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Training Tips For Rat Owners

Find out what behaviors you can train your pet rat to do.

By Audrey Pavia

Rats are intelligent and easy to train. They can be taught to come when they're called and stand up on their hind legs on command. Some rats enjoy giving kisses to their owners.

Rats can also be litter trained to go to the bathroom in a designated area.

Before you start training your rat, make sure you have bonded with it by handling your small pet a lot until it is comfortable. Choose its favorite treat, and reward your rat immediately when it performs a behavior that you like. When your rat doesn’t do what you want, ignore it. When your small pet gets it right, give it a treat and praise.

Hold a 5-minute training session with your rat every day to reinforce what you teach it. Be consistent, and wait until your rat has mastered one trick before you start working on the next.

Posted: April 2, 2008, 5 a.m. EDT

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Training Tips For Rat Owners

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Reader Comments
Anyone with rat experience, could you PLEASE help?
I'm very concerned; I was called upstairs by my father today because one of my rats (I have two, both girls, from the same litter I think, they get along fine) was "screaming". It was like a squeak, but much longer and louder; more like a shriek. She was chewing a plastic piece on the metal cage. I reached in and gave her a sunflower seed, which she took, though I looked away and never noticed if she ate it or dropped it. She sort of jumped on her cage mate then, who looked concerned but didn't fight her off. I tapped on the cage to get her off the other rat, afraid she'd be hurt. The screaming one ran down into a tissue box I have on the bottom level and has been hiding in there, not screaming, but acting normal. What do I do? Has anyone heard of this behavior?
Concerned parent, Mmm, CT
Posted: 5/26/2012 9:38:31 AM
this is good. i plan to train my rats a lot of tricks.
isabel, Hollister, CA
Posted: 1/23/2012 4:57:12 PM
My daughter's rats potty trained really quickly; except that they dig in their litter so they can sit in there!
Lisa, Rochester, NY
Posted: 1/3/2011 6:01:14 PM
Ryan, Chicago, IL
Posted: 5/2/2009 6:37:51 AM
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