There are quiet wheels these days, i have 6 Superpet mesh wheels in my cages in my tiny bedroom and a light sleeper. If they squeak they get oiled with olive oil or a tiny bit of veggie oil. They aren't noisy at all, the rats that run burn off energy and are healthier and happier.
Yes those old wheels were just horrible to sleep through. :lol:
i've always shied away from wheels for that reason. my sister has a dwarf hamster and he runs on his little plastic wheel all night, and it rattles so loud i used to hear it (not any more- i put a tiny fountain in my turtle tank to drown sounds out... sorry. back to topic.)
i have three little two-and-a-half-month-old girls, and they're all crazy hyper when they're not asleep. they only seem to have two modes, actually. i try and keep them in one place during playtime by giving them something to eat that they can't just take and run away with, like corn on the cob or something else i can hold while they nibble on it. meanwhile my cuddly old lady rat is content to sit with me while the crazy babies bounce around. they'll probably all calm down eventually.
mine are nuts too. i sometimes get sad that i can't just cuddle them, but i get lots of joy by lying on the floor and letting them climb all over me and see there more natural rattie behaviour! however without wishing their lives away i am looking forward to when they are a little older and they slow down a bit!
I have always had a soft place in my heart for females for this reason. They're just so happy to be alive!
Something that helps to wear them out is providing different things they can do for stimulation when you aren't there. For example:
- Get a shallow, wide dish (paint roller), fill it with water, ice cubes, and frozen veggies. My girls will get in it, swim around, bathe, eat, sit all the way down with only their heads sticking out when it's hot, etc. Mine have constant access to it (which not everyone's set-ups allow) and I change the water before I leave for work.
- Make a digging box (10gal tanks work well) and fill it half way with chemical free potting soil. You can even grow things in it, just make sure it is rat safe. My digging box has a lid fitted with a corrugated plumbing tube that they use to climb in and out with.
- Make toys that hide food. Foraging and working for their food is natural for them.
Make every moment interesting for them, whether you're there or not. They're so smart that they have to be constantly stimulated.