Q:

What noises do rats make?

A:

Quick Answer

A rat alternates between chattering, squeaking and hissing. The chattering noise is produced when a rat grinds his teeth together and can indicate both stress and relaxation, while squeaking and hissing convey fear, pain or alarm. Chattering is also known as bruxing.

Continue Reading

Full Answer

A rat can squeak when happy, but these vocalizations are high-pitched and inaudible to the human ear.

Rats can emit ultrasonic vocalizations. Different frequencies are associated with different emotions or activities. A squeak at 20 kilohertz signifies distress, while the same noise at 50 kilohertz indicates happiness. Sex, aggression and contact calls are all produced at different frequencies.

However, a rat's squeaks can sometimes be confused with the abnormal breathing sounds that he makes when ill. Short, abrupt squeaks are a pet rat's way of communicating with a human, but when the sound is synchronized with the rhythm of a rat's breathing, he is most likely suffering from a respiratory disease. In general, a healthy rat does not make much noise.

Rats combine noise and smell to communicate with each other. A rat emits pheromones to warn others of danger or mark his territory, and sometimes to attract or interact with the opposite sex. In contrast to their highly developed sense of smell and hearing, rats have poor vision and avoid the light.

Learn more about Rodents

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is a wolf rat?

    A:

    Wolf rats are fictional creatures featured in the 2008 PC role-playing video game Drakensong. In the game, these creatures can be found in sewers, cellars and dungeons. Although solitary wolf rats pose little threat to an experienced warrior, players should be wary of wolf rats when they attack in larger numbers. Wolf rats are not to be confused with the game's smaller species of rats, which do not attack players.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How do you know if your rat is sick or about to die?

    A:

    According to the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals, you can recognize sickness in rats by watching for abnormal behavior and symptoms. Symptoms of illness in rats include diarrhea, weight loss or gain, changes in appetite, sleeping more often, hunched posture, limping and staining around the mucous membranes.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the difference between a rat and a possum?

    A:

    The main difference between a rat and an opossum is that the rat is a rodent, and the opossum is a marsupial. This means that the opossum has a pouch that protects its babies. Though both animals have adapted to living around and among humans, the rat has become especially adept at living in human habitations, including ships, sewers and subways.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How can one tell the difference between a rat and a mouse?

    A:

    Rats have thicker tails, larger heads and smaller ears than mice. Mice tend to weigh roughly 3.5 ounces, while rats weigh, on average, at least a pound. Rats also live roughly half a year longer than mice and have larger feces. The feces of a mouse are about the size of a rice grain. Rat droppings are the size of a raisin.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore