What Noise Do Rats Make? The Shocking Fact! - Optimuspets (2023)

Rats are a common problem in many areas of the United States, and one of the most telltale signs that you have an infestation is hearing noises. But what noise do rats make? In this blog post, we will explore the common sounds that rats make as well as reveal a shocking fact about their noises. We will also provide tips on what to do if you hear rat noises in your home or business. Read on to learn more!

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Common Rat Noises

Rats are known to make several types of noises. One of the most common sounds is squeaking, which they use for communication and expressing their emotions. Additionally, rats may also chirp when feeling content or happy in their surroundings.

Rats chirp when they are happy in their surroundings.

Another noise that rats often produce is scratching. This consistent sound can be heard as they move around or gnaw on objects to maintain their teeth healthily. It’s important to note that while cats and other animals might hiss at humans, it’s uncommon for rats to do so. Instead, these creatures typically express themselves through bruxing – a clicking sound made with their teeth when pleased or excited about something nearby.


Rats are known for their ability to produce a variety of sounds, including squeaking. Squeaking in rats can be caused by different factors such as bruxing or consistent vocalization due to pain. Bruxing is the grinding of teeth and when rats feel relaxed, they may produce this sound. On the other hand, if a rat is in pain or discomfort, it may consistently make high-pitched noises which can also sound like chirping.

Different types of rat squeaks carry various meanings that cat owners should know. A rat’s expression can be identified through its distinct type of squeak – long chirps indicate happiness while short ones signify fear or aggression towards an enemy. When threatened with danger, hissing is an auditory signal that warns predators to stay away from their territory and younglings. Understanding what these noises mean helps pet owners identify any potential health concerns with their pets and respond accordingly if necessary!


Why do rats chirp? While many people associate the sound of rats with squeaking, they also have a unique ability to produce a distinct chirping noise. Rats typically chirp when they are happy or content, similar to how cats purr. This consistent expression is known as bruxing and can help distinguish it from other noises.

How to distinguish a rat chirp from other noises? It’s important to note that not all sounds produced by rats are considered “chirps.” Here are some ways you can identify this specific noise:

  • Chirps tend to be higher-pitched than squeaks
  • They may be more rhythmic and repetitive compared to scratching or hissing
  • Chirping often accompanies bruxing, which is characterized by grinding teeth
See also Can Rats Have Raw Potatoes? The Shocking Truth!

Overall, understanding the different noises that rats make can provide insight into their behavior and overall health. By paying attention to these subtle cues, you can better care for your furry friends while keeping your home safe and rodent-free.


What Noise Do Rats Make? The Shocking Fact! - Optimuspets (1)

Scratching can be a common noise heard when rodents like rats are present. It is important to identify the causes of rat scratching sounds and address the issue promptly, as ignoring it may lead to serious dangers.

What causes scratching sounds in rats?

Rats scratch for various reasons, including:

  • Building or expanding their nests
  • Grooming themselves
  • Trying to escape from a trap or confined space

Dangers associated with ignoring rat scratching sounds:

  • Property damage due to gnawing on wires, wood, and other materials
  • Health risks from contamination of food and surfaces by rat droppings and urine
  • Increased risk of electrical fires caused by damaged wiring

Ignoring consistent scratching noises can also worsen any existing anxiety or fear related to rodents such as bruxing (gnashing teeth together) which could invite more rats or even predators like cats seeking easy prey.

It is essential to take prompt action if you hear scraping noises in your attic, walls, or anywhere inside your home. Delaying dealing with these issues will only lead to further damages that require more resources!


Hissing is a common behavior exhibited by rats, and it can be caused by various reasons. One of the leading causes of hissing in rats is fear or anxiety, which can be triggered by changes in their environment or interactions with other animals such as cats. Another reason for hissing in rats may be due to pain or discomfort, such as when they are experiencing dental problems that lead to bruxing (grinding teeth) and consistent expression of discomfort.

