If you own a pet rat, then you may be interested to learn whether they like to listen to music. Can you look to play music in your home while your rats are present, and are there any benefits to playing certain types of music for them? With these questions in mind, I decided to research to find out as much that I could around the subject. I will be sharing my findings here today.
So, do rats like music? Rats generally like listening to music. According to many owners, their pet rats have preferences for certain genres of music. In fact, rats will respond differently depending on what is being played. However, not all rats will enjoy and respond the same way to all types of music. Rats have individual personalities and hence have different preferences. Its important to remember that rats have a higher range of sound, making them more sensitive to loud noises and music. You therefore need to be careful of what, how and when you play music to your rat.
Some rats react well to instruments played by their owner. Some rats even like to sit close as a guitar or piano is played. Generally, if the music an owner plays is gentle and not abrasive, they can really relax and feel comfortable in this setting.
Let us now explore the topic more closely so you can find out exactly whether or not to play music to your rat, the types to put on and how loud to do so!
Do Rats Like Listening To Music?
Rats generally like listening to music. This has been reported by many rat owners, and there is a growing body of scientific literature which points to suggest that this is in fact, the case.
Music has long been the center of academic study; particularly with its application in healthcare. Little is understood about the positive effects music has on health outcomes for humans.
But, experimental research on rodents, including rats, has shown an obvious picture of the effect of music on a rats overall health.
Some research shows that rodents exposed to music demonstrate improved neuro-chemistry like higher brain-derived neurotrophic factors (BDNF) and enhanced tendencies for neuroplasticity and neurogenesis.
Rats exposed to music showed significantly improved auditory learning, spatial awareness, immune responses, and music exposure reduced anxiety linked behaviors.
Music also showed positive effects on blood pressure. Overall, rodents exposed to music showed better neurochemistry and brain structure, immunology; behavior; and physiology.
The fact that music has such a positive impact on the health of rats and rodents in general, it’s safe to say that rats like listening to music and listening to their favorite music is indeed good for them.
Rat owners know their pet and, over time, can tell whether their pet likes something. If your rat is happily listening to music, it will ultimately impact his behavior and health for the better.
Interestingly, further studies have discovered that rats are able to distinguish between different sound patterns; a trait they have likely developed over time.
What Music Do Rats Like?
As previously mentioned, rats are individuals with their own preferences in music, so it depends on the individual rat. It also depends who you ask as different owners who have played music to their rats will provide a variety of responses.
Some owners will tell you their rat likes listening to kiddie music, while others have more of a preference for Latin music. Some even prefer the music from specific TV shows – and may begin to recognize the pattern if they hear it regularly.
You will know what music your rat likes by how they react to it.
The only way to find out what music your rat likes is to play a variety of different music.
Start playing music softly when your pet is out of his cage so that they can explore the sound. If your rat is paying attention to the sounds and the melody, they clearly likes what they are hearing.
Certain genres like hard rock and metal may not be suitable to expose to your rat as it can be too loud and too fast for your pet to enjoy.
Classical music seems to be a favorite of many animals because it’s soft, melodic pure, and instrumental, and classical music is believed to stimulate the brain. Other popular genres include pop and anything with a regular, catchy beat.
What music certain rats like is all down to personal taste; some rats may enjoy listening to rock as long as the volume is low.
It would be best if you gauged your rat’s reaction to see what they likes and do not like. If a particular song frightens your rat, turn it off straight away as you want your rodent to be happy and well-adjusted.
Here are some signs your rat is not enjoying the music, and some things to watch out for:
- Scurries away,
- Squeaks and Screams
- Swinging Their Tail
- Puffing Out the Fur
Do Rats Like Loud Music?
Many animals don’t like loud music because they have sensitive ears, and loud music can bust their eardrums and make them deaf.
It can also increase their anxiety and cause them to develop negative behaviors linked to anxiety.
Rats like all rodents are particularly sensitive to loud music and loud sounds like alarms, dogs barking, and the phone ringing, etc.
It would help if you minimized exposure to loud sounds to keep your rat safe and happy.
