This article encourages a rethinking of how rats are regarded within the laboratory research environment. The rat’s remarkable intellect and cognitive capacities are well known yet conveniently ignored. An understanding of the five domains of animal welfare and the telos of the rat necessitate that the rat’s circumstances, namely habitat accommodations, in the research arena be reassessed. The rat-ness of being a rat must be considered, celebrated, and elevated to significantly higher standards. We advocate for a new research paradigm if one continues to “use” the extraordinary Rattus species.