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I live with a mean Dog so letting my rat run around freely is out of the question. So I bought a clear rat ball for her to run around in so I didn't have to worry about the dog pouncing on her. (I usually keep the dog locked up anyway.) But when I put her in the ball she just sits there and tries to bite the sides. I have tried slowly rolling her to encourage her to run but she just doesn't get it. She will walk enough to keep from flipping but when I stop moving the ball she will just sit there and chew on the ball.

What advice do you have for training my rat to play in the ball and not just feel trapped by it?

Thanks.
 

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No training. Your rat is telling you that she hates it in there. :( Most rats do not like run-about balls. Its not made for them at all since their spine arches up they have to reach up with their paws to move...unlike a hamster who is much more conformed to the ball. A running wheel does the same thing but the rat can get off anytime it wants.

Is there not a bathroom you can rat-proof for your rat to play in? Put the dog somewhere else while your rat is out?

Oh and you said rat? She doesn't have a cagemate? Rats are incredibly social animals and require a friend.
 

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Our eldest rat loves her ball and will bound around in it for as long as she can until she needs to relieve herself. We first put her in a ball when she was about 8 months old, and she just took to it straight away.

Our youngest, who is now 4 months, doesn't seem to care for the ball we bought her. She does pretty much what you describe your rat as doing. Occasionally, we try her again, but we're being careful not to push it on her too much as we don't want her to think of it as a bad thing. She uses the wheel in their cage a lot, though.

I think it's just a matter of preference, really. Perhaps give your rattie a couple of weeks and then try again, but be prepared to accept that she may never take to it.

Just one question - are you sure the wheel plenty big enough for her? Can she stand up fully and still have room to jump in it?
 

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My girl Takota LOVES her ball lol, while my boy Naz hates it. I believe it depends on the rat. Sometimes it takes a day or two and maybe she's just picky. My bf's rat wont run in her ball unless she's in his room lol. I would say if after two or 3 days she might not like it.
 

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My girl Takota LOVES her ball lol, while my boy Naz hates it. I believe it depends on the rat. Sometimes it takes a day or two and maybe she's just picky. My bf's rat wont run in her ball unless she's in his room lol. I would say if after two or 3 days she might not like it.
 

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I don't really like the balls, i think they're cruel for animals as intelligent as rats who need more stimulation than to simply sit inside a ball. They'll probably just get frustrated trying to get out. Is there no way you can rat proof your room, or keep your dog out?
 

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JennieLove said:
Yeah my boys dont like that ball at all, so right now its being used to hold there toys and things, haha.
Jennielove, you can take it apart and use the halves as rat nests...most rats love that. :) Or I might have seen a whole one fastened to the side of the cage with fabric scraps in it.
 

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Sara_C said:
rats who need more stimulation than to simply sit inside a ball.
Our eldest doesn't sit still for a minute, inside her ball :lol:
 

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Our rat Mindy is content with the ball, but if something scares her she freaks out... I think it has something to do with not being able to hide fast. Lucy absolutely hates the ball... she will do everything in her power to stay out of that ball lol. The one time I did get her in there she'd get going and couldn't stop... so it ended up wobbling or spinning and her pooping all over the place because she was terrified. They absolutey LOVE there wheels though,we ended up getting two for there cage because they have sharing issues... and when they do share in the wire wheel it usually ends up with Lucy not keeping up and doing flips in the wheel :lol:
 

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Well Alyssa is weird about it... 1. she poops and doenst stop when shes in her ball 2. she will sit there and groom herself amongst the piles of poo ((scary)) 3. shes run till she hits a wall then stop and like not run. So idk if she likes it or not.... accationaly ill let her run around the house but i cant do it unless im there watching her because we are fostering 3 cats that seem very interested in her ((king tut our cat could care less about alyssa)) so I also got her a prop sorta thing for the ball... its so she can run around without moving. She doesnt run on her wheel though.. its like it doesnt exist to her, im about ready to take it out of her cage.... I usually just let Alyssa climb around my lab while im on the computer or watching tv.
 