Make sure your pet’s habitat is away from noises like the TV and radio. Keep in mind that what may feel like a minor disruption to you, like changes in noise, patterns, and loud music, has a significant impact on your rat’s well-being.
Therefore if you want to play music to your rat, do so from a distance. This means that speakers are placed far enough away from the cage including any additional technology like sub-woofers.
Ensure that their cage is in a naturally quiet room and only put music on for limited times of the day. When you play it, ensure all speakers are at a safe distance and start with a low volume.
From there you can access how your rat responds and take it from there.
Do Rats React To Music?
Rats certainly react to music and this is an ideal way to ascertain whether they are enjoying it or not.
Rats will express their opinions via reactions, some rats will sit up and listen to the music they like.
A rat that doesn’t like certain types of music will run as if trying to escape the sound, music that is too loud certainly effects their behavior.
The impact that music has on the well-being of rats is undeniable. So either way, you are going to want to manage music both in terms of genre, volume and how long it is on for.
Some rats don’t react either positively or negatively to any music, some may simply tolerate it and accept it for what it is.
However, generally the louder and heavier the music, the higher the chance that it will scare a rat and put them into a distresses state.
Many animals react to music, this includes rats.
Rats’ ears are more sensitive than the ears of other animals, making them more attentive to music and sound in general.
With this being said, most rats do enjoy listening to music, particularly the music of their taste. This way range between rats, so owners should be aware of and willing to adapt the music to suit the preferences of their pets.
It’s safe to say that classical music is a favorite of many rats because it’s pure, instrumental, and soft. This is usually one of the best genres of music to start with.
When it comes to introducing your rat to music, the critical word is soft.
Make sure whatever you play for your rat is at a low volume as rats can react very severely to loud sounds, including loud music. This is especially true at first.
Thankfully, if you are not sure what to put on, there is rat specific music available on Youtube, its well worth a listen.
Rock and metal may not be the most suitable genres to expose to your rat, even if this is what you would prefer to listen to. Rock and metal can be quite abrasive, making the experience erratic, unpredictable and uncomfortable for your rat.
If you play an instrument, why not treat your little companion to some nice live music. The is actually a great idea because you are in full control of the sounds you make, the volume and can observe your rats response accoridngly.
Remember, introducing your pet rat to music should be enriching and an enjoyable bonding experience for both your pet and you as an owner alike.
Ultimately, rats are actually more intelligent than most give them credit for. Its important to remember that they have their own sensitivities and interests. A rats hearing is not the same as ours – they rely on this sense much more than us humans instinctively so you need to be especially cautious.
Those who own pet rats will tell you how clever they are; they recognize their names, instructions, and as you have found out today, sounds and music!
One of the best things you can do if you own a rat, is to simply turn on some music at a low volume and see how they respond. You might be surprised on what they do and do not like!
Rats generally like listening to people singing because it is usually calming. However, rats may not respond to loud singing or singing over erratic beats and instrumentals. Therefore, if you want to sing to your rat ensure that you do not do so up close and that you try to keep the melody more consistent and smooth. Equally, observe how your rat responds – if you suspect they are not enjoying it you should stop right away.
A rat will display certain behaviors that indicate they are happy. One of the tell-tale signs a rat is happy is when their ears hang relaxed to their sides instead of perked up. Bruxing (teeth grinding), eye-boggling (bulging of the eyes), hopping, and play fighting with other rats are other common behaviors a rat displays when they are happy.
Rats generally hate very loud, unpredictable, and inconsistent sounds. These will often put a rat into a state of fear and shock as they often come unexpectedly.
- Music Affects Rodents: A Systematic Review of Experimental Research
- Rock influences spatial memory in adult rats, while classical music does not
- Do Rats show a Mozart effect?
Wondering what other pets and animals may like music? My guides explain below:
- Do Hamsters Like Music?
- Do Rabbits Like Music?
- Do Guinea Pigs Like Music?
- Do Parakeets Like Music?
- Do Chickens Like Music?
I am a practiced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site I created to share everything I’ve learned about pet ownership over the years and my extensive research along the way.