Rats won't stop chewing carpet, wood, everything!
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Thread: Rats won't stop chewing carpet, wood, everything!

  1. #1

    Default Rats won't stop chewing carpet, wood, everything!

    Hi! I'm new to the forum, but I have been browsing topics for awhile. I have four furbabies, all about one year in age. I adopted them a few months ago after my first three rats passed away naturally.

    I love letting them out to roam because it makes them happier and I feel like it's the right thing to do for these incredibly curious creatures. But they won't stop chewing everything they come across. I have tried buying and making chew toys for their cages; they chew those up heartily but it is not a deterrent. I have tried putting them in rat balls, but they soil it within seconds and it takes forever to clean again. I have tried isolating them to one room while I sit with them, but they still manage to find hidden corners to chew up.

    At this point, I've already lost the security deposit for my apartment because of their chewing. And the damage they are inflicting now could cost me more money. I feel really lost, like I'm coming to a situation where they have to stay cooped up constantly but I get to save money, or they come out and I lose a ton of money paying for repairs.

    How do you prevent your rats from chewing carpet or wood in your home?

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  3. #2
    Administrator Jaguar's Avatar
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    Nov 2009
    BC, Canada

    Default Re: Rats won't stop chewing carpet, wood, everything!

    hello and welcome

    the best thing to do is probably to buy or build them a mesh/wire (so they can't chew it) playpen of some kind, and find them a cheap rug or cut piece of linoleum that you can put underneath that they can chew up to their heart's content. my rats have all been carpet and molding chewers and that was my solution.

    martin's has a nice playpen at the top of their page here or you could build your own with hardware cloth and zip ties pretty easily. things like pegboard, coroplast, etc. work well, too, but they could be chewed through if your rats were determined enough so wire or mesh is the way to go. using mesh or hardware cloth also means you can hang things from it and they can climb it too, as a bonus

    there's a picture of a large martin's playpen with linoleum underneath it, from the willow creek rats website

    Rest well Matilda, Rufus, Oliver, Sebastian, Miles, Leno, Gabby, Ona, Cami, Luna, Blue boy, Fuzzy boy, Benjamin, and Bernard.

  4. #3

    Default Re: Rats won't stop chewing carpet, wood, everything!

    You need to build them a rat proof area to free roam in. Maybe purchase a pen? or guinea pig run? Then if you free roam them, do it in a small secure tiled/hardwood floored room like the bathroom and make sure you are supervising.

    Rats will chew, they like to 'renovate' and its how they keep their teeth in good shape. But some things you could try are wooden blocks soaked in apple juice first which makes them really appealing. Instead of giving them their food, hide it and cover it with things so they have to find/work for it. Instead of chopping their veggies, cut it into big chunks and hang it on a string from the roof of the cage (or in the pen/run) slightly out of reach so they have to work for it. Wrap tissue around a twig and place in cage - my rats think these are fantastic!!! The tissue then doubles up as bedding and they will love stripping the bark of the wood. Just make sure the stick is sanitized in boiling water first! Give them something to do instead of the chewing
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  6. #4

    Default Re: Rats won't stop chewing carpet, wood, everything!

    I understand what you're going through. I have tried it ALL. I've found that there is no solution to their chewing. (unless you confine them) We are doing the walls in their room in ceramic now. They have chewed numerous holes in the walls and I've gone through 3 sets of couches. I tried bitter apple, providing them with Hamsteroids, apple sticks plus every chew toy/treat under the sun. If anyone has an answer, I would be beyond grateful. I sure haven't found one.

  7. #5

    Default Re: Rats won't stop chewing carpet, wood, everything!

    Cheap furniture with metal not wooden tasty bits, cheap everything so you can replace it LOLOL

    My rats live in cages most of the time but get the run of the bedroom or livingroom when its Out time

    I found the bitter apple sprays etc encouraged chewing LOLOL

  8. #6

    Default Re: Rats won't stop chewing carpet, wood, everything!

    Yep, she's right.
    I'm so sorry, I forgot to mention that what I've discovered is the best alternative is a futon! It's got the metal and if left open in a bed position, mine have not chewed it at ALL!
    My blankets, pillows and sheets are another story, lol. Last night I made the mistake of sleeping with my favorite T-shirt on. When I woke up, I was wearing swiss cheese fabric. :P

  9. #7

    Default Re: Rats won't stop chewing carpet, wood, everything!

    Thanks for the answers.

    I went the route of rat-proofing an area. I now put them in the bathroom with a bunch of toys. I just feel guilty because I have to restrict them to a less exciting area. There's no wardrobe to crawl into, no bookcase to climb. I don't like this solution at all. I have to sit next to the toilet to enjoy my rats (ha!) and they have fewer fun toys to play with. It really feels like they're just in a different cage.

    Do you think chewing is too much of an instinct to train out of them? I've been trying to train one who keeps chewing the pet gate we bought; whenever she chews, I return her to the cage for a few minutes. Whenever she doesn't chew the gate and moves away from it, I give her a rice krispie cereal. Seems to have no effect, though.

  10. #8

    Default rats chewing carpet

    I sprayed non-toxic and non-poisonious Rataway Fragrance, safe around peys and children!

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