What Noise Do Rats Make? 8 Common Noises

Rats… can sound just like any other animal. In fact, most rodents make very similar noises, which makes it a challenge to figure out what you are dealing with! It isn’t just noises that rats make around your home (although they are also covered in this post). It is also the noises that rats make in general that you need to know about. Rats can be dangerous, and when agitated and cornered, will attack. A rat will make specific noises to warn you first. You need to know the answer to the question ‘what noise do rats make?

What you will learn in this post:

  1. What noise do rats make?
  2. Why they make these noises.
  3. Frequently asked questions.

What Noise Do Rats Make 8 Common

What Noise Do Rats Make?

Here we are going to cover all of the noises that rats make. These noises can be the ones you hear around your home if a rat has entered your property. They are also the noises that rats make in general, such as squeaking, etc.

I wanted to cover both because it is important to understand them and the differences.

What Noise Do Rats Make 8 Common Noises Infographic


Rats are known to hiss. I have witnessed a hissing rat on more than one occasion, so I am very familiar with the sound.

It can be not comforting when you first hear it, especially if you tentatively walk around in an attic with minimal light! That is what happened to me. Of course, the automatic reaction is the best one, and that is to freeze!

I guess that is exactly what the rat wants you to do… freeze, and then back away!

Why do rats hiss?

A rat will hiss to warn you off. It is a clear sign that the rat feels threatened and that you should back away.

Having said that, if a rat is in your home and you want to get rid of it, why should you back away from a hissing rat? You want the rat to feel threatened in your home. It may decide to move out…


This is a very common noise that rats make, and it is one that I am sure is no surprise to you!

Why do rats squeak?

A rat will squeak for several different reasons. Usually, the short squeaks and rats simply communicating. You may also find that a rat will squeak if you startle it, but it doesn’t feel threatened enough to hiss at you.

What noise do rats make? Squeaking is definitely one of the most common!


You may or may not believe this one! I didn’t believe it until I heard it myself. Rats can make a noise that sounds a lot like a bark!

Some say that the bark is more of a cough or a heavy huff. Either way, it sounds like the rat is barking at me.

Why do rats bark?

When I heard a rat barking, it was because I had caught it in a live-catch rat trap. The rat was barking when I got too close to the trap.

I imagine the rat was barking because it was scared or was trying to warn me off.


I must admit, this one scared the living daylights out of me when I first heard it. I have very close to the rat at the time, which is why it was so terrifying.

Screams for a rat are very close to a squeak, but with more venom (at least, it sounds that way).

Why do rats scream?

This particular rat screamed because I strayed far too close to it and the nest it was protecting.

If you hear a rat screaming, then someone is getting too close, and the rat wants to let them know that it is near, and it will attack if necessary.

Grinding Teeth

Yup, rats grind their teeth! You have to get pretty close to the rat to hear it doing this. You are unlikely to hear it from a wild rat because if you get too close, they will be making more threatening noises!

If you have a pet rat, you may hear this.

Why do rats grind teeth?

The theory is that rats grind their teeth to keep them at a decent length. You may or may not know that rat’s teeth constantly grow! Grinding them might be a way to keep them at a decent length.


Ok – we will now move onto some of the noises you might hear a rat making around your home, starting with scratching.

Scratching is a very common sound that a rat has found an entry point to your home!

Why do rats scratch?

Rats scratch because they are finding routes through your home. Now they have found their way in; the next step is for them to discover and remember routes they can use to travel throughout your home. They will be scratching at walls to try to create routes.


This is the most common rat noise you will hear in your home. Sometimes, it sounds like a much bigger animal traversing the darkened spaces in your home, but it is likely to be a rat.

They are scurrying around in your attic, in your basement, and even in your cavity walls.

Why do rats scurry?

Simply put, a rat has found some routes they can travel through your home. I visited a friend’s home recently, and they could hear rats in one wall, and they could trace it as it climbed (rats are excellent climbers) right up to the attic. After sundown, this noise was unbearable. I looked at the outside of their home and found a rat entry point at the wall entrance.

We watched the entry point from inside the house, and as soon as the rat left in search of food, we sealed the hole. After checking around the rest of the house, I was confident that was the only entry point. They never heard the rat again, but they did have quite a bit of rat urine to clean up!


I mentioned above that rats have ever-growing teeth! To keep these monster teeth under control, rats need to gnaw tons of items.

Rats have the ability to gnaw through pretty much anything. This is why you have to be very selective when storing food (I use round glass containers).

Why do rats gnaw?

Simply put, rats gnaw through things for one of two reasons:

  1. They need to keep their teeth in check.
  2. They want to access something.

What noise do rats make? Gnawing is definitely one of them. In fact, it is one of the most common.

Frequently Asked Questions

frequently asked questions What Noise Do Rats Make

What noise do rats make at night?

If you have a rat in your home, you will probably hear noises such as scratching, scurrying, and gnawing at night. Rats will begin making noises after sundown and will stop around sunrise. It is annoying when you are trying to sleep, right?

Do rats make chirping noises?

Sometimes when a rat squeaks, it can sound a bit like chirping. In reality, if you can hear chirping noises, it is more likely to be a bird than a rat. There is no doubt that you will need to investigate further before you can confirm exactly what kind of pest problem you are dealing with.

What do rats in walls sound like?

If you have a rat in your wall, then you will hear noises such as scurrying, scratching, and gnawing. If a rat has managed to access your cavity walls, then there must be a rat entry point that the rat is using. Check around your home and seal them up.


What noise do rats make? This post has given you the most common noises you will hear from a rat in your home.

If you do have a rat in your home, you must search for and seal up any entry points that a rat can use to access your home. It is the best thing you can do to keep rats out of your home. There is no doubt about that.

If you can hear noises in your home, and you think it could be a rat, or a family of rats, then it is something that you will absolutely need to investigate ASAP.

Good luck!

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