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The_Steel_One t1_j2noib1 wrote

I have had rats as pets and yes they were the best. I could actually play with them and they would reciprocate. So cute and smart they really get a bad rap. Some African pouch rats can be trained to sniff out TB in humans and even land mines.


fourthfloorgreg t1_j2nw0e6 wrote

I didn't even realize landmines could get tuberculosis!


TreAwayDeuce t1_j2nxrlv wrote

Whew. For a minute I thought he meant they needed rats to sniff out landmines that were in people.


inerlite t1_j2q46ei wrote

Noooo. The rats were trained to land mines. I guess someone else flew the mine or something idk


jereman75 t1_j2oebar wrote

I’ve kept several rats. They are really great pets. They definitely like to play and have different personalities. One of mine used to get all excited for balloons. When I would play with a balloon with my daughter, this rat would jump up in her cage trying to go after it.


heavy-metal-goth-gal t1_j2p61tn wrote

Would you be willing to share some cute / funny stories about them? I love hearing about people's pets.


ZZBC t1_j2q26br wrote

I had one who would sometimes decide she didn’t want free roam time to be over and hide. If I said “I think I’m going to open a jar of PEANUT BUTTER” she would come sprinting over and beg on her hind feet.


heavy-metal-goth-gal t1_j2q2bup wrote

OMG they have word recognition? That's awesome! She's got good taste in treats, gotta love pb!


The_Steel_One t1_j2pepst wrote

not sure if this counts or not but my rats LOVED being brushed...the looks on their little faces was pure contentment.


heavy-metal-goth-gal t1_j2pivx8 wrote

Still working on this one with my cats! They think it's a game and try to fight the brush.


Haber_Dasher t1_j2qk458 wrote

You might try other brushes. Just last week I accidentally discovered one of my cats is much more willing to be brushed if it's not with the cat brush we've been using.


heavy-metal-goth-gal t1_j2qk8l6 wrote

Hmm interesting! They usually sit still enough at the beginning for a decent run through. But I'll keep this in mind!


stryst t1_j2q8l3t wrote

check out /rats. Lots of us rat keepers there, always lots of cute pics and stories.

Warning... you WILL want to start keeping rats!


heavy-metal-goth-gal t1_j2q8vws wrote

I don't think that would be nice for them, as we have cats already. I don't want to distress the other pets by having their predator around.


stryst t1_j2qpnfw wrote

Ive successfully mixed rats and cats, but the cat was raised around rats and was... kinda of passive.


heavy-metal-goth-gal t1_j2qq8mu wrote

I'm definitely more worried about one of them being aggressive. My big girl is more chill, but my little runt baby is more fighty and bitey.


Ray_Mang t1_j2pu0bw wrote

Yea my parents were not happy when I came home with a new pet rat in middle school and they ended up saying she was one of the best pets we’d ever had. She was as affectionate as a dog. When my parents would hang out and watch tv in the evening, she’d hang out with them for hours. Either on one of their shoulders or laying between them.


RattusDraconis t1_j2p97be wrote

Agreed!! I loved my girls, so much fun and such awesome personalities. I had one who gave 0 fucks about anything greasy, meaty, etc. and preferred vegetables to the point of eating those first and not touching other stuff. I had others who went nuts if they so much as smelled snacks on your breath and they didn't get a nibble. One who'd get instantly jealous if you didn't share chocolate, and would try to pry your mouth open to get the unshared chocolate. Another I could let free roam 24/7 if I wanted, she was such a good girl.

I know the organization you're talking about! They do a lot of good work to improve lives.


Stylebender007 t1_j2q12i1 wrote

That’s why I don’t kill the god damn mouse with a pellet gun cause I’ll feel bad


TheLostHippos t1_j2mu6db wrote

Growing up I owned hairless rats. When one got sick the other one started showing signs of stress and anxiety. When the sick rat got treatment the healthier rat also stopped showing the signs of anxiety and stress.

I always believed it was a sign of empathy. Its interesting to see some research showing they do have some capacity of empathy.


Dragoness42 t1_j2p7wdo wrote

There was another study done where rats were put in a cage where they could see another group of rats receive an electric shock when the first group ate. The rats would rather starve than see the other rats be hurt. Rats are just good people.


