Rats and mice are highly
intelligent rodents. They are natural students who excel at learning and
understanding concepts. Rats are considerably smaller than dogs, but they are
at least as capable of thinking about things and figuring them out as dogs are!
And, while rats are much smaller than elephants, they have excellent memories.
Although their eyesight is poor, once rats learn a navigation route, they never
Both mice and rats are also highly social
animals. They become attached to each other, love their own families, and
easily bond with their human guardians—returning as much affection as is given
to them. Many rats will even "groom" a human companion's hand and
would appreciate a massage, a scratch behind the ears, or even a tickle in
Recent studies by Jaak Panksepp, a
neuroscientist at Bowling Green
suggest that when rats play or are playfully tickled, they make chirping sounds
that are strikingly similar to human laughter. The rats he studied also bonded
socially with the human tickler and even sought to be tickled more. Panksepp
corroborates what rat lovers have known all along: "[Y]oung rats have a
marvelous sense of fun."
Male rats will snuggle up for a
cuddle and find contentment when they are curled up in a person's lap. Although
female rats are just as affectionate, they tend to be tremendously energetic
and inquisitive. Rats love seeing kind people and will often bounce around
waiting to be noticed and picked up. Rats can bond with their human companions
to the point that if they are suddenly given away to someone else or forgotten,
they can pine away—and even die.
It is estimated that tens of
millions of rats and mice are killed in experiments each year in the U.S. alone.
With the popularity of genetic engineering, the numbers are increasing. These
small, sensitive creatures are not even protected under the Animal Welfare Act,
which exempts birds, rodents, and coldblooded animals entirely from
Mice and rats are complex, unique,
social individuals with the capacity to experience a wide range of emotions.
They deserve our respect, compassion, and protection.
The millions of dogs, mice,
rabbits, and other animals who are suffering in laboratories need your help
Did You Know?
You can help protect mice and rats.
Take PETA's pledge to
be cruelty-free and only purchase products that are not tested on any animal.
Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.