Author Topic: Differences between male and female rats?  (Read 650 times)

Offline Rozlyn

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Differences between male and female rats?
« on: October 30, 2011, 09:55:37 AM »
I've only ever owned male rats (since 2006), and I was just curious about what differentiated males from females in terms of personality and behaviors.

Do female rats mark their territory as males seem to do?  Whenever I've had my boys running around outside their cage, they like to urinate tiny amounts on either myself or my boyfriend, which is their way of saying they love us. :)  As grateful as I am that they do, I wasn't sure if that was something that female rats did as well.

I've always heard male rats tend to be more docile and lazy than females.  To what degree?  My males have always seemed pretty energetic to me.  I can hold them in my lap or in my hands for a minute or so, but then it's time to explore!

Any other differences you guys can think of?  :BlueDumboSmile:

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Offline foxontherox

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Re: Differences between male and female rats?
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2011, 10:07:03 AM »
Females definitely tend to be more active, even into old age.  I've also noticed that mine like to run on the wheel, whereas the males ignore it.

Although males tend to be more lazy, I have a female right now who is an amazing shoulder rat (climbs up and passes out), and she's not even a year yet.  Go figure.

Offline Rozlyn

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Re: Differences between male and female rats?
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2011, 11:09:50 AM »
That'd be interesting.  I bought a wheel for my males, and they've never been interested.  :yelcutelaugh:

I suppose each rat has their own personality though.


I guess a big question is -- what happens when it's that time of the month for a female rat?

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Offline Eternal Dream

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Re: Differences between male and female rats?
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2011, 11:33:04 AM »
what happens when it's that time of the month for a female rat?
-- They aren't like dogs or humans. I have some females that never come into heat, I have others that are in heat constantly. My one girl who comes into heat (the alpha non the less) doesn't like to be touched as it is, so being in heat, she's the same way. The others like to play the game of fake mount the alpha, which they find is a wonderful time to pick on her, but other than that, no difference. You won't even notice they are in heat until you go to pet them, then they'll flatten out and just have a little spazz moment and hop out from under your hand.

Offline Nari Caution

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Re: Differences between male and female rats?
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2011, 11:44:31 AM »
That'd be interesting.  I bought a wheel for my males, and they've never been interested.  :yelcutelaugh:

I suppose each rat has their own personality though.


I guess a big question is -- what happens when it's that time of the month for a female rat?

Forgive me for any inaccuracies, but female rats don't have menstrual cycles, they just go into heat every 5 or so days for roughly 12 hours, typically at night. I have only males myself so can't really give anything but facts but I've heard during the time they're in heat, they get more jumpy than usual. So for them, their "time of the month" is more a time of the week with no blood. But like people, they may exhibit different symptoms or show none at all. It all depends on the rat.


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Offline MaatAset

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Re: Differences between male and female rats?
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2011, 02:01:09 PM »
My Lula was definitely in heat last night.  It was really quite funny.  She sorta twitched a little when I tried to pet her (she's still a little skittish anyway), then hopped and popcorned around the cage, but kept running back and stretching outside the door toward me.  Little goof ball.  She gets in a bit more of a power groom mood when it happens and tends to tackle the other rats in the cage.  I get to hear a cacophony of squeaks and squeals from annoyed rats.

Offline foxontherox

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Re: Differences between male and female rats?
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2011, 09:26:21 AM »
I had a female who would VIGOROUSLY vibrate her ears when she was in heat- it was freakin' hilarious!

Offline blenderpie

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Re: Differences between male and female rats?
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2011, 04:02:17 PM »
That's so funny that you've had such energetic boys. When I bring out my rats for play tme, it consists of looking around for eight minutes and then settling down for a nap and snuggle with mom. After my population goes down a bit more, I'm thinking about adding a spayed female just to add some life to my mischeif.

Offline loveforrats16

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Re: Differences between male and female rats?
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2011, 04:43:03 PM »
Typically, females are cleaner, more energetic, and smell less.
Typically, males are more lazy, have a higher chance of being aggression (because of hormonal aggression which a neuter will solve), and of course as you said, mark more.
People have said females can mark, its just more likely with males. I've only had 4 females, none marked. Females are more likely to get tumors (mammary tumors), which I believe there is like 80% chance of a female getting one once they're over two. Spaying cuts that WAY down. If spayed they're not likely to get one.
Most of my males arent lazy. They're active and dont like to cuddle. However, all my females were OVERLY active. Always hyper, always on the move. One of the girl did like being held, but never got to cuddle with any of them. I only had 4 females, though. To where I've had over 20 males. Probably only about 10 of them would like to cuddle (I usually take in the aggression or extremely skittish rats, though. That could be a factor as to why they didnt/dont like cuddling).
I have all males right now, but miss having girls dearly. When I get some one day I'll definitely be spaying them, 2 of my 4 girls got mammary tumors. With spaying being basically a prevention, I dont see why not to get it done.
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Informational Websites;
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Offline sublimeratlove

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Re: Differences between male and female rats?
« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2011, 07:03:33 PM »
my girls "love" me a lot, it's never more than a few droplets but it's constant.

when Belle is in heat she is very skittish & runs / jumps if I pet her. she acts like she's just seen a ghost sometimes (standing still & staring off into nowhere) . I never know when lilah is in heat, but maybe when she tries to hump Belle? or maybe that's a dominance thing.

my girls are insanely hyper, I've never owned boys but there's my input on girl rats  :BlueDumboSmileTongue:

Offline Rozlyn

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Re: Differences between male and female rats?
« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2011, 08:39:16 PM »
Wow, this is all really interesting!  Thanks everyone for all your input. :D  It's really funny what some females will do when in heat!

I thought I read awhile ago that females are in heat pretty often, which makes sense.  I thought I read too that they were more oily because of that?  However, I never knew that spaying a female rat drastically lowered their chances of ever developing tumors (it's too bad that's so common in them).  That's definitely useful information to know if I do decide to get females someday.  Since I've never owned them, I might be interested in owning a couple females next, which is why I ask. :]

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Offline ceopet

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Re: Differences between male and female rats?
« Reply #11 on: October 31, 2011, 09:40:29 PM »
Females tend to stay active and run on wheels even when there older, boys have a tendency to slow down as they age. Also boys are kinda stinky compared to girls. I have also noticed that girls have a tendency to have softer fur.

Offline loveforrats16

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Re: Differences between male and female rats?
« Reply #12 on: October 31, 2011, 10:04:14 PM »
I dont think girls are more oily. Infact, I'd think males would be because they can get buck grease which makes their fur very oily. All my females fur was always ridiculously soft, to where half of my boys fur was almost like hay (but some olive oil helps)
Dont wait around for someone else to do something that needs to be done.
Adopt, Love, Take Care, Take Charge.

Informational Websites;
http://ratguide.com/health/basics/advanced_health_check.php
rmca.org/Resources/rmcafaq.htm
ratfanclub.org/firstaid.html
afrma.org/rmindex.htm
quite.co.uk/rat