Below are links to research papers that evidence to support rat tickling as a method to improve welfare and explain the correct technique. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know about other relevant publications.
Bombail V, Brown SM, Hammond TJ, et al. (2021) Crying with laughter: adapting the tickling protocol to address individual differences among rats in their response to playful handling. Frontiers in Veterinary Science, 24 June 2021. doi:10.3389/fvets.2021.677872
Hinchcliffe JK, Mendl M, Robinson ESJ (2020) Rat 50 kHz calls reflect graded tickling-induced positive emotion. Current Biology 30(18): R1034-R1035. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2020.08.038
LaFollette MR, Cloutier S, Brady CM et al. (2020) Changing human behavior to improve animal welfare: a longitudinal investigation of training laboratory animal personnel about heterospecific play or “rat tickling”. Animals 10(8): 1435. doi:10.3390/ani10081435
LaFollette MR, Cloutier S, Brady C et al. (2019) Laboratory animal welfare and human attitudes: a cross-sectional survey on heterospecific play or "rat tickling". PLOS ONE 14(8): e0220580. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0220580
LaFollette MR, O’Haire ME, Cloutier S et al. (2018) Practical rat tickling: Determining an efficient and effective dosage of heterospecific play. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 208: 82-91. doi:10.1016/j.applanim.2018.08.005
Cloutier S, LaFollette MR, Gaskill BN et al. (2018) Tickling, a technique for inducing positive affect when handling rats. Journal of Visual Experiments 135: e57190. doi:10.3791/57190
LaFollette MR, O’Haire ME, Cloutier S et al. (2017) Rat tickling: a systematic review of applications, outcomes, and moderators. PLOS ONE 12(4): e0175320. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0175320