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I have four rats Who have always been really easily handled. Today I went to pick up one of the rats and he started squeaking uncontrollably and became very tense and jumped out of my hands. He is always extra squeaky more than the others but I've never had an issue with him being scared of me picking him up. You would think an injury but other than me picking him up he is acting normally. He seems terrified for some reason. Anyone have any ideas on what the next step should be or what's going on. The only thing out of the norm was a pretty bad thunder and lightning storm last nite.
 

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It's funny, because my rats are nonplussed about thunder. I live in the Midwest, so there's been a lot of thunder lately.

Still, I wouldn't be surprised if some rats are terrified of thunder. Many animals (and some humans) dislike it. It's a primal thing.
 

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The sound can startle them, but when they are older, it's less likely the sound and more likely the fact that they feel they should be hidden and sleeping away the storm.

(story that is not really related, but this reminded me of it.)
My late rat Oliver use to hate going outside in the wind. Not because it was cold, because I use to take Oliver out in the winter under my scarfs and he was unbothered enough to stick his head out and sniff the frosty air. He also went outside a lot in the late fall and early spring when it's still chilly, but he loved running around and exploring in the chilly grass. In the hottest days of summer, I took him out and it was warm and sunny, but as soon as the wind hit him, he'd freak out and try to burrow into my arms as if I was forcing him to weather freezing rain or something! I miss my funny handsome boy : )
 
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