Can Rats Swim? What You Should Know Before Letting Your Pet Dive In

Can rats swim? The query of whether or not our pet rats are in a position to swim and whether or not or not our pet rats like to swim are two various things completely.

Many individuals get pleasure from watching their pets go swimming. The web is saturated with movies of canine diving into swimming pools or lakes, fetching toys within the ocean or swimming alongside rafts and boats.

We know that sure breeds of canine completely love the water and, opposite to widespread perception, we all know that even some breeds of cat get pleasure from going for a dip every now and then.

But is there any proof that exists to counsel our pet rats can go swimming? And moreover, if they will swim, do they get pleasure from it?

Sometimes it’s onerous to inform what our pets like and what they’re merely simply tolerating.

Because we love our pets, it’s vital to be taught the distinctive methods they impart with us to tell us when they’re comfortable, unhappy, afraid, in ache, or indignant.

Just like canine and cats, rats will clearly inform us what they get pleasure from doing and what they’re merely tolerating. And, they are going to clearly talk what they hate.

All we have now to do is hear and concentrate.

So, if you wish to be taught whether or not or not your rat can swim, and whether or not or not he likes to swim, hold studying!

In this text, we’re going to cowl all the pieces you want to learn about rats and water, and find out how to know you probably have a pet rat who likes to swim.

Let’s get began!

Can Rats Swim?

According to McMaster University animal habits knowledgeable Bennet G. Galef, brown and black rats be taught to swim naturally early on of their life.

Does that imply rats swim of their pure habitat? Absolutely!

In their pure habitat, some species of rat discover vital sources of meals in water, and a few rats have been discovered to swim for a mile or extra.

Other rats are in a position to tread water for as much as three days!

And anybody who is aware of a factor or two about rats has heard the rumors of untamed metropolis rats touring via sewers and piping, making their method up bathrooms and sinks.

Yes, the tales are true—metropolis rats can invade your property via the plumbing!

But do rats and water go hand-in-hand? Do rats swim?

As we’ve simply gathered, the reply is sure! But does that imply you need to go seize your pet rat and convey him to the pool with you the subsequent time you go for a dip?

Let’s discover out.

Do Rats Like Water?

Now that we’ve answered the query “can rats swim?”, let’s discover out whether or not or not they prefer to swim.

Since the vast majority of pet rats have been domesticated from brown rats, and now that we now the brown rat is a swimmer in his pure habitat, chances are high you would come throughout a pet rat that enjoys swimming.

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Still, we must always take into account that, like individuals, rats have totally different personalities and whereas one rat could love the water, one other rat could detest it.

On the opposite hand, some pet rats will get pleasure from taking part in within the water, however that doesn’t essentially imply they are going to need to go swimming in it. A rat having fun with water play might imply providing him a dish with a little bit of water in it that he can merely splash about in.

Indulging in a little bit of shallow water play doesn’t at all times imply that your rat will like to swim, although.

However, in the event you do have a pet rat who appears to be intrigued with the water, it’s superb to supply him the possibility to swim.

If your rat has by no means been round a considerable amount of water earlier than, it’s best to introduce him to it slowly and gently. Like most issues in life, if he has a optimistic expertise with water off the bat, he will probably be extra prone to be taught to get pleasure from it!

It’s vital to do not forget that simply because rats get pleasure from taking part in in water doesn’t imply they are going to get pleasure from swimming in it. Studies have discovered that “forced swimming” may be extraordinarily traumatic to rats.

Forced swimming would come with putting your rat in a crammed tub or pool the place he can’t contact the underside and should swim to discover a method out.

This is harmful and may trigger nervousness and stress in your pet rat. In extreme circumstances, stress and compelled swimming may even result in drowning.

Always permit your rat to enterprise into the water at his personal tempo and provide him a method out without delay if vital.

How To Find Out If Your Rat Likes To Swim

You can attempt to get your pet rats swimming by introducing them to water slowly. Begin with a small bowl stuffed with a really small quantity of water.

Then, gently place your rat within the bowl and let him stand within the water, getting used to the feeling of it.

Let him take his time and mess around. Remember, he could also be frightened, so take it sluggish. Once you see that he’s calm, you’ll be able to start rigorously dripping some water over him.

If he appears to be having fun with himself, you might have a pet rat who likes to swim!

You can progressively transfer up from the small bowl to a bigger pan, then a sink. You will know fairly shortly in case your pet rat likes to swim.

Rats are fairly good at letting us know if they’re having enjoyable or not.

If you aren’t certain what stress in a rat appears to be like like, hold a watch out for indicators of concern or misery resembling a medium size, high-pitched squeal or freezing up, that means your rat has gone stiff.

