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Discussion Starter #1
I'm planning to upgrade my ears cage to a fairly bigger one quite soon (any ideas on that or pics would be very helpful too, we are going to build it) and I was wondering if they might enjoy it if I put a bonsai tree or a pot plant of some nature in the cage for them to play with....good or bad idea?
 

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They'll certainly play with it. But your plant won't likely survive unless you block off the roots with some hardware cloth. A fully/mostly grown dwarf Apple tree might actually make it, but depending on how many rats you have, it probably won't thrive. Your best bet it to boil/bake/pour boiling water over a safe tree branch that you can rinse regularly with vinegar. If you want live plants, pet grass and sprouted fodder would be excellent for them to rip to shreds :) if you're absolutely set on it, you can look up safe plant lists on sugar glider and reptile forums. Rabbit forums/websites tend to have a list of safe house plants since bunnies love to chew them.
 

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Actually some rats really do like trees.... Really tall ones where they can swing in the breeze and hang out...

IMAG0064.jpg

This was Fuzzy Rat, she always came down in about 45 minutes when called... We had another true shoulder rat that actually curled up on a branch and closed her eyes and went to sleep, which lead to the infamous quote from a little boy passing by.... "Mommy, why is the man throwing pine cones at the little animal in the tree?"

In any case, climbing is a younger rat thing, and never let your rat climb a tree full of spines until you are sure they come down on command or you might be in for a long wait.

As to a tree for inside a cage, an old Christmas tree would work perfectly once the needles have fallen off. Lots of branches for your rats to climb on and not much likelihood of a bad fall.


Best luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Where I live we don't have live Christmas trees but I do have an old small plastic fake one? I wouldn't put my rats in a tree in the garden.....I would be convinced a bonsai would work if I wasn't worried about the toxidity and well I can't find any research
 

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We have a saber Ficus in the kitchen, some of the rats have climbed it, while one thought it would be neat just to move the dirt from the pot onto the floor. She went through a plant killing phase. In any event, I was going for a dead Christmas tree, not a live one, it has a lot of small branches for a rat to climb and play on... It may not look very pretty without the leaves, but it provides for lots of surface area for climbing and jumping, we often let our rats climb pine trees outdoors. My daughter is a good tree climber, so as long as she can climb after the rats if need be, the rats are free to climb and jump as they please and they like the dense and close branches that pines and furs have.

Indoors, Saber Ficus are pretty hard to kill, but they don't have many branches strong enough for a rat to play on, unless they are huge. If you are thinking small bonzai, depending on the species it's not likely to hurt your rats, but chances of it's survival in a rat cage are slim.

Best luck
 
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