Friday, July 26, 2013

Can Rats Be Potty Trained?

Last week, I shared a photo of my pet rat - Nibblet - sitting on my purse. I got a lot of comments asking if she was potty trained. I've never actually formally potty trained Nibblet but she doesn't go potty outside of her cage. I think that it's happened maybe once where she had a few surprises for me when she was out of her cage. That's one of the reasons I don't mind letting her roam around and have free time. She doesn't poop or pee outside of her cage.

Nibblet on my purse.

So that leads me to the question - can rats be potty trained? Rats are very intelligent and are able to learn many tricks, just like dogs. They are highly trainable pets. So the answer to this question is yes - rats can be potty trained.

Rats will usually defecate in one area of their cage, even if they have no litter box. Getting a rat litter box will help you to keep their cage cleaner, however. I like the type of rat litter boxes that fit into the corner of a cage. You can use paper litter pellets as rat litter.

To potty train your rat, just add some feces pellets to their litter box and put them in there. Anytime you notice them go outside of the box just place those feces in the litter box and put them in there with it. When you notice that your rat does their business in the box, reward them with praise or treats.

Potty training a rat is pretty simple. It still may be hard to get them to urinate in their litter box all the time. Many rats will still urinate where ever they please. If you're persistent, it is possible to train them to urinate in the box exclusively too.

I've even heard that some people's pet rats would go in their cat's litter box when they were outside of the cage. Or even better - the toilet! I wonder if there are any out there who know how to flush once their done?

23 comments:

  1. Gosh we did not realise it was so simple. How cool is that? Shows how intelligent they are. Have a fabulous Friday.
    Best wishes Molly

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  2. Rabbits are easy too,Rats though a naturally clean animals so I am not suprised at how easy it is to litter train them,xx Rachel

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  3. Rats can use a toilet? They are brilliant!

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  4. Bwill! Lowds of soeriments av used levers fur wats to pwess - so der musbe sum oo az been tawt to flush! Juz az to be stwong nuff to

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    1. Yea, the only thing I'd be worried about would be their strength! Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. Oh my gosh! Girl! You're killing me! I learn more and more about rats from you and I just love it. Amazing to see them in a different light other than the stereotypical "living in sewer" type rats. Potty training. I totally expected to see a diaper on Nibblet!

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    1. LOL - thanks Bren. I'm glad you enjoy learning new stuff about them :)

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  6. You must be very trusting to let her on your purse! Learning so much about rats. Have a great day.

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  7. Rats are amazingly smart. It doesn't surprise me one bit that they could be trained to potty in a litter box.

    Guinea pigs are quite dim in comparison but my sister has found that hers will squeak when she's holding them rather than just pooping or peeing on her lap.

    BTW, it's great that Nibblet gets so much time to roam free. I'm sure the stimulation is very good. But I'm curious if you have problems with him gnawing on things you'd prefer he avoid?

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    1. I've met a couple of guinea pigs who will not go outside of their litter box. Sometimes I catch Nibblet chewing something I don't want her to. Most of the time it's candy or food. She did chew up a tube of baby toothpaste too. I know what kind of stuff she likes to get into now so I make sure it's not on the counter when she's up there. Mostly just food stuff and nothing else.

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  8. Now gee-whiz Miss Ann, I knew rats were smart but I had no idea you could potty train them!!! You learn something new every day around here.

    Have a wonderful weekend.
    Oz

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  9. WE love Nibblet! :)

    I never thought about if rats could be potty trained, but it makes sense that they can, since they are so smart.

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  10. I was certain it could be done, smart they are indeed!

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  11. That's good to know that he's not pooping in your purse. :) My nephews used to have a rat, but I lived far away at the time, so I never really knew too much about it.

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  12. That is really interesting. I had no idea!

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  13. Hi Ann,

    Oops... It's the first time I've ever heard of potty training rats :)

    Haven't observed their behaviors much, but as I find they are much sensitive type of animals. It's interesting to hear that potty training is much simpler with 'em too. Mmm... So you are implying that it will take just few weeks or so to potty train a rat? :)

    Cheers...

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    1. Hi Mayura, thanks for stopping by! Rats are VERY smart animals. I don't think they can accurately be compared to other small pets like hamsters in terms of their intelligence. It could even take less time than a few weeks I think.

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  14. Potty training a rat to go in a rat litter box? You know you're making me wanting to get a rat again, right? ;)

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  15. I don't think I have ever thought to ask that question! Love Dolly

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  16. I'm getting a rat soon, this is helpful!
    Can you use silica cat litter for their litter box? Or is that harmful?

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  17. Congrats! I would recommend using a paper based litter. One that comes to mind is Yesterday's News I think. It's a recycled newspaper based litter.

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Thank you for your comments!

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