Can Pet Rats Yawn? Everything You Need to Know!

Have you ever wondered if rats can yawn, and if they can, if it means the same as in humans? As someone who has owned pet rats for the majority of my life, I have been asked multiple times whether my rats can yawn.

It is a common question among rat owners and enthusiasts. In this blog post, we will explore whether pet rats can yawn and the science behind it.

What is yawning and why do animals do it?

Yawning is a reflex act of opening one’s mouth wide and inhaling deeply due to tiredness or boredom. It is a common behavior in humans and many other animals, including dogs, cats, and even fish.

While the exact purpose of yawning is not fully understood, scientists believe that it may help regulate the temperature of the brain or increase oxygen flow.

Do rats yawn like other animals?

Yes, rats do yawn. However, it is not as common as in other animals such as dogs or cats. Rat owners may have seen their pets yawn, but it is not a behavior that occurs frequently.

If you can’t get enough of yawning rats, check out this video for a whole minute straight of adorable rattie yawns!

The Science Behind Rat Yawning

What do scientific studies say about rat yawning?

Scientific studies on rat yawning are limited compared to other animals. However, a study found that rats do yawn in response to other rats yawning. This suggests that yawning in rats may be a form of social communication.

Why do rats yawn?

The exact reason why rats yawn is still unknown. However, some experts believe that it may be a form of social bonding or a way to regulate the temperature of their brain. It is also possible that rats yawn due to tiredness or boredom, just like in other animals.

Other Similar Behaviors in Rats

What are other behaviors that may be mistaken for yawning?

Rats may exhibit other behaviors that resemble yawning, such as bruxing or grooming. Bruxing is the chattering of teeth that rats do when they are happy or content. Grooming is when rats clean themselves or each other as a form of social bonding.

How to differentiate between yawning and other behaviors in rats?

To differentiate between yawning and other behaviors in rats, it is important to observe their body language and context.

Yawning usually happens when rats are tired or bored, while bruxing and grooming are signs of happiness and social bonding.


In conclusion, pet rats can yawn, but it is not a behavior that occurs frequently. Yawning in rats may be a form of social communication, but more research is needed to understand why they yawn.

It is important for rat owners to understand their pet’s behavior and body language to ensure their wellbeing and happiness.

As a rat owner, I find rat behavior fascinating and hope that this blog post has provided some insight into the world of rat yawning.

ThePetFaq Team