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Pet Rats/Pregnant rat behavior


My female rat is pregnant (only a day or two from her due date) and she has been exhibiting weird behavior. We know its normal for her to act weird, but she is acting completely opposite as to what other people have described. Instead of becoming grumpy, aggressive and territorial, she has become sweeter, cuddlier, and doesn't mind us touching the nest. She was a slightly aggressive rat before she got pregnant (grumpy is actually a more accurate term) so this is a complete personality change for her but it makes more difficult to watch for signs of labor. Any advice? She has her nest, she has licked the fur away from her nipples, and is constantly cleaning herself, and is scurrying about everywhere. We just make sure she is okay and would like to know signs to look out for if she goes into labor so we can be there when it happens.

Dear Casey,

Don't worry. All those crazy pregnancy hormones can do anything in the world to her mood. Enjoy her cuddliness-- and maybe she will learn that that is a nice way to be, meaning a permanent personality change! As for knowing when she will give birth, again, don't worry. She is just going to pop them out some night and you will wake up and hear their tiny little squeaks. She needs no help, and certainly does not want to be observed!!

You know approximately when she conceived, right? She is going to give birth three weeks later. The only reason you need to know is that you are not going to want to disturb the cage between about the day she is to give birth, and the seventh day for the babies -- at least. This means cleaning the cage for the last time a few days before she will give birth-- when she looks big. Don't worry about doing it too early; if the cage gets a little ripe you can switch the litter in the corners, where she likes to pee, with clean litter.

You are going to have fun with these babies. You DO already have people to adopt the babies out to, right? And you will adopt out only pairs or more; never a single rat? Good.

Squeaks n giggles,


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Natasha Millikan


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