Rat Forum banner
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
265 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have posted recently about my girl Rose being very much a handful lately. I have figured out ways to control most of the bad behavior and adapt my bedroom to stop the bad behavior. I have everything set up pretty good. But there's a big issue that I can't really adjust to. She digs up my carpet. My boys did that too when I first moved here and did it in the corner of the room and I disciplined him for it and then also put something in the corner to block it so he couldn't dig there and it broke the habit pretty quickly and now it's not an issue and no real damage was ever caused. But Rose does it in any part of the room against the wall. Not just in corners so I can't block it. And I never see her doing it either to stop her. There are several holes that are partially started and now recently she has made one very bad large hole against my closet door all the way down to the floor boards where nails are even sticking up so she could get into my closet. She also did the same thing against my door where she could actually escape from my bedroom if she wanted to. Those holes are so bad and Idk how i'd ever fix that so I'm gonna lose my deposit for the apartment now for sure. Which brings me to my point. After discovering these holes I was completely fed up with her behavior and decided she cannot free range in my room anymore with the boys so I need to buy a playpen.

My question is how is she going to react to now being forced to play in a playpen when she was used to roaming free in my room before and also she is going to have to watch the boys play in the room and she won't get to play with them? I feel really bad about this cuz I feel like she's going to be really upset but I honestly just can't have her destroying my room anymore and I don't know what else to do. Has anyone else made this transition of having a rat go from free roaming to being confined to a playpen? If so, how did they adjust to it? What can i do to entertain her in there? I don't have a lot of toy ideas. My other question is, I bought a playpen on cyber monday from petco online. I am going to attach the link to this, or try to at least lol. Will this playpen contain Rose, or do you think she will be able to escape? It has vertical bars so I figured she hopefully can't climb it well, but she definitely is a great climber so I'm scared. The playpen is also 29 inches high. Does anyone have this playpen and can give me their opinion on how good it is? Otherwise just by looking at the dimension an opinion would be helpful. I have the larger playpen that is a double decker. The link is below.
http://www.petco.com/product/126499...all-Animal-Play-Pen.aspx?CoreCat=OnSiteSearch
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,287 Posts
That playpen wont hold a rat, i suspect my oldest male could get out easily enough and hes starting with HLD and quite clumsy (he is quite active though). Most fit active rats can climb veritcle bars with no trouble. A fair few rats i've had could probably also jump to the top (particularly determined girls. If you want a rat proof play pen then you need something with solid slippy sides thats a good 4 feet high (and then some girls could stil probably jump that high if left to it. I do also think free ranging her on her own away from her gorup would be harsh, if your going to do a playpen then you need to have all the rats free range in there, not just her.

A better option might be looking into rat proofing your room some more. If you could get some cloth/duct tape this is a heavy duty tape you could stick on the carpet around edges and such which tends to come off well. This would give her less purchase to dig at the carpet. It will also offer protection if its actually the boys doing some of the digging. Rats can teach others bad habbits!

I'd also think about why shes doing this, are you in the room with them when you free range them, or do you let them out and then leave them too it, visiting occasionally? Also how long do you free range them for and if you are in the room what do you do?

Carpet digging is a behaviou associated with trying to get somewhere new, which useually means the rat involved is either bored or looking for something. Spending free range playing with her, say using a feather wand and getting her to chase it or giving her things to play with and destroy (try putting heavy newspaper or magazines over her fave place to dig and let her dig at those, or give her a digging box. Theres potentially a lot of things worth trying yet. Girls tend to be more destructive and curiouse in play times than boys (though i've had my share of problem boys too lol, they keep you on your toes) so entertaining them rather than cuddling with them is a much more important part of free range. A boy will be happy in his terratory, a girl wants to search out new things and places, especially when on heat and she wants to find a mate (if shes spayed this wont affect her, not sure if your boys are neutered or shes spayed though)

