Rats are a highly adaptive creature that are able to live in a wide variety of places. They can live in rural areas, suburbs, and cities alike. They have been given the distinction of being a commensal rodent because of their ability to live alongside people and thrive. They are highly intelligent animals that will be suspicious of unfamiliar things in their environment or along their established paths. This suspicious nature makes them a difficult animal to trap and remove. They will also travel as far as they need to in order to find food and shelter.
Some rats can live within large colonies that will establish strict hierarchies of dominant and subordinate individuals. Males will not protect female burrows within these colonies and ever individual will have a prescribed place within the colony. For example, when females are in estrous they will mate with multiple males and they will mate with the dominant males first and then in order of their social dominance.
Rats are known to become aggressive when they are threatened or cornered. They will box, bite, chase, and fight in order to defend themselves. They will also display certain defensive postures and behaviors such as sidling and going belly-up.