Reproductive Cycle of Rats

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Rats belong to mammalian family. They reproduce very quickly. In fact, they attain sexual maturity at five weeks of age. They do not have a breeding season, although extreme variations in temperature can affect mating. Sexually mature females come into heat all year round, every 4-6 days unless and until they get pregnant. Females attain menopause at about 18 months of age, their menstrual cycle becomes irregular until it stops completely however, she still cannot be considered infertile before 2 years of age. Rats do not recognize incest, therefore, first relatives such as brother and sister and even mother and son should be separated before mating to avoid inbreeding depression.

The mating process follows invagination and ejaculation. Behavioural signs are shown by female rats she may first dart forward or spin her head then she may brace her leg stiffly, lift her head and tail and vibrate her ears. This display represent that she is ready for mating. The male rat will recognize it and then copulate the female. Male rats are often more willing for mating compared to females.

When mounting he will grasp her scuff with his teeth. During this process, mounting will occur many times but most of it is a foreplay. This process can go on anywhere from 2 – 24 hours even though there is a chance that a female got pregnant with only one mounting.

The gestation period of females is usually 20 days but it can vary from 21 to 25 days. The female’s body will get thicker and her abdomen will enlarge after the two weeks of pregnancy. As the birth approaches, the pups start moving inside her womb. The mother’s need is simple. It includes a healthy and nutritious diet, a little bit of exercise and extra nesting material a few days before the expected event take place. After the parturition, all females come into heat within 24 hours. This is known as ‘postpartum estrus’ . Therefore, there are chances that she again can become pregnant.

The birth process usually lasts for 2 – 3 hours. The first sign of delivery is the blood discharge followed by strong contractions at the forelimbs of the female. These contractions stimulate the female to stretch out and exert pressure to her abdomen. The mother will actually sit up and pull the baby out of her womb once she sees the head and she will immediately begin feeding the baby with her milk. Once, the responsible mother has successfully nurtured her babies, she is ready for mating again.

With their reproductive cycle, rats tend to multiply fast so infestation is likely possible when you have them in your home. The rat population in your home should be controlled and extinguished and this can only be properly done by animal control experts. The best part is that wildlife control companies like Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control exist to provide all the services that you will need regarding your rat problem at home.

Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control will ensure that they will not only resolve your problem at the moment but they will also make sure any future re-entry of these pets will be prevented. Your home will also be a healthy and safe place for your family because Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control will  also provide cleaning and clearing methods after all the rats in your home are exterminated. Check out their website here.


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