromones to warn others of danger or mark his territory, and sometimes to attract or interact with the opposite sex. In contrast to their highly developed sense of smell and hearing, rats have poor vision and avoid the light.Learn More
Depending on species, lineage, and whether or not they are captive, rats live between one and four years. The average pet rat lives two or three years, while wild rats rarely live past one year. Pet rats from certain lineages live longer due to good breeding.Full Answer >
Both of the most common types of rats, the black rat and the brown rat, are omnivores, eating fruits, grains and any waste or unprotected human foods they encounter, along with invertebrate prey when necessary or available. Brown rats are more carnivorous than black rats, will eat more types of meat and have even been observed fishing. These animals are ubiquitous and are major pests in destroying livestock feed.Full Answer >
Rats can climb a wide variety of surfaces and objects. They often climb rough wall surfaces, such as brick, wood siding and stucco. Rats also climb trees, pipes and telephone poles if the surface provides adequate footing.Full Answer >
Rats can carry fleas. One of the most well-studied species of rat flea is Xenopsylla cheopis, the Oriental rat flea or tropical rat flea. This is the flea that carries bubonic plague.Full Answer >