This article is from the Summer II 1997 AFRMA Rat & Mouse Tales news-magazine.
By Nichole Royer
1Stuff a large handful of shredded paper in your rat or mouse’s cage. It will provide hours of nest building entertainment and enjoyment.
2Better yet, fill an entire cage, floor to ceiling with this stuff. The rats and mice think it is wonderful “grass” in which to climb, stalk each other, play, hide, and have a blast. The kittens were delighted with all the paper, and even my old bucks perked up and ran around like the goofballs they are.
3Toss a handful of shredded paper on top of your rat’s cage. This provides a great challenge. They just have to get every single piece of that paper into their cage through the wire.
4Stuff a paper lunch bag full of shredded paper. Tie the top closed with a short piece of string. Mice will rip a hole in this and create a network of tunnels in their neat new nest. Be patient though, some mice are leery of new objects like this at first. Give this same toy to a rat, and watch them shred it.
5Make the same toy as #4, but throw in a handful of cereal or other treats half way through stuffing the bag. It’s an extra goodie for the mice to find while burrowing, and the rats go nuts shredding.
6Make #5, but use a long enough piece of string to hang it in your rats’ cage (make it hard to reach). This provides hours of challenging shredding enjoyment for your rats.
7Make #4 or #5, only use a grocery bag. Rats will chew several entrance holes and make a snug nest.
8Take a plastic dish pan and put a few treats in the bottom. Fill the dishpan with mounds of shredded paper. Either put this pan in your rats’ cage, or let your rat out to play. Mine created a blizzard of paper while wildly digging for their treats.
9Stuff a small amount of shredded paper in one end of a paper towel or toilet paper tube. Use just enough to securely block one end. Put a few treats in the open end, then stuff in a small amount of paper. Continue doing this until the tube is stuffed solid with paper. Give to your critters to destroy.
10Fill a rat lab block feeder with layers of shredded paper, and small amounts of treats. Continue adding treats/paper and compacting until the feeder is full. Hang in your rats’ cage and they will have a great challenge pulling all that paper out to reach the treats.
Well, that’s 10 from me, but in reality there are thousands of things to do with shredded paper. Just use your imagination! Does anyone else have a good shredded paper toy to try?
Author’s note: While the critters love shredded paper, it is important that you make sure the paper you use is free from toxins and has little or no ink on it. After all, the critters do chew it. Also, paper tends to cause a buildup of ammonia odor in cages if left for more than 3 or 4 days, so be sure to remove it before then.