The domesticated pet rat is known to be one of the most trustworthy pets you can own. Pet rats have a long and wonderful lineage, and, when raised properly, they are known to be extremely intelligent pets with quirky personalities. This makes them a very enjoyable pet for both children and adults. Since rats have a playful nature, a playpen may be a good idea for them as it may allow them to fulfill their need to be the curious little animals that they are.
Benefits of Having Your Rat Stay in its Playpen
A playpen may help enrich your rat’s emotional and psychical well-being. It may also help stimulate your rats mind as it is a place where your rat can interact with toys and explore their environment. It is important that you allow your rat to leave its cage for at least 90 minutes a day.
Can You Leave Your Rat Unattended in its Playpen?
It is not recommended that you leave your rats alone in their playpen without any supervision whatsoever. Although if trained correctly you may be able to get to a point where you feel comfortable leaving your rats alone for only short periods at a time and even this may be risky due to your rats inherently curious nature. Before you even consider leaving your rat in its playpen unattended, you need to ensure that your rat playpen is completely safe and secure.
What Should You Have in Your Rats Playpen?
Since rats are so intelligent, they can become bored easily. Therefore, having foraging toys in your rat’s playpen is very important as it provides them with different forms of enrichment and keeps your rat’s brain active. You can also find a variety of foraging toys that are appropriate for your pet rat in the bird section of the pet store.
How to Rat- Proof Your Rats Playpen?
- Purchase cord covers if you rats playpen is situated near any bare wires.
- Cover any electrical outlets your rat may have access to.
- Pipes make good cord covers.
- Cover any holes or vents that may be accessible to your rat.
Where Not to Place Your Rats Playpen
Rats can squeeze through anything their heads can squeeze through. Often, rats mark and chew things in the area that they play in so you might want to provide a mat on the floor of your rat’s playpen. When choosing an area to place your rats play pen it is important you choose a safe and quiet place away from any possible dangers such as:
- Any cords your rat may chew
- Near any electrical outlets
- Near open doors
- Near any open vents
How to Get Your Rat to Willingly Stay Within Their Playpen?
There is no doubt your fur baby is extremely intelligent. This may work in your favor when it comes to keeping your pet rat in their playpen because training is the perfect way to teach your pet rat to stay there. Here are a few basic training tips that may help teach your pet rat to stay in their playpen:
Teach your rat to come to you when you offer them a treat. You can teach your rat to jump onto your shoulder by using the treat to lure them up your arm. If your pet rat does not jump onto your shoulder straight away, you can practice rewarding your fur child with treats for jumping up onto your hand at first. Eventually, your rat is able to climb up onto your shoulder. This should make it easier for you to catch your rat when play time is over and it’s time to go back to their cage.
Make sure the playpen is an appropriate height for your rat so that your little buddy cannot climb over it. A rat can climb up to 3 feet, so, the playpen should be a minimum of 4 feet as any shorter may not be an appropriate height for your playpen.
Try sitting on the floor of the playpen with your rat; this can encourage your fur child to come and interact with you. This may also distract your rat from finding a way to try and escape.
Creating interactive games for your rat may be a good idea to keep them engaged when they are in their playpen, some games you can set up for your pet rat are:
Chasing games: In the wild, rats are surprisingly natural predators that often chase and even kill creatures that are smaller than them who intrude on their territory. This means your rat may enjoy a fun chasing game. You can do this by running your hand, a feather or a cat toy across the floor.
Making a maze: A great game for your rat is to make a maze, pathways, and tunnels on the floor of your playpen. Since your rat is a curious little creature; a maze can encourage your rat to explore within their playpen. You can even hide treats in the mazes as an extra surprise for your fur child.
Treasures and treats: Rats are little collectors as they love to pick up little things and hide them. Since your pet rat is a natural forager scattering torn up pieces of paper or some healthy treats such as goji berries across the floor of their playpen may encourage your rat to pick up the small items off the floor.
There is no doubt that pet rats can sometimes be a little rambunctious when it comes to staying in their playpen. It is extremely common for your pet rat to dig, jump, or chew its way out of its playpen. However, by establishing a good bond and instilling them with appropriate training skills, you can reduce the risk of your pet rat escaping its playpen. Overall, your rat’s playpen should be a nurturing environment in which they feel safe and comfortable.