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If you are looking for an intelligent, social and playful small animal, you could try rats. Certainly not for everyone, but the small animals promise a lot of variety.
Can you play hide and seek with rats? Researchers at the Humboldt University in Berlin (HU) found that out. The Industry Association for Pet Supplies (IVH) from Germany reports on the results of a corresponding study conducted in 2019 by animal physiologists.
Accordingly, the small pets are obviously able to learn a human-animal version of the hide-and-seek game very quickly and can easily switch between the two roles – hide and seek. This opens up completely new possibilities for rat owners to deal with their animals.
Tickling is a reward for the rat
For the experiments, the rat was placed in a box. When the lid came on, she hid. As soon as the lid opened remotely, the rat began to search. If she found the person, she was tickled a little as a reward – which rats seem to like very much.
The game also works the other way round. Without a lid on the box, the rat does the hiding job. As soon as she was found there was a tickle as a reward. The rats learned the game quickly and developed sophisticated strategies for both hiding and searching. They squeaked with joy when they found their person. However, when they hid, they were very quiet.
The researchers encourage rat owners and those who want to become one to try out the playful approach at home. This helps to strengthen the bond between the intelligent small animals and the owner. (dpa)