American Fancy Rat & Mouse Association

This article is from the WSSF 2015 AFRMA Rat & Mouse Tales news-magazine.

Kids Q & A

5th Grade Rat Questions

By Geri Hauser

Evelyn Hess, 5th grade, OH, letter
Q My Name is Evelyn Hess. I am a 5th grade student at Horizon Elementary School, located in the Hilliard City School District in Ohio.

Here at Horizon the 5th graders are doing something called Capstone. We each got to pick a topic and we have to research that topic all through the year. At the end of the year we have to share what we found about our topic. I chose rats because I have two rats of my own and I wanted to learn more about them.

So, I have a few questions about rats that I need answered.

  1. Do all rats have diseases?
  2. What are all the rats like? (How are they the same? How are they different?)
  3. When do rats mate?
  4. Do rats migrate for the winter?
  5. People say rats are smart, is that true?

Also, if you can, can you send me more information, that would be great.

I will be starting more research in February.

Thank you for your time. I look forward to hearing back from you.

A Thank you for your letter and interest in information on rats. A lot of information can be found on AFRMA’s web site. There are many articles on our Info Pages where you can learn more about rats in general, as well as about breeding and showing them. We also have a Kids Korner page with lots of coloring pages, games, etc.

In answer to your specific questions:

  1. Wild rats can carry diseases that humans and pet rats can get. Pet rats don’t normally have the wild rat diseases but are prone to getting respiratory infections. We have many articles on our web site where you can learn more.
  2. I’m not sure what you are asking. There are many different species of wild rats. The domestic rats come in many colors and types (see our Standards pages for more).
  3. Female rats come in season every 4–5 days and can mate that often unless they become pregnant.
  4. No. Rats find a place to live usually where there are humans (commensal) and stay there all their lives.
  5. Rats are very smart. They can learn their names and to come when called. They can be taught to come to a sound and they can be taught tricks. They are like having a little dog. They like to be with their owner like a dog would. Some schools use rats in their classes and have rat Olympics or teach them such things like playing basketball. There are several books written on training pet rats, along with web sites, and YouTube videos.

Good luck with your project. Let us know if you have further questions. *

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December 29, 2018