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Do they make noise?

Scribble is quite quiet. Most of the noise she makes is with her teeth. She likes to chew on things, some of which, like the shells of nuts, are hard, making her chewing audible. Also, like most pet rats, she bruxes, or grinds her teeth together, when happy. Scribble can brux surprisingly loudly, sounding like she's breaking small sticks. Most of the time though her bruxing sounds like two sandpaper blocks sliding against each other. Scribble's loudest bruxing occurs when she is relaxed and rather tightly nestled inside a human's shirt. She'll also sometimes brux excitedly when she wants to play, or thinks she's about to get an especially delectable treat.

Eek also seems to brux when she's happy, but her bruxing is inaudible. Her bruxing is only detectable when felt, as in when she's snuggled deep in the front of the sweatshirt and is actively being scratched under the chin. Her little jaw sometimes vibrates in ecstasy. This often happens more than once a day with Eek. Eek will also chew on things, but is not as avidly destructive as Scribble. She's much more interested in piling up sticks and fabric, and with caching food. When given a new nut-in-shell, she usually runs around her cage excitedly carrying it, sometimes including running multiple turns on her wheel, and finally stashing it in her current food cache, seemingly forgetting about it.

Unlike Scribble, Eek does vocalize with human audible sounds. She often makes a rapid series of little cheeping noises when happy, sounding almost like a baby bird. This is a rather startling experience initially, as it sounds as if it could mean she's uncomfortable or in pain. But that particular sound clearly only occurs when she is snuggled in - like in a human's shirt - happy and being loved. She has a different sound when she is in pain - like the time when she somehow caught one of her feet in the opening of her cage. And Eek also has squealed a couple of times in anger at Scribble, on the occasion she is able to see Scribble near her part of her cage, which is her territory. Scribble has not made any vocalization ever.

That does not mean that rats like Scribble do not make vocalizations - it's just that Scribble has not yet made any human audible sounds. Check here, on the ratbehavior.org site, for sound clips of various Norwegian rat vocalizations, also including bruxing sounds.

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Faq | by Dr. Radut