My Rat Is Very Vocal... Is That Bad?
I had a rat before. I loved her very much but had to have her put down because she developed several tumors. She didn't make much noise, just the regular grinding of teeth. I then bought two more females (who in turn had two litters because they were not separated at the pet store.) One turned mean so when I gave away the babies I gave her up too. Now, my parents (my father loves them) have one of the moms and two of her babies. They do not make much noise either. I have been feeling the lose of my rat and decided I would try again. (I didn't really bound with the three my parents have because I moved out)
I bought a very small female. I do not know if rats are called the same things as mice at different ages, but she would be classified as a hopper. She is such a doll. I fell in love with her instantly. She is very vocal. When I talk to her she will make little noises back, I will making popping noises and noises that you make to call a cat and she will answer right back with similar sounding noises. She also grinds her teeth a lot (which my old rat did when she was happy.) I wanted to know what her chatters meant so I looked online. I went through a lot of rat sites. They all say that rats are very silent and any noises (other than grinding teeth) should be taken as a warning for upper respiratory infection. So now I am worried. However she does not wheeze, her eyes/nose are not wet/oozy, she has a nice coat, not lethargic at all (but does sleep a lot when left alone, I guess because she is just a baby). She does sneeze a bit. But my parents rats sneeze regularly when shifting about their bedding or nuzzle in some clothes/hair. Which is what she does. She also makes little noises when she sniffs. Not quite stuffed up nose noises but little almost squeak noises.
I have read a bunch of web site's boards on rats and everyone says that they talk a lot and make noises just like she does. I do not know what to do and there are not any good rat vets any where near me.
Should I take her vocal-ness as a sign of sickness? Or did I just end up with a very expressive rat?
Also, she tends to lick and nurse my finger tips a lot. I personally think she was not quite ready to leave her mom (She is so tiny). When I had my rat babies I kept them a little longer than it said to. I just wanted to make sure they were ready and wouldn't feel too much stress. Does anyone else's rat do this?