When pet rats are familiar with someone, they’ll know and recognize their owner! Not only pet rats but wild rats as well. Usually through smell and sound.
So, do pet rats recognize their owner? Yes. Rats will recognize their owner and will actively search for them! They enjoy spending time and make a connection with their pet owner, as well as being petted by them.
My ratties are pretty distrustful of new people in the house but will come to us at any time. Either if we leave the room or pass near the cage, they’ll immediately come to us! A lot of times, they’re expecting some food, others they take the chance to climb on us or join us on the sofa, while we watch a movie.
In our case, they’re very energetic, so not the type of rat that will sit or sleep quietly near us. But will happily stay put while munching on a treat or groom us and walk all over us and play.
How Well Do Pet Rats Recognize Their Owner?
Pet rats have terrible eyesight, so they will usually recognize you by your sound and by your smell.
They’ll also recognize better the people who’ll interact the most with them. Since they can’t see very well, especially from a distance, the trick here is to use your voice and hands for them to recognize you better.
This way they can smell you and will know from a distance that you’re there. As for the voice, I constantly talk with mine, since the beginning.
I sometimes feel it can be silly to talk with animals everytime I interact with them, but the truth is, it’s a way for them to recognize you and feel safe around you.
Most animals will react to your voice and become familiar with it. They’ll recognize the owner by their sound as well. Of course, you should use a calm tone of voice when around them. Unless they’re being naughty!
My ratties know very well when they’re being bad, by the tone of my voice. It’s not that I scream, obviously, but they’ll know I’m not happy when they decide that the plants are their playground.
In fact, they know it so well, they’ll be very sneaky about it, so I don’t discover them. They’re the cutest and not only will they know you, but will create a bond with you very easily!
Even though they might be very shy when moving in, which is normal, pet rats will become your best friends, very quickly. You just need to have patience!
Can Pet Rats Bond With People?
Yes! Definitely yes!
Let me give you an example: from time to time we spend our weekends out, to visit family. The ratties will stay at home though. Traveling with them, plus a new place will give them too much stress. But we know they definitely missed us!
When we get home, I open the door and go to them. The door is barely open and our ladies are already at the cage door, or going up the cage to meet us! Even though our rats are too energetic to stay put for a few minutes while getting some pets, they will really miss us whenever we’re away for a day or two.
So yes, they will create a bond with you, once they’re familiar with their surroundings and their owners. Pet rats are very sociable, so is no wonder that they’ll want to spend time with you, groom you and miss you, if you’re away.
They are sociable not only among them but with their owners as well.
And they feel so safe with you that even if they’re sick, some ratties will look for you for comfort and safety. A lot of rats will hide their injuries or sickness. It’s a normal behavior since their prey in the wild. But if they trust you enough, they’ll let you know and trust you!
Remember though that rats, just like people, have different personalities. It’s more than normal that they show affection in different ways. That doesn’t mean that they don’t have a bond with you, they just show it differently.
Some rats will love to sit with you, let you pet them, snuggle and sleep very quietly on your lap. Others not so much. Some will like to be handled, while others might prefer to climb onto you at will and do what they want.
Sometimes is also just a matter of time. Let them come to you, smell you and groom you. If it’s your first time having a pet rat, it is also normal for it to feel weird for you as well.
Handling a rat is not the same as a cat or a dog. So you also need some time to learn to handle and pet your new companion!
How Do Rats Show Affection?
It can sometimes be hard to understand if your rat is feeling good around you, stressed or just tolerating the pets.
They don’t usually behave like a dog, for example. Dogs are always very excited when seeing you and they’re signs are easier to understand. For rats, one way to know if they’re happy is when their eyes start to boggle!
I know, it’s weird. It looks like their eyes will pop out at any second! Don’t worry though, this happens when they’re very excited and happy. So, if their eyes are boggling, that’s a good sign! Another way to know how safe they feel around you is by watching how they walk or lay on your lap.
As I mentioned, rats are prey animals, so usually they’ll be very careful with how they move.
If they lay on your lap to sleep, it is already a sign that they feel safe. If they completely relax their bodies and lay completely stretched, it’s even a better sign! Rats will also run around you and even jump around if they’re feeling completely comfortable with their surroundings.
Of course, again, this will also depend on their personality. Some rats will be more relaxed. Others not so much. There are pet rats that will run to you for some cuddling, but others prefer to still keep some distance.
Yet another sign that your rats feel comfortable around you is when they groom you. They are treating you like you belong to their pack. So don’t fret if they start licking your hands, hair and even try to get in your mouth!
For some reason, rats love to go into our mouths and clean them, so keep an eye on that. I guess they either like the warmth coming from it or they’re trying to tell us that we need to be more careful with our grooming over there. Who knows!
Creating A Bond With Your Pet Rat
The fundamental is to create trust.
Simply caring for them will make them trust you. Giving them food, good shelter and space, water and a clean home are enough reasons for them to feel comfortable around you. They understand they’re being cared for and will begin to trust you.
Then, as they get used to their new home, start to spend some time with them. Give them your hands. Get close to the cage and let them smell you. Before starting to handle them, let them get used to your hands and smell.
Remember that they are very small. For them, we are giants. Can you imagine if some giant got their hands inside our house and suddenly picked us up? This is how they see us. So doing this too soon and suddenly will definitely scare them.
So yes, let them smell you, climb to your hands and explore. At this point, you can also try and give them some pets, so they get used to it.
From then on it’s mainly a matter of giving them attention. Spend time with them, play with them. You can teach your rats some tricks! They’re very smart and will learn almost anything. Besides, not only is this a good way to bond, but it is also a good exercise for them!
You can teach them to come to you for example. Use a sound or even their name for them to come to you. When they get their task done, give them a treat!
You can also teach them to fetch, jump and many other tricks.
Can pet rats feel love? As they bond with their owners, they’ll return the same affection as they receive it. Pet rats show their love by grooming you and wanting to be near you at any time possible!
Where do rats like being petted? Your pet rat will probably love to have their head scratched! As well as behind their ears and even some pets on the cheeks. The most sensitive places tend to be near the tail and the belly. Although I’ve known some pet rats to love belly pets!
Do rats know their names? Yes! They can learn their own names and will come when you call them. They’re extremely smart and part of your bonding with them can include teaching them some tricks! It will grow your affection towards each other and it’s a good exercise for them.
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