Aggression and hissing are closely connected behaviors in rats. When feeling threatened or provoked, rats may exhibit aggression towards others through biting, scratching, and even chasing. Hissing often signals an intent to attack if the perceived threat does not back down. Therefore, understanding the underlying source of rat aggression is crucial for managing their behavior effectively while ensuring safety around them.

The Shocking Fact About Rat Noises

What Noise Do Rats Make? The Shocking Fact! - Optimuspets (2)

Rats are known for making a variety of noises, but the shocking fact is that some of these sounds are inaudible to humans. Research has shown that rats produce ultrasonic vocalizations ranging from 20-80 kHz. These noises can be used for communication purposes or as a warning signal to other rats. It’s important to note that while humans cannot hear these ultrasonic sounds, they can still have an impact on our environment and health.

In addition to ultrasonic noises, rats also communicate through infrasonic vocalizations below 20 Hz. This type of noise travels longer distances and can even penetrate walls and floors, making it difficult to locate where the sound is coming from. Infrasounds produced by rats may indicate fear or aggression towards predators or members of their own species.

Overall, understanding the various types of rat noises is crucial in identifying potential infestations or disturbances caused by these rodents in residential or commercial settings. By being aware of both audible and inaudible rat sounds, individuals can take necessary steps towards proper rodent control measures.

See also How To Stop Rats From Chewing Plastic? Working Trick!

Rats Can Make Ultrasonic Noises

What Noise Do Rats Make? The Shocking Fact! - Optimuspets (3)

Ultrasonic noises are above the range of human hearing and often go unnoticed, but rats use them to communicate with each other. These sounds can indicate distress or aggression in rats and are an important form of communication for their survival.

Here are some key points about ultrasonic noises made by rats:

  • Ultrasonic noises have a frequency range between 20 kHz to 90 kHz, which is higher than what humans can hear.
  • Rats use ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs) to communicate with each other, particularly in social interactions like mating and territorial disputes.
  • USVs may also signal stress or pain in rats. For example, when subjected to electric shocks or extreme temperatures, they emit high-pitched squeaks that therapists have used as aids for diagnosis.

Understanding these ultrasonic signals is crucial for studying rat behavior and improving their welfare in laboratories or households where they’re kept as pets. By using specialized equipment like bat detectors or microphones tuned to these frequencies, researchers can listen in on the secret conversations that take place among our rodent neighbors – even if we cannot hear them ourselves.

Rats Can Communicate Through Infrasonic Noises

Infrasonic noises are sounds that fall below the range of human hearing. Rats, however, have evolved to communicate using these low-frequency sounds for long-distance communication. They emit infrasound with a frequency of around 20-80 Hz that can travel up to hundreds of meters away.

Aside from communication, rats also use infrasound for survival purposes such as locating food and detecting predators. Infrasonic vibrations can penetrate through materials like walls and floors, allowing rats to identify potential food sources or enemies even if they cannot see them directly.

Overall, the ability of rats to communicate through infrasonic noises highlights their adaptability in surviving in diverse habitats. It also provides researchers with insights on how animals utilize sound waves beyond what humans can perceive through our limited auditory abilities.

What to Do If You Hear Rat Noises

What Noise Do Rats Make? The Shocking Fact! - Optimuspets (4)

If you hear rat noises, it is important to identify the source of the noise as soon as possible. This can be done by checking for signs of their presence such as droppings or gnaw marks. Once you have confirmed a rat infestation, take action immediately to remove them from your home. Traps and poisons are effective methods of extermination, but it is best to seek professional help if the problem persists.

Preventing future rat infestations requires sealing any entry points where they may be entering your home and keeping food sources out of reach. Regular cleaning and decluttering also make your home less attractive to rats. By taking these measures, you can ensure that your home remains free from these unwanted pests in the future.

Identify the Source of the Noise

Scratching and scurrying sounds are often the first indication of a rat infestation. These noises can be heard in walls, ceilings, and floors as the rodents move around looking for food or nesting sites. If you hear these sounds frequently at night, it is likely that rats have taken up residence in your home.

