Leaving rats alone for 4 days, advice?

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Saskia Hoogesteyn

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Davie, Florida, USA
I have a pair of female rats, they are adorable, they live in a large 2-story critter nation and are very healthy. Me and my family are going out of town this Saturday (10 am) and coming back on Wednesday morning (9am), and I have no place to leave them but home. I am getting very anxious about leaving them alone, last time we left for a week and I left them with a rat sitter but she's not available this time and honestly, I don't think I could afford her cause I am not working right now due to the covid19.

Has anyone left their rats alone for several days? My worry is that they'll eat their food too fast, is there any type of food or feeder that will "dosage" their intake? I am leaving 2 different large water bottles, their bottle usually lasts for almost 2 weeks, and I am leaving them 2 of those, (one full, and the other one about halfway full, don't know why but I prefer it this way) just in case one might malfunction (they shouldn't but I'm being cautious). Their cage would be cleaned the day before we leave (I clean it once a week anyway, I don't think it would be a problem), and I am leaving a security camera recording their cage 24/7, so I can check on them daily, also, my sister would have a key to my house in case of an emergency, however, she would only come if there is an actual emergency, she doesn't live close by, she has kids and she is in quarantine due to the covid, I can't just ask her to come to check on them, it would be too much to ask of her, but she would come if there was an emergency.

So, the worry is the food issue, anyone has an idea? How can I dosage their food? I am getting nervous about them, I thought about taking them with me but we are renting an RV, and it has a no pet policy, I wouldn't want to end up paying a fine or something cause they find rat odor, hair or whatever and their travel cage is not as big, I believe they would better off at home.

Please, if anyone has any advice for leaving rats alone for a few days I would greatly appreciate it!! Any advice
 

Coffee Babies

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I think the most ideal situation is to find someone to feed them, i'm going out this weekend and we have someone who's going to feed the rats, but I understand the situation your in.
 
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Give them a clean cage, LOTS of water, and extra food. Spend lots of time with them when you get home, as when I go away for a long time, my rats actually get mad at me. You can get a pet cam and a special app it might come with so you can see what they're up to if you want. I also see you live in Flordia, so if it's going to be hot probably, and so they aren't sitting in pools of sweat give them lots of frozen veggies and maybe a few tiles.
 

Saskia Hoogesteyn

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Jan 30, 2019
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Davie, Florida, USA
Yes, I understand that, the only time in the past I left them alone I left them at a sitter's, for 8 days, however this time it is not an option, because she can't and because I couldn't afford it even if she could. That's why I'm asking for advice to be as responsible as I can with my reality. I will be leaving a security camera just to check on them 24/7. But someone is not an option right now.
 

Saskia Hoogesteyn

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Jan 30, 2019
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Location
Davie, Florida, USA
Frozen veggies would stay frozen for a few minutes, then they would be just wet and bringing in mosquitoes and decomposing, I don't think I'll do that if they don't eat it there will be no one home to remove it (I remove any fresh food that is not eaten within 24 hours), in this case, I think the safest would be just dry food. They are not outside or in the sun, we'll leave the A/C on set for 75, the weather is not a problem, and I already have the camera, my concern is food, if they'll eat everything in the first couple of days or so.
 

SQ

Senior Member - Vegan for the animals
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central New Brunswick Canada
You need to hire a pet sittrer to come in twice a day or a family member or a friend.
They need to be fed and have their water checked and refilled twice a day. Someone needs to check on them and make sure they are healthy and get them medical treatment if they have an accident (fall, get their head or a foot trapped, etc). rats get ill and die fast without medical care.
Each summer rats die from heat or a lack of water when water bottles become clogged or water dishes are tipped over of filled with bedding. People must always have at least 2 sources of water in the cage and one needs tp be a water dish that can not be upset …….. but imo that is not good enough for more then 1 day

Electricity can go out and this AC units stop working.
Many things can happen.
People who have pets hire a knowledgeable person to come in and care for them if they will be gone longer then 12 hours
Personally, if I did not have someone to check on my pets twice a day, I would not be going anwhere.
 
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Saskia Hoogesteyn

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Davie, Florida, USA
You're right. I was really nervous for it to begin with and you have cleared my doubts. I asked my sister to take care of them, I got a smaller "temporary cage" and I'll leave them with my sister, she couldn't come here every day but I can leave them with her, she's already taking the dog, I just have to make the time to drive a bit and take them to her.

thanks for your advice
 
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rmn34

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Mar 7, 2020
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I have two cameras on my cage, one mounted to the roof of the cage pointed down and a second camera that can pan and tilt and has 2-way audio, sitting on a shelf next to the cage. I can check on them while I am at work, and can listen and talk to them from my phone.

I still wouldn't want to leave them for more than a day though.

If you're interested it's only $30. Amazon listing: Victure Dualband 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz 1080P WiFi Camera Baby Monitor,FHD Wireless Security Camera with Motion Detection via IPC360 Pro, Pan Tilt, 2-Way Audio, Night Vision
 
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SQ

Senior Member - Vegan for the animals
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Location
central New Brunswick Canada
You're right. I was really nervous for it to begin with and you have cleared my doubts. I asked my sister to take care of them, I got a smaller "temporary cage" and I'll leave them with my sister, she couldn't come here every day but I can leave them with her, she's already taking the dog, I just have to make the time to drive a bit and take them to her.

thanks for your advice
Is your sister in "quarantine due to the covid" because someone in her home has been exposed or because like me she is quarantining because of a high risk family member? I am asking because, while pets can not transmit this virus to people, a few pets have caught it from people ...... they just do not know enough about covid-19 yet
 

Saskia Hoogesteyn

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Jan 30, 2019
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Location
Davie, Florida, USA
Update in case anyone wonders:

Replying to rmn34: I do have cameras, they have 2-way audio, I wrote on my initial post, Thank you for your concern.

Responding to SQ: My sister is quarantined because we have a high-risk family member living with her (my dad, he is senior and has underlying conditions), and also, cause she can work from home and we prefer to stay home even as we can go out, in fact, we are doing this mini-vacation because we have been locked in since March, with 3 small kids, this felt like a safe way to get out and staying safe, we rented an RV and are traveling throughout the state, yet keeping distance from everybody else.

To everybody: We spoke with the owner of the RV, he had a no pet policy, however, I gently explained to him that our pets would not be left to roam freely in the RV, they would mostly be in their cage, they make no sounds that could bother anyone else and we assured him we would make sure no odor was left in the RV and "negotiated" a lower cleaning fee in case he insisted there was any damage due to the rats (I am sure there won't be) and in the end, we were able to take them with us!!! I had gotten them a smaller temporary cage and, even as they are not in their usual large home (a 2 story Critter Nation), well neither are we and we are having a blast! We keep them out as much as we can, and they are safe and cozy the rest of the time. The kids are super happy that we could bring them, the first drive was several hours long and they had so much fun with their pets looking out the windows from their beds. We are currently at our first campsite, which also had a no pet policy, but we keep them inside the RV at all times, so no one will see them and we don't get in trouble, so, the ratties came with us!!!!!! Less risk for them, less trouble for my sister, and less stress for us!

Thank you to all who responded, if everyone had said "oh, sure, 4 days, they'll be fine" we might have made a mistake and leave them.
 

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