Rats are incredibly intelligent, can learn their names, many learn to come when called, and some will become litter box trained, or learn other tricks.
They are very social and will love to be with you. If given a proper diet, love and amount of time to free range (that is to mean time outside of the cage to explore and play), they are very loving creatures, and you wont be disappointed.
Are Rats Smart Animals?
Rats make excellent first pets for children, as it is highly unlikely for one that is properly cared for to ever bite.
Rats will play with you and hop around, tackling your hand. They brux (grinding their teeth together; a rat’s version of purring) and they boggle (a much sillier sight as their eyes sort of bulge in and out of their head rapidly) to show affection and gratitude.
Note that rats will also brux when they are in extreme discomfort, however if ears are relaxed and eyes are half closed, it’s generally a good sign that this is out of affection rather than pain.
Rats can actually metacognate, which means simply that rats can think about thinking, or plan. This thinking behavior is also found in humans and primates.
Rats can even laugh. When playing together, or with their humans, they often let out a chattering sound that our ears are unable to hear, but can be heard with the help of devices such as a bat detector.
They may do this similar to the way we do: so that play fighting/wrestling can be distinguished from actual fighting!