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Litter Training Questions (& One About Painting)


How difficult is it to litter-train rats, anyway? I'm looking into it for rats I might be getting, but I've never done really any training before so I'm not sure where to start, really.

And, what can I expect from a "perfectly" trained rat- no pee/poop ever outside the litter box, just urine everywhere still, a mix of both...? I guess I'm asking if litter training can be as complete as it is with, say, a cat, or if I'd still be doing lots of cleaning.

Speaking of cats ours uses "World's Best" litter, which is corn-based- would this be okay to use for rats, do you think? Only needing to buy one type of litter would be very helpful...

Any reason a cut-down milk jug wouldn't work as a litter pan?

I've seen "pee rocks" talked about enough to think I should find one, but is there a particular size/type/color/shape that works best?

Finally, I'd like to paint the plastic pan that came with my cage- right now it's an ugly pinkish tan, ugh. What brush-able/roll-on paint brands are rat safe, or do I really need to look for a spray option? I have plenty of time to let it cure, that's not the problem, but I live in an apartment and getting outside to spray something would be an ordeal.

Thanks in advance!

Rats are smart, but they can also be stubborn.  One recommended approach is to see which corner of the cage the rats use and put a litter pan there.  Lightweight plastic is probably not a good idea, since it's likely to be overturned.  Although a pee rock might help with that--and speaking of which, a stone the size of your fist (or brick-sized, for that matter) is perfect.  Use a non-porous rock; it'll be easier to keep clean.

So the rats are likely to get your intention quite quickly, but it's anyone's guess if they'll cooperate.  Some rats, especially girls, will even be quite meticulous about urinating in the box as well as defecating there, but boys tend to be more lax about that sort of thing. What I can tell you is that my rats have always been good about not defecating outside the cage, but keeping them out past the limit of their bladders can result in an accident.

Thanks! I was planning to fasten the jug down to the bars, but I can see how it could still get pushed around, so I'll have to look into that more... And I'm surprised that the rock should be so big! I'll have to keep an eye out for something suitable next time I'm at the park since the river stones I have already are fairly small.


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