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Rattie girl Mimi gets ready to defend herself.

Rattie girl Mimi getting into fighting stance.

Rats fight with each other for play, for food and for rank.

They would not normally fight humans. But if they feel cornered, they will face you with vigour. When there is no possibility to flee, a rat will fight back. If you come too close into their personal space, rats can attack.

Rats wrestle and bite. They shove with their front paws and dart forward to snap. They fight a bit like kangaroos: They stand up on their hind legs and box with their forepaws.

However, with rats it rarely comes to a full on fight, as the build up to it often consists of a frenzied staring contest: When rats fight each other they often end up in a standoff and it looks like they’re battling it out mentally.

Usually one gives in and peace is restored. Which is enforced by rigorous grooming that makes you wonder who is the winner actually.

Read why rats should not hurt you in the first place: Rats naturally have bite inhibition.

Learn how to stop your rat from biting: How to train your rat not to bite.

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