Hibernation in animals is common and natural. It is their way of surviving the harsh winters when there is less food and the temperatures make it hard to survive.
When it comes to hibernation, though, not everyone knows which animals do and do not hibernate. For some, it is a difficult thing to figure out. It is not just bears, and it is not all animals, so which ones do it?
One that some people have questions about is rats. During winter, you might not know what the rats are doing. Curiosity might make you believe they hibernate like some other animals do. The question is, do they hibernate?
Rats in Winter
People will sometimes assume all animals hibernate. If they live out in the wild, they must, right? Rats are not like that, though. In facts, rats remain active all through winter and have very little changed in their habits during this time. You should see rats continue to scavenge and roam normally during winter. If they are hungry or have a reason for going, they are going to leave as they normally would.
Obviously, in areas with snow or ice or other harsh conditions, rats may have lessened mobility, but they are not going to stay indoors. They simply do not hibernate, so they have no reason to stay inside during winter. If rats were to stay inside, they would starve. They do not prepare during autumn like hibernating animals do, requiring them to stay active all year.
Changes in Activity
The only noticeable change is that rats will have fewer babies during winter. The populations will not grow as much as they normally would. Other than that, rats will continue acting like they always do. Of course, if the rats can find a warm and safe place to stay, they may continue making babies. It depends on their surroundings. If the area they are staying in is too cold to have babies, they will wait until Spring. If it is warm, they may continue having babies.
There is no significant change outside of this. Rats do not let anything stop them, not even bad weather conditions around them. Rats are not hibernating animals and may not change at all during the winter. You should continue to see rats acting normal during this time, though they may have a few changed habits. Most likely, though, they will continue acting in the same manner.
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