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Can Rats Swim?

It is a frequently asked question. A lot of pet lovers who own rats would most certainly like to know the answer to that. And the answer is yes.

Impressively, rats can also swim underwater. And they are pretty good swimmers at that. They can hold their breath underwater longer than most of us could.


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Who would have thought that such tiny animals can swim for over 3 miles of open water? Impressive, don’t you agree?

But before you go ahead and do that experiment you are dying to do, there are a couple of things you need to find out first. That way, you will not put your rat in danger.

Are all rats water lovers? How do you know whether your rat is afraid of water? And when can you finally put your rat on a swimming experiment?

Read on to gain valuable insights on all these questions.

The Pet Rat Swim Test

Although rats can swim, not all of them will appreciate being anywhere near water. And it is best to know where your rat falls (loves being in water or dislikes it).

That is where the test comes in. And don’t worry. It’s not something that will hurt your pet in any way.

The test is simple. Fill a bowl with water at room temperature. And make a path leading to the bowl.

If your rat finds it and decides to go for a swim, then it may enjoy a swim. But if your rat fears the water, it probably won’t get in. As such, never force it to swim.

There is another test you can do. It involves putting your rat on the sink and opening the tap.

If your rat runs to the corner to hide, then water is a no-no for it. But if it gladly lets the water trickle on it. And even play with it, then you have a water lover.

How do you make your rat swim?

Your rat may want to swim if they find the activity relaxing. But if your rat finds swimming stressful, it may drown. And that is the last thing you want.

Let the rat swim at its pleasure. Rats are highly sensitive animals. And it would be best if you keep them stress-free as much as possible.


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But how do you do that? Read on for more insights.

How to keep your rat happy

It all begins with the cage. When building your rat a home, you need to put in all the things your rat may like.

For instance, rats are active. So you can add ropes and a tiny tower your rat can climb and play with daily.

The exercise is good for their health. Physical activities can ensure that your rat strengthens their balance. And more importantly, it will ensure that you have a happy pet.

Also, although rats can swim, it would be best if you didn’t put a water bowl in their cages. That may only invite calamity.

Let your rat swim for pleasure. And not as part of its daily routine. Other physical activities are perfect.


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In addition to that, give your rat plenty of time to sleep. You can reduce the noise in the area that your rat sleeps.

And considering that rats are nocturnal, you should make their cages as comfortable as possible. You can start by cleaning it regularly.

Moreover, locking your rat in its cage all the time is not wise. Why don’t you let your furry friend explore once in a while?

And supervise it as much as possible while still giving it space to roam. If there are any dangerous items in the house, you should remove them.

Incredibly, rats use their whiskers for balance. How about you do them a favor and not trim the whiskers.

Everyone would appreciate your gesture of goodwill. More so, your rat will love you more.

No matter how long the whiskers grow. And how tempted you get to run your scissors through them, don’t.

However, feel free to clean your rat often. Its hygiene is essential. And your rat’s cage should also be clean.

You should also put clean water for your rat daily. And empty its food bowl as well every evening.

Lastly, you can teach your rat several tricks. Swimming is not the only thing they are good at, as you will soon discover. Rats are smart and can learn fast.


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But they are also clumsy. It would help if you were extremely patient with your rat. Let your pet know it’s ok not to get a trick on the first try.

And whenever your rat learns a trick, you can motivate them by giving it treats. A biscuit or chips will be great. Or you can give it its favorite kind of cheese.


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All these are straightforward tips for keeping a happy pet. You can add some of your own as well.

The Bottom line

A happy pet can also make you happy. While rats are sensitive, they are smart. But it would help if you were patient with your pet. If your rat doesn’t like swimming, then let them do other activities they love.

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