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I have two 6 month old male rats named Remy and Alex! I've had them since March and they've never been fond of coming outside of their cage. Alex seems to enjoy it more than Remy but he still would rather be in his cage. Would a hamster ball help them become more comfortable outside of their cage without being too much outside of their comfort zone?
 

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Generally balls are a bad idea for rats. It limits their freedom of movement (rats tend to enjoy jumping, climbing and exploring or hiding in small spaces all of which they can't do in a ball). Plus rats enjoy each others company, playing together, and they can't do that in a ball either. Rats intelligence also means that they like to interact with their surroundings, again, not possible from within a ball. Generally a rat wouldn't feel any safer in a ball, quite the opposite, they'd feel more revealed and unable to hide if they become startled.

To make your rat comfier during free range make sure you place lots of hiding places around for him. Tunnels, cardboard boxes and plastic hidey houses are all good ideas. It also helps if you place some of the houses from their cage on the floor for them so there is a familiar safe place to retreat too when it becomes too much for him. Freeranging can be frightening for ratties at first but they'll grow to love it!

If you've head them since March then perhaps you've not had appropriate amounts of time to bond with them? Rats are generally comfier exploring outside of thier cage if there is a trusted human present. That way they can check in with you or snuggle in your lap if they get a little tired. Try setting aside a few good hours to really bond with your little guys. Have you read Rat Daddy's thread on immersion? I found it so helpful with all of my rats, freeranging is a blast for my mischief now!

Hope everything goes well! :)
 

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When I got Jack and Silas, they were five months old from the pet store. They got used to me first, then I started letting them out. I opened their cage door (cage was on floor) and sat or laid on the floor. They gradually began to venture out to me, especially if I placed treats on my lap. I became "safe" and the floor was lava, till I laid on my tummy and they decided it wasn't too far from my arm to the floor...and gradually they started free ranging. Took a few hours of work, but it was fun.
 

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Our part wild rat actually seemed to enjoy rolling around in a big hamster ball... But Fuzzy Rat absolutely hated it and stuffing her in and keeping her in until we got the lid on was nearly impossible... For the most part rats don't like hamster balls. I might add that both rats mostly free ranged the house, so the hamster ball really served no purpose other than it was fun for us to watch the rats roll around in it. Mostly they just followed us around to get let out. And they sometimes pooped or peed in the ball and that made for a mess. It's not something I'd recommend.
 

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My rats really like to explore the deep crevices of my house so they don't like being in one
 
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