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Hi, I live in Australia and it's getting really close to summer so the weather has dramatically increased over the past few days (just to give you an idea it's 10pm and its 27° C/80° F and the humidity is 79%) and all day I've been watching my rats (Moo & Michonne) and they're both acting really strange. They usually lay on top of eachother and if not they're eating or playing however today neither of them have touched any food, including water (moo had about 5ml). They're also sleeping on different sides of the cage and they're only sleeping on their side. Also Moo who is the most placid, sweetest rat bit my fiancé twice! They just seem really miserable and they're acting super strange, the only thing I can think of is the sudden weather change. Could it be that and if so what do I do to cool them down? I've left the fan on them all day but it just doesn't seem like it's helping.
 

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I'm super worried about this too, as a fellow Aussie getting my first babies in a couple weeks.

My plan mostly consists of cool treats (frozen grapes? Baby food ice cubes? Idk), bowl of water with peas and probably some frozen water bottles put around the cage on the hottest days. Things I do to cool myself down, basically, just modified for ratties. Maybe switching out fleecy hammocks for some with better airflow?

In summer my cats get very lazy and I wipe them down with a slightly damp cloth, not sure if that's something that would work for rats though.

V interested to see if anyone else has suggestions though, because it's a big worry. I don't want to get my babies just for them to overheat D:
 

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If you have an A/C, use that; it would be the best option. You can also put in frozen water bottles, ice in their water, frozen treats, ceramic tiles, cooler fabrics (like cotton if they don't chew)
 

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Heat can kill rats fairly easily. Low to mid eighties is sometimes enough to make them feel really bad if not kill them. If you don't have a/c , please do what lilcritter suggested with ice water bottles and whatnot. You could give them a cool bath also. But don't do cold as it might be too much of a shock to their system. Maybe try fishing for frozen peas in cool water if they gave the energy for that.
 

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Heat is very dangerous to rats. It can and will kill them :( It is definitely something to pay close attention to. Often in as low as the 80s rats can start to get uncomfortable. In the 90s it will really begin to affect them and you may notice them being quite in not great shape, not moving, etc... High 90s or into the 100s and it can be dangerous.

Fans actually do not help all that much because they don't sweat. AC is definitely the most ideal way to handle it. I'd check on just getting a window unit for the room they are in if you can. Getting sun blocking curtains and keep them closed is also very helpful.

To keep them cool, make sure they have plenty of water. I would get tiles, they actuall make some for chinchillas but any type of tile will do. I'd get two, keep one in the fridge and one in their cage and rotate them out. Some people use frozen water bottles around the cage- if you have chewers it could be messy...lol wet and chilled towels hung over the cage. Cool foods.
 

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Thank you everyone for the replies! I've just gone and checked on them and there's about 40ml of water gone and they've eaten all their food. I already give them frozen blueberries, corn, peas and put ice in their drink bottle but none of those things are helping. They don't like fishing for peas so I can't do that either, and Michonne could be pregnant so I don't want to pick her up and put her under a tap just incase. I'll freeze a few water bottles now and see if that works and I'll go buy some tiles :) I really hope just that will be enough. And also I don't have A/C and I'm not spending $3000 on it because I'll be moving after Christmas to a place with A/C anyway. It will be getting into the 100's for about a whole month over Christmas so what do I do when that happens? I fee so cruel knowing their allowed to be in this country yet out wether can kill them :(
 

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Hi Moo-Michonne, another queenslander! My rats currently have a pie dish with water and frozen peas and corn in for pea fishing (only 2 do that though) I put some ice cubes in there as well yesterday and precious had great fun pulling them out and stashing them in the hammock to sleep on. Also instead of tiles (I didn't have any) I just put dinner plates in the fridge to cool and then in the cage for them to sleep on. If it gets too extreme then a wet towel draped over a fan and blowing on their cage will provide some a/c type cooling. Where in Qld are you? (general area if you don't want to say your town ;))
 

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Hey OutbackRat, I've tried playing fishing for peas with them before but as soon as the tip of their whiskers touch the water they freak out and run away. Hmm I might do that instead of the tiles so I don't have to go to Bunnings for one thing haha. I was thinking about getting a cheap portable aircon just until I move out for them. I'm currently in Brisbane but I'll be moving to the Sunshine Coast hinterland sometime after Christmas so it's going to be hotter up there!
 

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Yes, I couldn't face shopping just for one thing so the dinner plates seemed a good idea. maybe try putting a dish of just icecubes in the cage for them to play with? Or just a small container of water in for them to explore? Anyway, good luck! It's going to be over 40degrees here for at least the next week so not going to be fun at all :mad:
 

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I just put the bottles in the freezer and the plates in the fridge. I also filled a container with ice cubes and water and left it in the corner for them. I put an ice cube near moo and she pushed it off the shelf haha. Oh god where are you, like Rockhampton or something?
 

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Id say give them each a bowl with cold water and ice cubes in them and put the bowls right in front of them so that they dont have to move (moving increases core body temp). Also get a spray, fill it up with cool water and spray some water on them so that they can lose some body heat through evaporation. Also try hanging a wet towel over a part of the cage and direct the fan towards that- I havent tried this myself but apparently this works to create cool air too :)
Try to find the coolest room in your house (least direct sunlight) and move their cage to that room if you havent already done it
 

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The only room I can keep them in is mine because I have a cat, and I live in a 2 story apartment and it's always 3-4° higher in my room because hot air rises. I've done pretty much everything that was mentioned on here and they're a lot happier! They just munched out and had a big drink now they're laying in the corner cuddling. :) Thank you so much everyone, I was really worried about them.
 

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Rats can go all squishy and start drooling at about 82 degrees although some can take a bit more heat for a bit longer, but in my personal experience 82 degrees is the top safe limit for just about all rats.

If you have a breeze to work with a spray bottle of water will help to keep your rats wet and cool, this is how we take our rats outside in the summer. We usually have a coastal wind or breeze to work with and the misting pretty much emulates human perspiration. Unfortunately rats don't sweat so without both water and wind this method doesn't help much. When all else failed and the car got too hot we've stopped on long trips to toss the rats into a handy mountain creek and that really woke them up again.

Brown rats are actually subterranean, so they dig into the earth to stay cool in summer, if you have a basement that would be a good place to keep them. Black rats aka roof rats are both tropical and arboreal, in other words they come from hot places and hang out in trees. They are much better suited for hotter climates without A/C.

But yes... when it gets hot in the summer, I do run the A/C for the rats. If the power goes out, they head for the basement floor... Also note it's always cooler on any floor, even if not much cooler, sometimes a few degrees matters.

Best luck.
 

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No I'm in Roma, 6hours west of Brisbane. This is pretty average for summer here so I'm quite used to it. My chooks have a spinkler on a timer so every hour they get a one minute spray, my dogs have multible water dishes and a kiddies pool to lie in and the cats find the coolest spot ( usually in the hallway where they get tripped over ;D).
 

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Oh okay, my brother used to live out that way. That's crazy hot, the chickens would go nuts when they get that spray of water haha!
 

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May I suggest..find flat rocks/stones, put the rocks in the fridge, to cool down. put rocks in cage,another idea, go to a hardware store. get a piece of marble or granite floor tile,,put in fridge,, lay it in cage, or just some chilled towels in cage...the heat is beating the guys up, all the best. it is really great , that you are looking out for the guys
 
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