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Pet Rats/Rat Chewing Bars of Cage

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Question
Hi

I have three (5 month old) female rats who are currently living in a Savic Royal Suite 95 cage.  They have tonnes (literally) of space and stimulating things to do which are changed/rotated regularly.  In addition they have lots of custom-made gear from Fuzzbutt, Cozy Beds & Burrows & Betty's Beds. I also make sure that we free range every day for at least an hour.

One of my girls, who is by far the most intelligent of the three, persistently chews the bars of the cage.  It has recently become her activity of choice which is very frustrating given the amount of other things that there are to do in the cage.

I can't believe that it's boredom or lack of space that are causing her to behave in this way but am at a loss as how to stop her doing this.

Any suggestions are most welcome...!

Regards

Marie-Claire Joyce
ps she seems to like licking any anti-chew spray I use.

Answer
Hi Marie-Claire,
She is doing this because she wants out of the cage, that's all. If possible, you might try putting a board up in front of the cage when she does it to "punish" her by removing the opportunity to see out. After she has stopped chewing for at least 5 minutes you can take the board away. This might train her out of it. If you hang a cloth over the cage she will just pull it inside! Be sure you NEVER let her out after she has been chewing on the bars or she will do it worse.
Deb

Pet Rats

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Debbie Ducommun

Expertise

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 www.ratfanclub.org/helpfinfo.html. 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.

Experience

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.

Organizations
President of Rat Assistance & Teaching Society

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

Education/Credentials
BA in Animal Behavior

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