Our pet rat friends need toys to keep their mind healthy and active. Pet rats are very intelligent, so they like to be constantly entertained with new things to try out!
The best pet rat toys are safe toys that invoke the curiosity of your pet rat. These are usually very colorful, somewhat complex and explorable!
These toys don’t have to be expensive though, there are even some that you can make at home (a little DIY toy is fun to make!). So let’s see the best pet rat toys that you can get for your rodent friend, right now.
Pet Rat’s Toys Preferences
Before choosing a specific pet rat toy, you might want to know what exactly do pet rats like to do. It also depends on your specific rat, so do pay attention to what they enjoy doing most of the time!
Pet rats like to chew a lot, they enjoy interacting with their owner and climbing.
So you want to find some solutions that help with these particular “skills”. You also need to keep in mind the safety of the rat. Everything must be nontoxic and unable to be swallowed. Pet rats can’t vomit, so if they choke, they will be in a dire spot!
Now, just one word of advice to new owners. Some rats enjoy things that others don’t.
For example, we’ve bought a mineral chewing stone for our pet rats and they did NOT care about it all. They actually just used it to sit on. Yes, they just sat on it instead of chewing.
Another example is that we bought a pet rat wheel (they are usually bigger than the simple hamster wheels) and our rats did not care for it at all. In this case, they seemed curious about it but not quite brave enough to spin the wheel.
So yeah, just keep in mind that some of these might just not work with your specific rats. So do try and test a few!
Alright, on to the list.
Store Bought Pet Rat Toys
There are so many options for pet rat toys that they love, it’s just amazing! Some years ago this was much harder, you had to look through carefully and use ones that weren’t really specific for pet rats. But now it’s much easier!
So I’ve compiled a big list for my favorite pet rat toys that I’m sure your pet rat will love.
1- Play Tube For Pet Rats
A pretty long tube that you can set up easily in the cage or in the floor near it!
Let your pet rats explore, hide and just have general fun while going through it. This is a super simple toy, but they sure love it!
This is my favorite, It’s about 30 inches long and you have a Large option as well in case you want something larger! But for pet rats, I would go with the Medium sized option.
The plastic is also pretty durable. So it’s not one of those toys that you set up and need to buy a new one after a month or two.
This is one of my favorite ones since it has many uses and if you have (or plan to have) other rodents, it also works for them! 10/10
2- Suspension Bridge With Ladders
Pet Rats LOVE to climb things.
My pet rats tend to go up and down their cage through the outside over and over again. They are unstoppable.
So if you want to give them an extra fun ladder for them to climb, this is a perfect way to do it.
The trixie Suspension Bridge with Hammock is a wonderful 2-in-1 combo that fits any cage!
It includes a suspension bridge AND a hammock!
This way they can have fun climbing the bridge (and the cage). Plus, when they get tired, they have a wonderful cozy spot to rest on.
3- Climbable Rope Net
More climbable toys! Can you see the pattern?
Since pet rats love to climb so much, a climbable rope net is another option to put on their cage.
This rope net from Niteangel is more versatile since you can put it any way you want and be creative with it!
Try putting horizontally for example instead of vertically, or even slightly slanted for a tougher challenge!
Pet rats like to be challenged creatively, so this is a perfect little toy that they can have hours of fun with. Plus, it helps them get to places more easily!
4- Big Cozy Hammock!
Not exactly a “toy”, but having a safe and cozy place to rest and sleep on their play area is a must!
I really love this hammock since it’s pretty big and comes with easy to set up hooks.
Another product from Niteangel, so you already know this Hammock is going to be very good!
Not only it has a lot of space for one or two pet rats but also in case you want to get more pet rats in the near future, you already have a nice hammock for them to hang out.
Pet rats are also very social, so they just love cuddling with each other for some snooze time! It’s really adorable to see.
5- Did I Mention Chewing Toys?
All rats love to chew, so this is a no-brainer!
This one by Kaytee is suitable for pet rats, durable and easy to clean!
It has different shapes at different heights so they can just enjoy it for a long time until they chew it all up. Not only that but they will also have to work a bit harder to get to the top ones. Which in itself is a nice challenge for them to enjoy.
It also helps a lot with their teeth (so they don’t become too big or slanted), so this is basically a must-have in every cage.
