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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay so everybody was out free ranging generally having fun, a few minutes before this I had told the two boys off for fighting. Zak slinked back over for some attention, I started skritching his head and then I noticed his tail? It was kind of like wagging? I have never seen this before, any idea what it could mean in rat terms? Here's a video: (please excuse very loud X factor in the background) http://youtu.be/AMI5QDyWge4
 

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It can be both. Monkeynut does it a lot. She's got a very hyper personality and gets really excited about everything. She'll wag her tail, then run around really fast, jump on our laps, do it again and so forth.

Goose did it when we got a fly in the house once. Reminded me of a cat, she was crouched down wagging her tail and then pounced it. She missed however lol.
 

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My rats do this all the time. Sometimes when they are excited to see me and are getting petted they wiggle their tails, and sometimes if they have been fighting or playing they wag. If I separate a fight that's got out of hand and hold a rat still to calm them down they wiggle too. It's a sign of extreme emotions and generally you look at their body language and the situation to guess what emotion they are feeling. I think perhaps your rattie was wiggling his tail partly because he was wound up from the fight and partly because he was excited to get cuddles from you after being told off. :)
 

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Its difficult to tell from the video as i cant see all of him, but he does look quite tense around the body. If he was then its likley that his wagging was a fear based aggressive/defensive type wiggle, unlikley to be pointed at you but at the other rats around. He would have been wound up from the fight still but also not wanting to start a new one (he's not fluffed up or posturing) so he wiggles his tail in warning. The fact he pretty much flinches when another rat approaches also says hes tense. I expect your hand on him was acting as a bit of a confidence booster letting him posture a little more (tail wagging is a form of posturing, just a low level one unless accompanied by fluffing and sidling), essentially he was getting reassurance from you being there so felt he could threaten the others a little.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I had just never seen this before, he was doing it next to me first, and then afterwards he came up and started licking my hand and calmed down a bit. I think he was a bit tense he was stretching his head and swaying a bit as well trying to see where the other two were. He's the biggest and the youngest which surprised me!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
He only did it when I was actually stroking him as well, if I stopped stroking him then his tail stopped moving.
 
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