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Understand These Baffling Rodent Behaviors

April 1, 2015

Your pet rat Ralphie is a very puzzling rodent. You’ve shared your life with many dogs and cats, and over time you deciphered their behaviors pretty well. However, your little rat’s actions don’t make much sense. Fortunately, he has a checkup with your West Greenwich vet tomorrow. You’ll ask the vet to explain your little pet’s antics.

Much Slower Movements

Ralphie quickly scampers around his enclosure, making pit stops for food, water, or spins around his exercise wheel. You’ve also seen him busily rearranging his bedding before resuming his little jaunts. Other pet rats, hamsters, and gerbils will likely demonstrate similar behaviors.

If Ralphie begins to move very slowly, or even plops himself down in one spot, he might be developing an illness. Take him to your vet for a prompt evaluation. If your rat is healthy, maybe he’s bored or lonely. Purchase some intriguing new toys, and increase your daily playtime sessions.

Inappropriate Finger Nibbling

Rats don’t consider humans a desirable snack. That’s why you’re puzzled when Ralphie nips your fingers while you play with him or clean his cage. Perhaps you suddenly aroused your nocturnal furry friend, and he was expressing his annoyance. Next time, wake him more gradually for a better result. Also, before permitting anyone else to handle your pet, give your rat a friendly scent introduction to your visitor.

Constant Coat Grooming

Many animals, including rodents, consider coat grooming to be part of their daily routines. However, if your pet rat seems to constantly nibble on himself, and you’ve noticed some hair loss, he might be developing a medical problem.

If your rat has a cage buddy, perhaps Rudy has been obsessively grooming Ralphie’s coat. They might be demonstrating their pecking order; or one or both rodents might be sick. Pack your furry friends off to the vet for expert examinations.

Rodent Pitched Battles

If several rats share an enclosure, with sufficient living space and food, they’ll probably get along fine. If they’re spayed or neutered, that’s even more likely. However, if the cage contains several unneutered males, or boys from different litters, you’ll witness frequent battles. Ask for your vet’s professional help.

If Ralphie seems to be showing self-destructive behavior, or he appears to be sick, take him to your West Greenwich vet. To decipher your pet rat’s actions, call us for expert advice.

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