Squeaking Rats
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Thread: Squeaking Rats

  1. #1

    Default Squeaking Rats

    Hi all

    This question has probably been asked on here LOADS of times already so sorry in advance for repeating, but i would appreciate some feeback from fellow rat owners;

    we got two boy rats last week they seem generally happy and once we are holding them they are fine, however both of them tend to squeak a bit when we go to pick them up. The slightly bigger one of the two tends to squeak more.

    Is this normal? Does it mean they are likely to bite?

    I have looked on various rat sites but none seem to answer my second question!

    They are 13 weeks old and we bought them from a reputable pet store where they had been living for approximatley a week.

    Any feedback greatly appreciated


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  3. #2

    Default Re: Squeaking Rats

    They're probably just scared. You can let them come to you instead of picking them up. Make sure they know that your hand is in the cage when you put your hand in as well, you may just be catching them by surprise.

    And if they are scared, they might bight. You can usually tell if a rat is scared. The squeaking noises definitely indicate that, but if their eyes are bulging out of their head or they shrink their bodies up and bow their head down they are showing that they are submissive to you.

    I have girls and I assume that boys are about the same when it comes to behaviour like that.

    You should definitely read about trust training. It's at the top of the list in this forum section.
    cleared due to violation of the signature size rule.  please read your pm.  - jaguar

  4. #3
    Administrator Kiko's Avatar
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    Default Re: Squeaking Rats

    Rats squeak when they are scared yes.
    Also no offense but there is no such thing a Reputable Pet Store

  5. #4

    Default Re: Squeaking Rats

    I have to disagree with Kiko here.

    I've known multiple owners of reputable pet stores. They only take in rescues and rats given to them by good breeders who knew what they were doing and took good care of their animals. I even knew one that the local breeders all would take their extra babies to for selling (as long as there was a signed "no food" contract). They then took amazing care of the animals while they were with them. Not all pet stores just throw a ton of rats in a cage or grab up puppy mill puppies.


    Anyways, it seems like you are taking them off-guard. Make sure they know that you are there before you go picking them up.. Or they might just not be used to handling. Pet stores typically don't have the time to pay enough attention to each individual animal to socialize them properly.. Watch for body posture and you'll get your answer.

  6. #5
    Administrator Jaguar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Squeaking Rats

    I agree with icedtei. There are reputable pet stores, they're just extremely rare to come across.

    Squeaking is normal, yes, and a squeaky rat is no more or less likely to "bite" than a not squeaky rat. The squeaking tends to be out of fear or just discomfort. If they weren't handled before, they won't like the sensation of being grabbed, because their immediate instinct reaction is that you're a predator trying to catch them and they want to escape. They will squeak when they play and groom eachother too roughly, females in heat can be squeaky... Some rats will always squeak a bit when touched. You'll know the difference between an "I don't like that" squeak and a terrified shrieking squeal. They'll get used to it eventually, just handle them as often and as much as possible.


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  7. #6
    Administrator Kiko's Avatar
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    Default Re: Squeaking Rats

    Let me rephrase.
    The odds of finding a reputable pet store are extremely slim.
    I live in NY, I have been to 100's of pet-stores NONE of them I would consider reputable.

  8. #7

    Default Re: Squeaking Rats

    I don't see a good breeder giving their 'extra babies' to a pet store on just a no food contract. First off every single baby in their litter should be wanted and cherished and remain with them until they can personally place them in a home on their own terms and conditions. They would also need to keep in regular contact to see how the rats develop otherwise they are loosing crucial information and have no idea if the babies actually go as food or not. I don't see the pet store really enforcing anything. Breeders would want to meet the owners, ask lots of questions, ensure the rats are going to the best homes and get them to sign a contract that states the babies are returned to them if they can no longer be cared for etc. So the breeder you know that give them to pet stores is not a good breeder, just freeing up some cage space. Urgh

    Sorry I won't believe theres an ethical pet store until I see it. At the end of the day they are all doing it for business... raising animals and trying to turn a profit never equals reputable.

    I agree with Jaguar, the only way to get them used to being handled more is to handle them lots! Announce your presence before you grab them as well, talk to them. But don't sit back and wait for them to come to you, because when they do and you go to grab them you will be back to square one.
    Does: Lucy and Cookie &lt;3 <br /><br />Bucks: Buck, Finnigan, Oliver, Monroe, Higgins &lt;3<br /><br />My Ratty Angel: Stella &lt;3

  9. #8

    Default Re: Squeaking Rats

    thank you all for your replies.

    Yesterday we tried a new approach and let the rats choose to come out of the cage into a safe area and they seemed a lot calmer.

    ive noticed that normally they poop a lot when running about but this time they didnt at all. So i was really pleased with how that went.

    Im in the UK and to be honest i assumed that a pet shop would be the best place to but a rat or other caged animal but in hindsight im questioning this decision as i do no think they were handled much and therefore arent really used to it now!


  10. #9

    Default Re: Squeaking Rats

    I'm in the UK too and got my rats from Pets at Home. What a stupid idea that was. Even the in-store vet sexed them wrong! And they'd never been handled before. Definitely going to a breeder next time. It just means they'll come with more behavioural problems which is even more difficult for a first time rat owner. They shouldn't bite if they're squeaking, that's just their way of saying they're unhappy which what you're doing. They do it to each other a lot during play fighting, I'm sure. But they never bite each other do they?
    The lack of pooping is a good sign. Are they litter trained yet? With regards to picking them up, get them used to being scooped up by you first. Cup your hands under them and lift them to your chest. They're naturally pray animals and have an in-built response to being grabbed from above. I've had my girls for about 3 months now and have been scooping one of them for the past 2 months. We spent a lot of time building trust and she's just got used to being picked up. The other one could probably do with another couple of weeks before that happens. I've only just started being able to scoop her. If they're particularly nervy to begin with, it's a good idea just to scoop them and put them in their cage, so they associate being picked up by you with safety and comfort. As bad as they might seem now, they just need time. My most jumpy rat, who ran into hiding every time I entered the room for the first two weeks, has just gone from nervy to needy in the space of a week. She literally won't stop staring at me and sleeps in the corner nearest to where I sit on the sofa just so she can watch me and get my attention haha. If she can turn into a loving little rat, yours definitely will. It's all about trust building. Obviously the more time you spend with them, the quicker it'll happen

  11. #10

    Default Re: Squeaking Rats

    I had "Buddy", my male rat for about 4 years before he passed and his whole great life he squeeked when I picked him up. Maybe just a cry baby or he was saying hello. He was awesome and I miss him so much, but I have 3 more now. So it's not just that they are scared or hurting.

    Another note on "Buddy", I like to brag, LOL, he used to ride on my shoulder when I rode my motorcycle around town. The looks I would get, OMG!! so cool....

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