Do Rats Get Jealous? You Will Be Surprised

  • MickAdmin
  • October 29, 2022

It’s a common question among new rat owners: do rats get jealous? The answer, like with most animals, is yes and no. Rats are social creatures who enjoy being around other rats but can also become territorial. Here’s what you need to know about jealousy in rats.


Do rats get jealous?


While the emotions of rats have been widely studied, there is still much that we don’t understand about these complex creatures.

However, there is evidence to suggest that rats do experience jealousy. For example, in one experiment, rats were given a sweet treat and then placed in a cage where they could see another rat receiving the same treatment.

The rats that saw the other rat receiving the same treat became agitated and began to attack the other rat.

This suggests that rats do not like seeing others receiving something they are being denied. In another experiment, rats were given a choice between two different types of food, one of which they preferred.

When another rat was allowed to eat the preferred food while the first rat was forced to watch, the first rat became aggressive.

This suggests that rats not only feel jealousy when they are denied something but also when they see others enjoying something that they cannot have. Taken together, these studies suggest that rats experience jealousy, and this emotion plays a vital role in their social interactions.

Jealousy in rats is often exhibited when a new rat is introduced to the home. The existing rat or rats may become aggressive, biting or scratching the newcomer.

They may also stop eating or playing as much. This behavior is usually temporary and will subside as the rats get used to each other. However, if the aggression doesn’t let up, it’s best to consult a vet or animal behaviorist.


Do rats experience jealousy as humans do?


While rats may not be able to experience the same complex emotions as humans, they may feel something akin to jealousy.

This has been suggested by recent studies, which have shown that rats exhibit similar behaviors when their partner is placed with another rat.

For example, rats have been observed to become more aggressive when their partner is given attention by another rat, and they also display signs of stress when their partner is separated from them.

This suggests that rats may indeed be capable of experiencing some form of jealousy, even if it is not on the same level as humans.


The ways that rats can exhibit jealousy and causes


1. Jealousy in rats is a complex emotion that can be exhibited in many different ways.


Jealousy is a complex emotion that can be exhibited in many different ways. For example, in rats, jealousy has manifested itself in aggressive and submissive behaviors.

For example, a rat may become aggressive towards another rat that it perceives as a threat to its territory or mate.

Alternatively, a rat may exhibit submissive behaviors such as cowering or avoidance when it is around the object of its jealousy.

While the exact causes of jealous behaviors in rats are not fully understood, they are thought to be rooted in the rat’s evolved need to protect its resources.

Jealousy is, therefore, an emotion that is deeply ingrained in the rat’s nature.


2. Rats can exhibit jealousy through changes in behavior, such as aggression or withdrawal.


Like many other animals, rats are capable of experiencing jealousy. This emotion is often triggered when an individual perceives a threat to a valued relationship.

In rats, this can manifest as changes in behavior, such as aggression or withdrawal. For example, studies have shown that rats become more aggressive when they see another rat receiving attention from their human caretaker.

They will also become more withdrawn and less likely to interact with other rats if they feel that their place in the social hierarchy is threatened. While this may not be the same type of jealousy that humans experience, it shows that rats are capable of complex emotional responses.


3. Jealousy in rats can also be caused by environmental changes, such as introducing a new rat into the home.


Jealousy is an emotion that is often thought of as exclusive to humans. However, many animals exhibit signs of jealousy, including rats.

Jealousy in rats can be caused by environmental changes, such as introducing a new rat into the home.

This jealousy can lead to fighting and even aggression toward the new rat. In some cases, the jealousy may even result in the death of the new rat. To prevent this from happening, it is essential to introduce new rats slowly and carefully, giving them time to adjust to each other’s presence.

You can help your rats live together peacefully with a bit of patience and understanding.


4. Jealousy can also be caused by changes in the relationship between the rats, such as one rat spending more time with another rat.


Jealousy is a complex emotion that can arise in any relationship. In the case of rats, jealousy may be caused by changes in the dynamic between the rats, such as one rat spending more time with another rat.

This can result from changes in the rats’ social hierarchy or simply because one rat is seen as more valuable than the other rat. Jealousy can also be caused by perceived threats to the relationship, such as another rat being introduced into the home.

Jealousy is normal but can lead to problem behaviors if not appropriately managed. If you think your rat may be feeling jealous, it’s essential to understand the root cause of the jealousy and address it accordingly.

You can help your rat overcome jealousy and maintain a healthy, happy relationship with patience and understanding.


5. Finally, jealousy in rats can also be caused by changes in the rats’ hormone levels.


Rats are social creatures that generally live in groups.

However, when conditions are crowded, rats can become aggressive and start to fight for dominance. One of the most common signs of aggression is jealousy.

Changes in hormone levels usually trigger jealousy in rats. For example, rats become more aggressive and territorial when testosterone levels rise.

This can lead to fighting, and eventually, the dominant rat will emerge victorious.

However, if the losing rat feels that it still has a chance to win back its mate, it may continue to fight, even if it means risking injury or death. In such cases, jealousy can be a powerful motivator.

You can do a few things to prevent jealousy in your rats.

Jealousy is a common emotion among rats and can manifest in many ways. For example, a rat may become aggressive towards another rat that it perceives as a threat, or it may start to hoard food and nesting materials.

While jealousy is natural and normal, there are a few things you can do to prevent it from becoming a problem.

  • First, ensure that each rat has its food and water bowl. This will help to reduce competition and minimize the chances of one rat hoarding resources.


  • Second, provide plenty of hiding places and nesting materials. This will give each rat its own space to retreat to when it feels threatened or overwhelmed.


  • Finally, avoid handling rats too much or too roughly. Although they enjoy being petted, too much physical contact can be overwhelming for some rats and may trigger feelings of jealousy.

Following these simple tips can help prevent jealousy from becoming an issue in your rat colony.



Rats are social creatures that enjoy being around other rats but can also become jealous if they feel like they’re being replaced. If you’re introducing a new rat to your home, take things slowly and provide plenty of resources so that the existing rats don’t feel threatened. With patience and understanding, you can help your rats get along famously.

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