Cute Baby Rats (Facts, Photos & Videos)

Are you looking for more info about baby rats? Well, you’re in the right place!

If the thought of baby rats just came into your mind, or you always wanted a pet rat or you’re already a seasoned pet rat owner, you’ll find something interesting in this post about baby rats and hopefully learn something new.

Rats are controversial animals and most people have fear and/or hate in their hearts for mice, rats, or rodents in general. I am not shying away from this fact – wild rodents, including rats, can carry many different pathogens and diseases. They may also cause substantial food losses, especially in places where food is scarce – the developing countries.

But here on Untamed Animals, we are celebrating all animals no matter what the general public’s opinion might be on them.

I’m covering many feared/hated animals on this website, such as snakes, spiders, moths, and even magpies and seagulls (yes, there are a lot of people that are terrified by them).

Let’s jump into it! (Use the menu to skip to parts you want to know about first)

Table of Contents

How Many Species Of Rats Are There?

There are more than 60 species of rats in the world and many other rodents that are given a blanket name rat even though they don’t belong to the family. Rat is basically a common term for rodents that look alike to the casual eye.

Pet rats are typically variants of the species brown rat, black rat, and giant pouched rat.

The brown rat (Rattus norvegicus), has many different names and is also known as common rat, Norwegian or Norway rat, street rat, sewer rat, wharf rat, Hanover rat, and even Parisian rat – oh la, la.

They come in many variations in coat patterns, as well as the style of the coat, such as Hairless or Rex. More recently, variations in body size and structure were developed, including dwarf and tailless fancy rats.

Baby Rats

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What Are Baby Rats Called?

Baby rats are called pups or kittens. Their adult versions are called bucks – for males, dams – for pregnant females or moms and does – for single ladies. A group of rats is fittingly called mischief. Whoever came up with these names was clearly a rat lover.

What Are Baby Rats Called
What Are Baby Rats Called

Can You Kiss A Rat?

You obviously can kiss a rat, but should you? By now we know that rats can be pretty adorable and you might want to show some affection to your pet rat. However, pet rats, even when they look clean and healthy, can carry germs that can make people sick. Try not to hold them too close to your face because if they get startled you might get bitten. Bites from pet rats can spread germs and possibly make you sick.

What Do Baby Rats Look Like?

There are three main species of rats being kept as pets – the brown rat (which is the most prevalent), black rats and giant pouched rats.

Newborn baby rats are born with sealed eyes and pink skin without any fur. When they’re about two weeks old, they start to grow their fur and their eyes are finally open. They now resemble mice or tiny rats. They are fully developed at around three weeks old and start eating solid food.

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When Do Baby Rats Open Their Eyes?

Baby rats are as we know, are born with tightly shut eyes. They start opening their eye around day 13 or day 14. At that point, things are still blurry, but shadows may be visible. The rat babies that open their eyes early do not generally see any sooner than their siblings.

What Do Baby Rats Sound Like?

Baby rats are making mostly squeaking sounds. As they get older, they will start to make other sounds like hissing, chirping and chattering in addition to squeaking. But most of their future vocalizations will be in the ultrasonic range, which people can’t pick up on.

What Do Baby Rats Eat?

Baby rats that are raised by their mothers will eat their mother’s milk until they’re around four weeks old. After week three, they will already start to eat solid food. Newborn baby rats normally nurse about every 3 hours. So, if you’re raising a litter of baby rats without their mama, you’ve got a full-time job in front of you. You will also need a human soy-based infant formula. Yes, you read that right. Read more in a comprehensive guide here.

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Can Baby Rats Drink Cow Milk?

No, cow’s milk or cow’s milk-based formulas aren’t suitable for baby rats. They have specific dietary needs that cow milk can’t meet. The best kind of milk is their mom’s milk or human soy-based infant formula that you can find in most stores these days.

Can Baby Rats Swim?

Baby rats are independent at an very early stage. They start to explore their surroundings as early as two weeks old. And some time after that, baby rats are able to swim as well.

Rats like to swim and are actually avid swimmers that can swim for three days straight and can hold their breath for a long time.

How Long Can Baby Rats Survive Without Their Mother?

Without someone to feed them food, baby rats won’t survive on their own for a long time. They can’t see and are very vulnerable and fragile. Not only that, but they need to eat every two to three hours to stay alive and well.

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Differences Between Baby Rats And Baby Mice?

Although they might look the same at first sight, there are differences between baby rats and baby mice. Baby rats are much bigger right out of the gate and have bulkier bodies and longer tails. Baby mice will have proportional head and feet, while a baby rat will have a large head and feet for its body.

Looking at ears, it’s vice versa – baby mouse will have larger ears and a baby rat will have smaller ears.

How Many Baby Rats Are In A Litter?

There are typically 10-12 baby rats in a litter. And they are sexually mature after only 4 weeks. They reproduce at a very fast pace and 15,000 babies a year can be born from one original rat mamma and her descendants.

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Can Rats Love People? Do They Have Feelings?

Any pet rat owner will tell you, yes, rats can certainly love people. They are just as smart and affectionate as dogs and will give the right owner hugs and kisses. Rats have clearly demonstrated empathy in studies and can recognize expressions of pain on other rats’ faces and react to them. Much like us, if they do not have companionship, they can become lonely, anxious, depressed, and stressed.

Pet rats love the warmth and contact of their caretakers and are actually very cuddly!

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Do Rats Like Music?

Yes, rats do like music and even have their favorite genres of music. If you have a pet rat, put on different types of songs and see which they’ll respond to, if any. If your rat doesn’t respond to your favorite music, I guess you’ll have to expand your music palate as well.

How Smart Are Rats?

Rats are intelligent animals and are probably the smartest rodents. They are used in laboratory and medical tests because their physiology is very similar to that of humans. They are easy to train and learn new things really fast.

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How Long Do Pet Rats Live?

Pet rats can live 2-3 years, sometimes even 4. That is a much longer lifespan than that of a wild rat. Why is that? Well, the answer is obvious, they are sheltered from predators, have plenty of quality food, water, and shelter. If they get ill, they get medical treatment as well.

Can Baby Rats Have Rabbies Or Carry Diseases?

Pet rats do not pose any more of a health risk than pets such as cats or dogs. Pet rats behave differently from their wild cousins depending on how many generations they have been kept as pets. The longer, the better of course.

That being said, you must know that rats can carry germs that can make people sick.

Should I Get A Rat?

I don’t see why not. Pet rat, like any pet, is a serious commitment and it costs time, space, and money caring for them. That said, they are inexpensive to acquire than most pets and are quite independent, loyal, and easily trained.

Pet rats, and other rodents, are not recommended by the CDC for families with children 5 years old or younger, pregnant women, or people with weakened immune systems because these groups are at greater risk for serious illness.

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Baby Rats Images

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Tiny baby rat held in a hand
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Baby rat in a tiny basket
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Baby rat on a wooden horse
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Baby rat peeking out
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Baby rat in a coffee cup
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Baby rat looking at you
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So many baby rats
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Newborn baby rats
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Baby rat looking adorable