How to Train Pet Rats

Training Basics

Rats can be easily trained to do simple tasks. You may actually be training your rat already.... You just may not know it.

Teaching your rat to come when called- When you go to the cage and either say the rat's name or make a clicking noise, you teach the rat to come to the cage door so that you can open it. The rat comes to you when he hears his name or the noise, and you reward that behavior by either giving him a treat or taking him out to play.

Cute Tricks

Simple tricks that do not require much serious training.

Kiss

You can teach your pet rat to kiss you by smearing a small bit of yogurt or baby food on you cheek or the back of your hand. Let the rat lick it off your skin. You'll need to do this several times over a period of time. But, every time the rat is offered your cheek or hand they will lick expecting to taste yogurt or baby food.

Clicker Training

The clicker is a powerful training tool for training just about any animal. When used wrong it is highly ineffective, but properly, it makes an effective training aid.

A clicker works on the basis of positive reinforcement to which the animal wants to work for you. By using positive reinforcement methods for training, the animal remains attentive and focused for longer pierods of time.

Because rats do not understand human language, we can confuse them with different voice tones and noise, so using a clicker for training works best, as it is a distinctive sound that they will quickly associate with a reward.

You will want to try to minimize talking to your rat when training because you will usually confuse it. Use the clicker as the praise, as you will not click until the right behaviors are performed. Wrong behaviors are ignored completely.

Using the clicker training method, it's a more hands-off approach, so never punish your rat.

Training Pet Rats

When getting started, make sure that you have a clicker and small treats that your rat can eat quickly. Make sure it's your rat's favorite treats, so that he won't get tired of it. You can use yogurt or baby food so that you rat gets a lick and you can take it away.

Make sure there are no distractions around you or the rat. No toys. No other rats. Etc. Make sure that it's you, your rat, and an empty table or bed.

When you start using the clicker, the rat may jump at first, but be patient, he will get used to the sound.

Training to Come When Called

Training Your Rat to Come

Without saying anything, when the rat starts to come towards you click the clicker. Wait a second before treating the rat.

Don't let the rat have too much of the treat because you want him eager for more.

You will want to try this again, but at this point your rattie friend may not want to leave your side, hoping to get another taste, so go to the other side of the table or bed and wait for him to come to you again. Once he does, click and treat.

Repeat this a few times.

Then, start to wait longer between the click and treat, so that the rat knows that the treat comes after the click, and when you release the click, he will be rewarded.

Depending on how fast your rat picks this up, you may want to stop now before he looses interest in the game. Otherwise, if you wait too late, he will get tired of the clicker and more than likely loose concentration.

As you continue training you rat to come towards you, he'll start to master it. At this point, you will want to begin alternating the time you click and treat with clicking without treating. Basically, start giving treats out more sparingly. Otherwise, you'll have a rat that will only work for food until he's bored or full.

Training Your Rat to Beg

The next step includes luring the rat to do the behavior.

You can start with "begging."

Using the treat, draw your hand above the rat's nose, so that he gets a good sniff of the treat. Hold the treat right above his head. He should automatically reach up to grab the treat, and when he does click and treat him.

Repeat this a few times until he knows what you want him to do.

After a few repetitions, you may want to take a break.

When you start a new training session, begin where you left off. Then, start to vary the time between the click and treat.

Move towards varying the up treat giving. Remember to always click, even if you don't give a treat.

Rat Trained for Agility Course

Training Pet Rats by Shaping a Behavior

When you shape the behavior, you are basically using natural behaviors that your rat already does, but now showing him to do it when you ask, so to speak.

Take training a pet rat to use a weave obstacle. To start, you will want to click after every stage of the behavior, one pole at a time.

As soon as the rat moves towards the weave, click and treat. Repeat this a few times, but stop after the rat realizes, "Ok walk towards the obstacle, get treated."

Now, you will only click and treat the rat when he moves around one weave pole, in the right direction. Repeat this several times. It may take different training sessions to complete this one stage.

Once the rat picks up weaving one pole, only click and treat if he does 2 weave poles. Then, 3, 4, 5, and so on until he completes the full weave.

