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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know that rats should get at least an hour of free-ranging every day, if not more. But does that mean the rat has to want it? My rat, Remy, will come out of the cage for half an hour or so, run around and explore and stuff, but the he'll suddenly decide that he wants to get back to his home and will do whatever it takes to get back to it. This might be a sign of boredom with his free-range room, but even with cardboard castles, mazes, exc. he still wants to go back in before the hour is up. Should I force him to stay out, or what??? And advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

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He probably feels safe in his home. Some rats are not as exploratory as others.

Make sure your cage has plenty of exercise opportunities for them, this can mean climbing, shredding toys, foraging.

If he will ride your shoulder you can take him around sometimes while you are doing things around the home. My more insecure rats I do this with. I like to wear a hoody, so they can sit down in the hood and feel safe but get to look around while I go about doing chores. Even if it's just 10 minute intervals I think it breaks up the boredom of the cage and gives some bonding time between you both.

Most rats are also afraid of heights, I use this to my advantage as well. If I'm doing a project on a table or desk I will put them on it with a hide and a few toys and do my project while they play there. It can be doing your hair and brushing your teeth, while they wonder the counter top. Again, it can be just 10-15 minutes. It's more exposure to new stuff.

Short little play dates through out the day can alleviate rat curiosity and not be too traumatic for the more homebody types.
 

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I know that rats should get at least an hour of free-ranging every day, if not more. But does that mean the rat has to want it? My rat, Remy, will come out of the cage for half an hour or so, run around and explore and stuff, but the he'll suddenly decide that he wants to get back to his home and will do whatever it takes to get back to it. This might be a sign of boredom with his free-range room, but even with cardboard castles, mazes, exc. he still wants to go back in before the hour is up. Should I force him to stay out, or what??? And advice would be greatly appreciated.
I have a feeling that your little Remy is lazy like my rat. I was worried about it too until getting some great advice from people here. A half hour may simply be enough time for him. My little Pepper is active for about that long and then he's ready to go home, so I've broken his play time into two sessions - one very early in the morning where he dashes around on my desk after I tidy his cage (this is mostly just exercise and exploration time for him, since I'm barely awake). Then he's ready to go home and see what I put in his bowl. In the evening I bring him out again to explore the sofa while I read. He gets a few treats, but after 30 minutes or so, he's ready to go home again.

I wouldn't force Remy - that would probably just scare him. Just offer him some more opportunities to come out, if you can. He may just have a short attention span and then be ready to go home. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for all the advice, guys! I can't let him ride with me around the house because we have cats that might *appreciate* him, but breaking up the free-range sessions sounds good! And I think you're right about him being a lazy little fuzzball, Nebride. :)
 

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I suspect he's a little bored, even with a great free range area, its not so much fun on your own and its fairly normal for them to become lazier and less motivated. I'd be looking to get him a couple of babies to live with, they tend to kick an old buck into gear a little as he tries to keep up with them.
 

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I have 1 boy who's super hyper and curious and 1 boy who's very lazy and laid back and a not adventurous at all. He will only use some to play and some to sleep somewhere. He hardly runs around. Since I've moved he doesn't have good hiding spots so he goes back to his cage to sleep. He's just not as active. Sometimes he stays the whole free time and sometimes he's tired. If yours doesn't wanna use the whole time that's fine. Once he goes back inside give him a few minutes cuz he might come back out otherwise it's fine to end playtime. If he's just not comfortable with his environment **** probably get braver as time goes on and stay out longer. I'd let it happen in his own time.
 

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Omg boys can be lazy. I have a rat room, my boys get a huge chunk of the day as free range time. I just go in, open their cage and leave it open. let them come and go as they please. Though often for my boys I will leave snacks right outside the cage to encourage them lol

Maybe like 80% of the time when I go check on them all but one are in the cage lol My group of 5 boys only one is very hyper and loves free time, and half the time he is out he is asleep somewhere else in the room!! Usually they will come out and then just go back to bed. Even when they are all out most of the time they are just sleeping somewhere else in the room. My boy Remy is weird and has decided he wont leave his cage unless I forget and leave the bedroom door open so he can escape. It is apparently not worth his time. I have a huge fun room with tons of stuff for them to do that I change up all the time. He is just a brat.

To compare it with my girls...the second I open their cage they swarm out screaming freedom and are gone lol
 

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Ah boys are lazy. Both of mine really enjoy playtime! At the moment they're still babies and not hugely confident on the floor, so it's just table too for now. We've been playing in a burrow box this last couple of nights and it's ended with either one or both snuggled up under socks by the end of it.
 

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