Why Is Rat Making Grunting Noises? [Shocking Truth]

Be it a loud grunt or a smaller grunt- getting a grunting noise from your beloved cat is the last thing you want. Honestly speaking, rats are small creatures that love to communicate through their voice.

But, that means they’ll express almost every emotion. There’s a good side to this and a bad side. The good side is that you can pick on their noises and find what’s bothering it. The bad side is that you need to be extra aware of what sounds they’re making.

So, why is your rat making grunting noises?

Well, rats make grunting noises when they’re scared, frightened, and even tense. Usually, when the rats are stressed for any reason, they’ll try to communicate with their owners. Here, they’ll give off that grunting noise. Other than that, it could be a medical condition too.

Whatever the case is, it’s too elaborate for us to tell in this part. That’s why we’ve designed this entire article for you. So, why not start reading it from below-

Are Rats Capable of Making Grunting Noises?

Are Rats Capable of Making Grunting Noises

Yes! Well, rats are capable of making grunting noises and weird sounds. But, one thing you need to know is that it’s not normal for rats to make grunt noises.

The normal sounds out of the rats are squeaking and hissing sounds. Sometimes, the rats are even capable of giving out chattering sounds as well. Here, the rats are able to communicate their emotions.

So, when you hear rats making high-frequency noises, it’s mostly trying to communicate with you. Oftentimes, when you hear these high-frequency sounds, it’s an indication that the rats could be afraid of the situation.

That’s why you need to be aware of the sounds your pet rats make. Depending on that sound, you can take further actions too. More on that below-

Why Are Your Rats Making Grunting Noises?

Why Are Your Rats Making Grunting Noises

Now, we know that rats are capable of making grunting noises. By now, you’ll know about that. But, you’ll also know that it’s not normal for a rat to make grunting noises. Yes, I’m correct here.

Normally, rats settle for a squeak or hissing type of sound. But, making grunting noises all of a sudden could mean a couple of things. Let’s talk about them in detail here- 

It Could be Afraid/Stressed

Making high-frequency grunting noise shouldn’t be the normal thing for rats at all. Perhaps, it’s afraid for some reason. If you ever come to your home and find your rat in this situation, something probably caused fear in it.

The best way you can identify whether a rat is scared or not is by identifying the following things-

These are some factors you’ll need to watch out for if you’re unsure whether your rat is scared or not. If your rat does any of the above situations, it’s worried about something. And, something is causing fear inside of its heart.

Here, the best thing you can do is remove the cause/reason for its worry.

But, if there’s no way of finding that out, you should at least keep an eye out. Added to this, you can take the following steps in removing the fear away from your rat-

  • Place the cage in a calm and quiet place
  • Give some treats
  • Play with your rat
  • Keep them at a warm temperature (but not too warm)
  • Give them enough water to drink
  • Provide enough attention

It Needs Medical Attention

That’s true! If your rats require medical attention, they’ll get off a grunting noise, at times. But, what kind of medical attention will the rat require, you might ask?

Well, we aren’t any vet experts here. So, it’s best if you go to a vet and show them that problem. As different rats communicate through their sounds, the professionals will most probably know what to do here.

As for our advice, we think it could be affected by respiratory infections. Yep! Rats do get attacked with respiratory infections. In this position, you’ll have to take the rat immediately to a vet because they’ll tackle the problem with ease.

Another thing we’d like to inform you is that rats make grunts when they start to have heart failure as well. That’s a scary thing to imagine. But, it’s best if you take swift action.

This is because the health conditions of the rat start to deteriorate very quickly once they start showing symptoms. So, it’s best if you take swift action as well. 

Is it Normal for Some Rats to Grunt?

We’ve told you why you need to be concerned over rats grunting. It surely isn’t their happiest of noises. But, let me tell you another interesting thing.

Sometimes, the rats make grunting noises out of curiosity. Yep! Some rats do this intentionally. Many owners joke around and call this sound of their rats the “Macho or Dominating” sound.

Well, as much as you need to be concerned about the well-being of your rat, if this does happen, you should let it slide. Let the rat have some fun. But, this should be after you get your rat checked up.

After going to the vet, if you find nothing then it’s okay to be a bit relieved. If the rats still do these grunting sounds after you’ve checked them up, it’s fine. 

Do Rats Grunt When they Get Poisoned?

No! Rats don’t really grunt when they get poisoned. Rats usually will start developing an immense thirst for water. They start looking for water everywhere and then die because of the poison.

But, no! They don’t grunt in this position. 

Sounds of a Happy Rat

Now that you know all the grunting and worrying of the rats, it’s time to know what sounds they make at the time of their happiness. It’s true! Rats love to communicate their emotions.

That’s why as an owner, it’s really important that you’re aware of your rat’s noises. After all, you could easily know about their entire emotions.

Now, the way rats communicate happiness is in the form of bruxing. At the time of bruxing, the rats clench their incisors together. Also, they could follow this bruxing up with boggling. It’s a position where the eyes of the rats pop out.

A lot of things can make a rat happy. But we feel that the rats can express themselves better at this time. Also, it has no worries and stress and is loved by its owner. Honestly, who doesn’t love a happy rat?

So, these are the two signs that you need to keep an eye out if you want a happy rat. 


Are rats capable of making piggy noises?

Yes! Rats are capable of making piggy grunts. The main reason for rats doing this noise can be respiratory diseases. Or, respiratory infection can also be the cause of this noise. 

Do different noises in rats mean different emotions?

Yes! Rats communicate through their noises. This means if a rat is happy and content, it’ll give off one kind of noise. And, if the rat is unhappy or stressed, it’ll give off a grunting sound. 

Is it okay for my rat to nibble?

Whenever the rats nibble their owners, it’s one form of their way of expressing love. This is true that the rats will nibble or lick the hands of the owners.


Well, friend, it was a pleasure to talk with you. However, the party is over. By now, you’ll probably know why is your rat making grunting noises.

Don’t get disheartened or distressed when you experience your rats making this sort of grunting sound. It’s usual for some to express dominant behaviour. In most cases, this means that the rat is distressed and it needs your attention.

Whatever the case is, you need to give it a lot of care! Take good care and give it the attention it craves. Goodbye!

Ryan Dugan
Ryan Dugan
Ryan Dugan

Ryan Dugan is a dedicated pet care professional who offers top-notch services for a variety of pet species. He has a soft spot for my own feline companion, Sophie. He is passionate about animals He shares his knowledge and experience on his blog to help other pet owners understand and care for their own beloved companions. Whether you need a pet-sitting service or advice on pet care, He is the go-to expert.

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