Best way to take rats outside?

Help Support Rat Shack Forum:

LatteTheRat

New Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2020
Messages
1
Location
california
Hi! So this is the question of the day lol: whats the best way to take rats outside on little outings?
Latte and I really enjoy going on little outings around town to like to store and stuff to look through things.
But so far the 3 times we've gone (each time about an hour) she's pooped and peed on me multiple times. So the second time I cleared out my little backpack and put some rags of fleece in there to absorb anything and protect my backpack. I would put her in there and hold it close to me so no one might accidentally bump her or I'd put her in the cart. I'd also take her out every so often. But still, I would still get little rat turds on me which is really not fun...
So does anyone have any suggestions on how to prevent her from going to the bathroom on me? This lso happens at the house when we're just chillin' on the couch or something.
Also, should I get a fanny pack to keep her in on outings and that would be "Latte's Fanny Pack" lol. I also don't really appreciate having to hand wash my mini backpack.
Any suggestions would be great because I really love going on little walks with her and she does to!:oops:
 

Dena

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2018
Messages
64
Location
Texas
I honestly wouldn't take her out on outings. It's very stressful for them, even if they seem to be enjoying it. Also, there is a member on here that used to take her rat on walks with her on their shoulder, and somehow, somewhere the rat fell off. They did everything to try and find her, and about 3-4 days later, they found their littke rattie on the ground, dead. Plus you may not think about it, but it really isn't hard for a bird to swoop down, and grab your rat. Something else to think about, if your rat gets spooked, she may run away, hurt herself trying to get to a place she feels safe, or worse. It's really not a good idea to take her out like that. They aren't the same as puppies or dogs.

As far as the poop, that's just a natural thing. They are going to go poop and pee where they want. If it grosses you out, just make sure when she's out for play time, that you set a blanket on the area she's playing in. That way, if poop or pee gets on it, you can toss it in the wash (nonscented baby detergent is best). You can also try putting her litter box in the play area, so she has a more appropriate place to go potty.
 

Wolfgirl

New Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2019
Messages
3
Location
Arizona
An escape proof carrier is a good idea. Make sure it can have water and food and litter and ventilation.
Harnesses can be used to take her out ONLY in rooms she can't escape from and has no hazards. I would not suggest just walking her unprotected as Dena pointed out. And also ONLY take her anywhere once she has gone through training to come when called every time in your house in novel places. Also if you can, teach her to stay and "shoulder" can be helpful.
Since she is your only rat currently, spending more time with her is good. So taking her places will be a double edge sword. Just acknowledge that by taking her with, you could lose her or she could die directly as a result.
 

LatteTheRat

New Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2020
Messages
1
Location
california
Thanks for the info! She is litter trained so I'll definately do that at hope she uses it lol.
Ad for her getting grabbed or lost or anything I got her a little harness and leash just for safety reasons of course not to pull her around- I know they can be pretty fragile. She's still young though and likes to sit happily under my jacket and groom herself and look around so I'm not afraid of her falling to bad but I still am aware and everything.
 

ViciousCurse

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2019
Messages
70
Location
Minnesota, USA
While I don't agree with your (from what understand) decision to continue taking your rat outside, I would like to detail some of the risk factors when taking them outside. Your rat may be fully comfortable with you, because you're there and, let's face it, you're a giant creature compared to them. You can protect them and they possibly realizes that. Just because they're safe and comfortable doesn't mean it's the best for them.

Rats are not like dogs and do not crave being let outside of the house. Dogs are predatory animals and, generally, predatory animals travel long distances each day to search for prey items. Prey items on the other hand still do travel, but they do not feel safe. Rats are prey items and they will constantly be stressed because they will be outside of their home turf and have no way of knowing the dangers they face. This causes immense amounts of stress and stress does negatively affect their bodies; just like every other living being. And usually, rats live in colonies outside where there's a lot of them that can protect each other and spot dangers. For the purpose of exploring and expending energy, people build playpens for their rats. Playpens are controlled environments. You can physically and mentally stimulate them in a ton of different ways.

Speaking of controlled environments; the outside world is not one. You don't know what you're going to run into out there. You can be prepared for just about anything, but life has a fantastic way of reminding us there aren't factors we often think about. You don't know how other people will treat you and your pet. You don't know how other people's pets will treat you and your pet. Excluding people, you don't know what's going to happen when you go outside with your rat.

Another comparison between rats and dogs is that dogs explore the outside world vaccinated and treated. Most people that I know have a fully vaccinated dog, their dog is on heartworm treatment, their dog is on flea and tick treatment, meaning that their dog is protected biologically against most of the illnesses they can get. Not to mention, there's a very low chance most dogs in human care will run into strays, or other canines (including wild ones). Where I live, dogs are recommended to be vaccinated with Lyme disease since that is so prevalent here in Minnesota. And you have no way of knowing whether or not wild animals have walked through the spaces you've brought your rat. Our pet rats are healthy, disease-free animals, but they often pick up diseases from terrible conditions or from wild animals. This means if your rat touched a spot a wild rat walked on, they may get sick.

Just because you are being careful doesn't always prevent anything. Like the aforementioned member Dena mentioned, this girl said she was being safe and cautious. And in a single moment of letting her guard down, she lost her rat and that rat eventually died. Is it her fault? Directly, no. She didn't intend for what happened to happen, nor did she want it, but it still did. Had she kept her rat inside, she wouldn't have lost her. In no way am I being mean to her or judging her for what happened-- it's done and over with. I still feel very bad for her and her rats.

Harnesses break. Leashes get dropped. If something grabs your rat, a harness and leash will do nothing to save her. It's blunt, but it's not always the solution. I'm part of a pet bird forum and I just can't agree with taking a bird out on a leash unless the bird is trained in free flight and even that is risky. A lot of people have lost their birds because they dropped the leash, the bird spooked, or the harness broke. Heck, birds have chewed on their harness before, the harness failed, and then the birds flew away.