The goal is for the rat to perform the full weave obstacle with only one click and treat. Once the rat understands this and can complete the task without fail, begin to vary the time frame between click and treat and then start being stingy with the treats.

Tips to Remember

  • Keep training sessions short- no longer than 10 to 15 minutes
  • Always stop training before the rat gets bored or tired
  • Work on one behavior at a time
  • Do not speak when starting off with a new behavior- add the cue LAST
  • Recap previous sessions before moving on
  • Vary your click and treat once the rat starts to get the hang of a behavior
  • Click AT the behavior, not before or after
  • No hands. No punishment

Adding the Command

So, now that your rat knows the behavior that you want him to do, you probably want to teach him to do the behavior on command. I mean, that's what a trick is, right?

Ok, so here's where it gets a little tricky.

Before you consider adding a cue, you need to make sure that your rat is performing the behavior almost all of the time without fail.

One he is, you can start to exchange the click for the command or cue that you want to use. Make sure that is short and clear, so that it's easier to understand. You will confuse your rat with longer phrases and cues.

In this instance, you will have the rat do the behavior and say the cue, then treat. No click.

Repeat this over and over and over again.

Don't start adding multiple cues with multiple behaviors at once. Work on one at a time, as to not confuse your rat.

When agility training, the rat will recognize the obstacle and perform the behavior from memory.

More by this Author


Comments 117 comments

Whitney05 profile image

Whitney05 3 years ago from Georgia Author

No. I do not recommend letting your pet rat run loose in the house. They can chew wires and get in small crevices in your home.


kaitlyn 3 years ago

is there a way u can train ur rat 2 be let loose in the house but 4 him 2 stay in a certain place in the house and 4 him not 2 run away becausse i have a dog and our dog doesn't like the rat


adil 4 years ago

i have a white rat and 7 guinea pigs


Em1990 4 years ago

I have two male fancy rats. One is Wilbur and the other Orville (We live in North Carolina, first in flight, the Wright Brothers were Wilbur and Orville) they are so much fun and just love to come out of the cage! They love it when I clean out the cage first thing in the morning and think the toilet paper is a toy, and when I vacuum, they run straight up the cage as if to say "Hey!! Whatcha doin'!!" I am going to start trying to train them soon, this is the first time I have owned rats, so it will be a learining experience for all three of us!! :)


krissy1791 4 years ago

I have a pet rat that i bought recently. Ratigan is young and all over the place. He loves coming out of his cage, and i even take him shopping with me. His favorite thing to do is sit with my friends and I while we smoke hookah. For those of you who don't know, hookah is a moistened, flavored tobacco called shisha smoked out of a water pipe. I know this can't be very good for him, but he loves to sit with us while we smoke. Aldo, he seems really O.C.D about his cage, constantly moving and rearranging things. I've had rats n the past, but none of them were O.C.D like Ratigan is.


gabe larry 4 years ago

i love rats they are the best


nichole harding 5 years ago

I have 2 pet rats! one is shy and one is brave! their names are mici and oreo!


Mikayla 5 years ago

I have a dumbo rat and thanks to you she sits kisses me and lisens to my command (;Peace out;)


kitkatkittykat5000 5 years ago

@Thayla,Rats will grind their teeth when they're in a state of contentment,also called bruxing.They will also grind their teeth when they are stressed,.Another reason is to wear down the teeth.Get some chew sticks(no ceder or pine please)for them to chew on and remove anything that could be stressing them out from the area.You'll know if it's bruxing because bruxing is most often followed by boggeling,which is when the eyes bulge out of their sockets.


johny 5 years ago

thanks my rat doesn't really do any tricks


Steven 5 years ago

Hello Whitney, I've had many rats in the past, but all were but my friendly companions and I've never attempted to train one. Anyhow, I just bought 2 male rats and have them in a 75 gallon aquarium.. it's like a Rat Gymnasium and I'm building a hutch to sit on top so it'll be the ultimate mansion with multiple levels when it's done. My question, since I've become interested in training, is the recommended clicker.. the one I bought at Petsmart seems awful loud. I'd like to train them for sure, but I'm a little worried that the sound is so loud that it might scare them. Are your clickers very loud? If not, is there a certain brand that you would recommend that might be a little more 'rat' friendly? And lastly, I'm going over some old college textbooks to refresh my memory on operant conditioning. Is that the training method you use? It seems as if it is. Thanks :)


