Rats are survival artists that can adapt to new conditions quickly. Most rat species are really good climbers. Some species even build their nests in trees.
The most common rats in the US are the black rat, also known as the roof rat, house rat, or ship rat, and the brown rat, also known as the common rat, street rat, or Norway rat. The brown rat is also the most common rat found in Europe.
As a whole, many rats are capable of climbing walls. Depending on the species, the weight, and the age, some are better climbers than others, but as long as the wall has some texture to it, most rats will be able to climb up.
Rats have very sharp claws that can dig into most surfaces. Especially the roof rats are known for climbing up any surface with a texture.
Rats tend to climb up trees and house walls, for various reasons. The most important reason is access to food. Another reason is housing. Rats often build their nests in places that seem very safe. And the top of a tree or the inside of an attic is definitely safer than someplace in the street.
Rats also use their ability to climb in order to reach places. They climb on higher places to jump into rooftops, into windows, or over walls, they cannot climb. It is just one of their ways to move around.
Can Rats Climb Flat Walls?
Rats are excellent climbers and are able to get to places that seem impossible to reach. If you own a pet rat, you know what I am talking about.
But what if the surface of the walls is completely flat? What if no texture can help the rat hold on to the wall? Can rats still climb a wall like that?
As a whole, rats need some kind of texture to hold on to. They are not able to climb up on completely smooth surfaces such as glass.
Even though a surface might seem like a rat cannot climb up, rats have several other ways to get to a place they want to. If the motivation is big enough, rats will find crazy ways to get to the place they desire. Motivation could be for example good food.
Rats are able to squeeze through small holes, jump high and far, and find ways that we would not think of. If the head of a rat fits through a hole, the rest of the body can follow. This is possible because the rips of the rat can adjust and move so that the body becomes slimmer.
What Can Rats Not Climb On?
Rats are really good climbers. They will climb anything with some kind of texture such as concrete, wood, drywall, brick, and even plastic. Any crack or texture of a surface can be used as something to hold on to.
But what are the things a rat cannot climb on?
As a whole, rats are not able to climb on surfaces that are extremely smooth. If a rat has no possibility to get a grip on the surface, it won’t be able to climb up. Examples are glass, smooth interior walls, smooth plastic walls, tiles, and polished metal.
Even though rats cannot climb on these surfaces, they might still find a way to get on top. Any crack, decoration, or even dirt on a surface can help a rat to climb up. And since they are really smart, they might even look for different ways to get to the desired place, such as climbing up something close enough to jump to the place they want to go to.
Can Rats Climb on Wood?
Rats can climb almost every surface with some kind of texture.
As long as the wood has some texture, the rat will be able to climb it.
Even if the branch itself is protected with some kind of rat guard, a rat might still be able to climb on that tree.
A tree with low-hanging branches, fruits, or leaves is ideal for a rat to climb up.
Decorations such as outdoor lights, wrapped around a tree is almost like a ladder for rats.
If the tree grows close to a house, wall, or fence the rat will be able to climb up the house and jump on the tree.
Since rats are not only really good climbers and survival artists, but they are also very smart, they will find their way to a place if it seems promising enough.
Can Rats Climb on metal poles?
Not every rat is able to climb every kind of metal pole. There are species that are better climbers than others, and there are metal poles that are harder to climb than others.
If the metal pole is extremely smooth, the rat will have trouble climbing on it. But if the metal is weathered, or has some kind of texture on it, the rat will have no trouble climbing on it.
Can Rats Climb Through Windows?
Yes, rats are able to climb through windows. Many rats are able to climb up walls, on roofs, and into windows. They are nocturnal animals, seeking food and shelter. If a place appears to be very promising, they might try to get in.
Rats are not able to climb up glass, but if the window is open, they might find a way to climb in.
Lisa is one of the two founders of Animal-Knowledge. She has been very interested in animals and insects from a very young age and has owned different kinds of pets such as snails, ants, fish, turtles, mice, rats, hamsters, rabbits, a dog, … you get the idea 🙂