Rats communicate a lot with body language and different sounds. Many variants are similar and are not always easy to distinguish. Here is a little explanation of what your rat is saying or trying to express.
Signs of enjoy/play
As cats purr can rat instead grind their teeth against each other and get a form of cracking / creaking sound. Is often heard when the rat enjoying life. Can be both when the rat is al alone and satisfied, as when people cuddle or just talk to the rat.
Sometimes a rat crackle so intensely that they even begin popping in and out of the eyes. Some rats are more discreet. When other rats can make you think their eyes would pop out. Signs of a very happy rat.
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Rats love to play with each other and most common are the wrestling of the younger ones. Sometimes they can be a little heavy-handed when they wrestle around and squeaking. But usually it's just plain fun and nothing to be worried about.
A playful rat can sometimes become so excitedly happy that it just jumps straight up in the air and get some crazies to run back and forth. Sometimes with a little jerky stub in the middle of the running.
Rats can wag its tail in play wrestling with other rats. Could be a sign of stress. But it could also be a sign of anger, irritability and a more serious confrontation.
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Rats can often be quite excited during play. Some can snap then run away and come back again to do the same. Or nibble on other rats and then continue to lick/clean them. Can also nibble while they preen their owner, mostly due to removing remaining dirt. They can also bite to try to drag owner into the cage
Different squeaking and sounds
Many rats can emit a low, soft peeping sound when they are cleaned by another rat. But also noticed that some of my rats sounded like that when I was cleaning rats for a show
An intermediate low to high pitch squeaking
It may be a sound of pain or fear. If you hear this sound from your rats so you should go and check on what is happening. Can pop up around the introduction and disturbing. Or if the rat gets injured. But it may also be a rat which has accidentally become a little frightened.
A rat can give a small muffled hiss when they are afraid and are attacked by another rat. But even a really angry rat can hiss and be ready to attack.
A long and very loud, shrill, panicked squeaking/howl.
This will be clear signs that any victim of some form of pain. Could be a rat stuck in something, or being attacked by another rat. If you hear it when introducing a new to the pack, it could also be a tough pack member who gave a bite or being hard on the newcomer.
A long, whining right low shrill peep
The sound of annoyance or displeasure. Maybe from someone trying to steal food, but even when they are forced to be washed by another.
Something fast, solid, sharp peep
It could be the sound of a disgruntled and disturbed rat. For example, if someone steps on it in the cage. Can also be heard when we deal with rats. And it indicates that the rat does not like what we are doing with them.
Signs of uncertainty/irritation/angry/anger
When a rat gives up the beep of their dissatisfaction and we / cage buddy not listening. They can bite in the air, but also charge our hands/rats and mark with a soft firm nibble (not puncturing). This should be seen as a warning sign that you should stop what you are doing with the rat and let it go.
Just like a human, and some other animals, it can even be seen in rats. They push away another rat or its owner. Uses the front paws to try to push it away / what bothers them.
This can also be seen in females with cubs or irritated rats. They put up debris toward a corner where they are trying to shut out noise or even their owner. The rat is simply unhappy that you are there and want to push away. But even boring food as dirt can try to be pushed out of the cage.
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Often signs that the rat is not feeling well. Can even be in pain. The hair stands straight up and/or in disarray. The rat is often a bit dull or not his usual self. Often seen in the same time as colds, vermin or worse symptoms.
The rat is completely still and becomes almost as stiff as a statue. Seen when they are frightened by something they see or smell, but unsure what to do. If the rat nNoticing that there is no danger they relax again and get on with what they were doing. But if the rat becomes more uncertain or is frightened by what they smelled/seen, they usually run away to a safer place.
Reminiscent of bruxing of a happy rat. Teeth-chatter is when the rat are irritated chirping teeth against each other. Often this form of tooth grinding to be more strong and intense than snuggle crackling. It's often seen when the rat is upset/angry. Usually, there will also irritate tail flick and sometimes ruffled/prickly coat.
A warning sign of anger or irritation. Can also be seen wiggling tail of the rats that are only a little excited or during play.
Show the teeth
When a rat pulling his mouth and reveals the lower teeth. Is this a sign of extreme anger and can to attack and bite.
Arching back and puffing up fur
Believe it or not, but yes rats puff up their fur when they get annoyed/angry. Can look like a hedgehog. They puff the hairs from the behind to the whole body. Usually seen around upset rat under introduction or when the rat is upset, fighting. But even the wrong scent on a piece of furniture can trigger the puffing up hair and often the same time rub the body against the object.