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.