Brown rats have acute hearing, are sensitive to ultrasound, and possess a very highly developed olfactory sense.
Their average heart rate is 300 to 400 beats per minute, with a respiratory rate of around 100 per minute.
Brown rats dig well, and often excavate extensive burrow systems.
A 2007 study found brown rats to possess metacognition, a mental ability previously only found in humans and some primates, Rats may also emit short, high frequency, ultrasonic, socially induced vocalization during rough and tumble play, before receiving morphine, or mating, and when tickled.
However, as the rats age, the tendency to chirp appears to decline.
Brown rats also produce communicative noises capable of being heard by humans.
The most commonly heard in domestic rats is bruxing, or teeth-grinding, which is most usually triggered by happiness, but can also be 'self-comforting' in stressful situations, such as a visit to the vet.
The noise is best described as either a quick clicking or 'burring' sound, varying from animal to animal.
According to Schein, the least-liked foods were raw beets, peaches, and raw celery.
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The brown rat (Rattus norvegicus), also known as the common rat, street rat, sewer rat, Hanover rat, Norway rat, Norwegian rat, or wharf rat, is one of the best known and most common rats.
Bat detectors are often used by pet owners for this purpose.
In research studies, the chirping is associated with positive emotional feelings, and social bonding occurs with the tickler, resulting in the rats becoming conditioned to seek the tickling.
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Stories of rats attaining sizes as big as cats are exaggerations, or misidentifications of larger rodents, such as the coypu and muskrat.