Discover more about these intelligent creatures in our fab facts about rats…

Year of the Rat!

The rat is the first of a 12-year cycle of animals that appears in the Chinese Zodiac, so if you were born in 2008, you were born in a rat year, too. Chinese astrologers say that means you’re funny, smart, successful, are a quick thinker and welcome challenges. Read more about Chinese New Year in our 30 cool facts about China.

1) Rats are medium-sized rodents with a long tail. A group of rats is called a ‘mischief’!

2) Rats are mainly nocturnal and live underground. Although they vastly outnumber humans, we rarely see them. They are experts at staying out of sight!

3) Throughout human history, rats have travelled with us around the planet, stowing away on boats and settling wherever humans live. They feed on the food we throw away and can spread diseases among humans, like the medieval Black Death, which was spread by fleas that lived on rats.

4) Rats’ super-strong teeth never stop growing! They have to keep nibbling to wear them down – or eating would become impossible!

5) Their whiskers are more sensitive than human fingertips! Rats brush the long hairs against objects or the floor, helping them build up a detailed picture of their environment.

Rat facts: image of cute rat

6) With eyes on either side of their head that can move in opposite directions, rats are even able to see what’s happening above them. Very handy for spotting any rat-eating birds!

7) Rats can hear well, including sounds that are too high-pitched for humans to hear. They may also ‘smile’ with their ears! When they’re happy their ears relax, become droopy and slightly pinker. Aww!

8) They wash by constantly licking their fur – sometimes they’ll even ‘comb’ it into place with their teeth. Yes, rats are squeak-y clean!

9) Rats’ long tails are used for balance and to keep themselves cool – they can direct some of their body heat out through them! They’re also great swimmers, able to hold their breath for several minutes.

10) A single rat can leave 25,000 droppings a year – pooey!

What did you think of our fab facts about rats? Let us know by leaving a comment, below!

Images ⓒ Getty Images: rat (141167926), rat on girl’s shoulder (929956456).
Likes

LEAVE A COMMENT

THANK YOU

While you wait for it to be checked and approved why not to add a pre-selected message and a cool badge

WELL DONE,
YOUR COMMENT
HAS BEEN ADDED!

COMMENTS

  • Vos

    Cool;)*

  • Terrance Mabasa

    Awesome facts ,thanks a lot for the knowledge

  • Maymouna

    This is a good app

  • addison

    wow

  • Catherine Howard

    i had better keep this website secret, you never know what beheadings are around the corner

  • tala

    wow

  • Josly P.K

    Wow cool I like it, please keep posting because kids like it soo much.

  • john

    cool

  • Olivia B

    I loved learning about rats.

  • Chaitanya

    Cool facts

  • ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

  • babbykitty

    cool ig.

  • Livi

    Wow

  • Nazaroth

    My Chinese zodiac is the rat

  • Cool cat

    No wonder rats have a bad rap that is a lot of poop!

  • ava

    omg

  • Evans

    LOL

  • moose

    rats are so cute!

  • Henry culley

    I like It very much!!!!!!

  • Lola

    So fun

  • sup

    sup

  • ha

    rats r cool

  • ya boi

    i like

  • reee kid

    sup

  • bob

    fun

  • ha

    haha

  • GIRAFFELOVER123

    COOL RATS ARE SO ADORABLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • izzy

    this is a very good website . I would recommend it.

  • kenzie3511

    so interesting

  • GIRAFFELOVER123

    Some rats are being used in labs so people can use them to test medicane on them. Personally I think this is wrong, 'cause rats are helping save lives but maybe the medicane could kill them and I know this because I read the february issue of NG KIDS. And i for one know that people think rats are vermin but as I might be a scientest when I'm older but I know rats may seem vermin but if you look a little closer you'll see how amazing they are and I think this is wrong

  • Chicken leg peace

    The rat dance

  • Gillbert909

    kewl

  • bubblegum

    i hate rats.

  • I hate rats but I love National geographic kids it is amazing

  • Dev

    That was really nice and interesting. They are good facts to learn. I like rats because they have fur and they are cheeky like me!

  • Mooey

    Rats are go

  • Mario

    This is good.

  • Unknown

    Wow I learned facts I never knew about!!

  • Brodie

    I am brodie

  • Joshua Kim

    That's Amazing!

  • Stella Flowers

    I love to see your facts they are soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo cool!

  • sapo

    this was interesting

  • Alli

    wow i didn't know this. Very cool!

  • devin

    i love rats

  • boo

    I love reading national geographic kids their facts are amazing

  • Bob

    That is surprising

ADVERTISEMENT
SA Subs takeover March 2020 MPU

More Like General Animals

SPONSORED

Home Is Good

Get messy, explore and appreciate nature, all from the safety of home!
General Animals

10 orangutan facts!

Learn all about these awesome apes!
General Animals

Experience life as an animal with virtual-reality headsets!

Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee…be transported into the minds of animals
General Animals

Kangaroo Facts!

Learn all about one of Australia’s most amazing animals with our kangaroo facts
General Animals

Discover what it’s like to be a real-life rhino ranger!

NG KiDS goes into the wild with the Black Rhino Conservation Programme