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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-20-2011, 12:11 PM Thread Starter
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hey just a few questions, for rats?

my rats are so cute
theyre massively antsy all the time though so i think i should let them out more; but i'm worried about rat 'stuff' being everywhere, especially if i let him hang out in my bed. soo should i be? and are they antsy bc they need out?


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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-20-2011, 01:01 PM
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They need at least an hour out each day. When I have my rats out in an area they will likely stick with, like my bed, I lay out a 'rat blanket' to cover my own bedspread. It absorbs accidents and prevents random ratty surprises in the sheets.

Most of the time though, I let them run loose in the bathroom. We have tile floors and tile baseboards, so I just wipe things down when they're done.

I find that they tend to pick specific areas to make messes. If you can work out something like that, leave a litter box in that spot for them, or something you don't mind them messing. Like a carpet square sample from a carpet store.


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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-20-2011, 01:03 PM Thread Starter
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hmmmm. thanks


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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-20-2011, 01:17 PM
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Hi Jetson,
Yes, I used to do the same thing as Storyseeker, with my bed. We would put out a sheet over our bed and let our boys run around and get their energy spent, letting them stretch their legs so to speak. We did this at least twice a day as rats really need to get out of their houses every day to run around and have open free play space. It is not good to keep them penned up inside a cage all day without free roam time. They also need time to be with their people (you) and get social contact with us. Our bathroom was not set up as good as Story's so we used our bed. But, yes, a bathroom or bed are both great places for ratties to have free play. As long as they have a safe area with nothing hazardous around that could hurt them. By the way, even when our boys would leave an occassional poop or a small bit of pee on the bed, it was really not a big deal. The little poops can easily be picked up. If you love your ratties, this will not bother you at all.

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-21-2011, 07:50 AM
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It helps to understand how ratties think.

They can't see very well, so they rely on scent. They are territorial, so they have to mark things to know what's theirs. They also are inherently neat. They don't like fouling up their personal places with feces so much.

Rat poo and urine is easily the least noxious of all the rodents I've dealt with--mice, gerbils, hamsters, guinea pigs, or rabbits.

I would have said this is a universal truth, but I do have two newly aquired slobby naked rats who are the exception to that rule, and who unfortunately have pretty pungent poos--they smell like little tiny horse manure nuggets.

I found that in my bathroom, my rats would only pick two places to drop raisins; their chosen personal potty spots-- Under the vanity desk (a spot out of the way and under cover), and in the bathroom closet (again, out of the way and under cover). So, I put a carpet square in both areas and set up a litter box for those spots. Adult rats are better at this. Much like puppies, young rats need to learn.

Rats tend to mark things they 'own' with little dribbles of urine. Full out peeing they tended to do only in their litter box, though every rat is a little different. Again though, rat urine is remarkably non-noxious stuff.

I noticed that in the bathroom, that the areas they would mildly mark tended to be their favorite hang out spots, or their favorite running paths along the baseboards. They don't usually pee or poo a lot or indiscriminately except when they are fearful or overly excited. My mice on the other hand? They would pee and poo every flippin' where, and it REEKED.

My rats will dribble a little piddle on me too since they luv me, but I've got a 'rat hoodie' that I wear only when interacting with them. I don't wash it, so it always smells like them, and even if they mark it, it's not a big deal.

So no, you can't get them to quit completely, but they are predictable and manageable with a little forethought and creativity. Do figure out a way to let them have their hour a day out. It will make them much happier and calmer, and much more friendly towards you.

Are they male or female? If they're females, they probably always be more hyper. That's one of the differences between males and females. Females love to run, jump, and play. Males are lazy lard butts.

An idea, if it's in your budget, or if you are crafty and can cheaply create something on your own, is to use a ratty playpen on top of a double ply blanket. A friend of mine got the Martin's playpen which is between 61-74 dollars new. She lays out a blanket on her bed, and puts the playpen on top of the blanket. It works great! It contains them and gives them plenty of running space. It also has a lid to prevent climbers from escaping. You can build your own though with hardware cloth.


