Saturday, November 5, 2011

Tips for keeping rats warm during the colder months

Info from The Dapper Rat.

In general rats best handle temperatures from  50-77 degrees F. Although they can cope with colder temperatures much better than hot.  If it is cold in your rat room during winter, there's lots of ways to provide warmth for your rats in their cage:
  • Polar fleece pocket hammocks. They're warm, dark and comfy... the perfect place for a rat to while away a winter's day. 
  • A nest box is essential in all rat cages... for warmth, darkness and privacy. 
  • Give your rats lots of paper towels in their nest box.  They'll have fun shredding them and this creates a very warm and cozy environment.
  • Provide your rats with lots of fabric strips ...  old T-shirts, socks, fleecy off cuts, towels, etc.  Apart from being fun to burrow in and build nests with, they also provide warmth.
  • More rats!   They can keep each other warm in big furry cuddling sleepy rat piles. (Sounds like as good a reason as any to succumb to New Rat Fever)
  • A "warm buddy".  Fill a bottle with warm water, wrap in a towel and place in your rat's cage.  They can snuggle up next to it for warmth if they need to.  This is also a handy method for keeping rats warm during illness or transportation.
  • Warm foods... vegetable soup, mashed potato, warm creamed corn, warm milk, etc.
  • Heating mat.  If it's really cold during winter, you can provide a heating mat (ones used for reptile/fish tanks are good).  Only use on the low setting and place it under only one end of the cage.  That way the rats can move to a warm position that is just right and not overheat.
Wherever possible, try to keep the temperature in your rat room consistent.  Large variations in temperature can stress your rats and make them more susceptible to illness.

Mainely Rat Rescue has many warm hammocks for sale in their online store.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Single rats

If you have a single pet rat, now is the perfect time to add to your rattie family. Rats are very social and are happier in pairs or groups. Contact Mainely Rat Rescue to adopt your new addition!

The Case Against Single Rats

by Angela King
One of the things I love most about rats is that they are such happy, enthusiastic creatures. They seem to cherish every second spent playing with their humans or rat companions, exploring or causing trouble. One of the easiest ways to give a rat more opportunities to enjoy life is to make sure it has another rat to live with. It saddens me a great deal that many rats live alone simply because their owners do not know that they are far happier with company.
Rats are highly social animals which gain a great deal of enjoyment and stimulation from each others company. It just isn't natural for them to live alone. Rats play, groom each other, and cuddle up to sleep together, keeping each other warm. They also communicate by touch and smell, and by sound at frequencies we can't hear. No amount of human attention can entirely replace the company of another rat. Even though rats love their humans, having your own human plus a rat friend is always preferable to just having your own human!
Rats with company live more full and active lives than those kept alone. There are many experiences open to them which the single rat simply cannot have. And no matter how much attention a person gives a single rat, she will not be available 24 hours a day and willing to play in the middle of the night when rats are at their most active. Rats are just too intelligent and easily bored to be left alone when they want to play. Although some rat books say that it is "acceptable" to keep a rat alone, most pet owners want the best lifestyle they can give their rat, not one that is merely acceptable.
Occasionally a rat will be too aggressive to live with another. Males who are often used for stud or who weren't introduced to a companion when young, may fall into this category. In some cases there is little alternative to keeping them alone. But in many cases, all that's required is a more gradual introduction process or neutering. Most rats are not so vicious that they need to be kept in solitary confinement!
Because it's not natural for rats to be alone, single rats sometimes develop neurotic tendencies or behavioral problems. One lovely female I met was very clingy when her owner took her out of the cage, and became possessive to the extent that she would threaten any other person approaching "her" human. At about 6 months of age she was given a cagemate and has since reverted to being a well-balanced, docile companion.
One of my bucks, Diefenbaker, had to live alone for a while because he was too aggressive towards other males and we didn't want to have him neutered unless there was no alternative. He used to stare forlornly out of his cage when he couldn't come out, and became hard to handle because he got so excited when he did come out to play. A couple of weeks ago we introduced him to Samantha, who is fortunately well past the age when conception is likely. Although they hated each other at first, and still have the odd domestic disturbance, they have become very fond of one another and he has calmed down; he no longer struggles or squeaks when playtime is over and it's time to go back in his cage.
Why on earth would anyone settle for just one rat when they could have two?! Two rats are no more work than one--in fact, they can be less demanding because they keep each other amused. You don't need to feel guilty if one day you can't let your rats out to play. A single rat lives for his daily freedom, but a pair of rats can entertain themselves for the odd day.
Some people think that only a single rat will truly bond to humans, but anyone with a group of rats who plays with them regularly knows this is nonsense. As long as each rat gets some individual attention, they will bond strongly to their human. Others think that you can introduce rats only as babies. But as long as you use care, adult rats can be successfully introduced to new babies or adults.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

MRR's Center of Attention

Brio & Inkspot who have been in foster care for a while, finally found a home and now live in NY! Congratulations to Brio & Inkspot!

