It’s a conversation that you’ve probably heard a hundred times before. “Why do rats scream?”
12 Reasons Why Rats Scream
The answer is simple, but there are some other reasons why they might be screaming that we should talk about. Rats have been domesticated for centuries, and it seems like people just can’t get enough of them!
1. Rats Scream When They Are In Pain
Rats scream for several reasons. If your rat is screaming and crying, it means that your rat is in pain. If you feel that the cage arrangement gives him little space to move around, then inspect it. Make sure there are no sharp wires or surfaces that might hurt him.
Any small surface that could poke into his skin or any wires that cut off blood circulation is dangerous. It means your rat is a living being who is sensitive to pain and not some fuzzy pet with whom you can do anything.
Imagine yourself in his shoe! If you find yourself having trouble thinking of him as a being with feelings; how you would feel?
Imagine someone is stuffing you in a small cage and poking wires into your skin. You would probably cry too!
2. Rats Scream When They Are Scared
Ever see your rat hiding behind something, and when he uncovers his ears? That’s because of fear. Rats tend to scream when they are scared. This is because rats have a very acute sense of hearing and can easily detect sounds and noises.
We cannot hear with the same clarity as them — such as the sound of an earthquake or a rocket. When your rat starts screaming and his ears drop flat on the sides of his head, it means that he feels threatened.
3. They Scream To Warn Other Rats Of Danger Or Trap
Yes, like humans and most mammals, rats scream to warn other rats of danger or a trap.
And usually, when they do this, it is accompanied by postures that we call “rat dances.” In “rat dance,” the rat will run in frantic circles around an object or inside a small area (like your hand).
When suddenly they freeze and start screaming, it’s because they have sensed danger or a trap. When you see your rat dancing around your hand with both its ears lowered, then you must have scared him.
4. They Might Need Food Or Water
Rats have a very acute sense of smell and taste; they will scream when they want food or water. This behaviour can be common in wild rats; you might not want to satisfy them all the time or else your domesticated rat’s manners will deteriorate into that of a wild one’.
Be sure to feed your rat regularly, at the same time every day. If you miss a mealtime, he will certainly let you know that he is not happy about it.
5. Rats Scream To Get Attention From Their Owners
Rats love attention; they are very social animals and will most scream to get your attention. You can understand why if you have ever studied rats in their natural environment.
In the wild, rats live in colonies that usually have a dominant male. The colony leader is often the biggest rat with the loudest voice. So when your domesticated rat screams, it is his way of saying that he wants to be the leader, and he has a big voice too!
6. Rats Can Also Be Screaming Because Of Extreme Heat Or Cold
Rats are living beings too if you subject them to extreme hot or cold temperatures, they will scream. You might not be able to sense it, but your rat certainly does.
This is especially true in the summer months. Your domesticated pet most likely has no idea how to find shelter from the heat because he’s never had to.
If you are in a too-hot room for your rat, take him outside to the shade, where he will be much more comfortable.
Often, when leaving them in a car, when the temperature outside is above 80 degrees, they can overheat and die. It’s not only the heat but also the cold. If you find your rat screaming his lungs out and shivering from cold, put him somewhere safe and warm place.
7. Sick Rat May Scream For Help
If your rat suddenly starts screaming during the day, he may be sick. It could be that his stomach is upset or that he has a fever. The best thing to do is take him to a veterinarian if you can’t figure it out yourself.
If a rat is sick and vomiting, this could be a sign of a virus or a condition called “Rat Park.” The first signs are depression and loss of appetite. As the disease progresses, the rat will lose interest in their surroundings and become lethargic. They may also start to scratch or bite at their skin or shake their head.
If you notice this sort of behavior, don’t delay checking with a vet. Some medications can treat Rat Park, but it’s important to catch the problem early on.
8. Male Rats Often Scream During Mating Season
The mating season is very stressful for male domesticated rats. They are competing with other males to mate with the females, which is why they can be so aggressive.
Male rats will most certainly scream during mating season. They do it both to attract females and to scare away other males who want to take their girlfriends.
9. Female Rats Might Scream While Giving Birth
If you breed your rat, it is good to understand that female rats are very protective of their little ones. If she feels threatened, she will most certainly scream at the intruder. Mother rats are also known for making noises while nursing or giving birth to their little ones. It takes 21 days for a newborn rat to open his eyes, and during this time, he will be completely dependent on his mother.
For the first week, the mother rat will eat her placenta to stay with her young. She also has to make sure there are enough milk-producing cells in her body when her babies start drinking it.
After seven days or so, you may notice that the mother rat is getting restless. She may start screaming for no reason, but this is her way of telling you that she wants to leave the nest and find food.
10. Rats Scream When They Are Playing
Rats, like all domesticated pets, are social creatures. They live in groups and want to spend most of their time doing things with their friends. If they scream while playing, it is because they are enjoying themselves.
Also, rats will sometimes scream when they jump up and down and go too high. It is prevalent for domesticated rats to do this, but it is strange because they don’t need to jump that high. They are just having fun!
11. Rats Scream Because Of An Unfamiliar Odor
If your rat starts screaming like he wants you to know about something new in his environment, take a closer look at what is going on. Is there a new smell that your rat hates?
This could be because of something as simple as a new shampoo or soap that you just started using in the house. It’s important to consider doing screening when choosing perfumes for your home environment.
If your pet doesn’t like it, it’s best to find out why before you get something new for yourself.
12. Screaming Because Their Tails Get Squeezed
If you play with your rat and he screams, you’ve likely done something to his tail.
Rats’ tails are very sensitive, especially when they are newborns. If you squeeze or step on your pet’s tail, he will let you know about it very loudly. This may make him run away from you for a few minutes, but he will come back to you once he is over the shock.
Another situation is when they are playing and someone steps on their tail by accident. This, too, can cause pain that can be expressed vocally.
If you’re looking to adopt a rat as your pet, be aware that they can scream when in pain. They also often emit this noise when scared or wanting attention from their owners. Yet, it’s important to note that rats will cry out during many different circumstances, not those mentioned above.
If you hear your rat screaming and don’t know what is causing this distress, pay attention to how they behave. Try to identify any reasons of discomfort around them before concluding with certainty that something must be wrong!
Do let us know about your experience with rats – we’d love to hear all about it!