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Hi everyone
I apologize for the misleading title, I definitely know that rats are intelligent creatures with emotions!
I am looking for stories that show that they have emotions and thoughts just like us.

The stories are for a blog that Im writing for the very small community of rat keepers in South Korea. Although having small animals for companions is a common thing in Korea (hamster keeping is pretty big there), having rats as pets are relatively new and there are hardly any proper information. There are only two online 'cafes' for rat owners which are very similar to forums, but no dedicated websites about looking after rats. There are about only two commercial sources for pet rats, and from what Ive read they are not responsible breeders. Also a lot of people think rats are similar to hamsters (solitary) that only need to be given food and water and no prolonged and proper human interaction. They do love their animals though, and most are willing to learn so there is a great potential for rat keeping to be done properly by most. So to help them along, Im translating as much information from the UK and US rat websites and forums to the blog :D

The type of stories Im looking for are stories that show your rats personality and intelligence.
An example is a story I saw written by Rat Daddy, where Fuzzy Rat was accidentally kicked by Rat Daddy's wife one day and next day, they found all the wires and cords at her desk sliced by Fuzzy Rat (HAHA)

I would be thankful for any type of contribution! The stories will help people understand that rats are super intelligent and need proper handling and human interaction to thrive. Also I would personally love to read some stories. :p
 

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After the death of one of my rats, her cagemate (she was with her for most her life) Artemis started freaking out, attacking the other two babies, and wouldn't let me hold her. It's calmed down now but it was really freaky.

Artemis loves being with me. I have a walk-in wardrobe that I took the door off of, and converted it into a rat playroom. If I put her and my other girls in there (I have some cardboard taped up just above their jumping range, and it's like 3 feet from my computer, so I can supervise them when I'm doing schoolwork and such) she'll freak out and act like something attacked her. She's completely fine when I'm with her, but if she's without me (even though she can see me) in there, she just goes crazy. Also, she will sit for hours at a time in the corner of the cage closest to me and just.... Stare. For hours.

My first rat would attack my mom. But only if she had recently punished me or put me in timeout. He was perfectly fine normally, and never bit me, but if my mom yelled at me like 24 hours before holding Buddy, he'd bite her and scream.
 

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Actually it was Max that slashed all of the wires going to my wife's desk after she accidentally kicked her. Max was Fuzzy Rat's successor. Max was adopted at two weeks old and lived most of her life free range around the house. She was allowed to do this because she never did any damage to wires or property. She was also responsible for chasing wild mice away. That's what made her attack on my wife's desk so out of character.


Fuzzy Rat on the other hand, always attacked wires that were attached to things that she didn't like. They were things that she felt distracted her humans from playing with her. Fuzzy Rat cut my headphone cables while I was listening to music. She cut my phone wires while I was speaking on the phone. She cut my mouse wires, my keyboard wires and even my video monitor wires when I was working on the computer. Sometimes, I think she just attacked wires when she was bored, but over the course of her life there was a clear pattern that she went after things that would take us away from her. When I tried to fix my headphone wires, she actually snipped the plug off and ran away with it.


Misty who is Max's successor had some kind of a dislike for the answering machine and she cut both the power and telephone cords to it a few times before we had a meaningful conversation. Interestingly enough the answering machine wires were in a tangled pile of other wires and she was always able to select the right ones without damaging the others.


Fuzzy Rat was remarkable in many ways and I suppose I've written a lot about her and if you browse back through the threads I think you'll find plenty of her interesting adventures that demonstrate just how brilliant she was. But for some reason the story that comes to mind at this moment is not about Fuzzy Rat, but rather it's about Amelia, Fuzzy Rats third and final roommate.


One evening I was sitting at my desk when Amelia started scratching at my foot. And when I looked down she would run off. Then she would come back and scratch my foot and ankle again and as soon as I would look down or try to pick her up she would run off again. So finally I got up and decided to follow her and she led me to the closet. She ran around frantically until I opened the closet door. I naturally assumed for some reason she wanted to go inside the closet. But when I opened the closet door Fuzzy Rat scurried out. She'd obviously been trapped in the closet when someone unintentionally closeed the door and locked her in.


