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 Post subject: Rat Proofing a room with a few tricky problem areas?!
 Post Posted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 2:52 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2016 8:56 am
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I'm extremely eager to free roam my rats as up to this point my only option is to put them in the carry box and take them upstairs into the shower to play, but its pretty boring for both me and the rats too. I want so much to rat proof the room their cage is in but I'm a little stuck with a few areas. Any advice on how to properly protect both the room and my rats would be hugely appreciated.

* Four large appliances, all touch the floorso no getting underneath but the cables drag on the floor and arent long enough to pin up on the wall etc.

* An open drain behind appliances. My biggest worry, it used to bean outside drain until the room was built around it. It has a wire grate over but the rats can fit through it easily. IF they fell or jumped down there they could get back out but its a drain! I dont want them playing in it!

* Curtains - My concern is them crawling up and not coming down!

* Holes in the wall by drain, behind appliances. I just want to block that whole area off really but want to be prepared in case they do happen to get through.

That's all the things i can think of right now. ..! Thanks for any advice!


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 Post subject: Re: Rat Proofing a room with a few tricky problem areas?!
 Post Posted: Fri Jan 13, 2017 1:38 am 
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I'm struggling to think of a solution without being able to visualise. Any chance of some pictures? That might help people work something out :)

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 Post subject: Re: Rat Proofing a room with a few tricky problem areas?!
 Post Posted: Fri Jan 13, 2017 12:49 pm 
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I have heard of people covering electrical cables with hose pipe.

Could you just cover the drain hole over? As it's behind an appliance something flat like cardboard, a piece of lino/vinyl offcut?

You could tie the curtains up while the rats are out, pick the curtain up, make a loop and tuck the end though?

Hard to visualise the holes in the wall, would a fire guard for that area be any good?

Unfortunately rats are GREAT at getting somewhere you don't want them to be, and can be very persistent. I've spent hours constructing barriers of cardboard and sellotape, puppygates, and spare furniture. Good luck!


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 Post subject: Re: Rat Proofing a room with a few tricky problem areas?!
 Post Posted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 10:08 am 
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Image
I hope this helps somewhat! The gray blocks are the four appliances, each with cables leading to plugs. Beneath the middle one is a drain (half covered by the washing machine).

I thought of covering it up with wood or something sinilar but it would ve the best place to hide for the rats and if they are going to be able to squeeze down past it anyway, i definitely dont want to be opening it up and fishing in the drain for them!

The holes in the walls are behind the three appliances too. Theyre gaps where the wall wasnt properly plastered over the drain area when the previous tenants had the room built on the back of the house. I doubt the holes lead anywhere but i wouldnt want the rats to get and ideas and start chewing through the plaster to get deeper.

I wish it was easy to simply block the appliances completely but theres no way i can think to do that as i 1) Have nothing in which to block such a large area and 2) Fear theyd easily get behind anyway, hence why i want to preare the whole room.

I feel a bit disheartened that it cant really work but theres simply no where better than this room for them to be!

Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Rat Proofing a room with a few tricky problem areas?!
 Post Posted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 11:49 am 
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A lot of people use their hallway for freerange, would this be a possibility for you?

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 Post subject: Re: Rat Proofing a room with a few tricky problem areas?!
 Post Posted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 2:17 pm 
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ElizabethW wrote:
A lot of people use their hallway for freerange, would this be a possibility for you?


My issue is catching my rats to carry them there. They're my first rats and unfortunately they had been rarely handled when i adopted them. I was told they'd need a lot of handling to learn to not fear being touched.

Often they'd nervously crawl out onto my lap but i had so little confidence to allow them to crawl on me in case they fell on the floor (and escape in my absolutely not rat proof lounge) and instead would opt for putting their carrier inside the cage and waiting for them to crawl in.

Waiting for them to crawl in is the most tedious thing and often ive had to just take one rat to play on the landing, because the other wont go in the carrier and i feel unable to catch her. Ive chased them with my hand around their cage a few times but the cage has a tiny door and its so hard to manuvere my hand as fast as they can run, and ive had to give up for fear of agitating them so much that they'll bite.

Now theyre in the back room, i hoped i would be able to allow them to come out of the cage and straight to play because then i dont need to worry about catching while theyre so timid and i dont need to faff with the carrier.


Sorry that was long! I have had my rats for several months now and i dont feel theyre any more 'tame' since when i got them, and its upsetting. I took one in the carrier to the landing last week as her sister was sleeping, and she sat there afraid in the corner. :(


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 Post subject: Re: Rat Proofing a room with a few tricky problem areas?!
 Post Posted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 4:22 pm 
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Could you create a barrier around the cage using a puppy play pen (or two)? Depending on the size of the holes in the play pen you may need to make it more secure with something to stop them squeezing through or climbing up. I'd use cardboard taped or clipped on.

Once they were more used to you and being out of the cage you could put the barrier around the three appliances instead, maybe just tape some cardboard over the gap between the fourth appliance and the wall.


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 Post subject: Re: Rat Proofing a room with a few tricky problem areas?!
 Post Posted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 6:16 pm 
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Rather than worry about letting them out in a whole room, do you have a bed or sofa (although you need to be careful about escapees down the back) you could get them out on? If they're nervous, a large space is probably just going to freak them out to start. What I tend to do with newbies, scared or not, is sit/lie on the bed and let them hide in my hoodie, usually curiosity gets the better of them :) I don't know what cage you have, but if you happen to have a low "hospital" cage or similar with better access it could be worth moving them into that for a short while just so you can get better access to them and build up everyone's confidence. It's also often worth removing "hidey" areas such as enclosed beds/tunnels while you sort this out.

A small-enclosed area outside the cage like ScissorCrow suggested could also work if there's no easy way to work on handling. Don't suppose they'll agree to be bribed into the carrier with some yummy food when they're hungry?

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 Post subject: Re: Rat Proofing a room with a few tricky problem areas?!
 Post Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2017 2:53 am 
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Hi, and thanks so much for all these replies.

I don't have a smaller cage, but i am able to block off each level by folding up the stairs and can contain them on a single level. Im just fearful of being bitten, my one rat bites, not a nibble but not a vicious bite, but enough that it hurts me and im very scared to aggravate her and cause her to bite hard if i corner her to catch her.

I'm also so frightened of them escaping. I was so confident with them in the adoptiom ladies house, and im so confident handling my friends rats but when it comes to handling my rats in my house i am scared of them escaping and not being able to find them or them destroying things. My husband really does not like them and would go absolutely ballistic if they escaped!

I have been able to lure them into the carrier with a block of frozen yoghurt a couple times but it always seems that when the time comes to get them out, theyre fast asleep and completely uninterested!

I've pushed the appliances together and am thinking of putting the fourth next to the other three. If i could totally block all of those off then i wouldn't need to worry about the drain or cables. I have guinea pig c&c cage pieces i could put together and put cardboard over them, but the rats could get around them or jump them?

Oh i feel so frustrated! Thank you for helping, im so determined to make it work.


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