Pet Rats/Rat health


I have a 3 rat mischief and they are all thin in my opinion.. Is it normal to feel and see spine and feel ribs and other bones easily. Could this be a sign of illness??? Please help I am really worried about my boys and don't want ten to get sick. They also have a little bit of porphryn but they have had that since they were 2 months old. Also is it normal for rats to make a chirping sound every once in a while? Thanks for reading an I am eager to get a response!!!

Hi Halle,
No, it's not normal unless they are really old. Is the chirping sound in a cluster, and does it look like they have hiccups when they do it? That is a sneezing jag caused by mycoplasma.

How old are your rats?  What do you feed them?

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Debbie Ducommun


I can answer any questions about pet rats, but you will probably be able find answers to simple questions more quickly on my website at If you have a life-threatening emergency you can try calling me at 530-899-0605. I am not usually on the computer on the weekend.


I have been "The Rat Lady" since 1985 and am recognized as one of the world's experts on pet rats. I have 3 published books and already answer lots of questions about rats daily.

President of Rat Assistance & Teaching Society

I am a monthly columnist for Pet Business magazine, and my writing has appeared in other magazines. I have 3 published books.

BA in Animal Behavior

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