Amelia was also very smart rat, we adopted her from a family that had neglected her. Sadly she never became a true shoulder rat. She would panic when we took her outside. But, if you think about it, Amelia understood that Fuzzy Rat was trapped. She also understood that she couldn't do anything about it. She realized that I could help. Then she found a way to get my attention and communicate the nature of the problem to me and enlist my assistance in rescuing her friend. In my mind that demonstrates several orders of higher-level thinking. It shows that she had compassion and an interest in the well-being of Fuzzy Rat. It shows that she could assess a problem situation. It also shows that she knew and understood that someone else could help her. And she devised the method of communication, novel to the situation, to explain the problem to someone else that she thought would also be interested in helping.


For the most part, Amelia preferred a quiet life on her own, mostly living in the back of the pantry. Once or twice a day she would come out to be lifted into her cage for meals and to receive a little bit of affection. She would usually come when called and she was a quiet, and unassuming little furry friend. She didn't do too many remarkable things, but she was Fuzzy Rats friend and companion when she became disabled due to large mammary tumors.


In some ways, Fuzzy Rat was unique and we always expected her to be exceptional and she was. In all reality, most rats are actually exceptional and unique, they don't often get the opportunity to show us just how amazing they can be too.


I think the most important lesson that I would like people to take away from the Fuzzy Rat stories I tell is not that there was once a single truly remarkable rat, but rather that their own rats can be remarkable and amazing if given the opportunity. Sometimes I think that there's a tendency to conclude that Fuzzy Rat was amazing despite being a rat, whereas in all reality she was amazing because she was a rat. It was all the wonderful qualities of her species combined with her outgoing and intrepid personality and a certain spark of brilliance that made her unusual. In the end, it's the fact that our rats can really bond with us and really love us and want to communicate with us, the quality common to most rats that made her most amazing. It's the little things, the quiet moments, the games we play and the hugs we share that matter most.

Max when we adopted her...

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Max doing a meet and greet at the town fair...



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Amelia....
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Amelia safe in a tree... staying put and waiting to be rescued and taken home...
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And Fuzzy Rat.... when she was already old and tired and sick... still being amazing and loving her little girl.
Sensitive content, not recommended for those under 18 Show Content
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And OK... I know there are people who read this whole thread hoping to see Fuzzy Rat do something cool... so if you haven't seen it before... here's a little vid:

https://vid.me/3edL
 

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This is a story about Toad, Toad was a guy I bred and raised here. He was a lovely boy who was one you gradually build a strong relationship with, rather than it immediately being there (like with his brother Weevil). Toad went through some major changes with me, in his life time I moved home twice, in between which he took over as Alpha of his cage. He was a bit of a Stud with wonderful temprement and did well in both pets and varieties classes at shows so during this time he was also borrowed by 2 fellow breeders to use as a Dad for there litters. At this time I was also going through a bit of upheaval myself, and had made the decision to switch to keeping girls, after a number of years of rat keeping. Toad and his brother, along with their dad Tam, who still lived with me were to be my last bucks, so I made plans to make sure they had company and were happy.

A friend of mine who is very much my rats Aunty was looking to start keeping bucks, so we decided for the transition her two planned baby boys would come and move in with my lads (bucks do a lot better in a group of around 4-8 rather than in smaller groups), then when Tam died (he was visibly very attached to me, and would not have dealt with the change well) then the group would move to my friends house (where they would get visited a lot). Weevil then died leaving Tam, Toad and the 2 youngsters, but the plan was still on track with Toad moving to Alpha making it better as he was clearly so calm and responded well to the moving houses etc. Just after moving to this house Toad went on to father his 3rd litter, this time to one of our does, and leading to my first girls in some 10 years.

When we lost Tam I was needless to say heart broken, at least in part because Toad was going away too. I wanted what was best for him and his pack though so let him go rather than putting him through what felt like an unneccesary neuter. Toad in short didn’t approve…

Within days of moving in with my friend he was acting grumpy, this is despite having stayed over there for weeks at a time in the past without a wibble. He clearly picked up that this time was different. Over the next few weeks the little pack started to fall apart, the youngsters were constantly sniping at him, and he looked and acted depressed, not putting them in their place. It culminated in Toad biting someone seriously, this is the rat you could do anything to, and whilst he did give pleanty of warnings (which were ignored because it was Toad and he’s just so loving) it was clear he’d had enough. I went round to visit him and he was just so clingy with me, it was clear that I had been his one constant in all the change and I mattered to him a lot more than it appeared.

