Rat games and activities

Rats make wonderful pets. They’re intelligent and inquisitive, providing hours of entertainment as they interact with each other. They’re loving and loyal to their owners, always looking for the next treat! Below are some ideas for some fun games and activities to play with your pet rat.

Digging Box

Rats often love their digging box more than any other toy! They enjoy digging in the soil, foraging for seeds, nibbling on the grass and digging up tasty plant roots. Make sure you place the digging box in an easy to clean location such as a bathtub or on top of a plastic sheet – rats love to fling that dirt around!

  1. Find a large box or tray, such as a plastic cat litter tray, and drill some holes into the bottom
  2. Half fill with clean soil
  3. Toss in a handful of bird seed and water lightly
  4. Leave in a sunny area for a few days until the seeds sprout. Refrain from watering it for a few days before you give it to your rats so ensure it’s not muddy
  5. Place your digging box in a rat-­‐proofed, easy to clean location, add rats and watch the fun begin!

You may want to toss in (or bury) a few of their favourite treats to get them started. It makes a bit of a mess when they start flinging and digging around, but the sheer joy they get from frolicking in the grass is worth the clean-­‐up! However, if you have a young rat or just don’t like the idea of the mess, you can create a safe and clean digging box by filling a box with fabric scraps and tissues.

Fishing for Peas

This is a fun game for cooling rats down on a hot summer day. The water loving rats (or those insatiable pea addicts) will jump right into the pool and dive under to nab the peas. The more nervous ones will fish for the peas with their hands from the side. Either way, they’re sure to love this. Make sure you keep some towels handy to nab soggy rats!

  1. Find a shallow bowl or tray big enough to fit your rats in. A paint roller tray is perfect as it has a deep and a slip free ramp straight into the “pool”
  2. Half fill with water and place somewhere water-­‐proof, such as the bathroom floor or bathtub
  3. Toss in a few frozen peas or corn
  4. Add rats!

Ratty Wrestling

Wrestling and flipping games are great to play with your rat because you’re mimicking their natural behaviour and instinct. Interacting with your rats at their level helps to establish and strengthen the bond between you.

  1. Tickle your rat on his back, just above the base of his tail. When he turns around, tickle his head and under his chin
  2. Take your hand away, and then tickle him on the base of the tail again. When he turns around, tickle somewhere else
  3. Your rat will eventually start to “wrestle” with your hand upon playing this game. Try flipping your rat onto his back and tickling his tummy. He will try his hardest to flip your hand over in return!

Rat Toss

This is a simple game, but rats just love it! Make sure you do this one in a safe, rat-­‐proofed room.

  1. Pick up and hold your rat, give him some tickles and scratches
  2. Gently toss your rat onto a nearby pillow, couch or soft blanket – make sure it’s only a few feet away
  3. Watch him run back for more!

Party Games

Rats only get a few birthdays; let them have some fun with these great ratty party games!


Wrap all of your rat’s presents up in gift wrap or newspaper. They’ll almost certainly have more fun ripping the paper off and playing with the packaging than they’ll have with the actual present!

Birthday Cake

A small cupcake or fruit muffin topped with a dab of icing and sprinkled with sunflower seeds makes a perfect ratty birthday cake. Ensure no whiskery noses get singed on the candle!

Pass the Parcel

Wrap up a yoghurt drop in a small piece of newspaper or paper towel. Add another treat to the package and wrap it up again. Continue to do this until you’ve got a large package with many layers of wrapping paper and lots of treats inside. Give to your rat. Just don’t expect them to pass it on to their cage-­‐mate when the music starts!

Scavenger Hunt

 Find a rat-­‐proofed room in your house. Hide lots of treats around in sneaky, hard to find locations. Add rats and watch the hunt begin!

Small Mammals


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