Rats are intelligent and inquisitive creatures that, much like humans, benefit greatly from mental stimulation. This mental stimulation can be given through a variety of toys. Literally *anything* is of interest to a rat! It is up to us as owners to be thoughtful when choosing toys, ensuring that what we offer is safe for them.
There are plenty of ways to keep your ratties busy and out of trouble! Your rat won’t mind how much his toys cost, and will get just as much enjoyment out of ‘free’ items as he will expensive toys.
Free toys which will keep your ratties entertained for hours include cardboard boxes, newspaper for shredding and toilet rolls.
Sunshine Rats are provided with plenty of polar fleece hammocks, tubes and cubes to sleep and play in. The ratties usually modify their cubes and tubes, making a few escape holes and a few smaller holes for air conditioning. Eventually they need replacing but tend to last a fair while before they are completely destroyed.
Toys designed for parrots are often well received, but there are a myriad of items that can be used. When choosing a toy for your rat, ask yourself, can your rat injure itself on the toy? Is the toy safe to chew on…because it WILL be chewed on!
Wheels can be purchased for your rat to enjoy, all my rats are offered Wodent Wheels ™. All of my rats use their wheels for running in to varying degrees. The older boys tend to sleep in theirs more often than running in them, but they definitely still get enjoyment out of them.
Plumbing pipes are also a favourite, they are cheap, easy to clean and a lot of fun to play in and sleep in. The inside of these tubes can have sharp edges where the plastic has been moulded. Check new tubes for sharp edges and file down so that your rattie doesn’t cut himself.
Changing toys every week can help keep your rats occupied, as much like humans, they tire of the same toys and will eventually ignore them. Having a stockpile of toys that are rotated every few weeks will mean your rats will continue to play with their toys without the need to buy new ones. At least until they are chewed beyond all recognition!
The Dapper Rat has a great range of toys made specifically for rats, and most items can be posted to any location.