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12 Fascinating Facts About Mice and Rats

Mice and rats are really gentle, interesting animals. But sadly, millions of them are killed in painful experiments every year in the U.S. In these tests, rats and mice are poisoned, burned, shocked, and terrified on purpose. Many laboratories that use these animals aren’t even required to give them medicine for pain or any kind of vet care, and lots of them end up dying after suffering for a very long time.

Rats-in-a-Lab

Rats and mice aren’t lab equipment, and they don’t belong in laboratories. They belong in their natural habitats with their families. Check out these fascinating facts about rodents that prove they’re actually a lot like us!

1. Rats and mice are fast learners, and rats can solve problems as quickly as dogs can.

2. They’re also very friendly animals who can feel happy and scared—just like us.

3. Rescued rats and mice love their families and even get sad if they’re separated from their human friends. Aww!

4. They also have awesome memories. Even though rats have poor eyesight, once they figure out a path, they never forget it.

Rat-on-Red-CarpetFreeImages.com/ Kai Kuusik-Greenbaum

5. When it comes to food, mice are choosy. They like to eat their favorite foods first and separate out the things that they don’t like as much. Sound familiar?

6. And many rats and mice who have been rescued from animal shelters “groom” their human companion’s hand as a sign of affection. We know: We can’t even.

7. And they’re super-clean animals—they groom themselves several times a day. Most humans don’t even shower more than once a day!

8. They also communicate with sounds that can’t be heard by the human ear—how cool is that?

9. When rats are tickled, they laugh by making a chirping sound that is similar to human laughter.

Snuggling-RatsFreeImages.com/ K S

10. Mother rats will go to great lengths to protect their babies. They’ll even put themselves in danger to save other rats’ babies!

Little-Mouse-on-WoodFreeImages.com/ salssa

11. And of course, mice and rats love to play together, wrestle, and sleep curled up with their friends.

Sleeping-MiceFreeImages.com/ Bas van de Wiel

12. Rats help each other, too. When given the choice between helping another rat in need or eating chocolate (a favorite treat), most rats will help their friends.

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You can help save these wonderful little animals! Make sure you buy only “cruelty-free” products—it will say that right on the label—that weren’t tested on mice, rats, or other animals. And if your family is ready for the commitment of rescuing a rat or mouse, be sure to adopt him or her from a shelter and never buy one (or any animal!) from a breeder or pet store.