Sorry for the monster post and sorry if I seem pretentious or rude, but I want you to be aware of what you're bringing your rat out into.
 
Last edited:

ViciousCurse

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2019
Messages
70
Location
Minnesota, USA
Onto a less negative post, some ways you can bring your rat outside is with a carrier, just like Wolfgirl mentioned. You can get backpacks made for our pets that have screens or pexiglass, or whatever. However, just make sure your rat isn't chewing on anything and getting out. The carriers just have to be rat-proof and make it extremely difficult, if not impossible, for the rat to break out and get out.

Something like this is what I'm talking about. However, as we can see by the pictures, those are some pretty big ventilation holes. Not appropriate for a rat, obviously, depending on the size. People use something like this for their birds as well.
 

LatteTheRat

New Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2020
Messages
1
Location
california
Yeah I also thought of taking her little carrier but it is pretty small and has pretty wide bar spacing so I do get a little worried with that. I actually brought her out shortly after posting this thread-brothers demand lol- and brought her and took the mini carrier as well. I held her the whole time because she didn't want to go in there and kept running to me <3
So a quick update on getting her friend: My dad has a very physical job and so he's not always wanting to hear about me needing another rat of course he just wants to relax. So on his next 3 day weekend (end of January) I'm going to talk to him about getting another rat! I hope he says yes because I do feel bad about it:(
 

LatteTheRat

New Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2020
Messages
1
Location
california
Thank you ViciousCurse for your opinion! I see with what your're saying and agree. Though I don't think that comparing rats to dogs or pet birds is completely fair, because dogs are always on the ground and therefore need some sort of protection against diseases, whether natural or vaccine, and birds fly and are slightly more capable of handling the outside world. Not budgies or small birds I'm talking more larger breeds. Rats, on the other hand, should always be held because they are about the size of your hand and very fast along with other variables. I would never let my sweet Latte on the ground in an outdoor area especially now but even s full grown adult with her harness and leash. The harness and leash are simply safety measures should something ever happen. I also find it highly unlikely for hawk or something to swoop down and grab her, considering she's always in the crook of my arm or in one of my pockets or bag but I never thought of that happening so it's good you guys brought that possibility up!
I will defintly take less walks and such for her safety and I thank you all for your concerns! Latte is my first help and I'm very glad I joined this forum so I can learn more to prevent bad things from happening:D
 

SQ

Senior Member - Vegan for the animals
Joined
Jul 21, 2007
Messages
17,029
Location
central New Brunswick Canada
Welcome to the forum :)

Rats should never be taken on outings
Please read https://www.ratshackforum.com/threads/taking-rats-outdoors-or-with-you-to-places.34675/ and https://www.joinrats.com/Enrichment/Outdoors/

btw please read the Reference Thread as it contains a lot of good info on rats, their care, diet, intros etc https://www.ratshackforum.com/threads/reference-thread-read-only.35894/

Rats do need to live with at least one other same sex rat as rats are social animals and normally live in large family groups.
Being a lone rat can make rats depressed, aggressive, or withdrawn. They will grieve the loss of their family and friends, may become fearful, will be lonely and may stop eating. Stress causes illness in rats and living alone is very stressful. Hopefully you will be able to get one of her sisters asap as new rats can be ill so best if they come from the same place and family.

If all rats are under 12 weeks old then they can just be put together because babies see new rats as playmates, otherwise you will need to do gradual introductions so that no one is hurt - there are established steps to follow.

Spaying female rats is important for health reasons if you have access to a good vet with the knowledge and experience to do it safely (see the Reference Thread)

Some of this info might be helpful https://www.ratshackforum.com/threads/thinking-of-getting-a-rat-things-to-consider.32306/
 
Last edited:

LatteTheRat

New Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2020
Messages
1
Location
california
I already have had her sister Cookie for a few weeks now and introductions went great. I personally also don't think spaying rats is a good thing to do because rats are not good when they go under, also spaying is pretty invansive, especially if you compare them to neutering boys. Thanks for the concern.
 

LatteTheRat

New Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2020
Messages
1
Location
california
I understand some of the benefits to spaying but I do not intend to spay my girls. I have had bad experiences with spaying small animals before and I would not like to risk Latte or Cookies' life to the same fate as the previous times.
 

SQ

Senior Member - Vegan for the animals
Joined
Jul 21, 2007
Messages
17,029
Location
central New Brunswick Canada
Not trying to convince you, but it sounds like your vet did not know how to do it safely as the risk is small if the pet is healthy and the vet does it properly.
 

LatteTheRat

New Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2020
Messages
1
Location
california
The vet did do it properly but they both ripped out the stiches overnight and they got a really bad infection for some reason. Both of them , brother and sister, had to get put down.
 

Dena

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2018
Messages
64
Location
Texas
Just saying, if they rip stitches out, it's usually because they weren't given enough pain meds, or weren't sent home with any (most vets don't send home enough or the right dosage, if at all). Spaying any female animal actually has way more benefits than risks. All kinds or ugly, aggressive tumors can take hold, and the suffering from that is way worse. I watched it with my rabbit who we dearly loved (rest in peace Gracie), with my boxer, who had such aggressive tumors, that one formed on her throat out of the blue, then two weeks later on the other side, effectively cutting off her air supply, even though we were doing an aggressive steroid treatment, and now one of my older rats has multiple tumors. All of these tumors were directly from their reproductive system and hormones. A simple spay could have fixed all of them. I really wish I had known that earlier.....
That is why it may seem it's being pushed on you. We just don't want to see you have to go through the same sad outcome. It's not fun for the girls either.
 
Group Builder
Top