World Rat Day

World Rat Day is observed next on Friday, April 4th, 2025 (345 days from today).

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World Rat Day comes on April 4 every year to honor a pet or a companion for people. Rats are long-tail and belongs to the superfamily Muroidea. Usually, rats are only distinguished from mice by their size. The muroid family is complex and very broad. Scientifically, terms like rat and rat are not limited to members of the genera Rattus and Mus.

Origin of World Rat Day

Rats have appeared over 50 million years. In fact, the Chinese zodiac honors the rat as the first animal in a twelve-year cycle and associates people born in the year of the Rat with many positive personality traits, including optimism, intelligence and hard.

In general, rats have struggled over the years. The Hindu god Ganesha is often depicted riding a rat and devotees often ascribe it negative connotations, with the tiny creature seen as a symbol of selfish desires and destructive habits that Ganesha can help us through.

These cunning rodents have long been blamed for the spread of plague, especially during the Black Death, which devastated Europe in the middle Ages and is estimated to have wiped out up to 60% of the population. This damning accusation is difficult to overcome, although more recent research has led to some debate as to the extent to which rats may be responsible!

Rat baiting became especially popular in England in the 19th century in this brutally bloody sport, spectators would bet on how quickly a dog could kill a pit full of rats. Despite its vexing origins, the sport has made the rat a favorite (i.e. domesticated) and a beloved pet of many people today. Later, in Victoria, Rat catchers also learned to breed and sell special colored mice as pets. Mice as a hobby developed in the 20th century, with various societies and groups springing up around the world.

In 2002 a group of rat enthusiasts who wanted to remove the stigma surrounding these creatures and give them the celebration they truly deserve, World Rat Day was born. The day aims to shed light on these animals and promote their care and welfare.

Many rat rewards

No one is perfect and there is no denying that wild rats can be a nuisance and destructive if left unmanaged. However, many of the great rat benefits far outweigh the negative ones!

Firstly, they make great pets. Contrary to popular belief, these rodents are actually very clean and sociable animals. It is best to keep them in pairs at least and they are known for their kind and caring natures, even helping each other out when needed. You can expect pet rats to be very loving to their fellow humans, tamed to be gentle and affectionate.

Rats are also very intelligent, can understand their names and fluent in a variety of tricks, they have even been shown to count to four! And best of all, they're fun - it's no wonder a group of rats are known for being a mischief!

Because of their keen sense of smell, rats can be used to work in a variety of fields, for example sniffing out threats like landmines and diseases like tuberculosis. Thanks to their intelligent and affectionate nature, they are also excellent therapy animals.

Due to their similarity to humans both physiologically and psychologically, rats have also been used in the advancement of medical science, giving rise to the term 'lab rat'. Although some animal rights activists condemn their use in this context, their contributions as test subjects have helped us advance our understanding and treatment of other diseases including cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer's and, more recently, Covid-19. These creatures are also key in studies of intelligence, learning, and behavior due to their complex psychology and emotional capacities.

Whatever we may want to say about wild animals, World Rat Day celebrates the positive contributions of rats and the different ways they make our lives better.

Rats in popular culture

It is so sad that misconceptions and stereotypes about rats have profoundly influenced their depiction in popular culture. In a German story named Pied Piper of the author Hamelin, a rat-catcher deals with infestation by seducing the creatures with music, before doing the same to local children when he is refused payment. .

These adorable rodents are often portrayed as treacherous, sinister, and villainous in many cultures around the world, and the common vernacular is also based on these stereotypes. The term "rat" is often used as an insult, especially for informants, hence the phrase "to beat someone up". It is also a term used by unions for employers, with strikes in the United States often involving large inflatable rats.

However, there are much more celebrations in the world of art and culture. The beloved children's book The Wind in the Willows tells the story of Mole and Rat (although actually a water langur, also known as a water rat) and their adventures, with Rat being depicted as a kind, poetic spirit and loyal companion to Mole.

Disney Pixar's Ratatouille follows Remy, an adorable and determined young mouse on his journey to becoming a chef. In his process, to be successful as “the best chef in France” and have his own restaurant, he had to overcome lot of negative stereotypes about this animal.

How to celebrate World Rat Day

If you have a pet mice, World Rat Day is the perfect chance to pamper them the right way! Give their favorite foods, cuddle them and give them a new toy or some delicious dish. Most of all your mice will want to spend time with you, so why not teach them a few new tricks or play a game together?

The rat-lover community also marks the event in a variety of ways, often hosting parties for rat enthusiasts and their pets to come together and celebrate. And thanks to social media, rodent lovers can now connect around the globe, sharing their favorite photos, videos, artwork and the like.

If you haven't had a pet rat yet, now's your chance! How about coming to a pet store and take some of them to home with you. Even if you're not ready to commit, you can still make time for these animals or offer to sit as pets for those who have had rat fever!

World Rat Day is of course for rat, therefore, do not forget to spread and encourage friends, family, and colleagues to take part in this day to get knowledge about rat. Search the internet for more information on amazing rats, watch YouTube videos and documentaries to see these animals in action, and share what you learn with those around you.

If you want to get kids involved, then why not try dressing up or baking a themed cake? The mouse costume is pretty easy to make - a stuffed sock or sock for the tail, a headband and some tags for the ears, and face paint for the nose and whiskers. Plus, there are tons of great mouse-themed cake recipes and designs out there to inspire you - just make sure you're checking out the human version as enthusiasts love to bake their mouse too!

Finally, you can help ensure rat rights by donating or volunteering to animal charities and pet rat shelters.


World Rat Day has been observed annually on April 4th.


Tuesday, April 4th, 2023

Thursday, April 4th, 2024

Friday, April 4th, 2025

Saturday, April 4th, 2026

Sunday, April 4th, 2027

Also on Friday, April 4th, 2025

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