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We want to get our rats litter trained, so I've removed the litter/bedding from the bottom of the cage and replaced it with towels, and every day (several times) I pick up the poop. I've only just started so we have some ways to go yet, but through doing this I've noticed something. My rats might not be pooping in their potty yet, but they don't poop indiscriminately either, they ONLY poop on the floor of their cage. Tonight we had them out on the sofa with us whilst we watched a film, and then I lay down and had a bit of a nap (for 2 hours!) and during all that time they never pee'd or pooped once outside of their cage. I'd noticed it before but tonight was probably the longest they've been out for, it was over 4 hours, ans still not a single "oopsy!" They always go back into their cage to go potty, even if they aren't using the litter tray.

Is this normal for rats? A friend of mine has two rats from the same litter and she says hers will pee or poop whilst they're out. What gives?
 

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In beginning when I had my rats they'd poop everywhere. Over time they learned to just poop in their cage with out litter training. Maybe it's a maturity thing? Or as they grow comfortable with everything they'll poop less outside their cage. So I'd say it's normal. With potty training it'll just take a lot of patience.
 

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It is not unusual for a rat to hold in a number two whilst they are outside the cage. My rats will only defecate once outside if they are scared or if they have been out for too long. They do sometimes pee and definitely mark. I find that the more accustomed my rats are to the environment and to myself, the less likely they are to have an accident.
 

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I have a litter box inside and outside the cage. My rats use the litterbox 100% percent of the time while outside the cage and only 70% of time while inside the cage.
 
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