We booked him in to be neutered the next week, 2 weeks later (after some serious attempts at eating himself and his stiches, and finally healing up well) he came back here. It was almost instant, he was a different rat. I introduced him to my girls and it went without a hitch. I remember sitting in the rat room with my friend (who he’d stayed with the bitten) and watching him ping around like a kitten (at 20 months old, having been too “grown up” to ping for over a year). He visibly relaxed and was clearly home. He lived out his days back with me, I lost him about a month ago and Its making me tear up a bit remembering lol. I have his children and grandchildren here, little pieces of Toad, the rat that chose me.
 

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When I first got Alfie I was getting him from a girl who had gotten him from a big box store. In the store he had been alone, and with the girl who bought him he had been alone. She had him for four months or so. How long he was alone at the store is anyone's guess. By the time I brought him him, Alfie was a quiet, skittish, nervous boy. He had bruxed in his previous owner's arms, and burrowed into her arms, which I had taken as a sign of being content. Little did I know! I got him January of 2015, and we spent the next little while getting to know one another. He would avoid my touch outside of the cage, but in his cage he would press himself against the cage bars and push his cheek into my fingers for scratches. In April I brought home two baby boys to keep him company. There was a period of Quarantine, and then I started the introduction phase of having their cages near each other. Whooo boy you'd think Alfie was a different rat. The minute he smelled the babies he was animated, reaching through the cage bars, sniffing in their general direction, staying on that side of the cage ALL the time. I decided to speed the process along. The boys were all put down in a little play area, with no existing toys or scents to interfere. I know now that Alfie couldn't have been more excited and happy, though at the time he seemed kind of indifferent once they were all together. Alfie sniffed the babies, followed them around some, and then did a bit of his own thing while the babies investigated the area and crawled all over him. Integrating them into one cage went as smoothly as I could have ever hoped. I doubt I'll ever have another male to male introduction go as nicely as that one went. Alfie was just so desperate for another rat's company. It helped too that the boys were maybe 7 weeks, if that. Now the boys are 7 months old, and Alfie is still as laid back and happy with them as he was when they arrived.
 

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My first two rats were Xena, a blue (I think Russian) and Aphrodite a pink-eyed Himalayan. After just a few days of saying their names to them with every interaction, they both responded to their names, but not in the same way. Whenever I called Xena she came to me usually to just bounce in grab a treat or get a pat then be off to her explorations again. I called her my Christina Columbus. Aphrodite, though would only come to me for a treat if she was closer to me than to her cage. If the cage was closer she would look over her shoulder at me and continue on her way.

Aphrodite didn't like being awakened or touched before she was fully awake. Touching her at either of these times resulted in her nipping at me. She had terrific control and never actually bit me. Her attitude about these mistakes was never "Gee, I'm sorry. I didn't realize it was you." but rather "Gee, you should have known better. Don't do that again."

I got Xena and Aphrodite from a local rescue that also had a forum locally. This meant that I was always aware when the rescue needed more homes and over time I wound up with 13 rats both male and female all neutered or spayed. When introducing the first male to the group, I had left his cage open on top of the girls' cage while I tried to grab my then 5 rats to do introductions. Two of my little girls, Aphrodite and Cassie got to the top of the cage and checked out Hercules' cage while I was trying to round everyone up. Hercules had left his cage to check out the top of the other cage. Aphrodite had just left Hercules' cage and Cassie was in it alone when Hercules came back to his cage. He took offense at the interloping Cassie and they had just risen to their hind legs to box when Aphrodite jumped back into the cage and got between them in a move I translated as "You don't do that to my sister." and the girls left the cage together.

When I had 13 rats one of the first things I did each morning was hand out treats to everyone. One day I had just given Aphrodite her treat and as she turned away with it, another rat grabbed it from her and ran off with it. I saw Aphrodite respond with what had to be the thought "Oh, no you don't" and start after her treat, when I swear I saw a light go off and replace that thought with "Wait, Mom will give me another." so she turned back to me and I gave her another. Again, as she turned another rat grabbed it and ran. Again she started out after the offender. Again, she got the better idea of asking me for another, which I gave her and this one she kept.

Rats can be so smart.
 

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Very true words, a wonderful tale of what these fuzzy little critters bring into our lives,,,as I believe, they sense, what we, as their guardians, the humans who will do everything for them. Thanks for a heart warming tale,,,made my day.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
@Cirice
Haha she was like your very own ratty protector! How interesting!

@Rat Daddy
Oops I mustve gotten confused between the stories of Fuzzy Rat and Max! You just have too many great stories :)
I love the story of Amelia rescuing Fuzzy Rat from the closet, that is amazing

@Isamurat
Aww :') I think you couldnt help but to get ridiculously attached to a rat that picks you. Do his offspring and grandchildren look like him?

