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I know that in an ideal world, you can never give your rats enough attention and play time. But for those weeks when my schedule is particularly hectic, what would you say would be the minimum amount of out-of-cage-time I should give my girls? 1/2 hour, hour, hours?
 

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Most people say one hour per day.

However, other sources can say at least 5 hours per week.

I try to stick by the last rule (as I have so many, they all get half an hour per day of quality play time with me and I make up the difference at the weekends where they come out for an hour or 2), when I'm busy.

I think they'll appreciate you're busy; as long as they have a good sized cage and plenty of stimulative material.

-Edit for clarification - I stick by the last rule if I'm busy and can't get them out for an hour a day. I usually try for an hour though - just to keep happy ratties
 

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Even if you can't be actively playing with them, see if you can throw a blanket over your bed and throw some fun things to crawl around on top, and let them have that while you do other things, like homework, work work, or what have you. Just go back and check on them every once in a while, maybe with a treat or for a quick skritch; I do this while I'm getting ready for class in the morning to let them work off some of their night time energy and settle for the day.

At least that way they're getting out more than just an hour a day to do SOMETHING.
 
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