Rats on the move

I posted this picture on facebook earlier this week and it got lots of comments and likes, so I decided that it was too cute not to share here as well.

My rats are staying at my parent’s house while I move into a new apartment (and they were also here during my trip to Seattle). Last week, during the drive to my parent’s house, they demonstrated the full power of rat teeth. Annoyed about being shut in a cardboard box for the car ride, they started to gnaw their way out! Luckily, we made it safely back to Dallas without any escapees.

Isabella the rat sticking her head out of a cardboard box

The rats had a fun long weekend at my parent’s house while I was out of town. My parents fed them lots of fresh veggies and plenty of treats. The rats have a new favorite treat that we’ve recently discovered– banana nut Cheerios. Yum!

I went to the pet store yesterday and bought a proper carrier for them. So, hopefully, we’ll have no more car rides with rats trying to escape.

So far, I really like the new carrier I bought. The bottom is a hard plastic and the top is wire mesh. The wire mesh is great because it will be easy for me to keep an eye on them and it will be very hard for them to chew holes through. The bottom plastic piece attaches in such a way that it should be difficult for them to chew on it. When I take them places in it, I’ll line the bottom with several towels to make them more comfortable. After I use the carrier a few more times, I’ll report back regarding how the rats and I like it.

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  • Cute photo! Sometimes I think the human notion of “solid” is not the same as the rat's notion of “solid”. Solid to a rat has more of a sponge quality – something to easily get through. Solid to a rat seems to mean, “in my way,” and since they want to go where they want to go they just push their way through the solid. Gnawing, what a tool. πŸ™‚

    • Really liked your comment, Gwen.

      I've been thinking about what you said and it makes a lot of sense. Since rats can chew through a lot of types of “wall” material and can jump and climb with ease, their ideas of space and boundaries must be so different from a human's.
      What types of carriers do people usually use with rats? I wasn't completely sure what type to buy. Our pet store sells ferret carriers and I considered getting one of those. However, they were all soft sided and I was worried about the rats trying to chew through the material those were made of, even though the material seemed pretty tough.


      • I've never seen that carrier before, Mary, but I really like it because the top is metal. Whether the rats will gnaw through the plastic bottom is a matter of the personalities of the rats. For the sets of rats I've had, the plastic bottomed cages I have have been fine, they've showed no interest in gnawing them. But many people report their rats go right through these types of floors, so there is a large section of rat folk who only use metal-bottomed cages (and always wires for the top half). You will just have to see how your rats handle the carrier. Another factor may be if the cage or carrier is too small, a rat might be more motivated to gnaw through plastic. This might be a factor if you tried using the carrier for more than temporary transport. Unfortunately, if the rat does begin gnawing the bottom, it's over. They're so single-minded about their wants, you would not be able to stop the gnawing. I love that carrier! Could you share the brand name?

        • Hi Gwen,

          I like the metal too, because it should stop the chewing, but it should also make it really easy for me to keep an eye on them and see what they are up to.

          Here's a link to petsmart's website and what I think is the same model I have. Threw away the tag already! The color choices in the store were different than what's on their website, but otherwise I think it is exactly the same. A little bit more expensive than some of the other carriers, but it should be worth it, if it proves to be rat-proof. http://www.petsmart.com/produc



      • verminvillage

        I use a metal carrier. I had my local company make me some and now they sell them on their website. http://qualitycage.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=32_35&products_id=2328 The price on the page is for the galvanized cage and powder coated base. (They have a fully powder coated one too, but it is more.) They fold down flat. I have one for each cage and one for each of my hamsters and a smaller wire version made by another company for my mice. Just wanted to let you know that all metal ones are out there. πŸ™‚

        • Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Your cage looks like a sturdy one, and like it would be great as a travel cage.

          That’s pretty cool that they made you some custom cages and now also sell them on their site.



  • Molly

    so cute! It is nice that your parents are willing to watch the rats. My parents were less than amused when I decided to get rats. I don't think my mother would be interested in baby sitting! πŸ™‚

    • Yes, it is very nice of them.

      My dad, in particular, was pretty opposed to me getting rats. However, he loves them now! He goes in there in the evenings and talks to them and feeds them treats. πŸ™‚
      Sent from my iPad

  • I use http://www.petsmart.com/produc… for transporting my rats, but mine has a wire top. Rats can and will chew through plastic but that takes, even them, time. My emergency evacuation cage is completely metal and thankfully it is because last year we lived in a hotel when our town lost power for a week.

    • Hi Betsy,

      Thanks for the suggestion!

      That looks like another great cage choice for rats.