Author Topic: free-range questions  (Read 1640 times)

Offline AmyStall

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free-range questions
« on: February 23, 2009, 06:22:35 PM »
Okay, so I've had my boys for a week or so now and I've let them romp around in the martin's large playpen, but the pen it's self is too small for me to really do anything with them. I'd love to let them just run around my apartment, but I worry that if one of them finds a little nook or something they like more than the cage I'll never get them out. :< My place isn't very big, it's just a one room apartment, but I do have a lot of stuff.

How good are rats about free-ranging? Do they come back to the cage after they get all tuckered out? The only thing I've ever had like this was gerbils and they tend to be the kind of critter to run off while fliping you the bird, so I'm slightly paranoid that they won't come back.

Offline Emymoo

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Re: free-range questions
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2009, 06:28:45 PM »
How large is your bathroom? I'm currently freeranging my bubs in there just fine  :thumbsup2:
You'd have to rat proof it obviously, but until you feel confident that they'll return it's work fine :)
The dogs: Sara and Lola. The kitties: Emy and Molly
Rest in peace my sweeties
 Bella, Riley, Fuzz, Juno and Frederick <3

Offline AmyStall

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Re: free-range questions
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2009, 06:32:30 PM »
My bathroom is sadly tiny, and my kitchen has more holes in places than I can possibly hope to cover. My bedroom is right out because my bed takes up the entire place, and is just low enough to the ground that recovering pouting ratties neigh impossible.

Offline Emymoo

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Re: free-range questions
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2009, 06:37:38 PM »
Hmm,
Well how big is your bed? Some people let their ratties freerange on their.
I personally don't because my girls are far too tempted to jump off in order to explore, not to mention it's a twin, so their wouldn't be a whole lot of room once they got their toys too, but if you have a larger bed it might work.
The dogs: Sara and Lola. The kitties: Emy and Molly
Rest in peace my sweeties
 Bella, Riley, Fuzz, Juno and Frederick <3

Offline JTO_

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Re: free-range questions
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2009, 06:49:37 PM »
I cover our dining room table with a fleece blanket or two, and cover it with all of their toys.  I only have one girl that will jump off of it, but she is FEARLESS.   ::)

Offline AmyStall

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Re: free-range questions
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2009, 08:01:08 PM »
I should probably also mention I'm allergic to rats... So having them crawing around on my bed isn't the best idea.

Offline PorkChopandTwinkie

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Re: free-range questions
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2009, 10:31:47 PM »
How does that work, exactly? Owning a pet you're allergic to?

I'm not trying to condescend, just curious. :)

Offline sunsetv

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Re: free-range questions
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2009, 10:35:39 PM »
I let mine run around my room, but that's because they know to come when I call them or else they just go to the empty cage when they get tired. Both my boys will jump off my bed and they get stuck in ramdom places in my bathroom, but they are good in my bedroom. Besides when they torment the gerbils  :yelcutelaugh: :cheeky: :doh:
Mom to:
Anya, Tawnya,and Mya (pronounced Mia)-- the girls
Jayden and Kyler -- the boys

Rehomed:
Kyra (pronounced Kira) -- the girl

Over the Bridge:
Tux, Wishbone, and Epu

Offline AmyStall

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Re: free-range questions
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2009, 02:34:26 AM »
How does that work, exactly? Owning a pet you're allergic to?

I'm not trying to condescend, just curious. :)

It means washing your hands every time you handle them, changing the bedding every other day, and having a ready supply of antihistamines.

Offline krishna

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Re: free-range questions
« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2009, 03:32:03 AM »
I have had my girlies for 2 weeks now and am working on letting them be free rangers, I have a studio space upstairs, one really large room.  While I am around I have given them complete control.  This is the first group of rats that i am letting loose so early, they are about 8 weeks old now, with all my others, I let them range later in life.  It seems like all rats are very different in their behavior.  Out of the 3 girls, 2 tend to go back to their cage when they are tired, but one never, it is like a game of hide and seek with her, she has gone places I'd never imagine a rat would go, so I am constantly having to re-rat proof (believe me I thought I did good, but they show me up)  Luckily, she usually will let me get her when I do want to put them back.  I always give her a treat for this.

As for my older ratties, most of them would always go back to their living quarters, in fact Buddha my lovely boy, learned the entire layout of my downstairs, I could put him anywhere and he'd find his way back.  However, I did have a couple boys that would just find the first hiding spot and just stay there till fished out.

Good luck, all I can say is rat proof everything (especially under couch or behind couch if you don't want them to end up back there, otherwise you'll be constantly moving it) 

Offline Mayday

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Re: free-range questions
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2009, 05:28:30 PM »
Could you let them on your bed if you covered it thoroughly? I don't want any rat pee on my mattress or sheets, so whenever I let my boys play on my bed, I cover it with a sheet (king-sized sheet on a twin bed, so it's as good as two sheets because I fold it in half to fit properly) and a polar fleece blanket. I'm not allergic to them, but that does prevent any urine or anything from getting onto the bed itself. When I put them away after, I just fold the sheet/blanket combo and store it off to the side, and then my bed is back to normal. Could that work?

Offline PnutLuv

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Re: free-range questions
« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2009, 08:38:02 PM »
Even though the bathroom may be tiny, if you can sit in there with them, they will want to use you as a playground anyway!

We mostly do the bathroom, the playpen and the couch. My kids are still small enough to sit in the playpen with them, with the cover on  :yelcutelaugh:


I'm allergic to my cats & dogs, and I'm not sure about the rats. If I get scratched by them it turns red and itchy, but otherwise I haven't had any reactions. I'd much rather have furry love in my life and take my Zyrtec.  ;)

Offline PotHBP

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Re: free-range questions
« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2009, 08:51:22 PM »
Even though the bathroom may be tiny, if you can sit in there with them, they will want to use you as a playground anyway!

We mostly do the bathroom, the playpen and the couch. My kids are still small enough to sit in the playpen with them, with the cover on  :yelcutelaugh:


I'm allergic to my cats & dogs, and I'm not sure about the rats. If I get scratched by them it turns red and itchy, but otherwise I haven't had any reactions. I'd much rather have furry love in my life and take my Zyrtec.  ;)

Yep! ^.^ I know my bathroom isn't big, either, but it still makes a decent play room... As long as it's not too cold. x.x (they usually play in my used-to-be-bedroom or on the couches)
Vegetarian since August 2009. 

Pet's name: Victor

Offline AmyStall

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Re: free-range questions
« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2009, 11:56:27 PM »
Could you let them on your bed if you covered it thoroughly? I don't want any rat pee on my mattress or sheets, so whenever I let my boys play on my bed, I cover it with a sheet (king-sized sheet on a twin bed, so it's as good as two sheets because I fold it in half to fit properly) and a polar fleece blanket. I'm not allergic to them, but that does prevent any urine or anything from getting onto the bed itself. When I put them away after, I just fold the sheet/blanket combo and store it off to the side, and then my bed is back to normal. Could that work?

This really doesn't answer my question, which is how good they are to returning to the cage after romping. The bed is too low, and large for me to fish them out if they decide to jump off, as I said before.

Offline krishna

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Re: free-range questions
« Reply #14 on: February 27, 2009, 02:44:54 AM »
interesting note, I just got a CN cage on tuesday, up till then my three girls were in a cage on the floor, and at that point 2 of 3 would return to the cage, now they will return to the cage but they just run in and back out, eventually all ending up in one of 2 hide aways. When it is time for them all to go back to the cage I have to call them out and put them back.  I am hoping they will at some point start returning on their own.