See also Why Is My Rat Licking Me? The Surprising Reason

Squeaking and chattering noises are another sign of a rat infestation. These noises are typically made by young rats communicating with each other or by adult rats warning their offspring of potential danger. If you hear high-pitched squeaks or rapid chattering coming from within your walls, it’s time to take action before the situation gets worse.

Sounds of gnawing or chewing on objects should also be cause for concern. Rats have teeth that never stop growing, so they need to constantly chew on things to keep them filed down. If you hear persistent chewing or gnawing sounds coming from inside your walls, there is a good chance that rats are causing damage to your property while trying to satisfy their constant need to chew.

Take Action to Remove the Rats

Set rat traps strategically around your home to effectively catch the rodents. Choose locations where you have seen signs of rat activity, such as droppings or gnaw marks. Check and empty the traps regularly to prevent unpleasant odors from developing.

In case of a severe infestation, it’s best to call in a professional exterminator for assistance. They have access to specialized equipment and knowledge of effective eradication methods that are safe for both humans and pets.

To prevent future infestations, seal off any potential entry points into your home by filling holes or gaps in walls, doors, windows, and roofs with steel wool or wire mesh. Keep food stored properly in sealed containers and dispose of garbage promptly in secure bins away from your house.

Prevent Future Infestations

Regularly cleaning and decluttering your living space is crucial in preventing future rat infestations. Rats are attracted to food sources, so removing any potential food sources will discourage them from entering your home. In addition, implementing rodent-proofing measures such as installing mesh screens over vents and sealing cracks in walls or floors with foam insulation can also prevent rats from entering your home. Finally, consider getting a pet cat as their presence can deter rats from entering your home altogether. Taking these preventive measures can save you time, money and stress dealing with a rat infestation in the future.


In conclusion, rats can make a variety of noises including squeaking, chattering and scratching. However, their most alarming noise is a loud grinding or gnawing sound that indicates they are chewing through building materials or electrical wires. It’s crucial to address any rat infestations immediately to prevent costly damage and potential health risks.

Overall, understanding the noises rats make can help identify an infestation early on and allow for prompt action. Regular pest inspections and proper sanitation practices can also aid in preventing rat problems before they even begin. Don’t let these pests go unnoticed – take action at the first sign of trouble to keep your home safe and secure.


What is the weird sound from rats? ›

Whistling or chirping: Rats may make high-pitched whistling or chirping sounds when they are happy or excited. Growling or grunting: Rats may growl or grunt when they feel threatened or aggressive. Screaming: Rats can make loud, high-pitched screams when they are in extreme distress or pain.

What noises do rats make when scared? ›

Often, squeaks or hisses signify that a rat is afraid or in pain. Almost all rat vocalizations are undetectable by the human ear because they are ultrasonic. The sounds of rats you will hear are movement noises. You can hear scratching, gnawing, and rustling in your attic or inside walls.

What noises do rats make at night? ›

Rat Noises at Night

Rats are nocturnal creatures, meaning they are most active and vocal at night. This is why many people hear rat noises in the evening or early morning hours. Rat noises can range from loud, high-pitched squeaks to low-pitched chirps and chatters.

What sound does a rat make in words? ›

Gnawing – Mice and rats are constantly chewing. Scurrying – You're likely to hear this as the rodents move from one area in your home to another. Squeaking – Chirps and squeaks are just one way mice communicate with one another.

Can rats hear humans? ›

The frequency range of rat hearing is approximately 250 Hz to 80 kHz with the greatest sensitivity occurring between 8 and 38 kHz, a range much higher than that found in humans. In contrast, the middle ear mucosa and ossicles are remarkably similar to humans.

Are rats scared of humans? ›

Rats are afraid of human activity, mostly because humans are so much larger than they are. Rats also fear predators such as hawks, eagles, and other birds of prey. Other animals that rats are afraid of include your cat as well as rat terriers and other dogs that hunt rodents.