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Your rat might also give a kind of whine-like squeak, which is decrease in pitch. This is an indication of frustration or displeasure.

You also needs to concentrate on phantom bites, which is when the rat lunges at you however solely bites the air. This will usually come after his squeaks of protest or concern have been ignored.

This is a transparent signal you may have pushed your rat previous his restrict of tolerance and may simply again off.

If he squeals loudly or whines, stiffens up or offers you a phantom chew, then your rat is probably going not a fan of the water and it could be finest to take away him from it.

So, do rats prefer to swim?

The straightforward reply is that some rats have been identified to swim for the enjoyable of it, whereas others merely tolerate it. Then there are rats who will sincerely hate it.

Basically, it’s as much as the person rat and it’s as much as you to know what he’s telling you.

Can Rats Swim Underwater?

Amazingly, rats that swim can swim underwater and are even in a position to maintain their breath for as much as three minutes!

Wild rats particularly are glorious swimmers, as beforehand talked about, and can dive for meals or swim up pipes to get into properties.

How Long Can A Rat Stay Underwater?

As beforehand acknowledged, rats are in a position to swim underwater. They can keep underwater for as much as three minutes!

However, despite the fact that rats are able to swimming, not all of them get pleasure from it. Remember that compelled swimming can stress your rat, and a careworn rat can simply drown.

How Far Can A Rat Swim?

Some species of rats are extra proficient at swimming than different species of rats.

The brown rat, which we now know is probably the most generally domesticated rat species, is one such rat who was made to swim naturally!

Remarkably, and as beforehand talked about, there are some rats who can swim as much as a mile or extra in open water. However, we don’t advocate attempting to get your pet rat to carry out such a feat.

How Long Can A Rat Tread Water?

While not all rats benefit from the water or will need to go wherever close to it, there are others who swim as in the event that they have been born to be fish reasonably than rats!

As we’ve acknowledged, some rats can swim for as much as a mile or extra and have even been identified to tread water for as much as three days!

Can Rats Swim In A Bathtub?

If your pet rat enjoys swimming in a bowl, pan, or sink, then chances are high he’ll get pleasure from swimming within the bathtub.

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However, do not forget that since compelled swimming can stress your rat. You ought to at all times present your pet rat a method out simply.

Pet rats that swim will sometimes get pleasure from swimming in all types of environments. Just ensure you are there to oversee.

Never place a rat into a bath of water except you realize he enjoys swimming.

Also, concentrate on the temperature of the water. The water needs to be lukewarm or room temperature—not freezing chilly and definitely not too scorching.

Can Rats Swim In A Pool?

Rats and swimming swimming pools could seem to be a frightening idea. Rats are so tiny and swimming swimming pools are so large!

Still, similar to with bathtubs, a rat that enjoys swimming will get pleasure from your pool! Despite what you might assume, the chlorine in your pool received’t be dangerous to your rat, and if he likes to swim he’ll love the open house to paddle away!

Never depart unsupervised rats in swimming swimming pools, nonetheless, regardless of how effectively you assume they will swim. While numerous rats are naturally nice swimmers, accidents can occur.

What Happens If I Have A Pet Rat That Hates The Water But Needs A Bath?

If you may have a pet rat that hates the water, however he will get soiled and wishes a shower, you may get a moist washcloth or some child wipes and wipe him down.

This ought to do the trick of cleansing your rat with out inflicting him pointless stress.

So, Rats and Water – What’s The Verdict?

Can pet rats swim? Yes!

Do rats prefer to swim? Sometimes they do, typically they don’t!

Rat swimming appears to be one thing rats do naturally, however not all domesticated rats will get pleasure from it.

The reality is, it’s going to take endurance in addition to trial and error earlier than you’ll be able to decide whether or not or not you may have a pet rat who enjoys the water.

Remember, rats could also be small, however they’re clever, advanced creatures with extraordinary emotional mind. They can turn out to be careworn simply but in addition get pleasure from time.

Pay consideration to your rat, be affected person and mild with him when introducing him to the water, and chances are high you’ll know precisely whether or not or not swimming is for him!

References and Further Reading

  • Morris, R (1984). Development of a water-maze process for finding out spatial studying within the rat. Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 11(1).
  • Galef B. J., Jr. (2007). “‘Traditional’ foraging behaviors of brown and black Rats (Rattus Norvegicus and Rattus rattus)” in The Biology of Traditions: Models and Evidence, Fragaszy, D. M. and Perry, S. eds. Cambridge University Press, 159-165
  • Kregel, Ok. C. et al (2006). “Exercise protocols using rats and mice” in Resource Book for the Design of Animal Exercise Protocols, American Physiological Society, 35-58.
  • Campbell, A. Rat habits: Animal sentience, ache and emotion. The Scuttling Gourmet.



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