Courses from Rat University


Pre-Alpha 100: Basic Colony Defense

Know how to defend your territory against intruders. Course covers basic territory defense: approach and recognition of strangers, poofing, sidling, chasing, foofing, ultrasonic threats, and power grooming. Lecture MW: 11 p.m. - 1 a.m., Lab F: 10 p.m. - 12 p.m. 4 units. Reading: "Aggression for Beginners" by Winkie "Razor" Scampers.

Pre-Alpha 105: Advanced Colony Defense

Learn how to counter your owner's attempts to foist a newcomer on you. Course covers advanced territory defense: getting possessive of neutral territory, breathing through vanilla, and identifying strangers in a bathtub. Lecture TTh: 11 p.m. - 1 a.m., Lab F: 8 p.m. - 1 p.m. 4 units. Reading: "Stranger Danger" by Puddles "Slasher" Nightfall. Prerequisites: Pre-Alpha 100.

Pre-Alpha 101: Becoming Top Rat

Learn how to seize the dominant position in your colony and thus gain the most access to females, the best food morsels, and the most desirable sleeping spots. Course covers basic social climbing skills: pushing, shoving and chasing, constant low-level harassment, getting treats first, walking over others, looming, and attacking strange rats. Lecture: MWF 5 a.m. - 6 a.m., Lab: W 6 a.m. - 8 a.m. 5 units. Reading: "The Ambitious Rat," by Bubbles "Studly" Longwhisker. Prerequisites: Pre- Alpha 100.

Pre- Alpha 102: Enforcing Dominance

Learn how to maintain your hard-won dominant position in your colony against youngsters and intruders. Course covers advanced social maintenance skills: swaggering, carefully chosen chases, occasional theft, and copious urine marking. Lecture: MWF 6 a.m. - 7 a.m., Lab: W 7 a.m. - 8 a.m. 5 units. Reading: "Staying on top of the pack," by Pookie "Killer" Squeaks. Prerequisites: Pre-Alpha 101.

Rat Living 100: Basic Cagekeeping

Learn how to keep your cage in perfect order. Course covers basic pet cage maintenance: tasteful urine marking, placement of raisins, nestbox shredding, custom hammock design, and appropriate food stashing. Lecture: M 1 a.m. - 3 a.m., Lab: TW 1 a.m. - 3 a.m. 4 units. Reading: "Cage Comforts," by Mimi "Pee-meister" Ratkins.

Rat Living 101: Devious Stashing

Learn how to hide your most precious treats from your owner so they don't get cleaned up every week. Course covers advanced treat management skills: burying treats in bedding, using the nestbox lining, stashing in the wheel, and sticking treats to the ladder rungs. Lecture: T 1 a.m. - 3 a.m. Lab: WTh 1 a.m. - 3 a.m. 4 units. Reading: "The Hoard," by Ginger "Peekaboo" Dash.

Free Ranging 100: Staying Safe

Learn basic the basic safety skills for fun, secure free range time. Course covers: recognition and avoidance of pet cats and dogs, safe identification of electric wires, resisting the temptation of holes in the wall, and avoiding rolling chairs, rocking chairs, and recliners. Lecture: ThF: 3 a.m. - 5 a.m., Lab: S 3 a.m. - 5 a.m. 5 units. Reading: "The Indoor Rat," by Binky "Zap" Littlepaws.

Free Ranging 101: Speed Shredding

Get the most out of your free range time by identifying safe, chewable items and shredding them quickly before your owner catches on. Course covers: recognition of safe items such as paper, books, clothing, and carpet; speed shredding techniques, staying quiet but not too quiet, and the innocent glance. Lecture: MW 10 p.m. - 11 p.m. Lab: ThF 10 p.m. - 12 p.m. 4 units. Reading: "Gnawing for Pleasure," by Tucker "Buzz-saw" Barnaby. Prerequisite: Free Ranging 100.

Free Ranging 102: Strategies for Prolonging Play

Extend your free range time by implementing the techniques learned in this course. Course covers: running and hiding under furniture, grabbing the carpet with your claws when picked up, piteous squeaking, and the cute stare. Lecture: TTh 10 p.m. - 11 p.m. Lab: F 10 p.m. - 12 p.m. 3 units. Reading: "The Long Frolic" by Bizbee "Procrastinator" Trotter. Prerequisite: Free Ranging 100.

Owner Maintenance 100: Being Handled

Enjoy your owner more by learning how to trust humans and enjoy handling. Course covers: how to resist fleeing under the looming hand, how not to struggle when picked up, going limp in the hand, and how to ask for hind leg support without scratching. Learn how to accommodate and balance during the basic positions of the two-handed pick-up, the shoulder carry, the forearm snuggle, and the shirt transport. Lecture: M 12 a.m. - 2 a.m. Lab: WF 12 a.m. - 2 a.m. 4 units. Reading: "Human Hands" by Bobbin "Cuddles" Leaper.

Owner Maintenance 101: Soliciting Petting

Learn to get more out of your owner by asking for petting in a language your owner can understand. Course covers: basic approach and attention-getting skills such as the hand shove, the paw placement, the well-timed squeak, and the adorable glance; and rewarding the owner for correct behavior by bruxing, eye-boggling, and deep relaxation. Lecture: T 12 a.m. - 2 a.m. Lab: Th 12 a.m. - 2 a.m. 4 units. Reading: "Winning your human's affection," by Snood "Bruxter" Pawprint. Prerequisite: Owner Maintenance 100.

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