Alana 5 years ago

I don't no what 2 do!My rat Coco isn't interested in doing ANYTHING but either hiding in her fake minie log, and darting from one wall, to an other!Please help me!


cjgreene2323 5 years ago

i just got a rat and i need your help BAD if i pick him up he poops. i just need helpful tips because when i try to pick him he freezes like ice i got him over two weeks ago


randomness12 5 years ago

i am getting a rat in 4 months and when i go to sleep i put on my radio. does that irritate a rats ears i want to know because i don't want my rat to be irritated all night long. what should i do? this is my 1st pet and i need info. i want to keep it as healthy as possible. i am going to get a girl rat because a vet told me that they don't need to be nuterd/spayed is that true?!?!?!


Whitney05 profile image

Whitney05 5 years ago from Georgia Author

It could be excitement or stress. I would keep a close eye.


Scarlet and Gray 5 years ago

I have 2 young rats, about a month old. Had them for 7 days. They sneeze whenever I get them out of their enclosure, not so much while they are in it. They are eating, drinking, playing. Should I be worried?


Kawena 5 years ago

Hi. I want to get a pet rat, but I want it to be friendly, social and smart. Do you know which gender is the most social or smart?


adam 5 years ago

great site! i had a rat off a friend as she could no longer keep it, i only had it a week ago and was a bit dodgy handling him at 1st but wow what cool pets always had a dog b4 but now luving the rats he (billy) is so friendly and we r now bonding well and he gets loads of out of cage time. only prob is he is about 18 months really would like him 2 have a new buddy 2 play with in his cage but with all his new changes i think it would freak him out agree?


catlyn 5 years ago

i have a rat and i have been training him with your website. ps.my rat is very smart


jaimie 5 years ago

i got my 2 rats today they are small and cute... i named them gracie and willow. they are not from the same rat but they are the same age. i was making a box hoise for thrm today. if i used tayp do u think they would eat it its kinda like ducktayp but its like green i just wanted to ask that before i put them in k well i just wannad to know thx bye


Whitney05 profile image

Whitney05 5 years ago from Georgia Author

Check out the links above for housing, diet, and other information.


jaimie 5 years ago

hey im getting a rat for christmas i was looking at them they are so cute just what do you think i should get for the rat? what kind of toys the cage size , food treats things like that


Shelly 6 years ago

Hi,

We have cute little girl named Tinka, that we brought home 2 weeks ago. She loves to come out and play, and I was just wondering something. On occasion, she will run really fast, and sprint around for a bit. Almost in a frantic state. Is this pretty normal? She is 2 months old. Thanks!


sawyer 6 years ago

i just got a 7 month old dumbo rat and he is really sweet.... he seems to like running around but i am not really sure... i only got him, do you think i need to get him a companion??? would he be happier?


karli 6 years ago

hi! my rats already come when they are told so im going to teach them other tricks!


Ruth 6 years ago

One of my rats gives me kisses and "facials" lots and loves to eat paer and cardboard, keep trying to discourage her but it never works and the other one rarely gives kisses but loves getting rubs and cuddles. Both love treats, of course, but training is not happening lol I'll persevere though. I love them so much. Poor little thing keep getting kicked by accident while running about and following me but scooping them up and apologising and kissing and cuddling them means I'm soon forgiven. Love them to bits and they love me.


erin 6 years ago

i taught my rats to go into the carrying cage just by calling them and giving them these little yogurt drops called "yogies" and by the way, do you know where to get rat leashes for small rats? my petco in bellevue only have them for medium rats.


Fiona 6 years ago

I am getting a rat for a science project that I am doing. I am going to train the rat. I was wondering. Do you know what kinds of Rats are the smartest and learn the best? I was thinking of a fancy american blue. Thanks! really cool article.

