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Pet Rats/Pet Rat Temperature and Travel



I have a question regarding my two pet rats. I am a college student and a I work at a ranch in CO during the summer. I want to bring my pet rats with me, but the only problem is that they would stay in the barn that doesn't have heat. It get to around 30 degrees at night, and I wanted to know if my rats can withstand that. They would have a lot of interaction during the day and it is warm during the day, but the nights is the only thing I worry about. Also, I am driving to CO and it is a 20 hour drive. Can my rats make that drive? Their cage would be in the backseat of my car.
I really want to take them to CO, but I have someone who can take care of them if it's not a good idea. Thank you!


Your rats would absolutely not withstand that kind of cold.  That is below freezing...even humans would freeze at that temp.  Rats should be kept at a comfortable temp between 70 and 80 degrees at all times.  

Even if you had a warm place to keep them in CO during the night, the 20 hour drive may cause them a lot of stress, and stress can cause weakened immune systems, thus the higher chance of becoming ill.  I would not risk any of this with your rats.

I would definitely recommend having someone care for them while you're away, but just make certain that they are getting proper care including healthy diet and out-of-cage playtime daily.  I have heard plenty of stories of rat owners leaving their rats with friends and upon their return, they found their rats sick, malnourished and even dead.  It happens more often than you can imagine so please make sure it is someone who really likes your rats and that you can trust.  Stay in touch with that person daily as well while you're away.

Finally, since you can't take them with you and if you don't truly trust this person, my suggestion would be to find a local reputable small animal rescue and ask if they can care for them while you are gone.  They would I'm sure be appreciative of any donation you could offer.

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Irene Murphy


I can answer a variety of questions regarding adoption and care of pet rats throughout their lifetimes, including questions about their health and well being, temperment, diet, bedding, cages, toys, etc. I will try to answer your questions to the best of my ability in a timely manner and I have an abundant amount of resources to help me to help you with your pet rats. I love rattie pictures, so include pics with your question if you can. You may ask me medical questions, but please be advised that I am not a vet. I may use my resources to answer some medical questions, however, I will need to refer you to your local vet with medical questions that I feel I am not qualified to address.


I have been a huge rat enthusiast for many years. Since becoming a rat owner, I have educated myself in all areas of pet rats from every resource I could find including the internet, books, conversations with local exotic vets, as well as several local rat breeders.

I have a college degree but not in the area of animals. I have obtained my extensive experience and knowlege of pet rats all on my own because in my eyes, pet rats are the most interesting and fascinating creatures you can ever imagine to have as pets. I also am saddened by how mislabeled and misunderstood these amazing and extremely smart animals are by the majority, and my mission in life has become to educate and change as many people's perceptions of rats as I possibly can.

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