Most rats love to play, especially the younger ones. There are lots of different ways to keep your rattie entertained with rat toys and games. Always make sure the play is not only fun, but also safe for your rat. If the rat doesn't want to play one game, or is intimidated, try something else.
This is a great game, especially on hot summer days. Take a fairly flat dish (a paint roller tray works really well). Pour in some lukewarm water, add some frozen peas and place the tray on a flat surface (put a towel underneath in case of spillage).
Then add rats and watch them dive for the tasty treats!
Some water loving rats will be bold and jump right in. Others may just perch on the side, and grab the peas with their hands. Either way, it's great fun for them, and great fun for you to watch.
Get some string and tie an empty cotton reel to the bottom of it. Then thread pasta or macaroni onto the string and hang it from the cage so that it doesn't touch the ground. This provides the rats with hours of fun (frustration?) as they have to cling to the rope and chew the pasta off it. The same piece of string often lasts several hangings before they chew through it. Little cheats.
Get a whole pile of different sized boxes from the supermarket (muesli boxes work well also) and chuck them randomly on the floor of a rat proof room. They have a great time sniffing the new smells, running through the random tunnels made by the pile, and playing in the boxes.
Rats love to chase around a feathered cat toy. Move it around in fast zig zag and large circle movements, remember to let your rat catch it now and again. It's hilarious to watch them
try and kill it. They'll attach to the handle, pounces on it, stalk it. This is great exercise for them too, and even the squishiest laziest rats usually show interest in it. Just remember not to leave the feather toy lying around where the rats can get it, or else you may walk in to find what resembles a parrot massacre. Colourful feathers everywhere!
Sometimes there's nothing more entertaining to a rat that you. Rats love to explore and climb all over you. Whether it's shirt diving (watch out for those sharp nails!), shoulder riding, running up and down your arms, playing with and grooming your hair, or biting those socked feet (little brats), rats can find us humans forever entertaining.
This game is especially popular with young rats, although there are the occasional older ones that still like it.
You can use your hand to play wrestle with a rat, tickle their tummies and chase them with your hand. They seem to get more excited when you talk to them in a funny voice too.
This is a great toy idea, and it's cheap and easy. Wrap a few strong smelling treats in some paper towels, and bind it with string.
Hang has many as you like throughout the cage.
Another version is to take one toilet roll tube, add some treats, then scrunch up the edges of the toilet roll to close it.. Tie some string around it, then the string to the top of the rat cage. Voila, one slightly harder to get into pinata.
These balls are a big hit - even with lazy male rats. Rats are very crafty, and you'll have a great time watching them work out how to get as many treats from the ball as they can for as little effort as possible.
They are made for cats, but are small enough for rats to use. They have an adjustable opening, so you can change it to suit whatever treats you are putting inside. Our rats suggest pumpkin seeds and yogies.
Cotton rope toys are great for rats to play on and climb. They can be found in the dog and bird sections of the pet shop. The bird section has stiff rope perches which rats enjoy walking along, and the dog section has chew/tug-of-war toys which can be hung and used for climbing. The rats will probably chew on the rope, so don't say you weren't warned!
Include: PVC piping for tunnels, making tunnels and ramps out of rugby socks, or trouser legs,
using Duplo blocks or Legos to build houses, tunnels, whatever you want, a digging box - grow your own grass from birdseed, tissue boxes, rocks - also keep claws trimmed, ping pong balls.....
For more fantastic and inventive toy and play ideas, check out the Dapper Rat website.