Author Topic: She's a CARPET SHARK!  (Read 4880 times)


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« on: April 06, 2003, 03:15:27 AM »
Fletcher is our big time chewer, much to my dismay and displeasure.  I can't even keep the girls in nice hammocks anymore becuase as soon as a new one is put in the cage, she's gnawing holes in it and taking out the seams.  I've NEVER had such a serious chewer!  Never.  I don't like it!

I figured as long as she was chewing hammocks, that would be fine.  Not a problem.  Well, tonight, they were out running all over the floor and she was by the bedroom door CHEWING THE CARPETING!

We hate our carpets anyway (they are the color of a dirt trail), and are planning to change them at some point, but we don't know when.  Could be 6 months, could be 4 years.  We don't know.  So, we need to keep what we have in decent condition.  Can we do that?  Nope.  Stupid little Fletcher Snake's gotta keep chewing new holes in it.

How do you guys combat this problem?  I've never used Bitter Apple.  Do you think it would work on the rug?

Offline Blue

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« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2003, 03:20:56 AM »
Personally, I'd give up.. lol. I'd be like, well, we're changing it out sometime..

Then again, it took me about three dozen chewed wires (computer wires stored in a drawer..) and a killed webcam later before I finally realized I could just stick them in a box and Fargo could burrow in the drawers to her heart's content.


Maybe contain her to an area that has plastic carpet runner over your carpet? You could try spraying your carpet with the bitter apple first, yea..
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Offline LittlePixie

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« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2003, 03:47:55 AM »
Do you have any areas that aren't carpeted?

When Bryce was younger and free-ranging for the first few times, anything he did that I wasn't impressed with, I clapped my hands. Not too loudly - sure, if he had a heart attack and died of fright he'd never chew anything again, but that's not really the result I want - but enough so he'd stop what he was doing. From that, he now "knows" (as long as it suits him) not to go down the stairs (when I'm watching anyway) or chew on the skirting boards. It may not work for your rats, but Bryce is a very agreeable rat. Clap your hands and he wanders obligingly away from what he was doing and comes over for a scritch.

Bitter apple has never worked for me with any of my animals (haha... I wrote "apples" instead of "animals" the first time...). My dog loves the taste of it - plus the taste of three different brands of dog repellent, hot chilli, hot mustard, pepper, capsicum and garlic. Everything we sprayed those things on, she'd chew all the more frantically. In the end, we just moved everything we don't want her chewing on. :) That might be the best solution with your ratty, too!
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Offline ckhs

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« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2003, 11:49:28 AM »
There IS hope Shawna. Mine were all awful chewers when i first got them, never anything in the cage but EVERYTHING out of the cage. The more time out the less they chewed. I also had to take the computer out of my room so im not sure if they would have continued chewing that.
The carpet is a huge attraction to them. I ended up having to leave the closet door and bathroom door open and just rat proofing. When the doors are closed they spend all their time pulling up the carpet underneath in an effort to get to the other side. For my bedroom door i just placed ceramic tiles underneath and the problem was solved.

Now they only pull up the carpet if i haven't let them wander the rest of the place for awhile, which is now because we were dealing with mites.

Just as with kids and pretty much everybody else...they want the no, no's.

Solution.....ALWAYS let them have their own way....Hope this is helpful. ;)


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« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2003, 12:50:41 PM »
LMAO!  Letting them have their own way is not an option.  I can't have them shredding the carpets just because they want to.  And even if they tear up THIS one, and we replace it, all they'll do is rip up the NEW one, and I'm NOT putting cheap floor covering in this house!  The carpeting I've chosen is only going to be affordable for us because of Steve's connections in the home remodeling business.

So, we've got to get her to STOP chewing.  

The only place in the house that's not carpeted is the kitchen and laundry room.  She can't play there.  I don't want the rats in those areas at all.  

I've been clapping my hands at her, and it startles her temporarily, but she goes right back to chewing as soon as she forgets I'd made a noise.  LOL!