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Jay and Bob used to poo in their ball and would never run in it at all; So I dont put them in there anymore, I dont want to stress them out or anything.
 

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I dunno...there's just something about the idea of trapping your rat in a ball that doesn't sit well with me. They might be running out of frustration, trying to find a way out or simply just to try and escape.

And don't forget that rats have very poor eyesight. They rely on their smell, hearing and sense of touch through their whiskers to understand their world, and in a ball much of this is taken away from them. They can't see well to start with, and they'll find it even harder to see through a plastic ball. That, and as lilspaz says, it doesn't to their backs any favours. Animals like rats and guinea pigs, with larger, less flexible spines are not suited to balls at all.
 

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I agree with ya on that one Sara_C. My first two boys where free to roam; my room was theres. I live with my BF now so my new boys dont have that option (since there are so many tempting things for them to chew on) lol. After I tried the ball once or twice, they didnt like it and I didnt either! So I just let them have there normal play time outa the cage, I just have to keep an eye out.
 

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Alyssa_Rat said:
She doesnt run on her wheel though.. its like it doesnt exist to her, im about ready to take it out of her cage....
How big is the wheel?
 

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I have that exact same problem Jennielove lol. I've had to resort to tying all my cables up and out of the way - Oscar has never, ever chewed a wire in his life but Moss seems obsessed with chewing them!
 

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dreadhead said:
They absolutey LOVE there wheels though,we ended up getting two for there cage because they have sharing issues... and when they do share in the wire wheel it usually ends up with Lucy not keeping up and doing flips in the wheel :lol:
Hehehehe, that is totally deliberate!! I call that loop de loop. My 7 month old sisters still play it every night...they both run then one hangs on and gets spun around...they absolutely love it. :lol:

For the fun of it check out the boys of my ooops litter playing this game...
http://s61.photobucket.com/albums/h... and Rennie/?action=view&current=DSCF8179.flv
 

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OMG My old rat Beavis ~RIP~ chewed 3-4 computer cables (dont worry, wasnt on lol) This computer was Prehistoric! AND IT STILL WORKED EVEN AFTER THE CABLE WERE GONE so I have no idea of the purpose of any of them were LMAO! Beavis had his own special spot conveniently behind a big dresser that I couldnt move for the life of me; he used to take things from anywhere and everwhere and stick them there and he KNEW that I couldnt get to them. When I finally got someone to help me move the dresser we found the cables...along with paper, pencils, sharpies (>.< Not eaten THANK GOD) fabrics, treats....HAHA everything. I wish I could have gotten a video of him taking stuff, he would hop like a bunny! One time he found a stick and he couldnt figure out how to get it through between the wll and the dresser and he kept running at it like it would fit...He finally realized that he had to turn it vertically to get it to fit! lol I miss him :'(
 

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Sara_C said:
I dunno...there's just something about the idea of trapping your rat in a ball that doesn't sit well with me. They might be running out of frustration, trying to find a way out or simply just to try and escape.

And don't forget that rats have very poor eyesight. They rely on their smell, hearing and sense of touch through their whiskers to understand their world, and in a ball much of this is taken away from them. They can't see well to start with, and they'll find it even harder to see through a plastic ball. That, and as lilspaz says, it doesn't to their backs any favours. Animals like rats and guinea pigs, with larger, less flexible spines are not suited to balls at all.
I have a HUGE custom made ball which prevents the back problems, also the ball isn't the ONLY outside time my hunnies get. Mostly i'll use the ball if i'm cleaning her cage and she wont sit till. My room is currently rat proofed but she doesn't come to her name (yet). When i'm not cleaning her cage we work on her name and just having fun and being held :D.
I'm not trying to make you go out and buy a rat ball or anything i'm jsut saying what i do and how i find them affective. I understand the poor eyesight but if you have a clear plastic ball and not one of those foggy or mulit-colored ones it doesn't seem too bad. OH! another perk to having a custom mad ball, i had special ventalation "holes" it's hard to describ i'll see if i can post a pic.
 
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