If you often find yourself having to clean up foul-smelling liquids around your house, you might be wondering whether it is indeed a rodent who has been tinkling urination in your house.
But are you part of the crowd who believed that rodents do not have bladders? And if they don’t have bladders- why do they pee so much?
Rodents have bladders and they also control them. They can be picky about where they pee and hence may reside in corners. Rat’s pee a lot because it helps them boost confidence, place trails, display their sexual availability, mark territories, and even convey unease.
If you’re investigating the funky liquids you’ve been coming across, put on your odor masks — for you’re about to be unloaded with all the pee knowledge about rodents that you can get!
Let’s clear some common misconceptions about rats’ bladders!
How Often Do Rats Pee?
Rats pee about 50-100 times a day, immediately after consuming food and water. Male rats pee twice more than females. They can’t control their pee when placed in uncomfortable situations. Moreover, they pee voluntarily to portray their sexual availability, boost confidence, leave trails, and mark territories.
Rats pee relatively more as compared to larger mammals. Rat pee is usually a result of certain situations and, hence depending on the situation, the frequency and intensity of their pee will waver.
You should expect rats to pee to a high degree without control when placed in new and uncomfortable situations or territories. This also includes being introduced to new cage mates (if you are raising the rodent, that is!). If not, that cage mate just might be you.
Moreover, if their bladders are brimming with pee, they might produce a tablespoon of urine, maybe two if it is a particularly large rat.
However, unlike humans, rodents are not on top of their procrastination game and hence will not wait for their bladder to fill up before peeing (unless they are napping!)
Does Rat Pee Smell?
Rats pee has a very pungent smell because it contains nitrogen that creates ammonia when it is broken down. You can identify it from other animal urine by its distinct smell.
I’ve had rat pee smell up my house before actually, and it does smell bad — really bad.
Rats Urination consists of two main components- ‘water’ and ‘urea.’ It is this urea that is dominated by the presence of nitrogen.
Therefore, If you’re eyeing a pungent-smelling liquid on the ground while reading this, I can almost guarantee that it is the doing of one of the four-clawed creatures.
All you need to do is further sniff the liquid and arrive at a musky-smelling conclusion.
What’s the Color of Rat Urine?
Normally, rat urine is light yellow. However, when the rodents carry out a lot of activity, their pee is of a much lighter shade. Moreover, rodents that consume water yet do not exercise, produce dark pee, which is usually a cause of concern.
Diversity is everything, even in the world of rodent urination. Similar to human urine, the color of the pee often varies depending on various factors.
Also, if you happen to come across a chalky residue, that is indeed a dried version of rat pee.
Usually, in normal circumstances, the color of the pee will be a light yellow. If the rat happens to be an “athlete” (good athlete) with high activity being carried out, the urine will tend to be clear or a lighter color.
However, if the rat consumes a lot of water daily while carrying out little or no activities, this is usually a red signal. They will be among the category of rats that include the elders that dehydrate and supply dark-colored urine.
If you have a pet rat who seems to be dribbling dark pee, it is long past time for a vet visit!
Why Do Rodents Urinate So Frequently?
If you are new to caring for rats, you might have already noticed that they seem to urinate quite frequently. This is not merely a coincidence but is the cause of the following five factors.
#1 Confidence Boosting Rat Urination
If you spark nostalgia at the scent of a loved one, you might relate to this one.
Rats strongly desire their surroundings and possessions to smell similar to them. This is a blanket of comfort to them as it boosts their confidence and allows them to accept their environment and be comfortable in it.
This explains why they may spray pee onto new toys or possessions that they are gifted.
Read more: 11 Signs of Rats Chewing Wires
#2 Navigation Easing Rat Urination
Rats leave urine trails to find food. This helps them navigate to their safe and comfortable hiding places in the house, as well as in a colony of rats there.
This is also important for other rats when they happen to be separated from their group; urine trails can help reunite them with those members who further also happen.
Their strong sense of smell allows them to place trails using their urine, which they can follow around later. Basically, pee trails are their GPS.
#3 Territory Marking Rat Urination
Who would have thought that these small furry creatures were keen on dominance? More importantly, who would have thought that these rats would warn and communicate with other rats through their pee?
If other rats catch a whiff of this urine, they will be delivered information about the rat, including age, social status, sexual maturity, and even stress levels.
Marking is most common in male rats and rats reaching 50 days of age (adolescence). But don’t worry, these markings are usually very small amounts of urine and are not overly odorous.
#4 Displaying Sexual Availability Rat Urination
Now that we know all the information that pee can convey to other rats, it is no wonder that they dribble pee, especially if others are around.
Displaying sexual availability is usually done by adult male rats; however, it is not uncommon in female rats. Females take part in this game of advertising their sexual status the day before they go into heat, which happens to be every four days.
A lot can be conveyed through droppings, including their fertility level regarding their hormones (heat for females, testosterone for males) and health issues relating to reproduction.
Since neutered rats do not experience raging testosterone levels- it is obvious that they do not leave pee signals around.
#5 Stress Signaling Rat Urination
Perhaps, your rat peeing on you is not a compliment after all, especially if they are young and new to your presence. A single female mouse can get scared and pee frequently when it senses danger.
You might also have to take care of this point when having pet rats as they are sensitive too.
Is Rat Pee Toxic?
Yes, dried rat urine can lead to a bacterial zoonotic disease named leptospirosis, also known as Weil’s syndrome.
After drinking in all the pee factors (okay, do not gag), after ‘divulging’ in all the ins and outs of ‘Rat Urine,’ you may now be able to prepare bait for them!
In an alternative case, after identifying the pungent liquids to be rat pee, you may finally take the steps necessary to mask the smells and drive the unwanted residents out.
If driving out pests is indeed what you mean to do, I urge you to read about repelling rats from their burrows.
Seeing a rat pee is a clear sign of rodent infestation! You might need the help of some pest control!
Read more: Do Rodents Avoid to Come Out in Light?