-Fiona


Joseph 6 years ago

Oh, okay, thanks. I'm still thinking about it. One more thing. When you train a rat, how long does it take for them to master that trick? And how do you know that they've mastered it? :)


Whitney05 profile image

Whitney05 6 years ago from Georgia Author

As long as someone is caring for the rat, the rat isn't going to care who. Just remember that they only live a few years, so if you had to leave, you'd miss out on the entire lifespan. No reason to get the pet rat in that case.


Joseph 6 years ago

Hi there! I'm planning to get a pet rat but I'm scared that I have to leave the house for a couple of years and my mom and/or sister havta take care of them. They're not that fond of animal so I figured they will just feed them and clean their cage and not let them out or play with them. My question is, can rats live like that - for a couple of years?


Whitney05 profile image

Whitney05 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Some rats don't mind the leashes, but others hate them. You won't find a rat who will walk on a leash like a dog, it's more to ensure that the rat is safe in your arms when you're out. If they're sized properly, they're fine. I wouldn't suggest the harness ones, but the ones that are more like thin rope and sort of wrap around. They will easily slip out of the mesh harness ones.


Shannah 6 years ago

I am going this weekend to get a rattie. So is my boyfriend. Each of us are getting a male. I've done all my research and know everything I need to do for caring for them. I can't wait to train him and become attached to him. :)

just one question. I know they sell leashes for rats but I don't think that'd be too comfortable for them. Am I right?


Thayla 6 years ago

Hi.Both of my female rats Grind there teeth. It doesn't seem to hurt them but its very loud and sounds alarming. Is this normal?


payton 6 years ago

my pet rat pande is so adorable and all the tricks she learnd were from this website.She can do everything on this page. She's a very smart RAT!!!


Whitney05 profile image

Whitney05 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Rats generally love carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, squash, strawberries, apples (no seeds), etc. There's a link above for healthy treats for rats, where you'll find safe and healthy options.


Emily 6 years ago

What kinds of vegtables can rats eat? They won't eat carrots.


Chloe 6 years ago

Thanks for the great hub! I was looking up things to do with my two rats and this is perfect. The course is so cool- I enjoyed watching that and didn`t know you could train a rat to do all that!


hana 6 years ago

hey i used your page on my science project hope i get an A cant waite !! thanks soo much !! love your dog and rats ! hahahahah santa !


Whitney05 profile image

Whitney05 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Even though you may have gotten enjoyment, it's quite stressful for the rat to be chased around.

Maybe she doesn't like yogurt. Try something else.

I didn't have to use anything to train one of mine to give kisses. The others never learned it or cared to try. Not all rats are the same.


Emily 6 years ago

I thought it was fun like chasing her around. My rat is very smart, he keeps finding ways to get out of his cage. And I used plain yogurt, but she won't lick it.


Whitney05 profile image

Whitney05 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Emily, I'm not sure why you ask advice and refuse to consider it. Soap is not ideal for small animals. They are generally quite clean animals.

I'm not sure why you thought losing your pet was fun, but it is good that you found him.

Clothes aren't ideal, and potentially quite stressful.

Plain yogurt, no sugar, no fat yogurt. Nothing else. Other yogurts contain too much sugars and fats, which are quite unhealthy. Try other treats instead. Yogurt should be a bare minimum anyway.


Emily 6 years ago

Wait, I was gonna ask ya something but forgot. What kind of yogurt should I use to teach my rat to kiss? I tried just plain, but she wouldn't eat it. what kind should I use?


Emily 6 years ago

It doesn't hurt the guinea pig, that's not my point. I just wanted to ask about if I can give them baths. Today, we came home, and one of our rats got out of the cage and we couln't find him! We thought he was in the vent, so we were searching there for like half an hour, then my friend Andrea found him in my dresser drawer! (Which I also found droppings on my clothes...) But It was fun. And can I put clothes on it? Wait, I shouldn't ask that cause I'm doing it anyway. lol. Well, I guess thanks for the help. Sorry if I sound rude... :)


Whitney05 profile image

Whitney05 6 years ago from Georgia Author

No, I wouldn't recommend giving them a bath. Rats are clean animals and don't need baths. Like I said the extent of a bath should be letting them run around a shallow pool of lukewarm water. I wouldn't recommend it with your guinea pig either. Animals are not babies, and not all animals should be treated like you would a child, dog, or cat. Rats, guinea pigs, mice, hamsters, gerbils, etc, do not need baths as though you were bathing a dog with shampoo. Rinsing them with warm water is fine, but not with people/baby soap.


