Rats in a Box (RiB): Common Ratty Terminology

Barbering:  this term refers to a rat (or several) pulls out or chews off their own (or another rat’s) fur

Boggle: an extreme case of bruxing, wherein the muscles behind a rodent’s eyes are affected by the strength of grinding causing the rat’s eyes to seem as if they are popping in and out (usually this only happens when the rat is very, very happy)

Bruxing (also referred to as Chittering): refers to the grinding of teeth which rodents do when they are either very happy or very stressed

Crepuscular: the preferred sleep cycle of rats and ferrets, which has them active during early morning and late evening, with periods of rest during the day and late at night (fun fact, deer are also crepuscular)

Head Tilt: often this is a result of an inner ear infection or a neurological condition- the infection can be cured with antibiotics (I’ve had good luck with Baytril)

Myco:  short for Mycoplasma Pulmonis, this is a common respiratory ailment among pet rats, which you can’t really get rid of, but which a course of antibiotics will usually ease the symptoms of (please take your rat to the vet if their breathing sounds strange)

Pinkies:  Baby rats who don’t have fur yet

Popcorning:  usually done by baby rats, this is the very silly looking bouncing and carrying-on that rats will do when very excited or looking to play

Porphyrin:  ratty mucus, which is red in colour (don’t worry if it looks like your rat is bleeding out it’s nose, probably it has just got a bit of a sniffle going on)

Starfishing: this refers to the act of bouncing from the floor up onto the bars of a cage to gain attention, usually done when you come into the room and haven’t immediately gone to give your little critters attention


I referenced this website to brush up on some of these terms, and to check spelling:

Curiosity Rats: http://www.curiousv.com/curiosityrats/files/infodictionary.html


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