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I got two first rats(female sisters) and I love them- I got them as a mental support and i have had them/they are around 9 months old and I talk to them everyday, tho to my mental health struggles I have it hard to play and have the energy to take them out, i also got other animals like cats so im scared to let them out without always watching(which my depression stops me to do). I just don't have the mental energy, but I'm trying to make them like me as much as I like them. Sure they aren't aggressive to me and they sure trust me- but compare to the videos I see online I feel like a failed rat owner. Anyone has a tips what I can do?
 

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Hi and welcome! You should definitely be giving your rats time out of their cage on a regular basis. I aim for every day but realistically, 5 days out of the week is pretty acceptable.

I keep an enclosed rat-safe play area for my boys so they're safe and can't damage my home or possessions. There are lots of options for playpen walls. I use sheets of clear acrylic hinged together to create collapsible walls. Cardboard is a pretty cheap and easy option as well.

If your rats aren't getting at least a few days out of their cage each week, I'd encourage you to put a little more effort in for their sake. If it's just not possible, rats may not be the best pets for your current situation.
 

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Hi! I also struggle with extremely poor mental health and have also had those thoughts that I’m not doing enough. Sometimes, there’s just no way I can force myself to set up a play pen and all their toys when I can’t brush my teeth or eat anything for days at a time. I live in a small one bedroom with six dogs and can’t leave my rats out unsupervised either.

What has really worked for me is setting up their play pen in an area that the dogs can’t get to and is out of the way (for me this is my bedroom closet) and I leave it set up until I’m doing better. This way, even though it’s in the same area with the same things, they still get to go play for a couple hours and I didn’t have the set up and clean up which combined can take up to an hour. I really don’t have a lot of space so it’s not always the most aesthetically pleasing and sometimes it’s annoying to have up but I’d much rather that then my rats get depressed because they can’t get out. It takes time figuring out what works for you and I’m always still adjusting things.
 

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hii i have depression and what i found helps in always taking care of my rats is setting up a routine. like no matter what i spot clean their cages everynight+ do a full cleaning every friday. it helps me get out of bad episodes, caring for another living thing can make you feel a lot better. you could also ask your family/friends if it gets really bad to take care of them, write down what they need on a paper before and you could just give it to the person. hope everything goes good w u and ur babies! ❤🫶
 

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I got two first rats(female sisters) and I love them- I got them as a mental support and i have had them/they are around 9 months old and I talk to them everyday, tho to my mental health struggles I have it hard to play and have the energy to take them out, i also got other animals like cats so im scared to let them out without always watching(which my depression stops me to do). I just don't have the mental energy, but I'm trying to make them like me as much as I like them. Sure they aren't aggressive to me and they sure trust me- but compare to the videos I see online I feel like a failed rat owner. Anyone has a tips what I can do?
I know exactly how you feel omg
 
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