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Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Encouraging Rats To Play

By Shellyane Bryan
A rat owner from England shares tales of living with her rats named Mouse, Slinky and Diddy.

rat
Photo Courtesy Shellyane Bryan
Diddy and Shellyane's other rats like to chase things, so chase toys are good choices for them.

I was told a little while ago that rats love digging boxes — basically, a box filled with sterilized soil in which they dig and generally have a lot of fun. Apparently you can also plants seeds in order to grow grass and plants to make it a little bit more interesting. It’s meant to be a lot of fun for them to dig them up and rifle through the soil, though the whole thing sounds awfully messy to me! While I was looking this up, I came across a fair few other things to get the rats involved in, things that aren’t going to make quite as much of a mess as them throwing soil around (because sawdust is bad enough as it is!).

One of the best ideas I’ve heard so far involved getting an old bit of fabric or a sock, or any other old bit of clothing and filling it with beans (like the kind you might find in a bean bag). You might remember me talking about ways to try and keep my rats cool during the hotter months of the year — well, the great thing about these mini bean bags is that they can be heated up in the microwave and they can be cooled down in the fridge or freezer, making them perfect little additions to the cage for keeping my ratties warm or cooling them down.

Something I know for certain my rats love is playing chase. It doesn’t matter what you use either, because rats love to just chase things around, even feet! However, I don’t recommend letting them chase your feet around, because my rats especially have a habit of biting toes! It’s usually a better idea to use a bit of paper or just a bit of ribbon. My rats really love to bounce around after these and as soon as they get them, they tend to run off with them (and then leave them somewhere...)

I would really love to have a rat one day that loves to swim though, because they always look so cute when they’re all soggy and splashing around. Sadly, I’ve not had one yet that likes a little dip, so maybe one day.

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Encouraging Rats To Play

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Reader Comments
i have two rats and they dont seem to mind a little splash in the tub. they will crawl around and then splash over to the deeper part to see how deep i made the water. when they come out of the tub they look really cute and their fur is all fluffed up.
grace, denver, PA
Posted: 10/23/2010 12:42:29 PM
I am definitely going to try that bean thing with my rabbit. He also likes to play chase with me. Sometimes, Sparky will tug on my pant leg, and when i look at him, he runs and does a big binki in the air! i didn't know that rats could swim!
Aiyanna, Eugene, OR
Posted: 10/14/2010 5:56:30 PM
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