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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So somehow my three rats escaped from their cage. My mom is definitely not pleased! Any advice on how to get them safely back??
I got some rat treats on my way home and I'm looking for small live traps. What else should I do?
 

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The treats will be needed! The other week my one rat escaped. I was in quite a panick, as I am sure you are in now. Your rats know where they get food, and are sure to come back looking for it in the same spot they are used to getting it. Take their cage and place it on the floor, with the door open. Place some treats in a line (maybe 3 or 4) leading up to the cage, and maybe one on the cage foor itself. Fill their food bowl with their favorite snack (I cut up some fresh fruit and veggies for my girl, and it worked great! You can try anything with a sweet or strong, appealing smell.) Check on the cage every hour if you can. Check the food and water to see if they got their small paws on it. My girl safetly got home, and I wish you the best of luck getting your babies back as well! Let us know how it turns out!
 

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Yes AccioRat I think you are doing the best thing right now with your current situation the food definitely should work :)
Also your username is sooo cute LOL
Good luck with the rat catching :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
An update: 2 of the three little adventurers are safely home. One was on top of the cage, another was running around the basement- actually came when called ad took treats and ran away to eat it- twice! Then I just put their kennel on the floor with treats inside. He just walked in and was easily caught. One is still loose in my (very messy) basement. So I have the kennel out with stinky foods like a bit of banana, and a bit of peanut butter and water out. I hope to nab him tomorrow morning!
 

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The banana is a great idea! However, you should never give your rat peanut butter. They could choke to death on the stickyness of it. It should be fine as long as there was only about a pinky nail amount that was eaten.
 

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With the exception of brand new rats, most rats see themselves as part of the family... and don't run away... yes they enjoy free ranging and may prefer to live under your clutter than in a cage... but if they're bonded to you they will come back or turn up. And yes.... there are very rare exceptions. A very few rats seem to have a natural desire to break with the pack and go off on their own... It happens when they are about 2 months old and you can sort of see it coming... they become emotionally distant and start spending their time on your windowsills and near your doors. I suppose in nature these are the guys and girls that go off to start their own new packs.


As to peanut butter, it's more of a myth than a fact... That's not to say that some things marketed as peanut butter aren't stickier than others and that some rats might not actually choke. But rats will usually learn to eat it (real natural peanut butter) very safely after a little practice. Our breeder even has it in his food mix and I use it to mix meds in. Yes the first time a rat eats peanut butter, it will usually have some trouble with it and look like it's gagging if you give it too much at a time, but with a little practice they will learn to take small bites and be perfectly fine with it.

So yes, if you are going to ever feed peanut butter beware the weird stuff that isn't really peanut butter and feed any peanut butter in small bites at first, just to be safe. And no doubt someone does have the worlds stupidest or greediest rat that is really going to choke... Like most myths there may be some truth behind the peanut butter one, but overall there's a lot more myth than fact here...

That said... there's no reason that anyone has to feed peanut butter to their rats... so there's no reason to do it if it makes you feel uneasy. Like walking under ladders, it may not be unlucky, but every once in a while someone way up high does drop a paint bucket or a bundle of shingles and that's going to hurt if you are underneath.
 

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With the exception of brand new rats, most rats see themselves as part of the family... and don't run away...
I would only be concerned about new rats who may not yet realize they're part of a family. For these rats who may have been passed around from cage to cage, they don't see humans as part of the family yet so they possibly could wander off since they don't see it as a home.

I've lost my 5-week girl, and it took some hunting to find her, and she wasn't that interested in being recovered. She scampered away and cowered in a corner while we contorted ourselves to pull her out without traumatizing her. But now if I see my 8-month-old girl hop off the couch and check out this cool thing called carpet, I swoop in to pick her up with nary a protest. And if I didn't notice her at first, I'm sure I'd find her within the hour. She'd pop her head up every so often.

