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I know that this is has an obvious answer, the answer being "all rats hoard, it's in their nature" but I figured I'd see if anyone out there had any solutions or tricks to remedy this problem.

My rats hoard. Alot. Which yes, I know, is in their nature. But it's frustrating having to dig uneaten food out of their bedding and finding a bowl full of food and treats when I go to clean out their cage! When I give them anything (including when I give them lab blocks or seed mix) they take it, run it down to their preferred hiding spots, and jump right back up. My middle rat, Ramona, will just shovel as much of the seed mix into her mouth as she can hold then will run it down to her little igloo and repeat this over and over and over. Watching her and Astrid (the oldest, the "Alpha") do this makes me realize how perfectly choreographed they have this maneuver down!

It makes me rather frustrated because if its something like veggies or fruit, it shrivels up and rots and the rats beg for more food even though they've taken it all and let it go bad. Even stuff that doesn't really "go bad" gets buried in bedding and forgotten and peed on until I go and dig it out of the hoard!

As of now, I'm considering making a little hatch for the entryway between the top and bottom level of the cage, so that they can't just run back and forth between the bowl and their stash when I feed them, but that's just my last-effort solution and I figured I needed to get some second opinions before I made any changes.

Phew! That was alot. Suggestions would be appreciated. Of course I adore my ratties no matter what, but the stashing is getting a bit out of control!
 

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I noticed that one of my girls started hoarding food after I switched from aspen to fleece. Previously she would bury the food bowl with bedding, so I think she feels like her food is not safe in the bowl now that she can't bury it. I provided some spare fleece pieces that she can move around and now she covers the food bowl with it and leaves it there. Not sure if that would work for your rats, but it's worth a try.
 

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Don't give more food until they eat what's in their hoard and/or feed 2x a day and only what they will eat in between feedings. If you don't overfeed, they will have to eat their hoarded food. No matter what they tell you, it's ok for rats to get a little hungry.
 

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Agree with Vegn. Ever since I started giving them less food the hoarding subsided. I just make sure to leave more for the night because at night they eat it all, and they don't hide food inside their cage - only try to carry it out and place some in the living room.
 
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