If you have to go down the pen route then i would recommend you getting some corregated plastic boards and taping / clipping them together to make a pen, then you can collapse it after use
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
955 Posts
The trouble with something that has bars is she will just climb out easily unless it has a roof.
When my boys were young I made a playpen by zip tying/bulldog clipping together tall sheets of corroplast (corrugated plastic boards) The sides are too smooth to climb and too tall to jump. I also got a big sheet of thick plastic pvc tablecloth type material (ebay was selling it by the metre) to protect my floor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
479 Posts
The point of free range time is play, bonding and exercise, so taking her out of the cage and letting the boys free range around her while she is confined alone to a smaller area would be the same as leaving her alone in the cage while the boys are out to run about. I would have them all in the playpen so she has her playmates and isn't bored. Also she will be able to escape that very easily if it is open topped. Most girls I've seen should be able to jump 29 inches easily, and vertical bars are really no trouble for a rat, especially one that is determined. Our boy cage is all vertical and they can scale it no problem and have never had issues with it, same with their mom and sisters. If the bottom tarp is plastic she'll likely have no problem chewing threw it either, especially if she is separated from her cage mates and wants to get back to them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
265 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have tried duct tape already on the floor to block the digging and she gets it off instantly. She is extremely determined to do what she wants to do, even though she knows she isn't allowed to do it, cuz she will look at me for like 5 seconds before she does something naughty, so I know she remembers that she isn't allowed to do it. I know the reason she does it is because she wants to explore. It's not because i leave them in the room by themself. they are never unsupervised. i play with them and interact with them, but i don't have a whole lot of toy ideas, it's more like my room is their junglegym. They are allowed to do a lot of things in my room like climb all over my desk and dresser and a bunch of other stuff, so they stay pretty well entertained. But they are not allowed in my closet and they hate that. That's why she dug the huge hole over there, cuz it allowed her to get in the closet. she insists on playing in there. No matter what I do, she finds a way to get in there. I was afraid of the news that she could climb out of the playpen...but all the playpens out there are the same as far as the bars go. There's nothing with solid walls or anything. I plan on sitting in the playpen with her and playing with her so I should be able to stop her from climbing out, otherwise the floormat it comes with can also be used as a cover, so if I don't sit in there with her I can put the mat on as a cover. Or I was thinking I could buy some of that coroplast stuff and attach it to the top of the playpen. I have heard that works? And I will probably put all 3 rats in the playpen cuz I will feel bad if the other 2 get to run around and she doesn't but idk yet, I haven't decided. What kind of toys can i put in the playpen to entertain them since my room won't be entertaining them anymore?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,287 Posts
Here's a shot of one of my play pen set ups from when i didn't have a rat room. The key thing is to vary what's in it and the layout regularly as they get bored otherwise and if possible create some vertical space for them to climb and interact with. In my rat room i use cat trees. In there i used branches and a cat scratching post and hung this of it
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
265 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
isamurat- that looks pretty cool, thanks. I was gonna buy a playpen like that, but i was afraid she would break through the net walls and rip it. My playpen is arriving tomorrow so I'm pretty excited about that so i can work with her more on trust building. I definitely need to come up with some cool ideas on fun things to put in the playpen for them to play with and on though. i'm not very good at that. Yours looks very fun for a rat. I definitely want to make her a dig box since she loves making holes in my carpet so much lol. I have a few other things to put in there too but not much so until I come up with some cool things it's gonna be a pretty boring playtime lol.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,287 Posts
try a cat scratching post in the middle, most fit rats can race up that and its great exercise as it takes some good muscle useage to get up there,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
265 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
My playpen arrived and of course the bar spacing is 1 inch (it didn't say online in the description) and Rose can fit through the bars. I was afraid of that happening. So now i could adjust it by putting wire around the cage or returning the cage altogether but right now it is useless of course...great. I do have wire leftover from when she could fit through the bars of my cage so I know I could adjust the playpen but it kind of seems silly to keep something I paid so much for and have to make so many adjustments on it for it to even work cuz they can also climb up and over it lol. It would also be a hassle to return it though cuz I got it on sale for cyber monday so i can't afford to pay full price for a different one now, so if i return it i am screwed and would not be able to have anything unless i make my own playpen.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
908 Posts
Have you tried doing play time in a bathroom? This is what I do. When we rented an apartment, I didn't want to risk them messing with the wires, etc and the bathroom was the most secure room with the least they could destroy. As long as you have latches on the cabinets or supervise, it should work well. Mine never figured out how to open the cabinet doors, so it was great. Now that we've moved, I have a critter room, but it is shared with reptiles (with heaters, cables, etc.) so I can't let them free range in there. The room has an attached bathroom with a huge walk-in shower (the kind with the glass door) so that is their new area. I keep toys, climbing things, and treats in there for them to explore on and they seem to really enjoy it. I love that it is completely escape proof and safe for them. I can go in there and play with them as well. It may not be a perfect solution, but if you do have a bathroom that you can use, it might work until you can find something better.

Doesn't Martin's cages make a rat playpen with lid? I know it's not as big as some, but this might work too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
425 Posts
I had a cardboard playpen that my girls used to try and jump out of because they wanted to get back in their cage to hide treats and things, so when I connected the playpen to the cage they stopped trying to get out of the play pen, is there something similar that your rats might want to do?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
190 Posts
I haven't had much luck in rat-proofing a space either :( our apartment building is old with lots of gaps in floorboards, nooks and crannies, loose paint chips, and steam radiators all over the place, and my rats seem to think that a playpen is just a game called "escape." I guess I need to spice up the interior with toys and such. My more active rat, though, has never been put in any space without giving a solid effort to escape, ha...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
265 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The bathroom isn't possible to use because where the floor connects the cabinets there's a tiny crack that I never knew about until one day when my smallest rat escaped from my room and climbed up under there. She goes right to it cuz she knows about it and there's no way to get her out unless I would rip the cabinet apart lol and also my roommate hates rats with a passion and I am not allowed to bring my rats outside my bedroom. She would freak out. My room is ratproofed very well but it's just my one girl. If she would just listen better it would be perfect. But i did receive my playpen in the mail and of course the bar spacing is an inch and she fits through the bars. I looked for the bar spacing info and the description didn't say online so I had to just take a chance on it. I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet. I am going to tweak it a little so she can't fit through, probably just taping cardboard to it. I'm annoyed I paid for it and she can fit through because they should advertise the bar spacing cuz I figured this would happen but if i return it I'll never be able to buy another one cuz I got this on cyber monday for half price. i can't afford full price.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top