Veterinarian Jacksonville Florida -Veterinary

Many people come to my Jacksonville Florida veterinarian clinic with questions about caring for pet rats. You will also want to provide some nesting material which the rats can shred and use to line their nest box - shredded paper (no ink), tissues, or paper towels work well.
For bedding, avoid cedar and pine wood shavings but aspen shavings are fine. There are many other good pet bedding and litter options available these days that are very absorbent, not dusty and safe for small pets. Some are pelleted so might not be all that comfortable for rats to play and sleep in, so some people use the pelleted products (which are usually very absorbent) under a layer of softer loose bedding. Usually, the rats will chose a bathroom location in one area of the cage. Heavily soiled litter should be scooped out daily, and more litter added if needed. The whole cage should be cleaned and new liter and bedding provided once a week or so.
Rats love to climb, and will make good use of ladders, ropes, hammocks, tunnels, and platforms. toys should be provided as well - blocks of wood for chewing, cardboard tubes, and toys designed for ferrets or parrots are good choices. Look for rope and wood toys, as many plastic toys can't stand up to chewing by a determined rat. Simple items like large cardboard mailing tubes; crumpled paper, paper bags, and cardboard boxes can also make wonderful toys. Remember that rats are very intelligent and need to be challenged, so rotate the toys on a regular basis so the rats do not become bored. Some rats like to run on exercise wheels but the wire type commonly found in pet stores isn't very safe for rats as their feet or tail can get caught in the rungs or the supports on which the wheel is suspended. As with all the animals we treat here in my Jacksonville veterinarian clinic rats receive the best treatment we can give them.

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