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    How Smart Are Rats

    A lot of people are scared of rodents. However, rats’ intelligence levels are very high and they can turn out to be great pets when trained correctly.  

    So, why exactly are pet rats smart? For starters, rats are curious, have a strong memory, and are excellent at learning. A rat’s intelligence can be justified from the fact that they can easily learn complex concepts and they’re unlikely to forget once they learn them. 

    By understanding how intelligent a rat is, you will be able to more fully appreciate these little animals for what they really are. You’ll also be able to provide them with proper mental stimulation to help develop your certain skills and positive pet rat behaviors. 

    Here are a few reasons why rats make extremely smart pets.

    Rat Are Social Animals 

    Generally speaking, rats are highly social animals and often use sounds of high frequency to communicate with each other. Hence, having more than one pet rat together is important. They become attached to other rat pets and recognize members of their own family. 

    Pet rats enjoy gentle massages, being stroked by their owners, scratched behind the ears, and a simple tickle on occasion. Rats have also been known to "groom" their owners to return their affection.

    Rats Are Trainable

    Domestic rats are very gentle, playful creatures. Like a pet dog, a pet rat can learn to sit, fetch, jump through a hoop, come when they're called, and walk on a tightrope. 

    In addition, rats can be taught to solve puzzles and run through mazes. The training of a pet rat is relatively simple as they respond well to a food-based reward system. 

    Rats Are Very Clean 

    Domestic rats don't like getting dirty, and you’ll notice they're constantly grooming themselves. If a rat gets something on its fur, it'll try to remove it immediately. Rats also enjoy grooming each other and gather in groups to take part in grooming sessions. 

    However, older or sickly rats are the ones that need regular bathing because they find it difficult to groom themselves due to osteoarthritis. Learn more about this by exploring the lifespan of a rat.

    Rats Have An Impressive Ability To Smell

    Rats are ranked quite high in terms of olfactory abilities. In fact, Harvard research shows that rats are highly sensitive to odors and some species have even been trained to detect odors specific to landmines and tuberculosis.

    Since a rat is born blind, it relies heavily on its sense of smell from the earliest moments of its life. It uses this skill throughout its lifetime to survive, communicate, and detect changes in the weather. They can also detect the release of pheromones using their noses, thus helping them when it comes to reproduction.

    Rat in Labs

    Lab rats are bred and used for scientific research. Lab rats possess genomes that can be easily manipulated for genetic studies as they’re known to mimic the physiology of the human body as well as the neural networks.

    Compared to other rodents, rats have earned a revered place as an important animal model for research in biomedical sciences and psychology. Since 1902, different varieties of rats have been bred solely for research purposes.

    All in all, rats are playful and energetic. They can learn new tricks easily and are obsessed with grooming. If you wish to get a pet rat, make sure to interact with them frequently. Additionally, obtain exotic health insurance for pets to cover the cost of treatment.

    Interested in getting mice as pets instead? Read our helpful guide.