Rat Care 101

About Rats: What If You Have to Travel?

What Should I Do About Rats When I Travel For A Few Days?

When it comes time to go on a vacation or leave the house for several days for some other reason, what will you do about rats that are counting on you? It’s not a great idea to leave them home alone!

What could go wrong? Well, there’s a lot of stuff that could happen. Your rats could chew through the floor or walls and get lost or escape outside. They could die from heat if temperatures unexpectedly rise. Or, they might require urgent medical attention if they eat something that is toxic. They could develop a sudden URI, or get in a fight with another rat and get hurt badly. They could even fall out of a hammock and hurt themselves, or wind up caught or strangled due to some stringy material within the cage.

Even If They Don’t Injure Themselves…

Additionally, it’s important for rats to have someone clean up after them regularly. Allowing urine and feces to accumulate over several days is harmful as urine becomes ammonia fumes that may cause mycoplasma, and feces becomes toxic and moldy.

Rats also need to have access to fresh water and food each day. They also need to have some regular human interaction. When rats become accustomed to hanging out with you, making them go several days with zero human contact is stressful to them. They thrive off of the love their humans give them, and they also need intellectual stimulation to be their best. By playing around with them, teaching them tricks, and alternating their environment you can keep your pet rats mentally healthy and happy.

How To Find Someone To Watch Your Rats

Find a neighbor, friend, or family member who can visit and care for your rats every morning and evening while you’re away. You can even request that the caretaker spot-cleans the cage, provides fresh food, and changes the water daily. It’s also good if they will allow the rats outside of the cage for free roaming time. That is, as long as they are responsible enough to keep track of them.

A friend or family member may even allow you to drop your rats off at their home as this makes it simpler for them as the rat-sitter. If it comes down to doing this, house them temporarily in a really big dog/cat carrier during the visit. That way, you don’t have to haul their huge cage. Just be sure they can get out and run around a couple times every day.

Ask Your Veterinarian

If these two options are not going to work for you, talk to the veterinarian that sees your rats and they can provide you with a referral so you can find somebody that will care for the rats.

After finding a person to care for the rats, get them up to speed with the important things that they must know about rats, including which foods that they should not be fed. You can even make a list to remind them of these things.

Stock Up On Rat Toys

It works with kids, too! If you’ve got to travel without your little buddies, why not get them some new toys before you leave? They’ll entertain themselves better when they’ve got something new to play with – and that’ll help them pass the time and not stress out too much.