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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-05-2009, 06:41 PM Thread Starter
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First bath...ever...

Well, I decided it was about time for the boys to have a bath. Even though they clean themselves well, and I clean their cage very frequently, they have a tendency to sleep in their urine...ugh. The problem is, I'm not sure who the bath was more traumatic for: them, or me!!!

I used gentle baby shampoo and only managed to do Stanley. I think the first mistake was trying to do it in their playpen instead of near a sink. I had a tub of warm water, but as soon as I dunked him and soaped him up, he slipped away and ran into his cage and hid. I had to try numerous times before I could finally drag him out, and then trying to dunk him again was out of the question. I cupped water in my hand and followed him around the pen, drizzling water on his back. I think I managed to get most of the soap off, and he went into his plastic digging box where I had some towels and old shirts. I dried him off as well as he'd allow, and he hid under the towels for a while. Now he's in his cage (after eating a grape) and is washing himself all over.

I feel like a horrible mom!!!! I know it's just a bath, but now I don't want to even try to give Russell one, because he's so much more timid than Stanley...

Are there any tips for "easy" bathing? Is it ok for him to be washing himself after he's been cleaning with shampoo?


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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-06-2009, 08:25 AM
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Hi Breyer,

I feel your pain! I have fumble thumbed my way through tasks with my other kids--furkind and realkind-- more often than I can count. They always give me the saa-a-a-aaame look. "MoOOOoooom! What was /that/ all about??" I always feel about an inch high.

I am a big ole greenhorn when it comes to rats, but funny enough I just spent yesterday searching and happened to come across a really nice article on how to bathe a ratty at the Rodents Are Great website.

Edit: Oops. I'm a new member on this forum and they won't let me post links yet, but it's "the-rag" dot com. There's a link to the right if you scroll down intitled "Bathing your Rat".


And, heh, upon reading your dilemma, the first thing that popped into my head was the old quote paraphrased from Robert Burns "The best laid plans of mice and men often go astray..." I had to go look up the poem, and was totally bemused at how darn appropriate it was for this situation, be it rat instead of mouse. Hopefully just to give you a little smile after your stressful day:

To A Mouse:

Wee, sleekit, cow'rin, tim'rous beastie,
O, what a panic's in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty,
Wi' bickering brattle!
I wad be laith to rin an' chase thee,
Wi' murd'ring pattle!

I'm truly sorry man's dominion,
Has broken nature's social union,
An' justifies that ill opinion,
Which makes thee startle
At me, thy poor, earth-born companion,
An' fellow-mortal!

I doubt na, whiles, but thou may thieve;
What then? poor beastie, thou maun live!
A daimen icker in a thrave
'S a sma' request;
I'll get a blessin wi' the lave,
An' never miss't!

Thy wee bit housie, too, in ruin!
It's silly wa's the win's are strewin!
An' naething, now, to big a new ane,
O' foggage green!
An' bleak December's winds ensuin,
Baith snell an' keen!

Thou saw the fields laid bare an' waste,
An' weary winter comin fast,
An' cozie here, beneath the blast,
Thou thought to dwell-
Till crash! the cruel coulter past
Out thro' thy cell.

That wee bit heap o' leaves an' stibble,
Has cost thee mony a weary nibble!
Now thou's turn'd out, for a' thy trouble,
But house or hald,
To thole the winter's sleety dribble,
An' cranreuch cauld!

But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
In proving foresight may be vain;
The best-laid schemes o' mice an 'men
Gang aft agley,
An'lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promis'd joy!

Still thou art blest, compar'd wi' me
The present only toucheth thee:
But, Och! I backward cast my e'e.
On prospects drear!
An' forward, tho' I canna see,
I guess an' fear!
(From electricscotland dot com)


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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-06-2009, 08:58 AM
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Hey hun it's good to know i'm not the only one with big wimpy boys when it comes to bath time lol. I found the easiest way to do it is introduce them to water slowly building up their confidence day by day til the water gets deep enough for them to swim and then all i do is put some water in the bath and add their shapoo to it and let them swin about!! They are getting clean whilst having fun and then all i gotta do is take them out and rub them off with a towel...easy peasy! Plus i also buy ratty deodarant that i spray them with once they are dry just to keep them smelling sweet :o) xx

*Carla*
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-06-2009, 01:53 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice everyone! (And I love the poem, Storyseeker! hehehe!)
My boys do like to go in water to fish for peas, so maybe I'll try mixing some shampoo in the water right away next time.

Oh, and Stanley did come out to play after a couple of hours of sulking in his cage. And this morning he ran out to greet me--and he still smells like a nice, clean baby! hehehe


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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-09-2009, 04:32 PM
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My girls aren't much for water, so I put some near their cage using the door as a ramp so if they wanted they could climb into the cage. Pita went back into the cage, Pandora jumped out of the dish and into my lap


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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-13-2009, 06:33 PM
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does anyone keep a little pool of water in the cage? Would they use it to bathe?


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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-20-2009, 02:42 AM
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Actually I think they will just drink it!


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Purr more, Hiss less

Proud Owner to:
2 girl rats~Marlie and Lola
2 male cats~Scout and Oscar
1 girl dog~Kusa


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