Understanding Your Rodent’s Quirky Behaviors

Your new pet rat Rocky is something of a riddle. You’ve shared your home with several dogs and cats, and you’ve learned to decipher their various behaviors. You know when your pets are play fighting; and you can tell when they’re ready for business. However, Rocky’s strange behaviors simply don’t make sense. Fortunately, your Tipp City, OH vet has given you a useful pet rodent “cheat sheet.”

Sluggish Body Movements

Rocky scurries around his cage like a furry wind-up toy. Sometimes, he stops for a snack, a drink, or a spin on his wheel. Or, he busily burrows into his bedding. Other pet rats, hamsters, and gerbils will probably show similar behaviors.

If your rodent begins moving slowly, or crouches in one spot, he could be developing a medical problem. Take him to the vet immediately. If the vet pronounces your pet healthy, he could be bored or lonely. Buy him several challenging toys, and give him extra playtime.

Strange Snack Choice

Because pet rats generally don’t have an appetite for human hands, you wonder why Rocky nibbled on your fingers during playtime and cage-cleaning sessions.

Perhaps you startled your nocturnal pet from a good sleep. Next time, wake him gradually to decrease your chances of being nailed. Before permitting anyone else to handle your rodent, let him become acquainted with their scent.

Unusual Grooming Obsession

Your dogs and cats (especially the cats) groom themselves regularly. Rodents are also fastidious about their coats. However, maybe Rocky has developed a nibbling obsession. Ask your vet to evaluate him.

Let’s say you’ve brought Rocky a playmate. His buddy Roscoe has taken over the grooming duties, frequently working on his companion’s coat. The rats could be demonstrating their pecking order; or they could be getting sick. Take them to your vet for diagnosis and possible treatment.

Rodent Cage Fights

If you’ve placed several rats together, and there’s adequate space and food, they’ll probably get along. If everyone is spayed or neutered, domestic harmony is even more likely. However, if you’ve gathered several non-neutered males, or they came from different litters, you’re in for some battles. Don’t put yourself in the middle of this conflict. Ask your vet for expert advice.

If Rocky could be showing self-destructive behavior, or you wonder if he’s sick, take him to your Tipp City, OH vet without delay.

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