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Hello!

I am going to be going home to see my family in a few days. We originally had someone willing to come and check in on the 4 rats while we were gone, but that is no longer an option as she is no longer available. The rats will be taking their first road trip! I have been reading on how to make the road trip less stressful, and I feel confident we can make it a safe and stress free ride for them (not for me though, I will be having kittens the whole time).

For the 3 days that we are visiting my family the cage needs to be easy to carry, as well as secure. My Mom has a full grown female cat and a young dachshund puppy. The rats will be in my bedroom, but in case the beasts get in I want them to be protected. I have 2 cage options:

1) Pull apart their Critter Nation cage and bring it. I would rather not since it is pretty big. It is very sturdy, though.
2) Convert a medium sized dog carrier I found into a rat RV home. The dimensions are 36.1" X 23.3" W X 26.7" H and it looks a lot like this: http://www.petco.com/product/122021/Petmate-Navigator-Pet-Kennel.aspx

For about a 3 day visit to a home with other animals, which option would you choose? I am hesitant to leave them alone for that length of time since they are all under 4 months in age.
 

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I would personally use the carrier. It will be secure and safe for them. As long as they get to have play time and snuggle time they should be good. And they'd get use to that carrier in case there are bother trips that you can't take a large cage with you.
 

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If you're willing to deal with the CN cage, then that's better. But, I wouldn't want to deal with that. The dog carrier is small and depressing, but if you can give them a good amount of play time everyday, I think they could handle it. Better than being alone and untended!
 

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And depending on how home is set up, you may be able to allow some free-range time. In fact, it may be a fun family moment as you introduce your ratties to everyone else. The bathroom is typically a nice secure area, but you know the house better than we do.

I too also shudder at the thought of dismantling the DCN and hauling it. If you feel you can pull that off, then great, but I imagine only a few of us would consider that route (I'm not one of them; I'd get the carrier).

Although, your four rats can keep each other company while you're gone. It seems like you can leave them alone for a few days. I know you can't have a sitter, but do you have someone who can at least check in to make sure that the water bottle didn't spill? My wife and I took a 6-day trip and left our 4- to 5-month-old girls alone. We had someone come in each day to dump food in their bowls (turns out we overestimated the food and had a lot left over but better than the opposite). She was even willing to dump out the litter midway and pour new litter into the trays. The rats were perfectly fine when we got back.

If you can't find anyone at all to come in to check on them, then I can understand the need to travel with them. But if you can find someone, that option probably isn't too bad for only 3 days.
 

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With only 2 rats we use a 10 gallon aquarium as a rat RV. Our girls are shoulder rats and they usually ride free range in the car and get let out when we get to our destination... mostly it's a place for them to sleep and poop on the road. 4 rats will most likely require something bigger, but if you can let your rats free range in your room when you get to your parent's home, there are lots of inexpensive cage options that will work.

Our rats so loved my dad's house that they wouldn't come out when we had to go home, so yes... I had to go back the next day to recover them once. And by the next day they had already built a very comfy nest and were settling in quite nicely. Some rats can be very fearful of new places, while other's can make themselves right at home (usually inside someone else's couch or box spring). It's best to keep track of where they are.
 
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