Why is my rat shaking?

When it comes to communicating, rats are substantially better at interpreting our body language. Humans rely on verbal communication more than body language, but rats do the opposite.

Unfortunately, this frequently leaves us scratching our heads, unsure of what our rats are attempting to communicate. One of those potentially perplexing characteristics is shaking.

Why is my rat shaking?

Your rat may have a major underlying health problem if it abruptly loses its balance, shakes, or staggers. Rats with balance issues should be treated promptly because these symptoms could suggest a medical emergency.

Although pain-induced shaking isn’t always an emergency, it should be addressed by a veterinarian. Your veterinarian can manage your pet’s pain while also assisting you in reaching an agreement through mediation.

Not all causes of rat shivering are life-threatening. Some of them can be handled without the assistance of a veterinarian. Your rat’s shaking could be due to excitement, anxiety, or simply being cold.

rat shaking


When rats are excited or know something interesting is about to happen, they will shake. You may have noticed your rat move while playing with him, when he notices something intriguing while sitting, or when he greets you at the door when you leave. Rats are known for their enthusiastic movement, which is a normal physical reaction to a great sense of enjoyment. It’s not a problem if your rat shakes a little while they’re excited; they’ll stop shaking once they’ve calmed down.

Anxiety and fear:

Adrenaline supplements assist your rat prepare for self-defense or run away from danger when he doesn’t feel safe. Adrenaline prepares their muscles for action by causing them to shake or tremble when it enters their system. While there is no need to be concerned about this form of shaking, you may make your rat feel better by removing the source of stress or assisting him in managing his tension. If your rat is anxious about recurring events, you should consult a behavioral specialist or speak with your veterinarian about anti-anxiety drugs.

Cold weather:

In the cold, rats, like humans, tremble. Shaking like this is an accidental reflex to help them warm up. When your rat shakes, his muscles alternate between being tight and relaxed, generating heat and raising his body temperature. Because rats lose heat more quickly than humans, they are more likely to shake in the cold. If your rat begins to shake when you take him out, return home and locate a safe spot for them to warm up. If your rat is shivering, consider getting him a coat to keep him warm.

Removing water by shaking:

Rats’ fur is excellent at trapping heat and keeping them warm, but it is also excellent at holding water. Shaking water to dry it is a more energy-efficient method of drying that uses a fraction of the energy that drying it with body heat does. Rats are so good at shaking that they can remove 70% of the water on their skin/fur in a matter of seconds.

Rats shake to attract your attention as well:

If you hurry to comfort your rat every time he or she shakes, your rat may learn that shivering is a good method to obtain your attention. To gain sympathy, some rats turn on the shaker while begging for food.

Shaking as a result of pain or illness:

Shaking can indicate that your rat is in pain or is sick. Shivering and muscular tremors can be signs of major illnesses like hypoglycemia and inflammatory brain disease, as well as minor problems like stomach distress. Shivering that doesn’t go away can be a sign of generalized trimmer syndrome, also known as shaker syndrome, a chronic illness that can be treated with medicine.

When should you seek the advice of a veterinarian?

Rats tremble and shake for a variety of reasons, including excitement, pain, old age, and even nausea. Shivering and shaking are signs of a significant illness or injury, such as poisoning, kidney disease, or an injury. As a result, if your rat suddenly begins to shake or tremble, take note of any other symptoms, such as diarrhea, and contact your veterinarian right away.

In rats, what’s the difference between shaking and seizures?

Seizures, in which the muscles contract and the rat loses both movement and consciousness of its environment, are considerably different from normal shivering and shaking. If you feel your rat is having a seizure and they aren’t being treated for it, get them to a veterinarian as quickly as possible.

Although most causes of shivering in rats are very harmless, if you want to know why your rat is shaking, take him to a veterinarian and ask him. They can explain why your rat is shaking while also determining whether or not something severe is going on. Even if there is no reason to be concerned, having a doctor’s diagnosis will give you piece of mind.

How to prevent shaking in rats?

The cause of your rat’s shaking will determine the precautions to take. You’re doing everything you can to keep your rat from shaking by keeping it warm, up to date on vaccines, at a healthy weight, and away from possibly harmful things. Because shaking can be an indication of a major medical problem, if your rat shakes for an extended period of time or exhibits any other symptoms, you should call your veterinarian right once.


A rat might shake for a variety of reasons. It could be a normal reaction to how they are feeling, an adaption to keep themselves warm or dry, or they could be unwell. Other conditions may cause your rat to become agitated.

If your rat is acting abnormally or you are concerned about their health, you should always call your veterinarian.

Try to figure out what’s causing the shaking. Has your rat lately consumed any food? Have you recently given your rat medicine? If your rat is exhibiting other symptoms, such as shaking a lot or a little, you should contact your veterinarian right once.

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