Emily 6 years ago

But will it hurt them to give them real baths? Like, can I use baby soap, cause I have to use that with my guinea pig so it won't sting the eyes. But will it hurt them to put soap on them?


Whitney05 profile image

Whitney05 6 years ago from Georgia Author

cass, definitely put he other animals up.

Emily, rats don't need true baths with soap and water. You can let them play in a shallow bit of water in the bathtub or sink. The price of rat block will depend on where you buy them and what brand; mazuri is the best that you can buy in retail stores and if I remember their average about $8 a bag or so. I can't really remember. You can sometimes find Harland Teklad at feed stores, otherwise it's best purchased online, but I'm not sure the price.


Emily 6 years ago

Hi, yesterday me and my sister just got 2 rats that are about 3-4 months old. We want to take care of them as best as we can. Can you tell me about bathing? I think it would be fun and cool to bathe my rat because I've always treated animals like babies and brushed them, and walked them, and bathes them. So would it hurt it to bathe it about once a month? And around how much are the rat blocks?


cass 6 years ago

thank you whitney. I'll check online. Next time i go to get them out I'll try without the cat and dogs around. this might be one of the reasons they don't want out


Whitney05 profile image

Whitney05 6 years ago from Georgia Author

you'll want to start slow training. if they're not wanting to come out of their cage, you'll need to work on that first.

Dry spaghetti is fine once in a while.

Petsmart sells Mazuri. You can sometimes find it at feed stores. Also check online.


cass 6 years ago

Hi i brought two females 1 week ago and they are 8 weeks old today. i want to train them but they don't like anywhere in my house they both settled fastly but stay hidden in their cage cause of the cat. when i get time alone i use spagetti as a treat is this ok to use? also where can i get a mazuri rat block as my pet store only sells mixes? thanks and whitney you should start a site about rats your info is great


Whitney05 profile image

Whitney05 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Ooo.. Gotcha.. Yea, I'm not really sure what to tell you. Training a deaf rat won't be easy. Like I said, at least with deaf dogs, you can still get their attention, and they are quite receptive with hand signals. I've not heard anything of the sort with rats.


Victoria Stephen 6 years ago

Hi yeah the rat is deaf it was confirmed by our vet on Friday there, we took both of them for a check up. He is an albeno rat and thinks he was probably born deaf but his brother is fine, he does have some brown in him. It is just hard to find stuff for training a deaf rat, Thanks for the help anyway


Whitney05 profile image

Whitney05 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Is the rat really deaf, or is does it just prefer to explore? I'm not sure how you would train a deaf rat, as they're not like deaf dogs, they're hard enough to get the attention of one who can hear. I'm sorry, I can not answer your question.


Victoria Stephen 6 years ago

Hi I'm just wondering if u can give me any tips on how to train ma pet rat. I just found out a few days ago that he is deaf. We have 2 rats, the other is starting to come to his name and we feel comfortable letting his explore the room as he comes back but the other doesn't as you can't shout on him cause he can't hear us. Any advice, that can help in the training of him


Whitney05 profile image

Whitney05 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Sopie, yes you can change at any time. I would definitely recommend changing to mazuri rat block. The size of the rat will vary. I have had adult rats that were pretty big, and others that were smaller. Like people, the growth and size will vary.

retlaw, You can try to litter train them. Not all rats have the same personalities. You can't expect them to both act the same.


retlaw800 6 years ago

I have two 5 month old male rats. I had them since they were a month old. Is it to late to potty train them or train them in general. Also one of my rats is really social and likes to follow people around but the other rat runs to hide in my closet every time I let him out and runs from me when i go to hold him. Is this normal? Thank you.


sophie45 6 years ago

my rat is about 1 1/2. i have been feeding her a seed mix for her whole life. can i still switch to a rat block diet? how big should a rat that age be?


