Stupid question but, does anyone give their guys & girls a nightlight?

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Little_Lovelies
Posts: 31
Joined: Fri Nov 22, 2019 8:08 pm

Stupid question but, does anyone give their guys & girls a nightlight?

Post by Little_Lovelies » Mon Dec 23, 2019 7:37 pm

Hey all,

I've read in a load of places that a rats' eyesight is only a small part of how they navigate, but I still hate turning the light out at night when I've given them an adventurous new layout. I try to make every layout as safe as possible with no big drops, but I know I mustn't make them so safe that they're boring either so I really struggle. Their latest layout has one drop of around 35cm onto a soft surface in one place, and that's only if they choose to jump straight down instead of onto the massive ledge half way down, turn around and then jump to the floor.

I constantly see drops far, far bigger than this in people's layouts so I'm sure this must be OK but I do hate turning the light out on them and hoping that they remember where everything is now. So I wondered if anyone gives their little honeys a nightlight? I did buy them one of the old-school orange ones so that they could have just a tiny bit of non-whitelight but then I read somewhere that they need darkness so I've never used it.

So my questions are -
Does anyone else give their guys a nightlight?
How on earth do they really get about safely in total darkness when small jumps are involved? (Surely their whiskers can't help with jumping?)
And would it be safe to let them have the orange nightlight? Or could this disrupt their habits at all? (it would be quite a way from the cage).

Thanks!

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[cub]
Posts: 897
Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2011 2:04 pm

Re: Stupid question but, does anyone give their guys & girls a nightlight?

Post by [cub] » Mon Dec 23, 2019 10:41 pm

Having a day/night cycle is actually fairly important to most animals, as it helps regulate their body clocks. I personally try to keep it as dim as possible in the rats' room at night, though a little bit of light shouldn't be a problem. The moon can be fairly bright, after all.

Rats remember cage layouts. Whenever you change the layout significantly, or move them to a whole new cage, they'll map out where everything is. You can actually see them doing this: they'll go over the same areas again and again, from different directions, working out how everything connects together. At night, they'll use what vision they have (I suspect their low light vision isn't bad, though it'll still be very blurry as their vision is poor in general) and combine it with their memorised map to navigate.

I reckon a dim nightlight probably wouldn't do them harm, but I honestly wouldn't worry about it. One of my current girls is very visually impaired, even for a rat, but we didn't realise this for months until I started trying to train them to do little tricks and realised she couldn't follow visual cues. She was nevertheless perfectly capable of getting around with no problems, so we'd never noticed.
Poo-shoveller to: Calyn (NLA32); Zephyr Nyahir; Zephyr Zymandis; Zephyr Blasto.
Fondly remembering: Zephyr Mick Jagger "Edgeworth"; Din (NLA28); Zephyr Donovan "Phoenix"; Xeltan; Lita (NLA32); Lia (NLA28); Zephyr Delanynder (NLA28); Falere (NLA36); Mirala (NLA36); Zephyr Opold; Rila.

frodo quin
Posts: 32
Joined: Sat Oct 26, 2019 11:57 am

Re: Stupid question but, does anyone give their guys & girls a nightlight?

Post by frodo quin » Fri Dec 27, 2019 11:32 pm

No, I don’t give them a nightlight, but it isn’t dark in my living room (curtains aren’t completely closed). I don’t think it would be harmful to give them a nightlight as long as it isn’t to bright. It isn’t dark outside either.

Little_Lovelies
Posts: 31
Joined: Fri Nov 22, 2019 8:08 pm

Re: Stupid question but, does anyone give their guys & girls a nightlight?

Post by Little_Lovelies » Sat Dec 28, 2019 6:30 pm

frodo quin wrote:
Fri Dec 27, 2019 11:32 pm
No, I don’t give them a nightlight, but it isn’t dark in my living room (curtains aren’t completely closed). I don’t think it would be harmful to give them a nightlight as long as it isn’t to bright. It isn’t dark outside either.
Hi Frodo Quin,

Thanks very much for the advise and it's nice to meet you!

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