Rat behaviour

June 24, 2007

When I was first researching getting rats I came across a couple of behaviours mentioned on the fancy rats forum fairly regularly that I had to look up in their glossary to understand what people were talking about. These three were the most common and my favourites:

Starfishing: This is when rats hang off the bars of the cage for attention. My rats do it in the evenings when they want to come out and I think it’s really cute, as they all have white tummies. I just love the little row of white tummies up against the bars and their little ‘hands’ hanging on.

Bruxing: Bruxing is when rats grind their teeth. Normally it is a sign of a very happy rats, though they can also do it when they’re in pain or stressed, (like a cat’s purr). They move their mouths as if they’re chewing something invisible and you can hear them grinding their teeth. All my four girls brux quite a lot.

Boggling: This was the one that confused me most. When rats brux hard they cause the muscles in their faces to push their eyes in and out very rapidly. I know – sounds really weird and a bit gross! Two of my rats have bloggled at me – Tinkerbell on the first evening she was in the big cage, and Charlotte sat and boggled for ages on top of the wardrobe a couple of weeks ago. Here is a video. It’s far better than any explanation: Rat Boggling video

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