Author Topic: How to keep rats cool  (Read 2088 times)

Offline Nari Caution

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How to keep rats cool
« on: September 21, 2011, 03:30:28 PM »
I've seen a couple threads relating how to keep rats warmer or what temperature the room should be which got me thinking... I live in the Bay Area in California and if anyone is familiar with the weather out here, its absolutely bonkers. It's been fairly cool this whole summer so far but now it seems there's some heat wave. My room is the warmest in the house from what I can tell as it gets the evening sun and I'm worried about my boys overheating. I can't move them elsewhere in the house as I live with roommates, some of whom are "temporarily" staying in my living room as their carpet is being replaced in their room (which has taken 1 1/2 months so far) which is SEVERELY annoying! and they also insist on sprinkling ant killer in the bathroom which, for some ridiculous unknown reason, has ants. (i don't much care for my living situation... can you tell? >_>)

Anywho, back to the point. I've put their water bottle in the freezer to chill their water in the afternoons and have put a brick in their cage which i also stick in the freezer for a half hour to get it cold. I also let them lick condensation off of bottles that were in the fridge or freezer. I'm just wondering if there's anything else I can do to make things more comfortable for them being stuck in a warm/hot room and what signs should I look out for as signs of overheating?
Would cold treats like frozen peas/carrots/corn or frozen grapes also help? I have yet to give them any frozen treats and i'm not sure if rats get brain freeze or have cold-sensitive teeth or any other problem making frozen food unpleasant.

Offline MaatAset

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Re: How to keep rats cool
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2011, 05:30:24 PM »
I live in Arizona and my rats have had to endure temperatures up in the 90's, and for brief periods, temperatures even higher.  They are fairly hardy for the most part.  I wouldn't worry too much.  Look for the signs of them getting over heated.

Little tricks you can use to keep them cool if it is really hot and they are starting to get over heated:
-freeze a water bottle full of water and stick it in their cage (they can sleep next to it to keep cool)
-frozen pea fishing.. not only is it fun with a tasty, healthy treat, they have a pool of water they can walk in if they want to
-use a fan
-soak a towel in water, wring it so it isn't dripping, drape it over a portion of the cage, and have a fan blow on it (it creates a homemade swamp cooler)
-sprtiz em with water from a spray bottle
-give them pieces of fruit popsicles (for cheap, tasty popsicle ideas, pour fruit juice into an ice cube tray and stick it in the freezer - instant popsicle)
-let them run around the bathroom floor (it's usually the coolest place in the house, cool air is denser and sinks, the tile/linoleum will be nice and cool)

Offline Rattitude_Rescue

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Re: How to keep rats cool
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2011, 05:32:40 PM »
You can go to www.dapperrat.com.au for the full page (I love this site ^_^) but here's a copy/paste for ease:

Quote
Some signs your rat is over-heated:

  • Slowed movement, lethargy
  • Apathy (even for treats)
  • Tail, feet, ears and nose hot to touch
  • Sprawled position, often with feet stretched out behind them (so they can lose heat through the soles of their feet)
  • Mouth gaping open or panting
  • Drooling
  • Lying on their backs, feet in the air, mouth agape and not very responsive (dangerously hot!)

The best option for preventing overheating is to keep your rats in an air conditioned room.  If this is not possible, you need to keep them cool in other ways.

Some ideas for keeping rats cool:
  • Fill a spray can with water and wet the rats down (make sure you don't spray it in their eyes).  Alternatively, wipe them down often with a wet sponge
  • Drape a wet towel over part of their cage and provide a cooling fan or open window with a breeze.
  • Bath them in cool water.
  • Freeze a bottle of water, wrap it in a towel and place it in the cage for an instant cage air conditioner.
  • Provide them with lots of cool water to prevent dehydration.  Keep a spare bottle in the fridge and swap them regularly.
  • Give them a terracotta pot.  These make great sleeping areas in summer as they stay cool.
Fun treats/games to help cool them down:
  • Fruitsicles - Cut up fruit or vegetable pieces and freeze.  Good choices are watermelon, grapes, banana, honeydew, peas, corn, blueberries, etc.   Ice cubes made of of fruit juice, or containing frozen peas are a welcome treat too.
  • Wading pool - Use a heavy shallow food bowl (or a pot plant drip tray), fill with water and toss in a few ice cubes.  The rats will sleep beside it to cool off, dangle their tails in the water, and lick the ice cubes.
  • Ratty painting - Get a glass of cold water and a paint brush.  Dip the paintbrush in the water and paint your ratty's hairless bits, especially tail and feet.  This will help them cool off faster and give them a challenge (to grab the brush off you and rip it to pieces).
  • Icehouse - Place their favourite nest box / loft / hammock in the fridge or freezer until it cools down.

Offline Nari Caution

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Re: How to keep rats cool
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2011, 06:58:45 PM »
Ok, I think I got it now. All very good suggestions except letting them in the bathroom. Like I said, my roommates keep putting powered ant killer in there... From what I can tell, they haven't really been overheating but the list of symptoms is very useful. Seems like I had the right ideas at least.  :thumbsup2:

Offline MaatAset

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Re: How to keep rats cool
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2011, 02:05:06 AM »
Ok, I think I got it now. All very good suggestions except letting them in the bathroom. Like I said, my roommates keep putting powered ant killer in there... From what I can tell, they haven't really been overheating but the list of symptoms is very useful. Seems like I had the right ideas at least.  :thumbsup2:

Understandable about the bathroom.  I am hesitant to let mine run around in my bathroom too.  I use Comet to clean the bathtub and I'm always worried some of it gets on the floor.  My girls (probably like most people's pets) have a knack for finding and going after exactly what you don't want them to.