Pet Rats/New babies


My pet rat Jill just had 9 babies, probably 3 or 4 days ago. She keeps taking them off of the towels we use for bedding and puts them on the hard cage floor. Is that normal or OK for them? We hold them a few times every day and make sure they are getting socialization and are feeding her a human diet and also dried fruits. I read to give her scrambled eggs so I make sure she has them available at all times. My main concern is the bedding issue. She is only a couple of months old (?) and we just got her from Petsmart a couple of weeks ago so we did not know she was pregnant and she never got any bigger so this was a complete surprise but we are trying to do what ever we can to keep them healthy. Thank you for any advice you can give me.

Hi Kelly,
My thought is that Jill doesn't like the towels. Rats prefer shredded paper for their maternity nest, and towels have loops that can catch on their nails. If they chew on towels, they can ravel, and the threads can get wrapped around the babies, so take the towels out and give her some paper towels or other paper to build a nice nest out of.

I'm concerned you're feeding her a human diet. Rats need rat food to make sure they get the nutrition they need. I recommend buying rat blocks for her, and supplementing them with a wide variety of fruits and vegies, as well as the egg.

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Debbie Ducommun


I can answer any questions about pet rats, but you will probably be able find answers to simple questions more quickly on my website at If you have a life-threatening emergency you can try calling me at 530-899-0605. I am not usually on the computer on the weekend.


I have been "The Rat Lady" since 1985 and am recognized as one of the world's experts on pet rats. I have 3 published books and already answer lots of questions about rats daily.

President of Rat Assistance & Teaching Society

I am a monthly columnist for Pet Business magazine, and my writing has appeared in other magazines. I have 3 published books.

BA in Animal Behavior

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