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More Than You Know: Little Known Facts About Rats

When you ask someone what they know about rats, there are probably a few common answers people will give you. For one, people might say that they carry diseases with them. Others might go on and tell you that they’re pests. But, of course, some people will also say that rats are adorable little creatures.

While all these things are true, they still pale compared to other facts about them. Because of this, sometimes, people choose to ask questions to learn more about rats. Questions like, “Do rats carry rabies?” or “How long do they live?” are some things people might ask about them.

Unbeknownst to many people, there are several interesting little-known facts about rats. What’s more, a lot of them are interesting. Of course, this might not make many people dislike them any less. However, this does show that rats are still rather interesting creatures that most people know little about.

So, with that in mind, what little-known facts about rats are there to know?

Rat walking outside an urban area

Rat Facts That May Surprise You 

Rats Don’t Carry Rabies

While rats carry many diseases, like the bubonic plague or leptospirosis, they don’t have rabies.

Even though you can get a whole host of diseases from rats, getting a case of rabies from them is not on the list. For one thing, rats are not known to catch a case of rabies. Aside from that, there are also no known cases of rats transmitting rabies via a bite. So, if ever they do bite you, you don’t have to worry about getting rabies for them.

Despite this, It’s worth noting that you can still catch rat-bite fever if you get bitten by an infected rat. However, if detected early, it can be cured with ease. So, it’s good to see a doctor if you ever get bitten.

They’re Actually Really Clean

This might sound unbelievable, but rats are very clean creatures. Of course, it’s worth noting that this might not apply to the ones you find in dumps and sewers. However, if you happen to have a pet rat or see one in the wild, chances are they’re very clean.

Like how a cat is very particular about grooming itself, rats do the same. But, if anything, rats are known to clean and groom themselves more frequently and thoroughly than your typical cat. So, that should tell you that they’re really, really clean.

Black rat cleaning itself face

They Have Short Lifespans

Unfortunately, while rats may be very clean creatures, this doesn’t help their lifespan, and this is because rats only live for a short period.

On average, your typical rat lives for about two to three years. Due to their tendency to catch illnesses, rats don’t live very long. For example, most pet rats are known to die of respiratory diseases, which are very common among rats. Sometimes, these rats even catch these illnesses from an early age. This is true if the rat comes from a large-scale rat breeder.

Sometimes, a rat may have an illness that only manifests during prolonged stress. But then, there are also the chances of pet rats getting tumors. A perfect example would be the occurrence of mammary tumors in female rats.

So, if you think you’ve seen the same rat for decades, it’s probably just a different rat. After all, they do grow up pretty fast too.

Rats Also Need To Watch Their Weight

They say that rats share many similar characteristics to people, so they make for perfect test subjects in human medical studies. However, this also means that they can have similar diseases as humans. Obesity is one example of a disease they share with humans.

For a typical pet rat owner, you might think that the food they sell at the stores would be enough for your rats. But, unfortunately, these are very high in carbs and fat. So, if you only feed these to your rats, you can expect them to put on a lot of weight fast. This can then make them become unhealthy and have a shorter lifespan.

Like humans, giving rats a balanced diet would be the best option to maintain their health. So, while seeds are good, feeding them pellets with some veggies and fruit would be better. On the other hand, Seeds can be something you give as an occasional treat.

Black fat rat eating corn


You should know that rats are fascinating creatures with all that in mind. They’re not just pests and the cause of the bubonic plague. They can also make for wonderful pets and also have a sense of smell good enough to sniff out a bomb, among other things. So, before you think that rats are disgusting creatures, consider some facts to prove they’re more than that.

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