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Pet Rats - Males or Females Pet Rats?

Should I Get Male or Female Rats?

Both male and female rats make great companion animals, although they have different characteristics. It is very easy to tell the difference between male and female rats.

How To Tell If It's Male or Female?

Males have large, prominent testicles which are visible under the tail from well before the age when they are ready to leave their mother. They can draw their testicles up inside them if they are afraid, but will not do this for a long period of time. A good rat breeder or staff at a good pet shop will find it easy to tell which sex baby rats are. If they cannot tell the difference with ease, they should not be selling the animals.

Male Rats (Bucks)

About Pet Rats Info behaviour and care

A lot of people will tell you that male rats (bucks) cannot live together as they are aggressive, and will fight each other. This is NOT true. Rats will play-fight to assert their position in the "pecking order", but this rarely causes injuries. Only occasionally will a rat be unable to live with others due to severe aggressive tendencies.

Male rats are actually very easy-going, lazy animals, who generally lie about in piles and sleep. If you want a rat to cuddle, choose a boy. Males usually enjoy being held for longer amounts of time especially as they get older.

Their coats are a lot coarser and has a slight musky smell to it. They scent-mark almost everything they come across including humans. The scent is just a few drops of urine and usually doesn't smell too much.

Cute brown baby pet rat

Female Rats (Does)

Does (females) rats are smaller than the males, and could be described as bundles of energy that simply don't have time to stop. Females are much more active than males, and do tend to chew things more. They are generally more mischievous, and are always getting into trouble, climbing, hiding and jumping.

Does have a smoother coat (unless they are rexes, in which case they have a less curly coat); they have almost no discernible smell and rarely scent-mark territory. Approximately once every five days a doe will be in heat for around twelve hours. This usually happens in the evening. You will notice that your doe is in heat by changes in her behaviour: she will be jumpy, skittish, and may perform a mating 'dance' by freezing, arching her back and fluttering her ears if you tickle her haunches.

This is the general rule when it comes to gender behavior, however every rat is different - you could even happen to get a lazy female and a hyper male! last updated 1 Oct, 2017


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