How to Play with Pet Rats

Playing with pet rats can be a fun experience for both the rats and their owners. Rats are intelligent and social animals that enjoy interacting with humans and other rats. But it can be challenging for first-time rat owners to know how to play with their pets.

There are many ways to play with pet rats, and it is important to find activities that are both safe and enjoyable for the rats.

Some popular games include hide and seek, puzzle feeders and obstacle courses. It is also important to provide rats with plenty of toys and opportunities for exploration, such as tunnels and climbing structures.

By engaging in playtime with their rats, owners can strengthen their bond with their pets and provide them with mental and physical stimulation.

Creating a Safe and Stimulating Play Area

Pet rats need a safe and stimulating play area where they can exercise and explore their surroundings. Here are some tips to help create a play area that will keep your rats happy and healthy:

1. Choose a Safe Location

Choose a location that is safe for your rats to play in. If you are a new rat owner it can be smart to buy a rat playpen. Try to avoid areas with sharp objects or moving parts that could harm your pets.

2. Rat-Proof the Area

Rat-proofing the play area is essential to ensure the safety of your rats. Cover any holes or gaps in furniture or walls where your rats could get stuck. It’s also important to remove any electrical wires or access to chemicals that could be dangerous to your rats.

3. Provide Toys and Enrichment

Provide your rats with toys and enrichment to keep them entertained and stimulated. Toys such as tunnels, ropes, and chew toys can help keep your rats active and engaged. You can also provide your rats with cardboard boxes or tubes to play in.

4. Monitor Your Rats

Always monitor your rats while they are playing in their play area. Make sure they are safe and not getting into any trouble. Keep an eye on their behavior and make sure they are not showing any signs of illness or distress.

Toys and Activities for Pet Rats

Pet rats are intelligent, curious and playful creatures that need plenty of stimulation to keep them healthy and happy. Providing your pet rat with toys and activities is an essential part of their care and can help prevent boredom, stress and destructive behaviors. Here are some toys and activities that can keep your pet rat entertained:

Rat Toys

  • Wheels: Rats love to run and play, and a wheel is a great way to provide exercise and entertainment. Choose a solid surface wheel to prevent injuries and make sure it’s large enough for your rat to run comfortably.
  • Chew Toys: Rats need to gnaw to keep their teeth healthy, and chew toys can help satisfy this instinct. Wooden blocks, cardboard tubes, and even dog toys can make great chew toys for rats.
  • Hammocks: Rats love to climb and hide, and a hammock can provide a cozy spot for napping and playing. You can buy or make your own hammocks using fabric or fleece.
  • Balls: Small balls made of plastic or rubber can be a fun toy for rats to push around and play with.


  • Playtime: Rats are social animals and enjoy interacting with their owners. Spend time playing with your rat by hiding treats, playing fetch, or teaching them tricks.
  • Exploration: Rats are curious and love to explore their surroundings. Create a safe play area by blocking off a section of a room and provide toys, tunnels, and obstacles for your rat to investigate.
  • Foraging: Rats are natural foragers and enjoy searching for food. Hide treats or small amounts of food around their cage or play area to encourage them to use their sense of smell and search for their food.

Building Trust with Your Pet Rats

When it comes to playing with pet rats, building trust is crucial. Without trust rats may not feel comfortable around their owners. Which can lead to biting, scratching or running away.

To build trust with your pet rats, follow these simple steps:

1. Provide a Safe and Comfortable Environment

First and foremost, provide your pet rats with a safe and comfortable environment. This includes a spacious cage with plenty of toys, bedding, and food and water sources. Make sure to clean the cage regularly to keep it fresh and odor-free.

2. Spend Time with Your Rats

Spend time with your rats every day to build a bond with them. Start by sitting near their cage and talking to them in a calm and soothing voice. Once they feel comfortable with your presence, you can start offering them treats through the bars of their cage.

3. Offer Treats and Positive Reinforcement

Offering treats and positive reinforcement is a great way to build trust with your pet rats. Offer them treats by hand or place them in their food bowl. You can also use positive reinforcement by rewarding them with treats or praise when they exhibit good behavior.

4. Be Patient and Consistent

Building trust with your pet rats takes time, patience, and consistency. Be patient with them and don’t force them to do anything they’re not comfortable with. Consistency is key, so make sure to spend time with them every day and offer them treats and positive reinforcement regularly.

Playing with Your Pet Rats

Bonding with pet rats is crucial for their happiness. They love games like hide and seek, using treats or toys as incentives.

Tug of war with soft toys is another favorite, as is maneuvering through obstacle courses crafted from cardboard and tubes.

With their remarkable intelligence rats can even learn tricks. From simple calls to hoop jumps.

DYI Toys for Pet Rats

If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on toys for your pet rats, you can always make some yourself. Here are some ideas using items you might already have in your home.

1. Paper Toys

Most rats love shredding paper. Plain brown paper lunch bags are great for playing in as well as shredding. Crumpled up paper makes for a fun, if temporary, ball. Your rats will likely love digging, diving, and hiding in a plastic bin or box filled with crumpled or shredded paper.

2. Homemade Hammocks

Rats love to climb and explore, and hammocks provide a great place for them to rest and play. You can make a hammock by cutting a piece of fabric into a rectangle shape and attaching it to the cage with hooks or string. You can also use old t-shirts or pillowcases to make hammocks.

3. Cardboard Boxes

Cardboard boxes are a great source of entertainment for pet rats. You can cut holes in the sides of the box to create a maze or hide treats inside to encourage foraging. You can also stack boxes to create a multi-level play area for your rats.

4. PVC Pipe

PVC pipes are an inexpensive and easy way to create tunnels and hideouts for your pet rats. You can cut the pipes into different lengths and connect them with elbows to create a maze or attach them to the cage to create a hideout.