Does screaming scare rats? ›

Rats and rodents in general are very sensitive to sound, since it's one of their main tools for survival. Any new or unexpected noise will frighten them and send them scurrying. However, once rodents get used to a sound, they will no longer fear it.

Why do rats scream at night? ›

Rats are nocturnal animals, so you'll often hear them during the night. Rats will make chattering, squeaking, scattering and hissing sounds to communicate to others in their colony. Rats like to move around the same areas, which is why you will hear these sounds in one area of your home.

Do rats smell fear? ›

These experiments establish that rats can communicate fear and induce specific odor fear learning via pheromone information.

What time of night are rats most active? ›

 Rats and mice are nocturnal with most activity taking place between approximately one half hour after sunset to about one half hour before sunrise.

Are rats active every night? ›

Rats are nocturnal which means they're most active at night and during dawn and dusk. What's more, even though they can be brazen at times, they will generally do everything they can to avoid human contact. Typically, they will wait until it's very quiet before venturing out.

How do you scare rats at night? ›

Place peppermint oil, cayenne pepper, pepper and cloves around the home to keep them away. Sprinkle crushed pepper, or spray a pepper spray, near openings and holes.

Can rats climb walls? ›

Both rats and mice are good climbers and can climb vertical walls and "shimmy" up between walls and drain pipes. Rats are also excellent swimmers and have been known to enter premises through the water traps of the toilet bowl when infestations occur in the main sewerage system.

What language do rats speak? ›

Did you know there's an actual “language” being spoken between our rats every day that we never hear? Rats speak to one another using ultrasonic vocalizations that range in frequencies far above what human ears can hear. One frequency might express pain, while another expresses happiness.

Do rats mind loud noises? ›

For all SD rats at both day and night this shows that they prefer silence over anything else, whereas the LH rats prefer silence over radio and pop for both day and night. Both strains prefer pop and speak over white noise for both day and night, and both strains prefer speak over radio.

Do rats like to sleep in the dark? ›

Bedding material - rats spend lots of time sleeping and like to hide and sleep in safe, dark shelters.

Do rats avoid light at night? ›

The myth of rats avoiding light comes from the fact that they are typically nocturnal, meaning they are active at night. As such, rats are used to being active when it is dark out and don't need extra light to be able to see. Even so, they will occasionally venture out during the day when it is light outside.

Can you hear rats running around? ›

You will be able to hear them scurrying across the floor at night or throughout the day; they also gnaw more loudly than mice. Rats will also find their way into most spaces and take shelter in cavity walls and loft insulation.

Why do rats run towards you? ›

Rats are actually scared of humans. They will do anything in their power to avoid being around a living being larger than them. However, if a rat feels cornered, it may attack in an attempt to protect itself.

What do rats hate to walk on? ›

Peppermint Oil

On a cotton ball use no more than 5 drops of 100% peppermint essential oil. Spread the oil on areas that you want rats to avoid, in your case, around the garden.

Will rats climb on your bed? ›

Rats are exceptional climbers, undeniably. Also the little cousin of the rat, the mouse, can reach counter tops and tops of dressers. For that reason, it is safe to think that a rat can conveniently climb onto a bed. Additionally, a pet rat owner can personally say that a rat can get into a bed.

Will rats leave if one dies? ›

Rats are social creatures, which means that if you find one dead rat, there are likely more living rats somewhere nearby. To help avoid coming across another rat, be it dead or alive, you'll need to take the following preventative measures: Keep up with building repair and maintenance to eliminate entry points.

How do you scare a rat out of hiding? ›

Sprinkle scents they don't like

A great way to bring mice out of hiding and steer them in the direction you want them to go is to sprinkle potent scents they find particularly unpleasant. Mice don't like the smell of garlic, onions, cayenne pepper, cloves, ammonia and alcohol.

What makes rats scary? ›

Since rats have been known to bite, this makes it even more frightening that they are also known to carry disease. Rat bites and scratches may result in disease such as lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCMV), which is a viral infectious disease, salmonellosis, or even rat-bite fever.

