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Rat Out-of-Cage Options

Spend time playing with your pet rat out of the cage.

By Audrey Pavia

Your rat needs at least an hour of playtime outside the cage every day. Playtime should take place in a rat-proofed room.

Choose a room that is easy to secure by closing windows and doors. Cover electrical cords and telephone wires with plastic tubing sold at hardware stores (slice the tubing lengthwise to fit over cords and wires), and put them out of reach. Close off all heating and air-conditioning vents, and plug up any holes with towels. Cover carpet corners with plastic or hardware cloth and tack it down.

Cover furniture that you don’t want chewed or urinated on. Remove rocking chairs and recliners, because these are dangerous for rats.

Supervise your rat during playtime to ensure it doesn’t get into trouble.

If your rat escapes, confine cats and dogs for your rat’s safety. Buy a humane trap used for catching wildlife (you can find these for sale on the Internet) and set the trap to catch your rat. The trap is designed for the door to close when the rat enters to get the bait. Place the trap near the last place you saw your rat and bait it with a piece of your small pet’s favorite food. Check the traps several times a day.


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Reader Comments
I have a small workout room that I let them play in while I cautiously work out. They run and climb all over the equipment. None of it is electrical so they are safe. They climb on my feet on the gazelle and I swing them gently. Too cute!
Barb, Somerset, NJ
Posted: 5/1/2015 7:40:28 PM
i have a playpen for rats. i put them in there and they have a good time. i do watch over them. i have also a midwest rat cage so they get plenty of exercise.
raine, tombstone, AZ
Posted: 7/23/2014 12:46:31 PM
I have an older male hairless rat, 2 1/2 yrs. His name is Fred.His brother passed away, almost 2 years ago. I tried to put him with my other 2 males. That didn't work. So he spends most of his time outside of his cage in bed with me. I am disabled so most of my time is spent in bed. I have a lot of cats. They do not bother my rats. But I ALWAYS watch! Fred only goes in his cage to eat , when I am not around, or when I shower. Other than that he is my baby. He loves me so much! And I love him! He is my best friend. We are so close. I don't know what I will do when he passes.......
Sherry, El Centro, CA
Posted: 8/14/2012 6:17:03 PM
I just sit with my rat on my lap and pet and play with her wile i am on the computer.I put a towel on my lap to prevent poop and pee getting on me.I still play with her outside too, and watch her so she does not run away
Olivia, havelock, NC
Posted: 4/27/2012 12:11:58 PM
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