OtisTetraxReigns t1_j2ndia1 wrote

I can see the attraction of rats as pets. They’re pretty cute and fun. But hairless rats?


crazyjkass t1_j2njmtw wrote

They're like adorable little nutsacks.


NTrissle t1_j2nroor wrote

I like nutsack animals, my favorite variety


BrotherM t1_j2q026f wrote

And they feel like holding a warm bag of pee.


ucatione t1_j2oamn7 wrote

I also had pet rats as a kid. When one died, the other one ate all his internal organs.


ZZBC t1_j2q2dtp wrote

Rats will attempt to “clean up” a corpse to reduce the risk of attracting predators.


P0OHead t1_j2p39mc wrote

Did the dead rat die if starvation? Would explain the other rat's reaction.


ucatione t1_j2qb5ot wrote

No, of course not. I loved those rats and took great care of them.


AnybodyZ t1_j2n0dm7 wrote

Studies like these are almost as good as witnessing tickling


Koffeekage t1_j2nem55 wrote

I dont think these are even scientists , they just wanted to play with the amnimals.


KittenKoder t1_j2oo9yk wrote

A lot of people want to say "these other animals cannot possible be like us in any way" as an attempt to say humans are vastly different than the other animals. The reality is that we are still mammals, still animals, every trait we possess is seen in at least a few other animals thus other animals will think and feel much like what we do.

The cute thing about this is that is shows empathy develops in even smaller brains as strongly as in our larger brains. Meaning it's likely far more common in the animal kingdom than we once thought.


zeke235 t1_j2pkk96 wrote

The more we accept and understand that many other animals think and feel much the same we do, the better we are as a species.


ifugetdesperate t1_j2nmgqx wrote

This just made my year.


ScumbagLady t1_j2q6xto wrote

This is the kind of animal experimentation I can get with (and would volunteer to help in)!


leroyVance t1_j2nl4n2 wrote

I think these traits are not human specific but rather mammal specific.


VeganAndroid t1_j2ouf8n wrote

Learning that virtually all animals are capable of feeling joy and being happy was the biggest motivator for me to go vegan.

Knowing that they have subjective experiences and just want to live their best life is a great motivator to not be needlessly cruel to them.


Weezin_Tha_Juice t1_j2prfr1 wrote

I feel like most people with pet rats could tell you anecdotes of this. My wife and I will never forget giving our pet rat a cheese biscuit treat and she inspected it, then paused, then excitedly lept and skipped back to her hide to eat it. Rats are adorable.


pembquist t1_j2o99y3 wrote

We have a small rat problem and I have to confess killing them is a bit depressing. They're just doing their rat thing. But I guess that's just the way it is.


jereman75 t1_j2oets4 wrote

I’ve had many pet rats and they’re awesome, but I’ve also had to deal with pest rats, and they’re not awesome. The traits that make them fun also make them a pain in the ass - smart, curious, persistent, hungry, agile, etc.


D0ugF0rcett t1_j2oc8ff wrote

If it makes you feel any better, the wild ones are really mean. Justifiably so, but they don't want to cuddle


mostly_kittens t1_j2ov6al wrote

Maybe that’s just because they don’t get tickles?


D0ugF0rcett t1_j2ozvf4 wrote

If you successfully figure this one out be sure to report back!


OblongRectum t1_j2q1tn4 wrote

>We have a small rat problem and I have to confess killing them is a bit depressing. They're just doing their rat thing.

we have a huge rat problem and it breaks my heart when I have to kill them.


GoddessOfFire71 t1_j2p99gq wrote

I've never had rats as pets but have been fascinated by them. This is a cool thing to find out about them


lestairwellwit t1_j2pioir wrote

I am going to do my best to use use the word “Freudensprünge” in the coming year

This is my New Years commitment


corpjuk t1_j2p6rsr wrote

If you guys like animals so much stop supporting factory farming..


M-A-S-C t1_j2pnu8h wrote

why can't we do more studies like this on rats instead of torturing them :(


RattusDraconis t1_j2palt7 wrote

I believe it. Play time involved tubes and a box full of corn starch packing peanuts and balls. At one point I had two separated mischiefs, and when it was play time for one group, the others would get so excited, running around, popcorning, and holding onto the bars to watch. I miss my girls, they were awesome.


