Pet Rats/rat sounds


My rat had gotten hurt 2 weeks ago and had blood in his urine. I gave him the antibiotics and the blood seemed to subside and has seemed better. He still hides a lot but looks like he's coming around. Today I noticed he was bent over and looked liked he was licking himself. While he was doing this he was making a sound like chirping. It wasn't a screech like he was in pain but he's never done that before.  His private area seemed ok, no blood or cuts. Any ideas.

Hi David,
A rhythmic chirping sound is usually a sneezing jag caused by the mycoplasma respiratory infection. They do sometimes do it while engaged in some other behavior. Some people think the rat is having hiccups, but I disagree. The reason is because lab rats, who are myco-free, never do it.  If your rats only do it occasionally, you don't have to worry about it.  But if they do it a lot, or if they start doing it more often, then you want to treat it with antibiotics that work for myco. I recommend starting with doxycycline.

For more information see the article about Respiratory Disease on our website at and I highly recommend my Rat Health Care booklet which you can see on the Books page.

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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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