"Rats are intelligent, sensitive and friendly animals who bear the brunt of human fears and prejudices," said People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) in the Asia-Pacific. The group urged consumers to boycott companies that conduct "cruel experiments" on rats, mentioning several candy companies. PETA cited studies showing rats are "fastidiously clean animals who groom themselves throughout the day." They naturally have a pleasant perfume-like smell. The rodents are smart and can learn to recognize their names and respond when called, PETA said "Rats laugh and express joy," the PETA report said. "Recent studies have shown that when rats play or are playfully tickled, they make chirping sounds that are strikingly similar to human laughter." "Rats who live with people often seek touch play or tickling, in much the same way that dogs and cats do," PETA said.