Most pet rats and mice spend their whole life within their enclosure or their rat cages. While you think it is good for them to keep them safe from the outside world, there are also some psychological and mental effects to them for being kept inside the cage all the time. They need more stimulation from the outside world so that they won’t have problems with their behaviors. They need to experience a lot of things for them to be happy all the time within the comfort of their own enclosures.
Here are some things you can do to make rats and mice happy.
1. Provide Them with Companions.
Rats and mice are extremely social creatures and usually prefers to be with the same species as them. As these tiny little creatures live together, they will also play with each other, groom each other and also sleep besides each other. Giving them a pair or a best friend they can call their own is fun to watch as they interact with each other.
But before housing them together, you must think first of the consequences. If you give your pet a companion which is opposite of their gender then it is inevitable that they will reproduce in time. Their reproduction rate is very fast, so be sure to consider that before pairing an opposite gender to your current pet.
If you have no intentions of breeding, the most ideal and recommended is having 2 or 3 females in their cage. It is not advisable to have males paired together for they will fight all the time for their territory and they might fight to the death.
2. Give Them a Place or Room of Their Own to Enjoy.
Having a solid place or shelter or dividers within their cage will give them a place to hide and retreat whenever they get scared of something. It also allows them to have a place to climb to and interact with within the cage. They usually prefer building their own shelter, but cleaning it up will be quite troublesome at some time in the future. Having a shelter or divider that is homemade or bought from the pet shop will make it easier for the owner to clean it up if the cage gets dirty.
These little creatures will surely retreat to the shelters or tunnels if you try to open the rat cage, but it be easier to catch them too if they do that because you can just gently pick up their shelter and let them crawl into your hands if you want to handle them.
Studies show that they prefer a shelter with a flat roof which allows them to climb to the roof. Having dividers or shelters for them also reduces aggressiveness towards each other if they are having a friendly fight.
3. Offer Them Foods, Treats, And Chew Toys.
One of the most important thing for all living things is foods. Giving foods to your little pet is the normal thing to do. But sometimes you must encourage them to forage and explore their cage by trying to hide some of the food within the cage or scatter the foods around the enclosure and let them sniff and find the foods. It is important to keep the cage clean and away from foods that are toxic to them. If ever you find one or some might accidentally fall in the cage then better remove it immediately.
Giving them treats once in a while will help make rats and mice happy. It is a good idea to give the treat to them by hand. That way you can also bond with your pets. You can either purchase treats at your local pet store or give them some extra cereals or grains or some crumbs of biscuits that are safe for their consumption.
Purchasing non-toxic chew toys for them will keep these little creatures busy for a while and will also help in wearing down their growing teeth.
4. Allow Them to Exercise.
Another way to keep your little pets happy and busy is by giving them a running wheel. Give them a running wheel that does not make a loud or squeaking sound because it will disturb you especially if they run around at night. Be sure to choose a running wheel in which your tiny pets can have a good foothold and their foot will not get trapped inside.
Another way to give them a good exercise is by purchasing an exercise ball. With this, they can explore the world outside their cage. But it is advisable to keep an eye on them as they explore within the exercise ball. Be sure to keep them away from stairs in which they might fall down. Limit their exercise within the ball too for they might overheat from running around. They should be limited at 10 minutes per session. Keep them hydrated after every exercise.
Take note that when letting them exercise, consider the breed of your pet rats. Some rats really enjoy playing, others don’t.
5. Again, Give More Toys.
They can be toys for your little pets but they can also be decorations in their cages or enclosure. The toys include some ropes and ladders they can climb on to. Even a tiny hammock they can climb onto and can be pushed. Just be sure that these toys are non-toxic so even if they try to nibble on them it won’t be dangerous for their health.
By now, you already have an idea on how you can make rats and mice happy. Hopefully, you can apply your learning as you live your daily lives with your tiny four-legged pals.