The other morning she was being so STUBBORN about it, and I got so MAD about it, I actually took my fingers and flicked them on her rump and said, 'NO!'  Unfortunately, this was what she responded to.  She didn't chew for the remainder of her playtime, which is good, but I don't want to have to use that method on her, and undo her socializing, etc.  

Offline Grace

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« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2003, 12:57:33 PM »
Hmm...  Maybe you could use a water bottle and spray her when she starts chewing?

When I was living with Mom, the rabbits we had (one in particular) was a horrible carpet chewer.  We tried the water bottle, which worked for a while, then just started thumping (like a scared rabbit will do) when she did it.  That worked pretty well, but unfortunately I doubt it would work for a rat.  Maybe pain squeaks when she chews?  Chewing = pain for mommy?

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  • Guest
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2003, 12:58:56 PM »
I use the bitter lime spray (The Ferret Store, the Rat-alog) and I haven't had a problem with chewing carpet in a long time. Plus I picked up some Nylabone Edibles (they go through about one a week) and that helps them not need to chew other things up.


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« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2003, 04:31:35 PM »
Hadn't thought of using a water bottle!  LOL!  THat's a good idea. Our rats HATE water.  OMG!  They just can't stand it!

Ensie: ours get stuff to chew, which is why I'm so perplexed as to why she's got to chew her hammocks and the carpeting.  She also chewed a hole in one of Steve's pairs of shorts, and she's chewed the underside of our bed comforter AND one of my favorite blankets.

It seems like she's just into FABRIC.  LOL!  

They get edible Nylabones, and they get chicken bones every now and then, and puppy cookies and other really hard things.  They also get the occasional "Greenie".  Plus they eat lab blocks.  Lab blocks are hard, and should help satisfy that gnawing instinct.

She's just a hopelessly bratty ratty!  LOL!  She needs a nice, solid spanking!  LOL  Or, maybe we could have her teeth removed...  she likes rice cereal...  LOL!


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« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2003, 04:38:02 PM »
Maybe you could choose a room, and when you recarpet the house, you could put in wood flooring in that one room.


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« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2003, 07:58:09 PM »
That's an idea, too.  Our entry way, our dining room, kitchen, and laundry area are going to get Wilsonart (like Pergo) commercial grade flooring at some point.  I'm not sure when that will be, though, but we ARE going to have "wood" flooring downstairs.  The dining room would be a good place for the rats to play.

Until then, though, *mist* *mist*  LOL

*still contemplating having her teeth removed*  LOL

Offline topazrat

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« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2003, 07:01:31 AM »
Some of my rats chew carpet too.  They play in the bathroom and reach under the door and pull strands out.  I don't know if your rat is chewing at the edges or just anywhere, but what I think I'm going to do is go to a home improvement store and buy those long coverings that are meant to cover up the edges of carpeting.  I'm pretty sure things like that exist for covering up nails that stick out or running cords under them so people don't trip, or (in our case) preventing compulsive chewers.  Hope this helps! :)

Offline Jean

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« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2003, 02:21:04 PM »
Could you put down an old throw rug over the incriminating area?


A carpet remnant?  My rabbit liked chewing the carpeting in the corner where his litter pan was and I put a carpet remnant over the "good" carpeting.  He would chew the carpeting remnant I didn't care about, keeping the good carpeting underneath safe.  My rabbit doesn't seem to chew any carpeting other than in this corner...

The only thing bad about the carpet remnant would be to tell Fletcher "it's okay to chew carpeting"...


  • Guest
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2003, 08:57:48 PM »
Well... This bratty rat is driving me nuts. I've been misting her with a water bottle.  Not only has she chewed HOLES in the carpeting in SEVERAL places, but she's also chewed holes in the bedroom DRAPES!  Thankfully, we don't like those either, and they will be replaced with something else when we paint the bedroom, but still.

She stops chewing when squirted w/ water, but moves to another area of the room, and starts chewing there.  

Hopefully it won't take much longer before she understands chewing the floor = being sprayed w/ water, and quits.