What noise does a rat make when in pain? ›

When a rat is in pain or feeling distressed, they may make a screeching noise. This sound is created by the rat grinding its teeth together and is used to signal distress or pain. In addition to the noises described above, rats will also make a variety of other noises such as hissing and growling.

Do high pitched noises scare rats? ›

While rats and mice are easily frightened by strange or unfamiliar noises, they adjust to repeated sounds. This means frightening devices that use high frequency and ultrasonic sounds will be ineffective at repelling these rodents from your home or garden.

How do you sleep when you hear rats? ›

This can be worrisome and disrupt your sleep. To cope with the problem, you can mask it by playing music or other sounds, by using earplugs, and by making other minor lifestyle changes. You can also take steps to eliminate the source of the rat problem by using traps, poisons, or humane deterrents.

What smell is offensive to rats? ›

But what exactly do mice and rats hate to smell? Mice can be kept away by using the smells of peppermint oil, cinnamon, vinegar, citronella, ammonia, bleach, and mothballs.

What smells can rats not stand? ›

This makes peppermint oil, chili powder, citronella, and eucalyptus the most common natural rodent repellents. Chemical smells, such as ammonia, bleach, and mothballs also work as mice deterrents.

What smell do rats love? ›

Smells and Odors that attract rats

Odors and smells that come from pet waste, pet food, garbage containers, barbecue grills, birdfeeders, and even from unharvested fruit and nuts from plants can attract rats and mice.

Will rats go away if no food? ›

to eliminate sources of food, shelter, and water. Denied food, rats will turn to killing and eating each other, further reducing the infestation. Rats cannot live without food, water, or shelter.

Are rats scared of dogs? ›

Having pets makes no difference. Rats are not deterred by cats or dogs.”

Will rats move if disturbed? ›

If a rat nest is disturbed or destroyed, the rats may initially move to another location, but they may return to the same area if conditions are still favorable. Additionally, rats have a strong homing instinct and can navigate their way back to their nest even if they have been moved to a new location.

What time do rats leave the house? ›

Rats are mostly nocturnal pests and it is rare for them to come out during the day. Their activity typically begins around dusk. Because rats commonly inhabit areas near humans, it is safer for them to come out after dark when there is less chance of them being caught.

Where do rats hide during the day in a house? ›

Rats like to hide in the following spots in and around the house: Internal but isolated areas like attics, walls, lofts, and basements. Outside areas with places to hide and things to chew like gardens. Dark, wet places with things to eat like drains and sewers.

How do I get rid of rats ASAP? ›

So, what is the fastest way to get rid of rats? Pest control is the most efficient method to get rid of rats quickly but the usage of mouse traps, snap traps, chemical baits, and live traps are all effective methods to get rid of rats as quickly and effectively as possible.

What does baking soda do to rats? ›

Baking soda combines with the stomach acids to produce carbon dioxide gas which rats are unable to tolerate. In turn, it builds up within their system and eventually causes internal blockage and rupture. Soon enough, you will have the rat-free environment you always deserved.

Can rats squeeze under doors? ›

Rats and mice can crawl through very small spaces (under doors, into crevices, etc.) and when they can't fit, then they simply gnaw and chew their way through. destructive to homes, and can carry germs that make people sick. They often make their nests in and around people's homes and office buildings.

Can rats chew through concrete? ›

Most people measure that rat bites exert more force per square inch than alligators and sharks. Because of this, rats can chew through almost anything: wood, drywall, brick, concrete, aluminum, sheetrock, and more. When motivated, a rat can almost certainly make its way into your home using its powerful jaws.

Can rats jump high? ›

Rodents have a vertical leap of around 36 inches, and they can also leap 48 inches horizontally. That means a rat can climb a tree up to four feet away from your house and still leap onto the roof or walls.

What noises attract rats? ›

In conclusion, our study has shown that 50 kHz rat calls, combined with rat movement sounds, are attractive to both male and female rats under laboratory conditions. These calls draw rats to approach, and to enter and spend time in empty bait boxes, with female calls being slightly more attractive than male calls.

