Rats make it a point to wash themselves thoroughly and incessantly, more than a cat. In fact, my rats’ white fur is almost always a shade whiter than my cat’s. Today, people just think wild rats carry incredible ammounts of parasites and diseases and are rabid. Well, the truth is ALL wildlife carry parasites and bacteria.
Rats carry no more than any other creature. And NO ONE has ever gotten rabies from a rat, wild or otherwise. In fact, rats have a dry bite due to the placement of their teeth, so a rat bite is less dangerous than a cat or dog bite, but still beware of infections in puncture wounds. Pet rats have virtually nothing people can catch. Pet rats don’t usually have parasites either since they are inside a house for their whole lives. If they do, these parasites are species-specific and won’t bite you or your cat or anything else. Rats are not generally agressive creatures even to each other over mates and territory, but wild rats do have a healthy fear of potential predators.
Usually they will flee from a potential danger, but if it comes to a confrontation or being cornered, a rat can handle a fight. They are strong animals with powerful bites. Pet rats fit the definition of domesticated in that they’ve basically had these wild fear instincts bred and raised out of them. Rats will cower from people if they’ve been abused, not attack them. It can’t be doubted that rats are capable of an incredible amount of damage. I’ve observed mine destroy stuffed toys, blankets, and their hammocks.
Wild rats are destructive animals. They can chew through basically anything aside from durable metal, wood, and concrete, so I have no doubt this is a problem. BUT, the big issue here is why are rat’s discriminated against? Other animals do their share of damage as well. Packs of feral dogs attack people, dig holes, kill livestock, and cats hunt native wildlife, sometimes to near extinction. As far as pet rats go, they are really not destructive.
They have to chew, so you give them dog biscuits and cardboard boxes in their cages and supervise when they are outside them. The destruction our cats have done by scratching and spraying has amounted to thousands of dollars. A cornered rat will leap for your throat. A belief firmly held by exterminators and others. The truth is, a rat is not a vicious beast, even when cornered. If you try to grab a scared rat, he will likely bite you, though. He has a heavy object and is bent over to kill the vermin.
It a fairly dark, but the man can see the rat’s yellow teeth and shine from the dim light reflecting off the animals eyes. A rat has the reflexes to escape predators. He can jump a good three feet into the air. Rats also have very poor vision. This one, not an animal that wishes to be killed, immediately springs for the nearest escape it can see, the space of light over its attackers shoulder. Maybe at this point the man attacks, or maybe he dodges, in his mind, just in the nick of time. Escaped domestic rats would wreak havok on the environment.
Rats are domesticated animals that lack an essential fear of humans and human things and are used to recieving their food and water daily with no work. Many would not know how to scavenge or hunt. Many have lived with other animals and grown comfortable with cats and dogs. They probably couldn’t compete with their wild relatives either and may be quickly killed in a territory dispute. Varieties such as hairless and double-Rex were bred for looks and may not be able to handle exposure to a natural environment, especially in cold weather, and tailless ones or overweight rats are very susceptible to heat stroke. A rat’s tail is scaly, ugly, and pointless. A photograph, drawing, or even description may not accurately depict a rat’s tail. Rats do not have «scales» in the same sense as fish or lizards. Only light-colored rats have pink tails. The tail serves two very important functions. They can even climb brick walls. Manx, rats seem to get around fine, though. Unlike dogs and cats, they can’t pant. This is the most essential function of the tail. Rats are just for kids.