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I let my six rats out for anywhere from one hour to three hours a day. They have unhindered access to quite a large room. (It's safe and everything, no worries. I've done my research.) The only problem is finding them afterwards. The obvious solution would be to either set up a play pen or block areas they can hide under (like the bed), but I feel like that makes it kinda boring for them. If they want to go under the bed or couch, I don't mind lol. They are hard to find though and often run off when I reach for them if they are under something because they know they're going to be put away. Then I have to find them again and start all over! Haha. Takes me like fifteen minutes to round up the whole crew sometimes.



I was just trying to think of creative solutions. I saw a pic somewhere where someone tied a balloon to their tortoise so they could easily see where they were. Obviously this wouldn't work with rats, but something out of the box like that. If it turns out I can't figure out anything, I'll just keep doing what I'm doing already because I love them and they seem to enjoy it, but I certainly wouldn't mind making things easier for myself.


EDIT: I corrected a typo.
 

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Classic, I used to have this problem. My boys LOVED it under my bed and getting them back to their cage became a game of hide and seek for them, and I didnt want them to feel hunted!
I found they actually go back to their cage at their own accord eventually, but you need to control them going in and out so they associate you with fun times.
All I can say is make where they hide accessible to you, so you are able to pick them up and put them back in the cage, 2 was a nightmare so imagine 6 is some serious effort!!

One thing to look out for is they WILL turn an area they go to frequently into a poop zone, there was a drawer under my bed they decided to use for this specifically so I had to clean it out a lot!
Which is a good point - beds with drawers under them are great as you can just pull the drawer out to get your pups back :) only thing is to look out for them getting under or between the drawers then its a bit scary pulling them out
 

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I'd suggest being very careful if you're allowing your rats all sorts of hiding places during free-roam. They may do a lot of damage to your possessions and home. There was a short period where I allowed past rats to free-roam without limitation and I'll never do it again. I thought they were being "good" but they were not. It wasn't until I moved out of that apartment that I discovered the extent of the damage they did by gnawing on things and pooping and peeing in spots. On top of that, it wasn't necessarily safe for them.

You can make a safe and enriching free-roam or playpen area while preventing your rats from getting into hard to find/reach places.

For collecting your rats at the end of playtime, you can make your job easier by getting them to come to you instead of having to search for them. Every time you give your rats a treat (whether inside or outside of their cage), shake the treat container first. They will learn to associate the sound with the treat and come running when they hear it.
 
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