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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i read the sticky and nearly everything else Rat Daddy has written about shoulder rats and taking them outdoors.

the only question i have that wasnt answered: what about temperature? i assume a hot, sunny day is a nightmare for a rat, but what about the cold? is hiding in my hat or hood going to keep them warm enough, or should i just wait til spring? the reason i'm asking is because i'm worried about how much fresh air they're getting with the house closed up. right now warmest day is 50 F, it's usually in the 40s.

(obviously i am just playing with the idea, definitely not trying it until i'm positive everything will be okay)
 

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It depends on what temperatures your rats are used to. Asside from overheating the main issue is actually temperature change, so if they are kept in a minimally heated area then they will be comfy with cooler weather, if they are kept somewhere warm then they wont cope as well. I personally tend to take mine out when its warm enough for me to have just a jumper or thin coat on but not so warm that I get too hot. Mine live in a cool rat room, so this seems about right.

I wouldn't take them out, even with places to snuggle, below 10 deg C, whilst they can get warm with you they wont enjoy it the same and the real benefit to them of going out is all the interesting things to smell.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That makes sense. I had thought about the large change in temperature.
I wonder if an indoor air purifier is worthwhile. We have central heating but it's not on all the time obviously. I might just be getting paranoid.
 

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Cold really isn't an issue as long as your rats can get under your coat... We took even the very old and sick Fuzzy Rat out in temps down to about 16 degrees F... And she was fine in the car for a few minutes until it heated up or she got cold and snuggled under my coat... We take the rats out trick or treating on Halloween and they typically snuggle under our clothes. In fact Fuzzy Rat once jumped into the ice cold lake and swam around us in late October.... It was pretty cold that day and I'll admit she came back for a towel and warm up in less than 5 minutes because it was colder than she thought... (and she never tried that again)

Rats can tolerate temps down to about 55 degrees F for a relatively extended amount of time, but very low temps for only a little while... They are smart enough to find a warm place when they get too cold. And they are perfectly fine under a coat with you... if you feel warm so are they.

So to be clear.... No you can't leave your rats outdoors when it's freezing out! But you can take them with you as long as they can get under your warm clothes or the exposure to the cold will be brief....

More or less think of yourself going outside wearing a sweat shirt... if it's below freezing, you can only stay outside for a few minutes, if its cool it might be for half an hour or longer... rat fur is about as warm as a flannel shirt or light sweat shirt so do your calculations from there....
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That makes a lot of sense. I have this big chunky thick scarf that wraps around my whole face and shoulders and I was thinking it might make a cozy rat pocket. Might be something to try before it gets too chilly. I am slightly worried about someone seeing I have a rat and yelling or making a sudden movement.
 

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I know what you mean, you have to keep your distance from people, we had both Misty and Cloud along today and Misty poked her head out of my sleeve cuff at dunkin donuts. The girl serving us thought she was cute.. Whew... That could have gone worse....

Misty is black ruby eyed so she's pretty shy when we go outdoors as she can't see very well, but Cloud hammed it up a bit at the doctors office and got her fair share of skritches from strangers.

If I know I have a rat under my clothes I tend to stand back a bit from people to keep them from frightening anyone if they pop out, but Misty poked her head out just as I was handing the girl money for the donuts... Thankfully she laughed and called over her coworkers to see the cute fuzzy animal.

The only thing that's just a little weird is when people ask to see Misty, and they usually do, she dives under my T shirt and it looks just a little odd when I have to reach under my clothes to dig her out.... Cloud's just so much easier to handle, she's got a real calmness about herself... she's the kind of rat you can put down and just let explore around while you talk to someone. Honestly, I'm inclined to believe that the better a rat can see the more confident and relaxed it can be outdoors.
 
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