A friend of mine has a cage with a plastic bottom. Her rats figured out they can chew through. She discovered this fact by being startled awake by a rat on her pillow. So clearly her rats are aware they're part of the family, and this one was interested in what mommy was doing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
I left the kenel open overnight, right next to the cage, and I just checked and found that the banana is entirely gone and some of the water was gone as well, so the rat definitely has been in the kennel. The peanut butter was barely touched at all. Remus is the youngest one of the bunch, and definitely bonded to the other two, not so much to me though, they've been together for about 8 months now. So he's still around somewhere. so i baited again with more banana and I'm going to start cleaning up the basement a bit. If I get rid of de clutter, it will be easier to catch him. Thank god I have more chill male rats and not hyperactive females!
 

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you can try a bucket of some sort and put food in it and a ladder to get up. your rat may jump in and wont be able to get out. i hope you catch the last one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Another update: The rat is still AWOL. The treats and banana hasn't been touched since early yesterday morning. I bought a live trap and left it out all night with kibble, banana, and PB on a dog biscuit. Zip Zilch and Nada. So now I'm pretty worried! :(
 

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It might be a good idea to just try and listen for the last rat. Sit in one room at a time in silence and see if you hear anything. Hope you find him! :(
 

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If it stole a large portion of food, it might not be done with it yet. Don't get worried yet. Just keep the trap out and baited, and provide some water, too.
 

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Rats like corners and walls. If you're still looking, try placing live traps against the wall. Also, rats cannot go more than a day without water, as opposed to a week without food. They can smell water, so if he is very against coming home, water will work better than food as bait.

My bets luck with finding rats has always been looking, not baiting and waiting. I tear apart everything and eventually find them. But thats not for everyone :)
 

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What if you place some sort of bed in the trap? A hammock or a wadded-up towel? My rats love to explore a wadded-up blanket. If you can use something with his smell on it as a bed, that may be even better. Alternatively maybe with his cagemates' smell.

Like mentioned above, if the trap is placed in a dark corner, the rat may consider that to be home, especially if there is food and bedding there. Since you're trying to trap a domesticated animal, it may help to have the rat feel at home in the trap. It's not like you're trying to snag a wild animal who will bolt at the first sign of trouble (unless he's really new and probably does view you as a potential predator).

I've never done this, so my advice may not be good, but it's what I would consider doing if one of my rats decided to go on an extended adventure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Is it possible that he could have climbed the stairs to the second floor? The door was left open at various times. I somehow doubt he's up there but its a good idea to check there as well.
 

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Is it possible that he could have climbed the stairs to the second floor? The door was left open at various times. I somehow doubt he's up there but its a good idea to check there as well.
Rats are phenomenal climbers and jumpers. I would imagine that a rat is physically capable of going up stairs. I would think a rat might get bored after a while, though. "Hey what's up here? Oh, it's a small perch. Okay, I sniffed everything. Hey, what's up here? Oh, it's another small perch. Well, I'll sniff it just the same. Hey, what's up here? Wow, another small perch. Well, I'll sniff it, but I don't have to like it. Hey, what's up here? Okay, forget it. I'm going back down to chew on some wires."

I'm not saying it's not possible, but I imagine my rats getting bored of going up stairs and going to get a drink of water. Yours might be more determined.

What kind of food are you leaving out? If it's easy to carry (lab blocks, crackers, etc.), then your rat is probably hoarding the food. My youngest girl does that all the time. She just takes food out of the bowl and stashes it in a box. Perhaps you could leave out a plate of honey? Perhaps a bit of yogurt, but change it out every hour. Don't want to get him sick. Something that makes the rat stay in one place to eat. You might even be lucky enough to hear him snacking, especially if you put bells on the trap.

Someone else may be able to answer the question about stairs better than me. They can climb stairs, but I question how likely that is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Final Update: After being gone for 4 days, the final rat has been caught!!! I spotted him behind a stack of mattresses and old bed frames we had stacked against the wall. It was a very inaccessible spot, so I had to set up the live trap on one end, and the kennel trap at the other. Took me an hour of waiting till he was far enough into the kennel for me to pull the string and close it! He's back safely with his cagemates and the security on the cage has been redoubled! Thanks everyone for their help and advice!
Thats one adventure I don't care to repeat.
 

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Yay! Good job, glad he's okay. : )
 
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