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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Our four boys have a huge cage. A double critter nation with lots of toys, hammocks, beds, etc... They also have an entire room filled with things to climb and play with. I let them out of the cage for at least an hour every morning and then for several hours at night. (probably 3-4) They don't seem all that active. Inside their cage it's 99% sleeping. Buddy is the only one of the 4 that runs on the wheel. Outside they do play a bit, but a lot of times they'll just go under one of the blankets or into a dark corner and sleep or sit on my lap and let me pet them. I've watched some videos and it looks like other people's rats are much more active. Are all boys just lazy? Or should I be worried about them?
 

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Rat do sleep a lot, studies show an average of 52-75% of the 24 hour day is spent sleeping.
So that's about 12-18 hours sleeping, does that sound about right to you?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Not sure what they do at night when I'm sleeping, but I know they sleep pretty much all day. I typically let them out in the morning around 9:30-10:00am, and they're relatively active, then put them away around 11:30am and they sleep all day, with a few points where I might catch one up eating through the day (I work from home). Then at night I let them out around 9:30pm and they stay out until 12:00-1:00am. I stay up, in the other room, until around 2:00-2:30am, and have checked on them before I go to bed and they are typically all sleeping again. So really they're only active for maybe 4-5 hours a day, with the rest of the time sleeping. And even when they're "active" they're not always super active. Sometimes when they're out they're just lounging in the blankets or on the couch with me.

They have their moments of being super active, chasing each other and fighting a bit, but there are a lot of times where they're just lazing about or sometimes they even go back into the cage and sleep on their own. Are they just bored? We have an entire room full of cat trees and other toys for them to play on/with so I'm not sure what else we could do to make it more exciting for them. Perhaps the schedule I have them on is bad? The room they're in does have a window so even though they are up late with me they still get hit by a bit of sun in the morning. Do they need more dark time?
 

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Bucks are interesting creatures, they tend to be overall active for shorter periods than girls. Typically they will have moments of activity followed by periods of rest or gentle movement. They aren’t all lap rats like some people say, or lazy slobs. They just need a bit more motivation when it comes to getting going. However you can influence how active they are a fair bit. The access to the free range area is great but its also well worth changing it around regularly even if that’s just a rearrangement rather than anything new. Throwing in some changeable toys (like cardboard boxes and tubes) which you can alternate will also help.

Outside of free range I find cage set up really dictates how active they are in a cage. If you cage is mainly hammocks and sleeping palces they will tend to sleep more. If theres more doing things like ropes, wheels, digging boxes, climbing space etc they will be more fit and active. Taking out your middle floor for instance will open up a lot more “doing” space (I’ve done this with my similar cage). Adding in motivation like scatter and enrichment feeding is a really good way of getting your bucks moving too.

I would say enrichment feeding is probably the most fun thing in the world for bucks. Doing things like throwing in a couple cooked bones or other tasty healthy treats (but not enough for one each) is pretty much garunteed to get them running around. Try tieing up some of there veg to the cage walls or ceiling in an awkward hard to reach place. Put there food in a digging box or mix in with a deep layer of substrate. Have a look at some of the parrot foraging toys too, they are brill. I also got some mini drawers for mine and they quickly worked out how to pull them open to get food.

This may backfire, nothing in my rat room is safe. They’ve managed to unscrew jars and open sealed Tupperware boxes as to them its normal to work for your dinner
 
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