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Discussion Starter #1
We have been having some ~extremely~ hot weather in my area, and even though my room is air-conditioned, the air-conditioner is no match for nature's heat. I've read suggestions here before about ways to keep the cage and/or rats cool, but I've forgotten the majority of them. (I have several rat books, but I don't remember reading anything about this...or maybe I just forgot.)

In addition to keeping them cool during the day, we're having a little problem with their "free roam" time. They get an hour or more per day of free roam play time, usually. Their playrooms are one of two bathrooms, both of which are rat-proofed. Unfortunately, although water is provided, the bathrooms are not air conditioned at all, and, even at night, they get pretty hot.

The past few nights, we haven't had "full length" playtimes; I'm letting Gus make the call. When he gets too hot, he lays down as flat as a pancake - he looks like a puddle of rat, LOL - and sticks his nose under the door to breathe the cool air. It took me awhile to figure out that "flat rat" wasn't just a cute posture, but was an attempt at communication, but I finally got it. Now, when I see Gus do "flat rat," I know it's time to bring them to their home, where it's as cool as we can get it.

I take them out in my (air conditioned) room several times a day and night, just to hold them in my hands or lap, or let them crawl on my shoulder - I don't want them to feel neglected, or unstimulated. And their home (I dislike the word "cage") has plenty of room for running and wrestling.

Is it OK to shorten "playtime" during these hot days, and listen to Gus? Are there ways other than fans to keep them cool, so that they can play longer? (I wish my room was a free-roam area, but there are just too many dangers in here.) I don't expect the heat wave to last too long.

As many of you know, I love my rats beyond what is usually considered "normal." Sometimes, when I feel depressed, it seems as though they are the best thing in my entire life...always loving, super smart, and in tune with me. (I love all animals, but somehow, my rats are special to me. I don't have human children, and they are like human boys would be, for me.) I want to do everything I can so that they will live happy lives...and, generally, I think that they are very happy. I hear an awful lot of happy chirping, and bruxing coming from their direction. But I feel just awful that I'm not able to give them cool, comfortable playtime for as long as they want to play. I try to give them everything that is wonderful to a rat...I try out all of the toys and games that I read about. It's getting tough for me to find "new" gifts for them, since they are very spoiled. But they make me happy simply by being themselves, and I truly want to pay them back with the most beautiful life possible.

Here is a pic of the mansion, so you can see the setup, and draw conclusions about where "cool things" should be put. (These kids are pretty darn good at finding the coolest parts of their home!)

Thanks for your help!

 

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I put a bottle of water in the freezer then wrap it in a sock and put it in the cage with them. I also use cooled slate stones since they stay so cool for so long. also fan with a bowl of ice in front of it helps.
 

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I think they are fine Holly. Playing is not fun when it's hot and I bet they realise that. Just like kids who can't go out one really really cold or extremely hot day.

Somethings you can try to allow for playtime in your room: Cover your bed and let them play there. I know two of my rats won't jump off my bed but two others will so you have to know their personality there. Or you can buy some pieces of foam core (or get a LARGE box) tape them together and make that a play pen in your room. I block off a hallway with foam core for my rats and they love that.

Don't feel so bad, they are in ratty heaven with you! I'm sure everything is fine.
 

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frozen veggies in a bowl for them to nibble on... or lay in, lol.

i have the same problems when its summer here too... and the heat usually lasts for the entire summer, so i have the airconditioner and pedestal fans going almost non-stop for the better part of 3 months.

i would say go by what gus is telling you. i'm sure they realise its too hot for them to be running around and would prefer to be where its cooler, even if it is back in their house.

edit: heat rises so keep their house closer to the ground.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks so much!
 

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You could let them play with ice cubes. Get a plastic container and make it a pool for them. Make ice cubes with a bit of juice..if the don't like the pain.
You could get them something like this
http://www.petsmart.com/global/product_detail.jsp?PRODUCT<>prd_id=845524441808069&FOLDER<>folder_id=2534374302047884&ASSORTMENT<>ast_id=2534374302023695&bmUID=1187474552362&itemNo=10&In=Small+Pet&N=2047884&Ne=2

If you don't want fans maybe you could get one of those in window air conditioners. Noah has a fan blowing on each side of his cage.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Jessu, thanks for the great suggestions! I will get the Chin-Chiller soon, if not today!

