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Although they may cause fear in some people, rats they are increasingly loved companion animals, especially by children. In addition to adapting easily to small environments, rats do not usually demand as much time from their caregivers as cats and dogs.
However, deciding to adopt a rat as a pet also requires dedication and commitment, since these rodents will need to find the optimal conditions for their physical and mental development in their environment. Rats are about very active animals and wonderfully intelligent who need to exercise their physical, cognitive, emotional and social capacities to enjoy a healthy and happy life.
In this AnimalWised article, we will teach you how to enrich your rodents' environment with toy and game ideas for house rats what you can do at home, using your creativity and recycling many materials. ¡Do not miss it!You may also be interested in: Exercises for domestic cats Index
- Rat ladders
- Cardboard tunnel for rats
- Platforms to increase the productive surface of the cage
- Hammock for rats
- Puzzle or hideout for domestic rats
1. Rat ladders
Like hamsters, house rats need and they love to climb, up and down. This exercise may seem very simple to us, but it allows them to expend energy, exercise their bones and muscles, and helps to manage a healthy weight, thus preventing obesity and associated diseases.
One of the simplest ideas you can come up with to enrich your rat's cage is make a homemade ladder, recycling wooden sticks from popsicles or treats like lollipops. The ideal is to bet on wooden sticks, and not plastic ones, since there is always the possibility that your rat will be tempted to gnaw on its ladder. Plastic, as well as metal, can contain some elements in its composition that are toxic to rodents, when consumed in excess or for a long time.
To make a ladder for your domestic rat, you will only need 2 elements: sticks and non-toxic glue. Before using the sticks, we must wash them very well, using neutral soap, to remove any impurities or food residue. When they are dry, you can use them. Some sticks will remain in the vertical position to make a base on each side of the ladder, while we will use others in the horizontal position to build the steps..
The more sticks you use, the higher the ladder you make of your rodent. For this reason, before you start gluing the sticks, we recommend plan how you want to enrich your rat cage, to calculate the height and size of each of the toys that you intend to add to its environment.
A good idea is to combine the stairs with platforms and tunnels, making a kind of maze in your rat's cage. But remember that you should not overload its environment, leaving free space for your rat to run, move freely, feed and rest.
Here's a video of Eimy Riccer to inspire you:
2. Cardboard tunnel for rats
Cardboard is one of the most versatile materials that we can recycle to make toys and games for domestic rats. With a few simple rolls of toilet paper or kitchen together, we managed to make a simple tunnel to enrich their cage.
However, this time, we want to teach you to tunnel a little more complex to motivate your rat. To prepare it, you will need to have some cardboard rolls (of toilet paper, kitchen paper, etc.), a cardboard box (you can recycle tea, milk, shoe boxes, etc.), a cutter (or another tool to cut), and non-toxic glue.
The preparation is very simple but it will require a few minutes of your time. To begin with, we must cut some circles in the cardboard box With the help of the cutter, they are more or less the same diameter as the rolls. To achieve a neater finish, we can use a compass or the roll of paper itself to mark the circle on the box before cutting it. Later, we will insert the rolls in the holes that we cut into the box. To secure them, you can use non-toxic glue.
The number of circles can be defined by you, considering the size of the box, the number of rolls you have and how complex you want to make the maze for your rat. If we want to build a more complex maze To work your intelligence, we can use several boxes and many rolls attached. Each box will act as a kind of station where several tunnels branch off, which can be interconnected, in addition to being interspersed with stairs, platforms, wheels and even obstacles to generate a track of physical and mental stimulation..
You can also take advantage of this homemade tunnel to work the intelligence of your rat. To do this, you can "hide " various treats at different points in the maze, stimulating your rat to exercise its senses, especially its smell, to find its prizes. Without a doubt, you will be surprised with the intelligence of your little rodent.
3. Platforms to increase the productive surface of the cage
Platforms are the easiest and cheapest way to increase the surface area of your rat's cage, creating a second level where your rodent can play and be entertained. A platform basically consists of a raised surface in relation to the floor. To create them in a homemade way, we put use a piece of wood, either square, round or rectangular, fixing four legs with non-toxic glue. Or we can recycle a sturdy wooden or cardboard box to generate a second level in your rat cage.
Logically, when adding a platform we should also think about access ramps, providing optimal mobility to your domestic rat. ¿Do you remember that we already taught you how to make stairs with recycled sticks? Well, it is enough to support them on the edge of the platform to generate a connection with the floor of the cage.
4. Hammock for rats
Another similarity house rats share with hamsters is a taste for swing. If you have already had the possibility of observing how these rodents exercise when getting up and down from their small hammock, have fun playing inside or simply enjoy a rich nap suspended in the air, you certainly know that this is a beautiful complement for the cage of a domestic rat.
Although you can find hammocks for hamsters and rats in pet stores, we want to propose you recycle some old garment and transform it into a beautiful toy for your rodent. To do this, you will need to have a garment, scissors, ribbons, a needle and a sewing line.
First, you must choose the garment that you want to recycle and make sure it is clean before using it. The ideal is to bet on firm and resistant fabrics, that do not fray easily, such as fleece or pure cotton garments. Then, using scissors, you should cut a rectangle that is proportional to the size of your rodent. Remember that the rat must be able to move, lie down and stretch in its hammock, to better enjoy it.
With the rectangle cut out, you will take the needle and the line to sew a ribbon at each end of the hammock. At the end of this step, you will be able to locate your domestic rat's homemade hammock in its cage., tying the ribbons on the bars that you prefer. If you want to improve the finish and give more security, you can add small carabiners to better fix the hammock to the bars.
In this video Gia shows you how to make a somewhat more complex rat hammock:
5. Puzzle or hideout for house rats
To rats they love to have their hiding places, where they can play, rest and observe their cage feeling safe and calm. Once again, we can take advantage of the versatility of cardboard boxes to make a puzzle-hiding place for our rodents. On this occasion, we will need a cardboard box with lid, and that it has a size and depth that allow your rat to enter, exit and move inside. You should also have a cutter or scissors, and some toys for domestic rats.
The elaboration of this puzzle for rats is very simple: you will only need trim some holes on the lid and put some toys that your rat likes inside the box. You can too "hide " some treats among her toys, to encourage her to look for them. If you prefer, you can also make a cardboard ball, make holes in it as in the lid of the box, and place toys and sweets inside. The balls offer greater mobility to rats, so they can be more fun.
These have been some ideas of games and homemade toys for house rats. ¿Do you have other alternatives to enrich the cage of your rats? Well share your ideas in the comments and help us to know more and better games for domestic rats.