Rats make excellent pets for those wanting a unique furry friend. Rats are highly intelligent creatures with a lot of love to give if you only give them a chance.
If you have a pet rat (or you’re interested in getting a pet rat), you may be wondering what toys are best to give them. There’s a wide variety of toys out there, but below we’ll share some of the best toys for pet rats that you can find at the pet store or online.
As previously mentioned, rats are highly intelligent creatures. Because of this, they’ll need toys that can keep them challenged and entertained for extended periods of time, or else they may become bored and stressed. Keeping your rat entertained is part of keeping them healthy both mentally and physically!
Look for toys that are stimulating to your rats, such as enrichment toys or toys that let your rat exercise to get their energy out. These will be the most entertaining to your rats. You may also find toys that are more low-energy but still enjoyable, such as chew toys or rat hammocks. We’ll talk a bit more about each of these below.
1. Rat Tunnels
One of the simplest but most comforting toys you can get your rat is a tunnel. Rats love to explore and run down tunnels, and the size of a tunnel often helps to comfort them and help them feel safe. There are lots of options for rat tunnels online and at your local pet store, so you have a variety to choose from.
If your cage is on the smaller side, you may want to get a smaller tube-shaped tunnel for them to run through. If your cage is big, though, you may want to consider larger or more elaborate tunnels with break-off points or windows. These expanded tunnels can bring your rats lots of joy in their cage!
2. Rat Hammocks
Another type of toy your rats will love is the rat hammock. Though your rats aren’t necessarily “playing” with the hammock, hammocks are great for your rat to cozy into and perhaps play with their rat siblings.
There are lots of different shapes and sizes of rat hammocks, so be sure you find one that is compatible with your cage. You can get one that hangs from the center like a suspended bed or one that clips to the corner to create a cozy nest for your pet rats.
3. Exercise Wheels
One thing about rats is that they absolutely love to run, just like hamsters. If your cage is a smaller size, this toy is going to be essential to keeping your rat happy and healthy.
Exercise wheels help your rats stay healthy by running without taking up a lot of space. This can also help tire your rats out so they sleep regularly and don’t become destructive or aggressive.
Make sure you get a hard plastic wheel for your rats as wire wheels can sometimes lead to foot injuries if your rat gets stuck between the wires. Nobody wants that!
A horizontal wheel that is as good and takes up less space is the exercise saucer. Less than 8 inches in diameter, it’s perfect for smaller animals in smaller cages!
If there’s anything rats love more than running and sleeping, it’s chewing. Rats, like many other household pets, love to chew. Chewing is actually really important to keep your rat healthy, as chewing helps them file down their teeth when they get too long.
Instead of getting plastic chew toys, you can get your pet rat a chew toy made of wood or grass. Make sure the chew toy can be attached safely and securely to your rats’ cage so it doesn’t fall down and watch as they chew away!
5. Chew Toy Balls
If hanging chew toys aren’t your rat’s favorite, try chew toy balls. These round balls are made of safe, edible materials for your rat to chew on after nosing the ball around its cage for a bit. These toys are great as they encourage your rats to run and play but also help them keep their teeth filed and healthy.
6. Enrichment Snack Balls
Rats are smart. Enrichment balls make great toys for rats because they encourage them to run and play. If you want to encourage your rats to play with this type of toy, consider an enrichment snack ball.
These safe plastic toys can have snacks put in them to encourage your rat to nose it around and find itself a tasty treat. If your rat is clever enough, they should get the treats out without little difficulty. However, this depends on the size and type of snack you put inside the ball.
While rats are naturally curious, you may have to encourage your rat to play with a new enrichment ball. Use snacks that are more aromatic and are some of your rats’ favorite so they’re encouraged to interact more with the ball. These enrichment snack balls are also more fun with multiple rats as they push it between each other to get a treat!
7. Enrichment Snack Box
Finally, one of the most unique toys you could get your pet rats is an enrichment snack box. These toys require critical thinking from your rats to find the tasty treats hidden in the box.
Your rats will have to sniff and explore the box to find their snacks, almost like they would have to hunt for food in the wild. These boxes also have multiple spots to put snacks, so your rats never know where they are. These toys are slightly more expensive than the rest, but they’re excellent brain teasers for bored rats.
To make the most of this enrichment toy, you should first figure out which types of snacks are your rats’ favorite. They’ll be more likely to interact with a new toy for a treat that they really, really love. Stick to your rats’ favorite snacks to encourage them to engage with this toy and really get their brain working.
There are lots of toy options out there for your rats, but only your rats can decide which ones are their favorite.
Always give your rats lots of options to choose from and make note of which toys they like the best so you can get them more when the time comes. In the meantime, enjoy bonding with your sweet fur babies through the power of hammocks and chew toys!