DIY Tutorial: Shelf Pan For Your Rat Cage

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Shelf pans are a good option if you want to give your rats substrate materials to dig around in instead of fleece-lined shelves. Of course, there are some really good pans on the market, but they tend to be expensive.

The custom shelf pan shown here is affordable, quick, and easy to custom fit to your cage. I fit mine to the dimensions of a critter nation shelf, but you can make any size. Continue reading

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Rat Cage Accessory Roundup #4

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Hello! This post outlines five accessory ideas for your ratties’ enjoyment. These ordinary items are inexpensive, pretty easily cleaned, and will hopefully inspire you to find or make some great enrichment toys for your pet rats!

1. Plastic Inbox – $1-5

Intended for organization desks at home or the office, plastic inboxes also make great rat cage accessories. In these examples, I’ve filled the inbox with Carefresh bedding and fleece scraps. You can leave the inbox on the floor of the cage, or fasten to the walls or hang it from the ceiling to create additional levels for your rats to explore.  Zip ties work well for securing things to the side of your cage, or you can try shower clips to hang the inbox.

Because the inbox sides are shallow, expect your rats to make a big mess throwing the fleece and bedding everywhere.  If they do make a mess, don’t get mad – that’s half of the fun!  I find my inboxes at thrift stores to save money, since the rats will inevitably chew on the inbox and it will have to be tossed if the edges becomes sharp or unsafe.

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New Beginnings

When I started this blog, I had just adopted two sweet male rats. Well, I didn’t know what I was getting into, but quickly fell in love with their unique personalities and habits. I used to consider myself a “cat person” – now, I’m definitely a “rat person!”

When Huey passed away, and I eventually found myself ratless as the others in my pack aged, I no longer had the heart to keep the blog going (although we worked on many posts and tutorials that you will see in the coming days). I decided to never own rats again – the pain of their passing was too strong, and I couldn’t imagine going through that again every two or three years (rats are definitely not with us long enough).

But as the “rat room” sat empty, a place in my heart was empty as well.  Rats are among the smartest, sweetest, and most interesting pets I’ve ever encountered, and somehow my life does not feel complete without them.

So instead of owning my own rats, I’ve decided to foster rats through a local rat rescue. This means I get to play with, socialize, and care for a steady stream of rats at all times! This also means I have a new wave of blog posts and tutorials to share with you in the coming weeks that will feature whatever adorable fosters are presently in my care.

Foster Boys

(Pictured here are my first two foster boys, Gus and Henry!)

Thank you for bearing with me through the healing process and may your mischief always be well!

-Serri

Over the Rainbow Bridge: Huey

I recently lost a pet rat to pneumonia, the first time I’ve had one of the little ratties pass on.  Let me tell you, it was awfully hard to see him go.  This post is his memorial.

Huey: 2011 – 7/15/2014

When I first met Huey, I didn’t really like him.  He came into my life as a full-grown male, formerly a classroom pet; back then he was known as “Alfredo”.  As a new rat owner, I didn’t know what to make of his big, bulky white body, his pinkish red eyes, and long, skinny tail.  I rather meanly thought he did resemble a big blob of alfredo pasta.

Huey, however, had no such prejudice against me.  He was a great rat, and quickly won me over.

Continue reading