Ok, a bored rat? That may sound a bit strange, however, just like other pets, rats need some entertainment in their lives as well! There are many different types of toys on the market that would be suitable for your pet rodent. It is important that you buy toys that are SAFE for your rat as you wouldn’t want to cause any injuries that may need to be treated by a veterinarian (vet bills can add up!). Before you give your rat a new toy you should thoroughly inspect it. Be on the lookout for toys that have dangerous parts such as sharp edges or small holes or slits (rat toes are tiny and can get easily caught and injured!).
Rat Toy Ideas
Rats LOVE to crawl through tunnels and tubes. You can easily make tube toys at home out of objects such as plastic sewer pipe, plastic soda bottles (cut off the ends), tennis ball containers or even cardboard tubes (such as the ones that come with your paper towels).
Rats love to climb! Therefore, thick rope and branches would be perfect for your little friend. If you decide to put a climbing branch in your rat’s habitat, be sure to clean it thoroughly. Also, it is important that you avoid evergreen (pine) branches or walnut tree branches. Both of these are toxic and not good for your rat. If your rat lives in a large habitat you might want to consider a cinder block as a toy! Not only will your rat enjoy climbing it, the block will also keep your rat’s nails trimmed! Once you put the cinder block in your rat’s cage, it is very important to make sure that it is secure and cannot fall over.
Other simple homemade toys include cardboard boxes and simple paper bags. Cut doorways into several small cardboard boxes so that your rat can run in and out (trust me, he will find this fun). As for the paper bags, fill them with shredded paper (no ink on the paper!) and place them in your rat’s cage. He or she will enjoy digging and burrowing in the shreds.
Of course, you can also buy toys for your rat at the local pet store or on-line. In general, toys that are usually for hamsters and gerbils are usually too small for a rat. However, toys that are meant for guinea pigs or ferrets should be just fine.
Check Out These Great Rat Toys!
Run Rat Run!
Just as hamsters and gerbils love to run on a wheel, rats do too! Wheels are a great way for your pet rat to burn off energy, get exercise and have fun! Of course, you will need to buy a wheel that is at least ten inches in diameter (remember, rats are bigger than their hamster and gerbil cousins). Buy a wheel that is made out of metal or plastic, NO WIRE! Also, be sure that there is enough space between the spokes of the wheel (you don’t want his tail getting caught and injured!). There are also many food toys available that are not only fun and provide a small treat, they also keep your rat’s brain active. Check out toys such as The Ferret Roller Basket or the Jungle Talk Carousel Treat Dispenser. The Jungle Talk toy is meant for birds, however, it is also suitable for your rat.
Did you know that rats love to dig! You can keep your rat happy for hours by providing him with his own personal digging box! Simply find an old plastic storage container that you no longer use (should be thirteen to sixteen inches tall on the sides) and fill it with moist potting soil. Obviously, since the sides of the container are tall, you will need to provide a little ladder so that your pet can get into the box. The ladder is a toy as well and your rat will enjoy the climb! Do be aware that your pet rat may occasionally turn his little sandbox into a litter box, so be sure to remove the top layer of soil every few days and replace it with fresh, clean soil. To add some excitement, hide some treats in the soil.
As you can see, there are many different types of toys available for your pet rat. Whether you make your own toys at home or buy toys from the pet store (or online) it is important to keep your little rodent entertained and happy. Rats can easily become bored and nobody wants an unhappy, bored pet! Keeping your rat’s mind stimulated will not only keep him entertained it will help to keep him healthy as well!
Have some spare time? Please read some of my other pet Hub pages! I also have a great rescue dog website that is filled with home-made dog treat recipes and rescue information. Hope you enjoy!
Neva daniels on March 30, 2018:
What I think about when I hear them up to something all night while I sleep...they scare me sometimes cause they're so smart and so industrious and seem how to amuse themselves so well they must think I'm rather slow. They loved these ideas!
Lance on March 22, 2013:
I've got to say that in all my years working at www.monsterbins.com I've never had a customer call and ask me which container is best for their pet rats (or even hamsters) to play in. The idea makes perfect sense though. As long as the walls are high enough, it would be a great little play area. The toys and supplies (tubes and ropes that you previously discussed) you can fill this storage bin with are endless and before you know it, you can make your little container a fitness center for your rat. Great idea!
Cygstarz (author) from Maryland on March 21, 2013:
Hi Jeannie! Thank you for your comment. Maybe you should consider getting a rat! They are rather smart. :-)
Jeannie Marie from Baltimore, MD on March 21, 2013:
How cute! I love rats, but have never had any as a pet. I usually have hamsters though. I never realized rats liked to dig in dirt. Great hub and voted up!