Can rats understand human voices? ›

This study of 16 rats per each of four conditions showed that they were able to pick up enough cues from the rhythm and intonation of human speech to tell spoken Dutch from spoken Japanese.

Do rats remember voices? ›

Rats have excellent memories. 3. Rats make lifelong bonds with their owners Ask any rat owner, and he or she will tell you: Rats recognize their owners and respond to their sight and voice.

Can humans hear rats laugh? ›

When rats enjoy tickling they emit high-pitched "laughter" that can't normally be heard by humans, the scientists found. In this video, the researchers transposed the audio of the squeaks to a lower frequency you can hear.

Are rats scared of white noise? ›

A co-occurrence analysis revealed that music was rather aversive to the rats, as were white noise and fox odor. Lavender and chocolate exposure decreased classical indicators of fear. White noise suppressed sexual behaviors and caused avoidance of the open area.

Does music affect rats? ›

Now scientists have discovered that rats also find rhythmic beats irresistible, showing how they instinctively move in time to music. This ability was previously thought to be uniquely human and scientists say the discovery provides insights into the animal mind and the origins of music and dance.

What does a sick rat sound like? ›

Wheezing in rats sounds similar to wheezing in humans; it's a whistling noise in the breathing. While wheezing often does happen when your rat is rattling, they don't always go together. This noise is usually a symptom of a new respiratory infection, or sometimes it can be linked to a mycoplasma flare.

Why do rats make a clicking noise? ›

How Do Rats Communicate? Rats also make a subtle clicking noise that is used to communicate with other rats in their vicinity. This noise is made when the rat grinds its teeth together, and it serves as a warning to other rats in the area. Rats also make a loud thumping sound when they are fighting or threatened.

Why do rats scream? ›

Scream or squeal

Generally it is uttered by a rat who does not know what to do in that situation and is completely lost in its fear and sees no way out of the situation.

How long do pet rats live? ›

They have an excellent sense of touch, and a wonderful sense of smell. They're normally active at night and at dawn and dusk. Rats live for around 2 years, but some may live longer.

Can being around rats make you sick? ›

Some mice and rats can carry harmful diseases, such as HPS, Leptospirosis, lymphocytic choriomeningitis, plague, and typhus. The best way to protect you and your family from these diseases is to keep mice and rats out of your home.

Do rats fear noise? ›

Rats and rodents in general are very sensitive to sound, since it's one of their main tools for survival. Any new or unexpected noise will frighten them and send them scurrying. However, once rodents get used to a sound, they will no longer fear it.

What does a happy rat sound like? ›

The Good Pet Rat Sounds

Called bruxing, rats make this sound by grinding their incisors against one another. Similar to when cats purr, bruxing is usually an expression of contentment. It's often combined with or followed by boggling. Boggling is when they pop their eyes in and out.

Do rat noises attract rats? ›

“We found that rats of both sexes were attracted to 50 kHz calls from either sex and to sounds of a rat moving around without vocalising.

What does a vibrating rat mean? ›


This behaviour is literally the rats feeling something too intensely for them to express. It can be a sign of nerves, but can also be a sign of intense excitement or apprehension. To try and judge what exactly your rat is feeling so intensely you have to look at it's overall body language.

Do rats run when scared? ›

Female rats were four times more likely than males to dart across the room, chaotically and with considerable speed, when confronted with the fear-inducing noise. “They start running around like crazy,” Shansky said in a statement. “It looks like they're trying to escape.”

Can a rat escape a glue trap? ›

Sometimes a glue trap may be ineffective and a rodent might escape, most notably a rat. Rats are more likely to escape glue boards than mice since they are bigger especially if they do not get all 4 feet on the trap.

How do rats show anger? ›

For this first section on Joy, I will add that Bruxing, Boggling, and Tail-Flicking can also be signs of annoyance or anger. A good way to think about the behavior in general is that it occurs when the rat is physiologically aroused, either positively (as in happy) or negatively (as in unhappy).


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