Whitney05 profile image

Whitney05 6 years ago from Georgia Author

You may want to add more stimulation. I'm not really sure.


shaneweckhurst 6 years ago

she has a few houses a hamock tunnels and balls


Whitney05 profile image

Whitney05 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Does the rat have a playmate? What toys do you have in the cage?


shane weckhurst 6 years ago

hey, i got a new cage a few weeks ago and it is metal and she keeps biting on it at nite is there any way i can get her to stop, she is driving me CRAZY!!!!!!


Whitney05 profile image

Whitney05 6 years ago from Georgia Author

She could be ill if you got the rat at a pet store, as pet store animals are prone to illness. She could just be scared. Is she showing any other signs of illness?


jessi deal 6 years ago

i got a pet rat today, i named her Mable, anyway.shes very calm and not as active as my other rats have been. im not sure if shes sick or not. she doesn't seem sick. maybe shes just a calm rat? shes about a month old so is it her age?


Whitney05 profile image

Whitney05 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Mazuri is rat block, which is one of the better rat foods. It is not a treat. It's a food.


shane weckhurst 6 years ago

do u use mazuri for its food everyday or as a treat??


Whitney05 profile image

Whitney05 6 years ago from Georgia Author

shane, rat block is essentially blocks of food for rats. NEVER use a hamster cage for a rat. If you didn't have an appropriate cage or didn't have the money for one, you should've waited to get the rat. It can be stressful to bring a new pet home, play with it constantly, then throw it in another cage. That's a lot of adjustment. I hope you let your rat settle down. You haven't seen to have given it any appropriate settling time.

You don't want to use the forti-diet or the stuff in the green bag, I forget the name; it's very fatty. Stick with a high quality Mazuri rat block or Harland Teklad.

There is a link above for toys for rats. Check that link out for cage accessories and toys.


shane weckhurst 6 years ago

what toys can you use, i am curently using a hamster cage(only until friday, i am getting a big cage) i have some wood chips bedding cotton and a tube, but i let her run around on my bed and she goes in pants and blankets and stuff. what toys can i buy for her? what toys do ur rats like?


shane weckhurst 6 years ago

what is a rat block diet??my rat is more playful with me now she is jumping on my head and llicking my face and climbing on my arm.. ireally want to teach her how to fetch balls and rocks out of the water.


Whitney05 profile image

Whitney05 6 years ago from Georgia Author

It's very hard to train a new pet when it's not accustomed to its surroundings. Leave the rat alone for now and let it get situation for a few days.

When training use treats. Make sure you're feeding a sole rat block diet. If you're feeding a diet with seeds and fruits, the rat isn't going to work for something he can get for free.

It's not going to be an overnight process. Rats get bored easily and quickly. If you sit and force the rat, he's not going to listen.

And most rats just like to play and explore when out of the cage, especially when it's a new environment.


shane weckhurst 6 years ago

i bought a rat yesterday and it is very curios and wonders i am curently trying to teach it to come to its name, but sometimes its not intrested in the treat , why is that? is there any way to make it less curious and listen better?


Whitney05 profile image

Whitney05 6 years ago from Georgia Author

I'm not sure what you mean? You can get a pet rat at whatever age you want. Just remember they don't live forever, so older rats won't spend as much time with you, but they still need loving homes too


Kayla 6 years ago

Hey your hub really helped me. i am getting a rat soon, and i want to know do you get them young, or old?


Danielle91 6 years ago

Hi!! Your tips on training ur pet rats are reali brilliant! Ive finally taught my rat to give kisses!! Its ever so cute!! Thanks!! :D


Whitney05 profile image

Whitney05 6 years ago from Georgia Author

You can't train a rat to be active. He sounds ill. You really need to see a vet. The dye could be toxic. It's probably not blood at his nose but porphyrin


the Spartan 6 years ago

hey whitney,nice blog by the way,anyway,my question is that my orange haired pet which accendently got into some dye,thunder,is a bit under the weather today...he doesn't seem as hyper as he used to be,i usually keep 2 rat blocks in his cage,which is pretty huge,has 5 rooms,plus 2 babies,the mother died from birth,and when i looked at him,his nose was bleeding,he keeps shivering,and the bottom of his fur has turned yellow...should i see the vet,train him a bit more to keep him active,or take a rat block out?