We have fans, but even with A.C. and fans, it gets pretty hot here during the hot spells.

Does Noah have a cool granite slab?
 

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I see that you live in San Diego. You're not far from me (fresNO!) and it gets HOTTT here, too... Here is what I have for the kids:

"Summer Hammocks" made out of windbreaker material that are dampened and kept in the freezer overnight.

A bowl of ice.

"Water Painting" with the cool water from the ice as it melts. You paint them (face, tails, paws, etc) with it... Mine love it.

I keep ice in their swimming pool during the day.

A few ice packs and frozen water bottles...
 

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I have central air upstairs but not down stairs so I was going to get him a slab but the fans worked really well for him. He loves the breeze. I will most likely leave one on year round for him.
 

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Honestly, i would do andthing to have my rats as spoiled and obviously as happy as your rats but i live in nz and we are a bit cold right now so i dont have any ideas for you sorry.
But really cool cage though.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Everyone, thanks so much for the input and ideas! (Fresno! You win in the "I'm hotter than you" contest! ;) )

Liam, thanks for the nice comments! I love my ratties, and nothing makes me happier than to make them happy!

Jessu: Today, I went to PetSmart, and got 2 "chin-chiller" granite slabs, so that we can rotate...one in the fridge, and one in the "mouse house." I haven't tried them out yet, but when I do, I'll let you know. (More on why I haven't tried them out yet below.)

--------------------------------

Today was another one of those "I think I'm going to melt" days. Even though the boys like to play and wrestle, in the heat of the day, they usually just find the coolest places and relax. (A lot of noise comes out of there at night, though, when it's cooler. :) )

It was also a day for a "BIG" house-cleaning. This involves removing the "carpet" and washing it, etc. (Once a month, they get a BIG change; the rest of the time are comparitively "little" changes.)

While the carpeting was being washed, I gave the boys a bath. As usual, they think it's not too much fun to actually take the bath, but they LOVE the "after-bath" part, when they are damp, clean, and cool. They've been in the "auxilliary home" for awhile, and just now, we're laying down the clean carpeting. After the carpeting is down, I'll put the cool stone down, and see how they like that.

Ah, thank goodness...it's getting to be night time here, and the temperature has cooled down to...let me check...73 degrees F. (Well, it ~feels~ a lot cooler, anyway.) I, too, had a bath after the boys had theirs, and I, too, like the "cool and clean" sensation! :D :D :D
 

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Holly, you make me smile. :)
 

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I know what you mean I always put my rats needs and wants before mine. I was saving for a new ipod but so far I have spent about 160 on Noah this past week. Money well spent I think. I still want to get him this little wooden house thing. When I'm at the pet store I will prob find other things to buy him. I want to litter box train him to so I will be buying stuff for that. He only goes in his cage but sometimes he puts his toys where theres a doodle and I don't like touching the toy after that.
I hope the slabs work out well. I know Noah hates being hot, he puddles out and you can feel his hatred of the heat. I don't know if you have a fan right near the cage but Noah loves to feel the cool breeze. Just make sure that the fan I farther a way then his tail is long.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Smiling back at you, Sparker! :D

Jessu, I'll bet that the fact that you've made Noah's life so much better makes you feel even happier than an IPod would! :) He sounds like the kind of ratty who shows you a lot of love...which is better than listening to someone sing about being in love, on an IPod, IMO. (It's SO hard not to buy every single thing in the pet store!)

The way I trained my guys was that first, I saw where they liked to "go," and then, after I figured that out, I put the "potty" and the "potty litter" there. They knew exactly what to do. (Except, sometimes, Boo thinks it's a lot of fun to dump the potty over! :D )

Already, both rats have shown happiness with their slabs. I'll bet they get even happier tomorrow, when it gets REALLY hot! And yes, there is a dedicated "rat fan," but it isn't ~too~ close to them.

Today worked out to be a fun day for the kids!
 

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Noah beats getting a iPod any day.

He is very loving, always kissing me and culdding up to me. He dose this thing where he nibbles me like an ear of corn. Is that barbering?

Noah likes the fan to be set on the speed 1 up from the lowest.

Noah isn't picky where he lets them drop. He just doesn't drop them to close to food and no where near where he sleeps or on platforms. He will puddle on the platforms though. I think when he is sleeping and needs to go he doesnt bother walking down his ramp he just puddles and knows I will clean it up.
 
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