Skip to main content

Games and Toys for Pet Rats

  • Author:
  • Updated date:

Rats are very social creatures, and any time that you have to spend with your pet rats, is much appreciated. There are several safe games that you can play with your rats. And, there are many safe toys that you can provide them.

Just remember no matter what toys you provide your rat(s) or what games they play. Always, spend time with your rat and provide a clean setup for it (them).

If you notice any wear and tear on the toys such as chew bits, pieces missing, or excess strings, you need to throw them away and replace them. Your rat could choke on a stray particle from the toy.


  • Cat toys without catnip.
  • Ferrer toys.
  • Cardboard boxes and tubes. Be cheap, they don't care. Instead of throwing away the toilet paper rolls, give it to the rats.
  • Bird ropes and ladders.
  • Tubes and tunnels.
  • Hammocks.
  • Dog ropes.
  • Nylabones (avoid the Healthy Edible Nylabones)
  • Branches (bird perches work well. Never get branches from outside)
  • Wine corks
  • String
  • Boxes of all shapes and sizes- stuff them with shredded paper and treats.

Give them a digging box. They'll love it from what I hear. I've never tried it, as it sounds a little messy to me. But, basically it's a small tub filled with sterilized potting soil. Plant grass seeds or put bird seeds in it, and let the grass grow. Don't water it a few days before you give it to your rats, and once you do, they'll have fun diggin up the sprouts and grass. To help minimize the mess, you can put the box in the bathtub lined with paper.

Lexi climbing down the poles of my daybed.

Lexi climbing down the poles of my daybed.


As for games. Stay safe.

A rat friend- Rats are social, and like the interaction from other rats. Try getting your rat a friend.

Bean Bags- Get some old socks or fabric and dried beans or rice. Fill the sock or the fabri with the beans or rice and sew it up. You can use the in cool or warm weather. For cooler weather, heat the bean bag; and for warm weather put it i nthe freezer. These bean bags are, also, great for sick rats, as a temporary heat source.

Bob for Peas- This game is not just fun, but refreshing. Take a bag of frozen peas, and put a small handful (maybe 20 or so peas) in a small container of warm water. The water will thaw out the peas. Give the container to your rat(s), and they'll go bobbing for peas. It's not only refreshing but they get a fresh treat. And, it's entertaining.

Chase- You can take a ribbon or sort and slowly drag it in front of your rat(s), and watch them run after it.

Hide and Seek- If you're not a big fan of letting your rat run around on your bed, then you can alter it a little. What I like to do is put all three of my rats on my bed and just let them run in and out of the sheets and pillows. They LOVE it. If you would prefer to leave your rats off the bed, you can set up a pinned in area, like a bath tub, and fill it with pillow cases and towels.

Swimming- You can fill the bath tub with lukewarm water, and let your rat(s) go. Make sure that they can still touch the bottom if they want to. Some rats love swimming, and some do not. Here's your chance to find out if your rat likes water.

Training- Rats can be trained. Spend time teaching your rats fun tricks like sit, roll over, and fetch. I've even seen rats trained to play basketball. Let your imagination run wild with this one. The best way to train a rat is through positive reinforcement and clicker training.

Walks- Purchase a ferret harness and take your rat out for a walk.


Kristen on October 28, 2015:

Hi, thank you for all the ideas! I've had my rats for about 2 months, and I want to be a really great rat mommy, so I want to keep them entertained as much as possible.

I have two rats, Lily Evans and Luna Lovegood (with my last name after their last names with a dash). I can't wait to see if they like these games! As for the ribbon game, I find that using a pen is also good. It catches their attention more than a ribbon.

Katy on April 07, 2012:

I hate rats when my cat Felix comes in whit a rat I scream ah !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Scroll to Continue

teeny on March 28, 2012:

Very helpful! I was wondering if any one knows what it could be but my pet ratty has developed a small black spot and has started to lose her fur. She is quite an old rat (2.5 years old) but i don't know if this is a common thing or if there is something wrong with her. Please help!

