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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-24-2010, 11:39 AM Thread Starter
 
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Exclamation hairless rat trouble!

hello everyone!

my hairless is a unique one indeed. she has hardly grown, she constantly "chews" on her bars [but doesn't use her teeth] and tries to escape every five minutes.

i have had to put her in a separate cage when i am not around because she just loves making that 3-4 foot fall to the floor. i'm constantly worrying that she will hurt herself.

i don't want her to feel stressed or depressed because she is not with her two friend ratties all the time. i spend a lot of time with my ratties and i don't understand why she just wants to escape?

once i found her in the couch with 70 pieces of food.


halp!
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-24-2010, 12:33 PM
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How about wrapping the cage with hardware cloth? I have read that others have done that on their cages when they have escape artist little females and it seems to do the trick?

You can get it in rolls pretty cheaply at hardware stores, cut it to size, bend back the raggedy edges, and attach it with zip ties. Most people just use the galvanized steel mesh, though you'll want to replace galvanized periodically because it absorbs urine odors.

Here's what it looks like:

http://www.twpinc.com/

And here is where someone has actually made a homemade cage entirely out of zip ties and hardware cloth (though you would just wrap your existing cage): http://www.ratbehavior.org/CageDirections.htm


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Last edited by Storyseeker; 02-24-2010 at 12:38 PM.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-24-2010, 01:31 PM
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She sounds like a hyper female! Do you have a lot of stuff for her to chew on and play with in her cage? I would highly recommend stocking up on a bunch of different chew toys, hammocks, little plastic toys (mine like cat toys), places to hide in and explore (boxes, jean pouches, fleece, etc.). The more stuff she has to entertain her, the less likely she will be to chew on the cage.

How old is she and how long have you had her? If she hasn't grown it could be simply because she is beyond her largest growth spurt. If you are worried about her nutrition, you might want to start making your own rat food, which is much healthier for them than store-bought foods.


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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-24-2010, 03:36 PM
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I have a rat who sounds like they would be the best of pals! Nancy.....Nancy and her sister Sid (yeah..Sid & Nancy!) were rescued from a feeder bin, and had alot of health issues. But first and foremost, Nancy was, and still is my little escape artist. She's extremely hyper, and if I keep the wheel in their cage, she will run on it, sleep on it, run some more, until she makes herself sick!
I've learned to deal with this...first I had to make sure that Nancy knew her name, you do this, (if you haven't already) is offer her treats, while saying her name, over and over, until she will actually come to her name! This way, if she manages to get out, you can call her, and chances are she'll think you have food, and come running. Second I had to put the girls' cage on the floor in case she would get out, so it would be less likely that she would hurt herself.
This hyperactivity is sometimes a result of bad breeding, but as she gets older, she may calm down, I would just get a bunch of toys for her, and change them out every day, that way...she keeps too busy to bother chewing on the bars!
Try some treats wrapped in newsprint like candy, she can tear into them to find the treats. Or use a papertowel tube, stuff the center with treats, and fill the rest with bedding materiel (like paper towels) chage the cage around frequently, hang the hammocks in a different place, use other things for hammocks (I use the wire baskets with coconut husk as hammocks!) Just keep her too busy to chew. I you haven't already, get a Wodent Wheel!

Good Luck!

"The clever cat eats cheese and breathes down rat holes with baited breath."
~W.C. Fields
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