@Rhonwen
Wow that is a great example that goes to show how most rats really need ratty companions! Some more than others :D

@raindear
Aphrodite sounds like a super sassy and smart rat!
 

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His children do take a lot after him and their mum, a couple of his sons in particular, whilst they are a different variety (dumbo no top eared agouti) have his lovely broad solid type, one in particular has his engaging temperament though isn't quite Toad 2. The next generation is early days yet but there's definitely some similarities. Its weird but sometimes it takes a few generations to get the real throw backs. One of his daughters really reminds me of his mum for instance, another is very similar (if a female version) of his great great uncle who was the rat that gave my rattery its name. I expect I will find a Toad clone in a few generations that really reminds me of him. It is one of the bonuses of breeding, though there's plenty of downsides too.
 

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My sweetie Frederick, whom we affectionately call Fred, has an insatiable need for attention and affection. Being the little piglet he is, he even chooses attention over some very tempting baby food I might have set in the cage for him. The instant he runs up my arm, he greets me with kisses, and I rub my head against his teeny little body as he grooms my hair. There is nothing that makes him happier than grooming his mommy and taking care of her. Tomorrow will make it a week that I've had Frederick and Ellington, aka, Elliot or El. Ellington is in the process of getting over a URI, and is definitely getting better as he chooses to stay out longer, and his snuffles have become minimal. Although he is the smallest, he has made it clear that he is in charge of the cage, and is constantly putting Fred in his place. I find it quite amusing how my big ol' baby Fred could easily overtake El, but he truly doesn't feel any desire to compete, being as he knows I love him dearly whether he is alpha or not. El doesn't enjoy being held as much, though there isn't a thing he enjoys more than curling up with me for a nap, using my thumb as a headrest. These two boys enjoy involving me in their playtime, often bouncing over to my hand and wrestling with my fingers as they beg me to join in. I can't possibly say no to something so precious, and it results in my hands scooping them up for quick smooches and skritches before setting them back down and rolling them around on the floor as they lick my hand. Fred cannot stand to be in his cage, and so long as I am home, he is out and about with me. I even take him places with me quite commonly, being as he is quite happy to stay in the pocket of my hoodie and watch as we walk along. He always looks forward to going for a car ride, and will beat me out of the door and bolt over to my 1998 Mustang, sitting by the drivers door as he impatiently waits for me to open it for him so he can make himself cozy in the cup holder. I can't wait until he gets bigger and doesn't fit as comfortably and have to find a new spot haha. Lucky little 3 month old. El prefers the comfort of his cage, but I feel that is mostly due to him not being all too well at the time. When I first got them, I had immediatly planned on purchasing Baytril for them, but after some thought, I reminded myself of how resilient rats are, and how strong their survival instinct. Rather than grabbing for medicine, I took a more natural approach, purchasing a few herbs to bring into their diet, and also supplementing them with a bit of added vitamins to help them combat their illness. Fred's wasn't as hard for him to overcome, and he is like new now that he is no longer in a tiny tank, yellow with urine. Little El is doing so much better now, hardly a sniffle to be heard, and he is starting to gain some weight as well. Dedication and love is all you need, everything will work itself out in the end. I'm so proud of my little guys, I feel like I've known them forever, yet it hasn't even been a full week.
 

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The Story of Clover and Sprite

My rat, Sprite, had recently lost her sister, Claire. We decided to get Sprite a companion, because Sprite was super lonely. She constantly wanted to be with us, and spent a lot of her time sniffing around the cage as if looking for Claire. My mom had gone to the pet store while I was at school and came back with a little tan and white dumbo rat. She says that she told the petstore workers we were looking for a companion for a rat whose sister had died and they said "Have we got the rat for you!" Clover had been the only one in her litter to not get adopted. They normally put rats in by litter but Clover was just so lonely that they put the next litter in with her. Clover, being alone again and desperate for a friend, bonded with me almost immediately... 15 minutes after taking her out, she was playing in my sweatshirt and cuddling with me. She's still the most tame rat I've ever owned. Anyways, this being out first introductions with rats, we were really nervous and trying to do everything right. We get to the day of the actual intro. We're in the bathtub. We set them both down and Clover runs and hides behind me. Sprite chases after her, Clover turns around and realizes that Sprite is another rat, and they both are just cuddling together, exploring the bathtub together as if they'd been together their whole life instead of for 5 minutes. They were both so lonely that they just totally hit it off xD

The Story of Rue and the Wire

One night I had my rats out and I was sitting on my bed playing games on my phone. The phone was plugged into the wall charging and everything went well until I noticed my alarm clock wasn't working and Rue had disappeared. I put Katniss and Clover back in their cage and look for Rue. I find her hiding under the bed looking really scared, and I put her back in her cage with the other two. I look at the alarm clock cord to see what happened... it was sliced right through. It got fixed, we duct-taped it and it works now... but I suspect that Rue had been trying to chew through my phone charger when the alarm clock got sliced.
 