Whitney05 profile image

Whitney05 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Sometimes, they just shake the cage. I'm not really sure how to retrain them not to. In your case, it sounds like they've got plenty to entertain themselves. I think the behavior is self rewarding. That or when you scold or make noises at them, that's giving them the reward of your attention to continue. Try ignoring it; although it may be hard, it may work.


Mike 6 years ago

Thanks for the fast reply. The cage is a fair size, 3 beds, and toys I rotate with others daily to keep it exciting. They're also normally out 2-3 hours throughout the day. I used to keep a running wheel in for them, but they just never got intrested in it.


Whitney05 profile image

Whitney05 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Are they board? What size enclosure? Do they have toys?


Mike 6 years ago

I have two female rats, both well trained, but one of them loves chewing on the bars of their metal cage whenever she hears a sound. It's annoying and any verbal command seems to just encourage her. Have any advice to give that might stop this behaviour? Thanks in advance.


Whitney05 profile image

Whitney05 7 years ago from Georgia Author

It is normal for them to be a yellowish color. Rat block is the best diet for pet rats. The seed mixes are full of fat and bad junk foods basically.


I love Belle(rat) 7 years ago

no belle does not chew at all!! and when i say nasty i mean yellowish orangeish colour!! but i will try a rat block. THANK EWE!!


Whitney05 profile image

Whitney05 7 years ago from Georgia Author

You may want to figure out what is causing the porphyrin of the eyes. That's not normal. Are the teeth overgrown or what do you mean by nasty? Sometimes they can get their teeth gnawed down by their regular rat block, and use the chews as occasional maintenance.


I love Belle(rat) 7 years ago

My rat Belle has somthin like eye boogies. the are kinda red.

Belle does NOT chew on her chew block and has nasty teeth. She also learned to come when I call her by herself. Belle started lickin my lips by herself. I just cant wait to train her!! Thx 4 the tips on training rats!! BYE!!


Whitney05 profile image

Whitney05 7 years ago from Georgia Author

Are you trying to make a homemade? There are links above for homemade food and treats that you may want to check out.


dora 7 years ago

what can you make for pet rats food


Whitney05 profile image

Whitney05 7 years ago from Georgia Author

Could be age making it more hyper, as well as new environment and curiosity. Also the sex- females tend to be more curious and outgoing.


ZAY 7 years ago

I recently bought a young rat and it seems amazingly hyper,is that normal?


Whitney05 profile image

Whitney05 7 years ago from Georgia Author

I have found that the mazuri rat block is the best. Fruits and veggies on occasion, as they can casue diarrhea. For healthy treats see this link:

http://hubpages.com/animals/Rat_Munchies


Breanna 7 years ago

OK... so what is a rat block? If that's the best to give him then i will... what types of foods should he be eating? Any fruits and veggies ok?


Whitney05 profile image

Whitney05 7 years ago from Georgia Author

Not really. If it has seeds and dried fruits, it's not recommended. Yogurt dips is ok in small amounts, they're not healthy. The bloody noses could be stress or an illness. It's not generally caused by chewing.


Breanna 7 years ago

I have 1 beautiful 10 month old rat... i feed him nutriphase, is that a good food besides a block? It has pellets and fruit chips, peanuts, corn, and some sunflower seeds in it... also i give him yogurt dips and almond slivers for treat, those are fine right? Also... this doesn't happen anymore but when i first got hyim and for a couple months after there was the reddish crust/discharge around his eyes... what is that? Like i said it doesn't happen anymore but i am very curious. Sorry but one more question... he keeps getting bloody noses maybe once a week... could that be from knawing on his "snack shack" house and bumping his nose or is it usually something more serious?


heather 7 years ago

i have 2 pet rats and they r great


Whitney05 profile image

Whitney05 7 years ago from Georgia Author

You need a rat block, not yogurt. If you don't have the capabilities of proper food, you need to find a new home for your rats.


samantha 7 years ago

will they take drinking yougort because that's all we got


Whitney05 profile image

Whitney05 7 years ago from Georgia Author

Fiesta seed mix isn't the best thing you can feed a rat. You want a quality rat block. You can begin training at any age, but if you offer the seed mix, the chances of training are slim to none.