It's getting hot!

There is a heat wave spreading across the U.S., with many of us experiencing 90 degree temperatures or higher. Here is another tip, courtesy of Deana, on keeping your rats cool.

Take rat sized flat rocks, scrub clean, and place in cage. The rocks stay cool by themselves, or, you can freeze them to chill them more! Rats love to sprawl out on them. You can also use ceramic tiles.

Monday, July 18, 2011

MRR Raffle!

There is something for everyone in this years raffle! If you haven't already, go on over to to buy your tickets. Tickets are only $1.00 each, and for every 10 tickets you buy you get one free! For info or to donate an item, email The winners will be announced August 13th!

  • It's a Rat World Subscription
  • 1 Week Maine Vacation rental
  • 3 piece hammock set
  • 4 piece hammock set
  • 5 piece hammock set
  • Ampersand Quilted Art
  • Hand knitted baby hat
  • Hand knitted newborn hats
  • Build-A-Bear
  • Cage Accessoires Bundle
  • Carrie & matching bunkbed
  • Double Critter Nation
  • Critter Space Pods
  • Crocheted Rat
  • Custom Handcrafted Toy set
  • Custom Pet Portraits
  • Custom Love Quilled art
  • Dale Earnhardt Banner
  • Ele-Fun
  • Electric Corkscrew
  • Emile Toy
  • $25 Ferret Depot Gift Certificate
  • For the Love of Rats Mug & Magnet set
  • Glass Rat charm earrings
  • GPS Tom Tom
  • Hand Painted Rainbow Bridge Picture Frame
  • Hand made rat soaps
  • Hand painted ornaments
  • Homemade rat or dog treats
  • House mouse canvas tote & notecard set
  • Illustrated rat prints
  • Kids activity pack
  • Krackle Flower sack
  • $25 Mom Rat Magic Fleece Gift Certificate
  • Narwhal Plush
  • $20 Olive Garden Gift Certificate
  • On My Own Jewelry Certificate
  • $150 Photo Session Gift Certificate
  • Black and white framed rat photo
  • Ralph Lauren Blanket
  • Rat clock
  • Rat print
  • Rat tote bag
  • Ratatouille Pez Dispenser
  • $25 Robin's Hammocks Gift Certificate
  • Scentsy Wickless Candle "Paws"
  • Scentsy Wickless Candle Bundle
  • Sereus Jewelry
  • Stuffed Rat Toys
  • Wodent Wheels
  • Wool Rat
  • Yankee Candle

Friday, July 15, 2011

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Tips to keep your rats cool

Rats are particularly susceptible to heat and humidity and should be kept in conditions below about 25*C.
In hot weather, it's important to keep an eye on your rats for signs of heat stress.  In particular, any of your rats who are overweight or sick as they will be more affected.
Some signs your rat is over-heated:
  • Slowed movement, lethargy
  • Apathy (even for treats)
  • Tail, feet, ears and nose hot to touch
  • Sprawled position, often with feet stretched out behind them (so they can lose heat through the soles of their feet)
  • Mouth gaping open or panting
  • Drooling
  • Lying on their backs, feet in the air, mouth agape and not very responsive (dangerously hot!)
The best option for preventing overheating is to keep your rats in an air conditioned room.  If this is not possible, you need to keep them cool in other ways.
Some ideas for keeping rats cool:
  • Fill a spray can with water and wet the rats down (make sure you don't spray it in their eyes).  Alternatively, wipe them down often with a wet sponge
  • Drape a wet towel over part of their cage and provide a cooling fan or open window with a breeze.
  • Bath them in cool water.
  • Freeze a bottle of water, wrap it in a towel and place it in the cage for an instant cage air conditioner.
  • Provide them with lots of cool water to prevent dehydration.  Keep a spare bottle in the fridge and swap them regularly.
  • Give them a terracotta pot.  These make great sleeping areas in summer as they stay cool.

Fun treats/games to help cool them down:
  • Fruitsicles - Cut up fruit or vegetable pieces and freeze.  Good choices are watermelon, grapes, banana, honeydew, peas, corn, blueberries, etc.   Ice cubes made of of fruit juice, or containing frozen peas are a welcome treat too.
  • Wading pool - Use a heavy shallow food bowl (or a pot plant drip tray), fill with water and toss in a few ice cubes.  The rats will sleep beside it to cool off, dangle their tails in the water, and lick the ice cubes.
  • Ratty painting - Get a glass of cold water and a paint brush.  Dip the paintbrush in the water and paint your ratty's hairless bits, especially tail and feet.  This will help them cool off faster and give them a challenge (to grab the brush off you and rip it to pieces).
  • Icehouse - Place their favourite nest box / loft / hammock in the fridge or freezer until it cools down.
  • Fishing for peas.   

Info from: 
Article Copyright Robyn Arthur, 2002-2006