Reducing Stress While We Are Gone

Discussion in 'General Rat Chat & Photos' started by Janean Van Beckum, May 22, 2019.

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  1. May 22, 2019 #1

    Janean Van Beckum

    Janean Van Beckum

    Janean Van Beckum

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    We are going on a week long vacation in June. We have someone all set to come and check on and play with the boys for about an hour each day. They normally get out for about 20 minutes in the morning and again in the evening for as long as they want. Our ratstitter has met them once and they were starting to warm up to her before she left. She is going to see them briefly one more time when she comes to pick up our key. I think after a day or two of her giving them their treats they will be fine with her, she is really good with them.

    The sitter will be changing out their cage toys, checking food/water and litter box, giving them favorite treats and we will have a rat safe and toy filled room for them to play in when they are out.

    I do have a concern for our one guy, however. He is extremely attached to my daughter. He craves attention specifically from her and searches for her if she isn't home when he is out.

    Any suggestions for reducing the stress on them while we are away and they get used to their ratsitter? Should we start to change their schedule so they are only out in the evening (when the sitter will be coming) so they don't freak out at no one being around in the morning? Or will they not even notice we are gone and be thankful of a vacation from us :) ! I am probably over thinking this, but I have never left rats alone for more than a day before. They are technically my 7 year old's pets and she will be devastated if something happens to them that we could have prevented!
     
  2. May 23, 2019 #2

    Dena

    Dena

    Dena

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    I personally have a rule while I'm gone, that no one is to remove the rats from their cage (unless it's someone who lives with us, and knows the rats well). IF you want to let your sitter take them out for playtime, make sure the sitter knows that rats can spook easily, at seemingly nothing, and knows they scatter rather quickly, and how to react if this happens. Also, make sure you put a list of stuff like: appropriate foods, vet name and number, and any history for each rat just in case.

    As far as the rat who is attached to your daughter, you can always get her to carry around, and sleep with either a rat safe stuffed animal (like ikea rats, or a doll made for babies), or a piece of fleece, and when y'all leave, have the sitter give it to him on the first day. That way it will smell like your daughter, and will give him something to snuggle to, and comfort him for a few days.
     
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  3. May 24, 2019 #3

    Janean Van Beckum

    Janean Van Beckum

    Janean Van Beckum

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    Putting something that smells like her in the cage is a great idea! I might have two ready and have the sitter change it out in the middle.

    I'm not worried about our sitter per say. She had rats in the past and also cares for other small critters (ferrets, rabbits other rodents) along with the typical dogs and cats for people, so she knows how to handle them. I am planning to move everything into their play room. All she has to do is open the door and if they don't want to come out, they don't have to. Knowing our rats, after about 20 minutes they venture back to their cage on their own, waiting for a treat, so I don't think she will have problems on that front.
     
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  4. May 24, 2019 #4

    Dena

    Dena

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    That's awesome! I guess if my sitter was more rat savvy, I wouldn't have a problem with them letting my rats play.
     

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