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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-21-2011, 10:39 AM Thread Starter
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yeah i was gonna try and buy this one playpen at my local pet store its like 69.99 i think but i have to start working. i lost my one job after i bought my boys so im in major debt with my parentals. but i just got hired at a kennel. so

theyre males, they be my boys hopefully ill have 20 posts soon and you guys can see them finally! the one in my picture is my gerb, bent. which reminds me about how i have to get another one a them. ahhhhhhh. i let them out on my bed for an hour last night. i gave them some ritz crackers and some carrots and they went nuts for them i swear easton would go stupid for one of them.

you say they don't like feces everywhere in their cage, but it doesnt look like they care to me. its everywhere , and it can be vile at times.

so. is that bad?
hm thanks for all this advice tho.


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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-22-2011, 07:29 PM
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My females use to be litter box trained and I would place it in the bathroom. When they had to potty they'd just go in the box and voila an easy clean up. haha


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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-23-2011, 11:45 AM
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Mess control is all in the litter box training.

Like I said, my nekkids have no concept of personal hygiene, so I get rat raisins all over the place from them. My other young kids are more select, and only poo on one level. The old boys however are completely potty trained and never poo except right at their litter box.

I got the group settled into one cage at last this week, and waited long enough to figure out where they all liked to poo the most. Usually rats pick the bottom of a ramp, in a corner, or some combination of those. Then it's a matter of putting litter boxes in those spots. Use a different type of bedding in the box than in the rest of the cage. In my case, I use felt liners in my cage, and yesterday's news in my litter boxes. That reinforces the 'sensory' memory as well. One type of footing is for pooing, the other is for living. I also pick up extra poos, and deposit them all in the litter box for further reinforcement.


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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-23-2011, 05:51 PM Thread Starter
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huh. so whats like the easiest way to teach litter box training?


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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-23-2011, 07:24 PM
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story seeker pretty much covered the basics above.
But it helps keeping the cage clean as possible and throwing any raisins that dont make it in the box. That way they know thats where business is suppose to be done at. And at least a box on each level until they are completely trained. As long as you keep it up they should catch on fairly fast.


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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-23-2011, 07:26 PM
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Probably just doing what I am doing, though I know others may have great ideas I wouldn't think of.

1) Use a different bedding type for the litter box than for the rest of the cage and remain consistent with your choice. When getting new rats, if you have contact with a rat's former owner/breeder/rescuer and they used litter boxes, it's good to ask them what they use.

2) Look for where they seem to be going the most. If you can figure that out, then put a litter box in that location, preferably adding some of their raisins to the litter so it smells like their potty spot.

3) Rats tend to potty at the bottom of ramps and in corners. Those are prime spots for litter boxes. Often I'll place the litter boxes with the ramp ladder actually terminating /in/ the litter box.

4) Increase chances of success. If your cage has multiple levels, get more than one litter box. I use two in my Critter Nation. I like the following because they have a high back which prevents rats from spraying urine kicking litter out of the cage, and it attaches to the cage bars preventing them from knocking it over: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0002ASBAY/?tag=picc-20

5) Don't be afraid of creative rearranging. The nekkids were pooping all over a corner which wouldn't accommodate a litter box. I added an igloo to that corner, and they quit using it.

6) Clean up stray poops quickly and regularly, and wipe down the cage daily. This keeps the 'poop area' smell more concentrated in the litter box, also increasing the quickness of their successful training.


They should take to it pretty quickly. Earlier this week, the nekkids (and the others to a lesser degree) were pooping all over the bottom level. I added a litter box at the bottom of the ramp two days ago and my clean up on that level went from 40-90 raisins a day, to about 10. You won't get perfection, but you'll get a vast improvement.

Once they are potty trained, you can take a box out during play time and put it in the spot they try to go. They'll use it over pooping on the floor most every time. You'll find that except in cases of fear or excitement pooping, they'll be better outside of the cage.


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Last edited by Storyseeker; 01-23-2011 at 07:37 PM.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-23-2011, 07:41 PM
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I also just found this article which recommends treat rewards. I frankly don't have the time or the energy to sit and be poop monitor all day, so the treat idea wouldn't work for me. http://exoticpets.about.com/od/careo...ittertrain.htm


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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-24-2011, 01:40 PM Thread Starter
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hahah im a high school student. i'm gone for 8 hours a day , and i have like other animals too.


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