This article is from the WSSF 2015 AFRMA Rat & Mouse Tales news-magazine.
By Karen Robbins
Emma Lee, Facebook
QI need some ideas on how to keep Miss Shadow from jumping the Grrreat Wall I got for me and the rats to play in! I’ve had to take all the toys out that she can stand on to jump up from. None of my other rats want out that bad—they were having fun! I didn’t know a rat could jump that high! Tomorrow I’m going to try pea fishing to see if they like that. Shadow watches me all the time and is the only one that will not take food or treats from me. I guess I have a big trust problem? So if anyone has any ideas let me know!
ATry handling Shadow a little more, and have her with/on you more. Is it in her cage that she won’t take treats from you or when she is in the play area? Some rats won’t eat treats unless they are in their cage.
“Ilvy” a Mink Berkshire Standard rat playing with a feather, owned by Anja & Uwe Sutter, Germany. Photo ©2013 Anja Sutter.
Since she likes to jump, sounds like she is going to be more adventurous and wanting to explore. You might want to try training her to do things to keep her busy. We have one article on the web site on teaching a rat to fetch. There are also some good books on training rats that are available online or in pet shops (you might even check out the library to see if they have them). We also have a Training section on our Links page on the web site with links to several sites that go into training your rats for agility or other tricks. For rats with serious trust issues, you can read the article “Trust-Training Nervous Rats”.
Another idea is to put a cover over the play area so she can’t get out. Some rats just want to be able to see what is on the other side. You could try setting up a table with toys or have a wading pool with toys on a table as another play area and see if she is more likely to stay put there.
Jesse Pond Kadel, Facebook
Qs there a special way to take care of fancy mice? I have two girls, Lucy (red) and Ethel (grey/white)—never had long haired mice.
ACongratulations on your new pets! Long Haired mice don’t require anything special compared to normal-coated mice. A clean cage with the proper bedding, fresh food, clean water, a house with nesting material (shredded napkins, hay), a wheel, and toys (tubes, etc.), makes for happy mice. In addition, treats of oats (whole, groats, or rolled), millet, whole-grain seeded bread, dog biscuits, bits of carrot, etc., are all very much enjoyed by mice. We have lots of information on our web site including ideas for toys that you can make for your critters and a Pet Registry where you get a nice certificate for each pet and get their names listed in the newsletter and Directory. Some Long Haired mice with the really long, thick coats, may get some types of bedding stuck in their coats. Alpha-dri® is one that usually works well with the long coated critters. This is a pure virgin paper cellulose that is virtually dustless cut in small uniform-size chips.