Rats need hugs too.
I'm sure you've seen the news or read the articles that show that children who are not handled, touched, hugged, etc tend to be less alert and responsive than those children who are. I'm sure you've also seen those studies that have shown that children who are not handled will lose interest in food and ultimately die. This holds true for rats as well. Make sure you give them a little hug and a scratch every day and you'll find that they will be very attentive when you are around. They'll also be more relaxed around you and around their roommates. And, most importantly, they'll remember when they're old or sick that it's OK to take food from you when they otherwise don't feel like eating or drinking, and that, will prolong their lives.
Don't doubt that they have feelings either. In every case when one of a pair of rats died, the remaining rat displayed sluggish, completely unmotivated behaviors. A little extra love and attention directed their way, and you became an acceptable substitute for their loss.
tip: When navigating through the RatTails,
clicking on the image that looks like the image above
will take you back to this table of contents!
Disclaimer: There are many non-sarcastic accounts and tips on the web regarding rat care. This is not
one of them. These are merely accounts of our experiences with rats, our perceptions of these experiences, where we've failed
and where we've succeeded. These accounts are here for two purposes: