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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi. I'm new to this forum, and to rat ownership, so hello all. I bought my first rat two and a half weeks ago. My first question is:

I bought a 13 inch critter ball for my new black hooded rat, whom I named Nyah (pronounced N-eye-ah.) How does one really know if she enjoys using it or not? It's a chore to get her to go into it (though it has proven instrumental in showing me that she is not a biter, anymore,) and she spends most of the time in it seeming trying to find a way out. Do you think she just needs time to get used to the concept of rolling around in a transparent Atlasphere (American Gladiators reference.)

My Second Question is:
I'm in the process of finding her a cage mate (mostly looking in animal shelters,) but in the mean time I am having trouble finding ways to give her a chance to explore outside of her cage. I was letting her out in my room to explore on her own (under supervision,) but she has an uncanny ability to circumnavigate any obstacle I put up to keep her out of places I don't want her to go (seems to be a common trait.) She's extremely active (she was never shy about leaving her cage and is very eager to explore her surroundings.) Does anyone have any suggestions on how to occupy her outside of her cage? Playpen perhaps, though she seems never to want to stay in one place for more than 10 seconds, and will climb over anything in her current path.

Any ideas would be appreciated. Thanks all.
 

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Many rats absolutely HATE those rolling balls. They feel trapped and some get so frightened they just poo all over and quiver in one place. Give it to a hamster or use it as a bed in the cage...

Perhaps have playtime on a table or bed? Females are often hyper, so you'll have to find somewhere that works... The bathtub or something... maybe give her boxes or tubes to play in to occupy her.
 

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Bathtub. bathroom floor, table, bed, ect.. anything really. Females can be bonker.

I have never used a ball for my rats. Is there a reason you want to put her in one?
 

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on the floor, i make a circle around her with my hand and she goes wild. then i gently wrestle with her. Fiona HATES the wheel but for a long time it was the only excersise i knew to give her, until i found out her favorite toy is the sectional sofa at my moms. she runs around it, under the pillows, up the curtains. she loves it. and its good excersise for her too. try making noises to attrack her attention over your way. and praise her when she comes.
 

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If you do something on the computer or homework, your rat would love to just even chill with you. I take my rat Pepper out every time I do homework or computer work. She either sits on my shoulder and has a blast, or wonders away and comes back. The rats just wanna be with you.
 

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I use my bed and computer desk for play time. I have a nice thick blanket to cover the bed with to avoid pee where I sleep, and I just throw a bunch of boxes and ferret tunnels on there and turn them loose. They love it! I think rats would enjoy any place outside of the cage. I'm personally skeptical of how well playpens would go over with rats - it's like going from one cage to another. On my bed they're still limited to a certain area, but it doesn't have that closed-in feeling.

As for the ball, those are not fun for rats. Rats need to smell the air and where they're going. It's not really outside-the-cage time if they're trapped in an even smaller place. And if they pee or poop and move around, that would get really messy and really gross. Those balls seem to be popular with rats as beds though - attach it to the side of the cage and add some fabric!

Also, most females are very active like that. My girls don't sit still unless they're sleeping. My baby girl likes to hand-wrestle with me, but with the others, "playing" with me consists of climbing all over me for a few seconds before running off to climb on something else ^_^
 

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rattikins said:
Am I to understand that you only have one rat?
I think so, but she said she is looking for a cage mate for her.
 

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Hello tialloydragon, welcome to the forums!

Please take a moment to read the site rules, and enjoy your stay! :)

...

Our eldest rat used to love bombing around the house in her ball. She just took to it immediately, from a young age. Our other girl would never use it, so I didn't push it. I put it down to her being pink eyed, and so she couldn't see well enough to use it. I put the eldest one in the ball again the other day, after a long while of not using it, and she didn't like it so I won't use it again.

I think it just depends on the rat. If your girl's already settled in and confident in her surroundings and doesn't like the ball now, I would guess she's not going to change her mind.

For playtime, I lay towels down on our big couch and let them run around on there. I put out cushions, boxes, tubes, paper bags.. anything for them to play with, climb on, run around, hide in etc. Sometimes, I drape a blanket over me and the sofa and boxes and stuff, and they love love love to run around under that.

Like others have said, couches, beds, bathtubs... even rat-proofed bathrooms and closets will work for play time, and the longer you have your rats, the more ideas you'll come up with.
 

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my girls used to run around our living room, with the other rooms blocked off with boxes, but since they discovered the joys of chewing on phone cables, they are only allowed out if they are either on beckoned (daughter) or me, or on my bed. the five of them play chasey all over it, and have a wonderful time hiding under the quilt from each other.

other people let their ratties run around in their bathrooms without too many problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well, for starters, let's get the pronouns right. I'm a male. Second, I purchased a very sweet little cage mate for Nyah; a tan, pink-eyed dumbo that i named Ruby. Nyah wrestled around with Ruby for the first few minutes of their meeting, then deferred into some mutual grooming and a little bit of cuddling as Ruby explored her new home.

I want to put them in the ball (not both of them, I'll have to find another place to put the other one) while I'm outside vacuuming and hosing down their cage. There are way too many electrical cords and crevices a rat can, and has, found her way into that I would rather she didn't (the last time Nyah was out she started gnawing on my alarm clock's power cord, so free ranging is not a viable option.)

I think i'll try the table, bed, and bathroom ideas, at least until i make a foldable "corral" for them out of lexan.

Anyway, I'll post pictures of my new girls later when i've uploaded them.
 

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tialloydragon said:
Well, for starters, let's get the pronouns right. I'm a male.
Oops, sorry! Not sure why I assumed you were a female... probably 'cause most members here are female. I do apologise! :oops:
 
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