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Greenhoused t1_j2qiqlm wrote

Your tax dollars at work ?


Zestfullyclean87 t1_j2nbh0c wrote

I don’t know how to feel about this because it’s cute on paper, but I hate rats. If I had a rat laughing at me I would be very angry


ifugetdesperate t1_j2nmobu wrote

Rats are SO damned cute and playful. Very intelligent. They can even be taught to drive little rat cars (albeit badly).


Arma_Diller t1_j2nidg5 wrote

Lab rats can be very cute. Everyone I know who has worked with them says they are like dogs in their behavior.


LitherLily t1_j2o7m5n wrote

Rats are like smaller, sweeter cats. They are an ideal pet.


Zestfullyclean87 t1_j2o7qmp wrote

I can’t help it, I just hate em


LitherLily t1_j2o8wfn wrote

I mean, fair. It’s not your fault billions of years of evolution causes you to feel this way.


twir1s t1_j2nu0j9 wrote

r/lilgrabbies May turn your attitude about rats around


adamhanson t1_j2nniug wrote

Hey scientists. How’s that cancer cure coming?


LazyLich t1_j2o0kou wrote

How's your PhD coming along?

Not every scientist has to work on what you think is the most pressing matter, or even on a big issue or serious topic.

Check out this quote from physicist Richard Feynman:

> Then I had another thought: Physics disgusts me a little bit now, but I used to enjoy doing physics. Why did I enjoy it? I used to play with it.
>I used to do whatever I felt like doing - it didn't have to do with whether it was important for the development of nuclear physics, but whether it was interesting and amusing for me to play with. When I was in high school, I'd see water running out of a faucet growing narrower, and wonder if I could figure out what determines that curve. I found it was rather easy to do.
>I didn't have to do it; it wasn't important for the future of science; somebody else had already done it.
That didn't make any difference.
I'd invent things and play with things for my own entertainment.
>So I got this new attitude. Now that I am burned out and I'll never accomplish anything, I've got this nice position at the university teaching classes which I rather enjoy, and just like I read the Arabian Nights for pleasure, I'm going to play with physics, whenever I want to, without worrying about any importance whatsoever.
Within a week I was in the cafeteria and some guy, fooling around, throws a plate in the air.
As the plate went up in the air I saw it wobble, and I noticed the red medallion of Cornell on the plate going around. It was pretty obvious to me that the medallion went around faster than the wobbling. I had nothing to do, so I start to figure out the motion of the rotating plate. I discover that when the angle is very slight, the medallion rotates twice as fast as the wobble rate.
>Then I thought, ``Is there some way I can see in a more fundamental way, by looking at the forces or the dynamics?''
I don't remember how I did it, but I ultimately worked out what the motion of the mass particles is, and how all the accelerations balance...
>I still remember going to Hans Bethe and saying, ``Hey, Hans! I noticed something interesting. Here the plate goes around so, and the reason it's two to one is ...'' and I showed him the accelerations.
>He says, ``Feynman, that's pretty interesting, but what's the importance of it? Why are you doing it?''
>``Hah!'' I say. ``There's no importance whatsoever. I'm just doing it for the fun of it.''
>His reaction didn't discourage me; I had made up my mind I was going to enjoy physics and do whatever I liked. It was effortless. It was easy to play with these things.
>It was like uncorking a bottle: Everything flowed out effortlessly. I almost tried to resist it! There was no importance to what I was doing, but ultimately there was.
The diagrams and the whole business that I got the Nobel Prize for came from that piddling around with the wobbling plate.

There is value in playing, and with playing with science. Value in the learning itself, even if just for fun with no goal in mind.
With the new information gleaned from your play, you or someone else can come along and be inspired and find the answers they were looking for for their serious questions.


Billybaf t1_j2nqs0q wrote

You want animal scientists to update you on the cure for cancer?

I'm sure they could tell you all about the progress some doctors in a completely different field are making, but It's definitely not their job.


MikeTheBee t1_j2oejse wrote

A vaccine against certain types of cancer is currently i progress but go off on animal behavior scientists..