You might not know this, but rats have red eyes. I’m not talking about the occasional one or two that you see with a little bloodshot in them. I mean ALL OF THEM. It may come as a surprise to some of you, but it’s true!
Why Are Rats Eyes Red?
In this article, we will tell you what can be the possible reason why rats have red eyes.
1. Blood Vessels In The Retina Make It Red
A rat’s eyes are red because of the blood vessels in the retina. Blood is bright red when it leaves the heart due to oxygenation.
It loses its colour quickly as it travels through arteries, capillaries & veins on its way to the retina.
The blood vessels in the eye are not very far from other blood vessels. That’s why they have less distance to travel for oxygenation.
2. Rats Have Red Eyes As They Are Nocturnal Animals
Rats are nocturnal animals. Nocturnal means active during the night, their eyes evolved to be more light-sensitive than humans. They also have a reflective layer of cells at the back of their eye called the tapetum lucidum.
It reflects light through the retina, thus making anything in front of them seem brighter & allowing them to see better in the dark.
This is also why clownfish, chameleons & other nocturnal animals have eyes that glow. All of these reasons combined create rats’ red glowing eyes.
3. Why Are Rats Eyes Red – A Myth Says Red-Eyed Rats Have Rabies
There is a myth that the colour of their eyes can tell you if they have rabies, but this is not true. The reason behind the red eyes of rats can be something else other than rabies.
All mammals, including humans & rats, can get rabies regardless of the colour of their eyes.
4. Red-Eyed Rats Mate With Rodents Of Same Species
A new study has found that mice with red eyes prefer to mate with other rodents of the same species.
The researchers also noticed that female mouse who had mated with male mice of another species during their experiment were usually impregnated by an orange-eyed rat.
They think the colour of a rodent’s eyes could be used to predict if they would be good parents.
5. Why Are Rats Eyes Red- Due To Infection Or Irritation
If your rat has red eyes, it could be due to an infection or irritation in the eye itself. This can occur if there is a scratch, injury, or foreign object in the eye. If this is not the case & you are still concerned, take your pet to their veterinarian.
6. Rat’s Red-Eyes Can Be Due To Injury
If your rat has red-eye, it could be due to injury. In this case, the injury should be taken care of immediately. If you have any concerns about your rat’s health or if they have an injury, please contact their veterinarian immediately.
7. Why Are Rats Eyes Red – They’ve Eaten A Lot Of Carrots
Rats have red eyes because they’ve eaten a lot of carrots. This is the ridiculous myth about rats’ eye color & has been refuted by many scientists & pet owners alike.
Eating excessive carrots can’t contribute to changing the eye color of your pet.
Rats are typically brown or black, but their eyes can be red. The most common cause for this is that the rat has an eye infection or injury to one of its retinas. If you have also seen it, please do let us know.