Holiday enrichment: Fruit Loop fun

Garland of Fruit Loops hung on the outside of the cage as enrichment for my two pet rats

I’m always looking for ways to make my rats’ lives more interesting. They have so much curiosity and energy and get bored pretty easily!

holiday enrichment for Flower the pet ratI often give them enrichment puzzles at dinnertime, such as hiding their food in toilet tissue rolls. This makes dinner last longer and provides additional mental stimulation.

However, after reading the book Beyond Squeaky Toys (which is all about enrichment ideas for dogs and cats) last month, I’ve been inspired to start experimenting with even more enrichment strategies for my rats.

We had fun at the end of last week with some Christmas enrichment. I took red and green Fruit Loops and strung them on a piece of green ribbon. I’ve seen other people do this before with cereal for their ratties, but this is one enrichment idea that I have never tried with Annie and Flower.

The ribbons of cereal are usually hung inside the cage, and the rats have to stretch and reach to chew off each piece of food. However, I made this even harder for Flower and Annie by hanging the ribbon on the outside of the cage!

They really had to work to pull each piece of cereal through the bars and then chew it off. In the morning, there were only a few pieces of cereal left on the ribbon. They both seemed to have fun with this, so it is definitely something that we will try again in the future.

Do you have any special activities or treats planned for your pets this holiday season?

(Note: The rats don’t usually get Fruit Loops, as they are fairly high in sugar! But, they think Fruit Loops are pretty yummy and I decided it would be fun to give them some for a holiday treat.)

My pet rat Annie works on a holiday enrichment treat -- a garland of red and green Fruit Loops

My pet rat Flower  works on a holiday enrichment treat -- a garland of red and green Fruit Loops

The rats loved eating all of their holiday enrichment treat

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