Saturday, August 23, 2014

Ten Games To Play With Your Pet Rat

*My first rat, Romi*

If you have a pet Rat then you already know how much fun they can be and how much attention they need. I have had several rat's and have found quite a few games you can play with them. Things to keep in mind though, if at anytime your rat seems to not like a game your playing with them, Stop!

You want to have a trusting relationship with your rat and if you do things she doesn't like she may not trust you enough next time you want to play a new game. Keep in mind these are games my rat liked to play, your rat may not like the same games mine did so not all of these may work for you.

1. Some rats love to swim and you can give them a safe place to do this. Fill your tub with about five inches of warm water. You want to make sure the water is warm, not too hot and not too cold. Your rat will swim around in the water and chase your hand in the water if you stick it in there with her. You can put in a bird ladder so they can get out if they want to.

2. Play a game of peek a boo. Just like with little kids, rats will chase you around the corner of the couch and then get excited and run the other way only to run right back when you poke your head up on the side or back of the couch.

3. My rat loved a game I call tickle my belly. What you do is hold your rat in your hand and turn them upside down and put them on the couch or bed and tickle their belly for a second. Then let them go and watch as they come back for you to do it again and again.

4. Did you know you can take your rat for a walk just like taking a dog for a walk? Buy a small animal harness at Petsmart or Petco. They are inexpensive and you'll get a lot of fun out of them. You have to let your rat get used to the harness before trying to put it on her. Put the harness down next to your rat and let her play with it, then slowly try putting part of it over her head and when you can do this you might try holding your rat and slipping the harness on her. Once she's able to go outside and walk around she'll love to get her harness on. This may take some time and patience, don't squeeze your rat while trying to put the harness on her as you may hurt her. Only take them outside when the weather is cooler, you don't want them to burn their feet on the sidewalk.

5. A pet rat loves to come out and be nosy, it's their favorite thing to do. What better way to see what's going on than to be on your shoulder as you walk outside to your mailbox or as you walk around your house. Make sure if you take your rat outdoors that it's not too hot or too cold.

6. A toilet paper tube can be a lot of fun for a rat if you hide a food treat inside it. Take some cut vegetables and put them in the middle of the cardboard tube, then fold the ends inward. Your rat will tear the tube apart to get at the treat and she will have fun doing it.

7. Get a long piece of rope and tie a knot in one end and get your rats attention and have her chase it on the floor. Your rat will grab it, flip upside down trying to hold on to it and play tug of war with you.

8. A game I loved to play was what I called Grab and Gather. I would take about ten tissues and lay them all over the couch, then put my rat on the couch and watch her go and get each piece and bring it to the corner of the couch. I would spread them out again and she would gather them all up again.

9. An exercise wheel is a must have for the rat owner, but you must make sure you don't get a metal wire wheel, instead get a solid plastic wheel or a solid wood wheel. Be aware if you get the wooden wheel your rat may chew it up, rats need wooden toys in their cage to gnaw on in order to keep their teeth at manageable lengths. If you make the mistake and get a wire wheel your rat's tail may get stuck between the wires and hurt. They may also damage their feet on the wire wheel when their feet get stuck between the wires. You don't have to keep the wheel in the cage all the time, take the wheel out and put it on the floor if you let your rat run around and watch her run in the wheel and then dash around the floor. Sit with your rat on the floor and she'll climb all over you then run in her wheel some more.

10. Rats need a lot of attention and playtime every single day. I found the best way to do this is to let them run around on the floor in a room you can 'rat proof'. Start off by making sure there are no wires, cables or anything hanging from a higher shelf that your rat could climb onto or bite into and shock herself. Make sure all exits are sealed, you can do this by tearing apart the sides of large cardboard boxes and places them where your rat might try to get out of the room. Tape them in place. Now you can put down the toys, wheel, treat filled toilet paper tubes, and large books, phone books placed like steps for your rat to run up and down on work really well. She will have fun and you will have fun sitting on the floor with her. If you can't rat proof an entire room you can give them free time on the couch or bed with you.

Have fun with your new friend and she'll reward you with little ratty kisses.