Your Questions | About Pet Rats Answers
How do you get your rats to calm down enough to take them outside? Mine get really excited and start sprinting all over me like wet bars of soap trying to go hide wherever but I can’t have them doing that since there’s wandering cats in the neighborhood.
I think they just see things out the window and really really want to go. I’ve seen pictures of people out in the woods or on the beach with their pets and I think that would be fantastic if I could manage, but I don’t know how. I’d keep them indoors and call it a day but they can spend an eternity just staring out the window… I feel bad.
Don’t feel bad! It’s much better for rats to stay indoors. It’s sometimes hard enough to keep them safe INSIDE, let alone outdoors. Besides, most rats do not have very good vision so I doubt your rats are looking out the window and thinking they want to go outside. If they could see, they’d see those cats you mentioned and then would definitely want to stay indoors. Rats are better able to smell and hear than to see.
Every time I see people posting photos of their pet rats outdoors, I cringe. Having worked as a pet sitter, at a humane society and in veterinary hospitals for over 20 years, I’ve seen what happens when cats are allowed outdoors….and rats are so much more vulnerable.
The above are just a few of the hazards your rats can encounter outdoors. The only safe way to have pet rats outdoors is when they’re completely protected. They’re safe when snugly inside your shirt, a pet carrier or sitting with you in a screened in porch where you know there are no holes or cracks through which your rat could escape. A pet carrier, however, is your best bet.
It makes me sad there are people who actually promote training rats to feel confident outdoors. They allow their pet rats to run through fields of grass, go for walks on sidewalks, climb trees, etc. It just isn’t realistic—it’s actually animal cruelty—to allow pet rats to go loose outdoors.
Instead of taking your rats outdoors, do you have a play area for your rats inside your home or apartment? They can have a blast running around a room that’s set up just for them. You can make mazes, box castles, put out wheels for running and food toys for foraging. Here are some of the many things you can do to keep your rats entertained indoors:
A box town is lots of fun to assemble. Even more fun is taking it apart the next day and reassembling it completely differently. Rats love learning the various routes created by the connecting boxes and tubes.
Your rats will thank you for giving them such a rich indoor environment AND for keeping them inside. They’ll also live longer, healthier and happier lives.
Follow About Pet Rats: