Mice and rats are intelligent, active animals who benefit from physical activity and mental stimulation. You may supply toys and enrich your pet rat’s or mouse’s environment in a variety of fun and simple ways.
Rats and mice in the wild spend the majority of their waking hours searching for food. Too frequently, we simply place a bowl of food in front of our pet, and he quickly becomes sedentary and overweight. Hide your pet rat or mouse’s food in specially designed toys to provide them mental stimulation. Many foraging toys made for birds can also be utilised for rodents, such as cholla or bamboo pieces. Fill the holes with your pet’s food and watch him work to get it out. You could easily create one out of cardboard tubes or PVC.
Rats and mice are tunnelling creatures by nature. You can either give ready-made tunnels or allow them to construct their own. Tunnels made of hardened plastic or PVC can be strung on stainless steel wire hangers or installed in the cage. Many of them have elbows or Y’s, allowing you to create your own maze. PVC is simple to clean. To avoid the rodent from becoming stuck in the pipe, choose pipe with a large enough diameter. Wooden blocks can also be perforated to create tunnels, which the mice or rats can use to enlarge themselves due to their natural gnawing behaviour.
Exercise wheels and balls
Within the limits of his cage, activity wheels are a wonderful way for a mouse to exercise. Make sure you choose a wheel that won’t capture the rodent’s foot or tail. Wheels with solid bars are favoured over those with wire bars. Rats require a wheel with a diameter of 11 inches. Some wheels can be hung from the cage’s top or sides.
Outside of the cage, exercise balls are also a good way to get some workout. Always keep an eye on your pet while she’s playing in an exercise ball to make sure she doesn’t overheat and that she’s in a safe environment where the ball won’t fall down the steps or cause any other danger.
Toys for climbing
Climbing activities for your pet mouse or rat can include ladders, ropes, branches, tubes, cement bird perches, stacked boxes (securely fastened), hammocks, and other items. To dramatically enhance the amount of play area in a cage, they can be connected to the top and sides. If the cage is large enough, bricks and concrete blocks can also be employed.
Toys for chewing
Pet rats and mice require chewable toys. This is crucial for their oral health because their teeth are constantly worn down as they grow. Rawhide chews, Nylabones, Gumabones, wood (make sure it’s safe and free of preservatives), and cardboard chew toys are all good chew toys for rats and mice. Chew toys can be made out of toilet paper or paper towel tubes, cardboard boxes, and egg cartons at a very low cost.
Mice and rats also like shredding toys or softer materials like toilet paper, straw, sisal, and other similar materials. These can provide hours of fun as well as soft cloth to line their resting quarters.
Toys to push and carry
Rats enjoy pushing or carrying small toys. Rats and mice will enjoy some durable hollow plastic cat toys with bells inside. Soft rubber toys should not be given to rats or mice because little bits of the toy could be eaten and swallowed, causing an intestinal obstruction. Always keep an eye on your pet rodent’s behaviour to ensure that the toys he has are still secure.