FAQ - FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

My rats are fighting/wrestling/squeaking, should I separate them?

Rats naturally play fight with eachother to establish dominance and to have fun! They may wrestle, chase eachother, box, bite, and squeak. It often looks and sounds worse than it is! You'll know that you need to separate your rats if they are lunging, arching their backs, puffing their fur, or the fights result in blood or injuries.

 

How many rats should I get?

Always have more than 1 rat. Lone rats may become bored and depressed which will result in health or aggression issues. 2 is a perfectly good number, but more are always encouraged. Of course, stick to a number that you can properly take care of and provide for.

 

How long do rats live?

Depending on genetics and health, rats will live anywhere from 1.5 to 3 years. Of course, there are exceptions and some rats may live shorter lifespans while others live longer. 

 

What should I feed my rats?

Please visit our Food & Treats page HERE. Rats should have access to a quality lab block at all times as well as fresh water. Treats should be fed in moderation and a few favorites are eggs, mealworms, cheerios, and pasta.

 

My rats are skittish and/or shy. How do I get them to trust me?

Visit our page Trust Training HERE. All rats are different and some may take a few months before they bond to you. Be patient with your rats and don't give up on them. They'll come around!

 

My rats always chew up their hammocks! Help?

Rats love to chew and unfortunately there's nothing we can do about it! Switch your hammocks out once or twice a week as this gives them time to forget the renovations they were making. Provide your rats with plenty of nesting material such as fleece, crinkled paper, toilet paper, cardboard, and more.

 

How do you litter train rats?

With a routine and patience, litter training rats is fairly easy! For my quick guide, click HERE.

 

Do I need to give my rats a bath?

Most of the time, the answer is no. Rats keep themselves pretty clean but occasionally they may need a bit of help. Males can get a build up of buck grease and all rats can get peed on by their friends. You can use unscented baby wipes or a wet paper towel to help clean them. If that doesn't help, a bath may be in order. Fill a container or your bathtub with 1 to 2 inches of lukewarm water. Wash your rat with baby soap but be careful to avoid their face, ears, and eyes. Always be sure to wipe tails softly from base to tip.

 

What color should my rat's teeth be?

Healthy rat teeth are yellow or orange! If your rat's teeth are white, you should schedule a visit with your local exotic vet.

 

My rats pee everywhere! How can I get them to stop?

Rats dribble pee as they walk to mark their territory. There's no sure way to stop this, but there are a few tricks that can lessen how often it happens. Neutering males can help get them to stop marking. Using a designated blanket or shirt while you hold your rats or let them out for free roam, is a good idea. The blanket will smell like your rats which will lead to less marking. 

 

What are the differences between rats with dumbo ears and standard ears?

The only known difference is the placement of their ears! Dumbo ears are placed lower on the skull and are often larger and more rounded. Standard wears are located on the top of the head and are more oval shaped. Since each rat has a unique personality, ears are not associated with particular personality traits. The terms "dumbo" and "standard" only refer to ear placement, not breeds, and both are Fancy Rats.

 

Why do my same gender rats hump or mount each other?

Females will mount other females when they are in heat (which is every 4-5 days). Both males and females will mount their same sex friends to establish dominance. Males and females that have not been sterlized (spayed or neutered) should not be housed in the same cage or allowed to play together.

 

My female rat is vibrating! What is going on?

Female rats go into heat every 4-5 days. They vibrate to attract a mate. During heat, they will often be highly energetic and you may see them doing odd stretches. This is all normal. Female rats will even mount each other during this time.

 

How do I rat proof a room for free roam time?

Rats can and will chew everything! Remove or cover any wires. Remove anything from the area that you do not want chewed (they will chew furniture, base boards, hampers, shirts, towels, boxes, etc). Ensure that any holes are covered. Keep in mind that rats can fit into small spaces - if their head can fit, the rest of their body can follow! 

 

I don't have a room to let them free range, how else can I let them out of their cage?

It's important to let your rats out of their cage each day for at least an hour. The bathroom or bathtub will work great! Set up boxes and tubes for them to play with. Letting your rats explore a bed or couch is a good option. You can block off sections of rooms with plastic or cardboard walls. Ensure that they are tall enough so that the rats cannot climb over them.

 

Please contact your veterinarian for health related questions!