• Inside the minds of pet rats

    Posted on May 26, 2014 by in Litter Box Training, Pet Rats & Cats


    Vera and Nora

    Brenda and Gloria, my fifth and sixth rats, lived in a huge one-story cage I constructed myself. It was big enough for me to get inside. For litter boxes, I cut off the bottoms of gallon-sized plastic water bottles and filled them with Care Fresh. (By the way, I no longer use Care Fresh because of the dust, but this was years ago before I knew the dust could contribute to respiratory problems.)

    Thinking that two litter boxes would be sufficient, I placed them inside the new cage in opposite corners. After their first day in their new home, however, Brenda and Gloria defecated in all four corners of their cage. Not a problem, I thought. I made two additional litter boxes so each corner would have a litter box.

    Weston and TajThe next morning, the two most recently made litter boxes had been moved. Each was placed on top of one of the original two litter boxes. The two corners now without litter boxes were completely free from urine and feces. From then on, Brenda and Gloria only urinated and defecated in the two litter boxes I had originally placed in their cage.

    On another day, while on supervised play around the house, Brenda and Gloria discovered a cat toy lying on the carpet. It was a bright red pom-pom made of yarn. Brenda sprinted back to their cage carrying the cat toy in her mouth. She plopped it into one of their litter boxes and urinated on it. I was amazed that she’d brought the toy to her litter box before urinating on it—-never mind that she’d even thought up the idea to urinate on it in the first place!

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