Billyandhisratlouie 7 years ago

i was just wondering at what age can you train rats or do you have to train them i just bought mine yesterday and they said he was around 5 to 6 mnths old is that good..and is fiesta max a seed mix would you call it that?


Whitney05 profile image

Whitney05 7 years ago from Georgia Author

Typically they will choose a spot to go, so just put the little box in that spot, add some of the soiled bedding with some bedding of a different texture. each time you clean the cage, clean the litter box leaving a little soiled bedding.


audrey 7 years ago

i was just wondering how you would train a pet rat how to use a litter box?


Whitney05 profile image

Whitney05 7 years ago from Georgia Author

You should give them time to settle in before you try training them. Otherwise. Follow the instructions that I said for Luke. If you're feeding a seed mix, switch to rat block. They won't work for treats if they can get free junk foods in their cage. Otherwise, it will just take a lot of patience. Clickers are like 99 cents at the pet store.


jj13 7 years ago

i just got two new white rats and they wont pat attention how do i train them? i can't get a clicker either so what do i do????


Whitney05 profile image

Whitney05 7 years ago from Georgia Author

It's not blood, but it's not typically a good sign. I would consult a vet, if the rat is having diet changes and appears lethargic.


Luke 7 years ago

OK thank you whitney ill ty that and by the way my rat seems to have discharges from her eyes do you know what my cause this. i think it might be blood


Whitney05 profile image

Whitney05 7 years ago from Georgia Author

Sead mix is probably one of the worst foods to feed rat. you want to stick with a high quality rat block, such as mazuri. The food you're using is probably one of the main reasons the rat isn't being cooperative when training. He's thinking 'why should I work for food, he's just going to give me in my cage.' the sead mixes are junk foods, essentially.


Luke 7 years ago

Yea i acyually am feeding it a seed mix..should i stop leaveing the food in the cage and make her work for it? also i tried yogurt,peanut butter, ect so wahtever advice you can give me thank you


Whitney05 profile image

Whitney05 7 years ago from Georgia Author

Luke, what kind of food do you feed the rat normally? If you feed a seed mix, it can be hard to find a treat that the rat will want to work for. Also, in some cases, you may have to have the rat work for its meal.

Abbey, I'm not sure how safe that is. I wouldn't try it.


Abbey 7 years ago

No, this rat was actually using the human toilet.

It was on youtube maybe you could find it.


Luke 7 years ago

Hey Whitney my rat doesn't seem to be ever interested in learnining anything listed here. i have a clicker and evrything and also shes not interested in any treats/snacks i use. can you help me here?


Whitney05 profile image

Whitney05 7 years ago from Georgia Author

Do you mean like a litter box? If so, you'll want to start with some soiled bedding, in a litter pan.


Abbey 7 years ago

Do you know how to train a rat to use the toilet. My mom and I saw a video on you tube of a rat using the toilet. So I was just wondering.


chester083 8 years ago

rats are always keen to a certan place in your house so its best to teach your rat in its fav place in your house it will then be less lightly to ignore you couse he will be happy were he is read everything on hear to teach your rat the best and coolest tricks!


Whitney05 profile image

Whitney05 8 years ago from Georgia Author

You will need to find the area that they use most, put a litter box there. Fill it with a different substrate than what you regularly use. IE if you use aspen bedding, fill the box with carefresh or hamster litter. It will be helpful to put a little poo and some urine soaked bedding in the box as well. They'll typically use the same spot.


Sarah 8 years ago

This training method is very effective as we have already used it to tame and train our rainbow lorikeet. I was wondering how to toilet train these animals?


alex 8 years ago

this is kind of helpful


cliffysmom profile image

cliffysmom 8 years ago from Michigan

Clicker training is the way to go! I've used it on my horses, dogs, cats, and a goat. I've never tried it with a rat (yet). Very interesting hub, thank you!


Abhinaya 8 years ago

Whitney,this is great!I never knew we could train rats.You have a way with animals.Great hub.Thanks for sharing.


singpec476 profile image

singpec476 8 years ago from Not Too Far Away

Hi Whitney really great hub, I never knew you could train a rat like a pet thanks.

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