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At the end of August of this year, I became a Rat Dad for the first time to two little ladies, Esmerelda and Endora. I actually got Es first when we were getting my nephew Ben another lizard for his growing lounge of lizards (a group of lizards). We were at Petco n I didn't know the rat mill reputation. I decided that the little fur ball that was following me around in the rat cage wanted to come home. As you expect, I did it backwards and used a 10 gallon tank for the first residence. I began reading online that rats need to have companionship so two days later I got Endora. Es was named by Ben and I thought he was referencing "Bewitched" so that is why I named the second rat Endora. Luckily they were from the same litter so they didn't need to be kept from each other. I then proceeded to get a wire cage extension for the tank and thought I was home free. There never was ANY problems with the tank, but I convinced myself (not really) they needed something bigger. Now they have a HUGE palace. I had also gotten a playpen but learned quickly that they could climb that with no problem. Eventually, I was able and brave enough to free-range in the computer room. So Endora is the fearless one. She wants to explore and sniff everything. She's daring and sometimes bad. Es is the shy one. She sees what her sister does and she copies her every move. They both constantly check with me when they are running free and have taken to crawling in my clothes for some burrowing fun. So last night started as usual. I let them go in the computer room with the door shut as I have two cats. At one point, my husband Kurt came in to talk to me and play with Endora. As he was leaving, the ever curious Raven ran into the room. She has been watching the girls in their cage for weeks as is Veruca, the other cat. She's a little jealous and tries to get my attention all of the time. When she is close to the cage, Endora and Es let her know they don't care for her. Anyway, Raven came in and Endora, who was on my shoulder, leapt to the floor and went after Raven. I shouldn't laugh at this because it's so wrong. Raven is 13 pounds of black cat and she got chased by a little rat. At one point, Endora latched onto Raven's rump and rode with her as she ran out of the room. I was so pissed at Kurt but I was laughing so hard I couldn't yell at him. Needless to say, Es stayed out of the way and let her sister take care of business. These two souls have brought so much joy to me. As I have posted in the past, they make getting up easier. They are so special to me.
 

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Ok, so I go to my nans regularly, and her cat loves me, but as I realised, i have to be careful when going near her, as the rats can catch the stench almost immediately.
The first time this happened I had no idea why, it only occurred to me later that day. But Squeak wasn't too bothered, and when Bubble got scared, Squeak instantly took the job of protecting her. So, when I came over to check on them, I had noticed that squeak was dropping food in the hammock, where Bubble was. I thought this was really unusual for Squeak, as she would normally take advantage of the extra food. But, no. Then when i realised what was wrong. I can't believe how good Squeak was and it shows she really loves bubble, her sister
 

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I recently fostered a litter of baby rats and their mom, and after four weeks had to separate the males from the females. The males were eventually neutered, and I decided to keep one of the males who had been particularly bonded with his mom, whom I was also keeping. As soon as I reintroduced him to his mom (two months after he had last been around her), he immediately dove under her, curled up, and fell asleep - just like he did when he was little. It was like he remembered, and the attachment was still as intense as it was before I had to separate them. So sweet.
 

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My rats have two emotions: hungry and tired.
 

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Well from a study, when a rat was given a choice between a treat, and saving a cagemate, the rat chose the cagemate. So it has been proven that rat's show grief and loss and pity.
 

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Well from a study, when a rat was given a choice between a treat, and saving a cagemate, the rat chose the cagemate. So it has been proven that rat's show grief and loss and pity.
And compassion :) I came across this study as well when I was wondering if it really was possible that rats had social emotions… when I added a new cage mate, Max, who had never been in a large cage before with bars (and therefore hadn't figured out climbing yet and wasn't able to join the rest of the group in the hammock at the top), two of my other rats took turns coming down from the hammock and cuddling with him on the bottom - it was like they took shifts to make sure that he was never alone. He's since figured out how to climb, but those first few days were spent by the other rats organizing themselves into a Max support system :)
 
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