Clo Clo on February 13, 2012:

Hey, I recently got 2 female rats. One - Clownfoot, Is really outgoing and crazy, She's amazing! But the other - Vito, Is really shy and scared of everything I've had them Almost a month and they are about 12 weeks now. Does anyone have any ideas on how to get Vito involved?

I used to let them both run around on my bed which was fine - But one time Vito spooked and hid under my bed for about 12 hours until me and my boyfriend managed to get her back to her cage. I have since let her out on my bed since, but after about 5 minutes she just went straight back to the same place. I would really like her to trust me and be excited to see me like clownfoot is. Any ideas much appreciated! :)

amber toerien on December 29, 2011:

Hi i have 4 rats and i can't get them too do tricks alone and this really helps:)

scoopearly on December 21, 2011:

I love rats. They are on my lap right now!

zozo on October 04, 2011:

i am wondering if i could get a pet rat... do they need 2 story cages and i have an aquarium that had mice in it that is about 40 cm long and 1 story will that be ok?

Grim on September 02, 2011:

Buddy, my pet, is a baby, and he's so hyper! I'm going to see if he likes these games. This is sooooooooooooo helpful!

;) on August 20, 2011:

I have 2 albino gerbils and am finding it difficult entertaining them, do you think this page would be suitable for gerbils too, including the toys recommended?

Hannah :) on June 23, 2011:

Hi i just bought my first rat hes a lovly little hooded boy. As i have younger sisters who get jealous easily im only allowed one :/. if i interact with him will he be ok living on his own? thanks

Crobin28 from Pelham, Alabama on June 22, 2011:

I'm not sure if putting them in the bathtub is such a great idea. (I mean for the swimming part) Rats needs to introduced to water, starting off with a small pan of water and then letting them go in on their own terms. They normally do pretty good that way. Later you can move up to the bath tub.

Also, another great game is to get a pen and wiggle it on the floor in front of the rats and let them chase it. IT kind of falls in with the ribbon chase, but the pen always seems to grab their attention much better in my case! Everything else is great!! You always have good posts!! Good job!!

ALPtrix on April 20, 2011:

Hi, I have two girl rats, an agouti self, Chessie, and an albino, Luna. They are around 3 months.

I was wondering, how do you train them to sit, come, and roll over? Thanks so much!


PinkRatLVR on March 17, 2011:

Hi! I have 2 rats, Luna Lovegood and Ratatouille. It gets really hot here during the day, and I was wondering if I could put a few ice cubes in their water. They have a water bottle, so they won't be able to eat the ice. The thing is, can rats get brain-freeze like we do?

flowerpot on February 27, 2011:

thanks for the ideas they will help me out a lot

Emerald on January 04, 2011:

I have two three month old rats. One is very alert and enjoys running and playing to no end. My other rat is of normal size but would much rather snuggle up in my jacket than play. He seems fine (no outward signs of illness) but I still worry because of how drastically fatigued he seems compared to his crazy brother. Is this ok for him to be so calm?

ttrash from Australia on November 18, 2010:


Barbering will not stop. If you have more than two rats and you remove the "barber", another rat will take his place and continue to barber the remaining rats.

ratattack on November 15, 2010:


I'm going to be rescuing a few male rats soon, all littermates. I have a ferret nation cage with two levels, I believe the dimensions are around 63 inches tall, 36 inches in length, 24 inches in width. I've already put wire mesh around it so they can't escape. But how many adult rats do you think this could comfortably hold? Also, are there any particular foods that are very good for growing babies?



Kayla on October 19, 2010:

I have 4 female rats 2 grown and to baby's! There names are Sookie, Temperance, Quin and Santana! Do all rats do OK in water? Because my husband is scared to put them in bathwater bc they might drown! What would U suggest??

elfmirfkin, on October 13, 2010:


I have two boys and they are best friends but the older one is barbering the younger one too much and now he has scabs all over his shoulders. Is there anyway to stop this? I am unwilling to separate them.

Ps, the younger one is larger than the older one.

rebecca on October 12, 2010:

Hi my 3 boy rats Dominic, Damen, and Drake are turning 8weeks old today I have had them since they were 3 weeks old which I know is to early for them to have separated from their mom. Anyway I was wondering how do I tell what type of rats they are?