From what I’ve seen, some pet rats completely LOVE this specific chewing toy, and others don’t care about it. But that’s just like anything really. Each rat has a personality of their own, and for the small price that it has, I think it’s totally worth a shot.
6- Rice Pops Treat
Okay, okay, this isn’t really a pet rat toy, but you can be sure they will love to get some treats!
This simple rice and corn treat from Ware Manufacturing is a wonderful snack to give to your lovely pet rat.
Plus, it helps with preventing the dental problem that we’ve talked above!
These crunchy chewing treats help your rattie prevent getting their teeth too long or become slanted. This is a real problem and pretty common in pet rats. Do consider getting them some crunchy treats like these every now and then. I guarantee they (and their teeth and belly) will be grateful for it!
Just be careful to not give a whole lot of them every day, or you’ll end up with a super chubby rat.
7- Hiding In Tunnels
Pet rats feel extra safe hiding in boxes, behind pillows, and in tunnels! It’s just a natural response from prey, you can see this behavior in all sorts of rodents.
This is a super comfy tunnel by RYPET that you can either put in the cage of your pet rat or near the cage in the room.
This way they will feel much more confident getting away from their “safe place” and navigating the outside world with confidence!
I recommend this if you’re lacking hiding space in your cage, or you want to bond better with your pet rat outside the cage. Since they will feel more confident about going outside, you can spend more time cuddling up with them!
8- Cozy Bed To Rest
Having a cozy bed to rest on is a wonderful thing for a pet rat.
Look at all the adorable and comfy designs of this Pet Bed by JanYoo!
PLUS, since this is a pretty round and big bed, they can even use it as a hiding spot!
Oh, and do I even need to talk about the adorable designs of the beds? Just look at the Crocodile one! Or the Reindeer one if you’re more in a Christmas-y mood! I just love them all.
I would recommend you to get the Large size of this bed though, because of several reasons. If your pet rat is still growing, you won’t need to get a new one further down the line.
And, with a Large one, you can even have multiple rats sleeping or resting inside at the same time! They really love snuggling with each other, they are very social.
9- Or A Small Hideout!
One more hiding space! As I’ve mentioned before, having hideouts scattered around can really help your pet rat get comfortable in their space.
The best thing about this particular “Critter Space” by Lixit is that it’s above the floor of the cage.
This means it won’t get so easily dirtied with pee or poop that might have gone to the floor. This way you don’t have to clean it up so often! That’s a big plus in my opinion.
Do consider this one if you’re looking for a clean and safe hideout for your pet rat.
10- Pet Rat Harness
Ever thought about taking your pet rat for a walk? No? Well, it’s completely possible!
Ok, so I’ve seen this work for some pet rats, and not work for others. So your mileage may vary.
But if you think that “going for a walk” with your pet rat sounds like an amazing idea, I would 100% give this a try.
Taking your pet rat “for a walk” is possible with this Harness by Trixie! They even have specific ones for rats, which is rare!
The harness is pretty simple to put on, just make sure that it is tight (but not too tight!). Pet rats can escape through the tiniest of holes. So the harness needs to be well built so they don’t just slip right through it. Luckily, I never had a problem with Trixie products, so this harness does the job perfectly.
Remember though, taming your pet rat takes time and patience! So do get this if you want to go with your pet rat for a walk, but you’ll need to train them for some time before that.
11- Mineral Stone Chewing Treat
I left this for the end of the store bought toys, since I admit haven’t had any luck with it so far.
But I haven’t given up!
So here’s a lovely and simple gnawing Mineral Stone by Trixie, to prevent your pet rat’s teeth problems.
I’ve seen several pet rats enjoying chewing on the mineral stones, and it really does help with their teeth so they don’t become too long or slanted.
A few ways that you can try to make your pet rats get interested in the mineral stone, is to add some sort of treat on it.
For example, honey! Mine just ended up licking the honey clean from the stone, but I know it helps for other people. I just have weird rats!
DIY Pet Rat Toys
If you’re in a budget or you just love having DIY (Do It Yourself) projects, then this is the solution for you!
These pet rat toys are pretty inexpensive. You’ll be mostly using things that you already have around the house (like toilet paper rolls). Or you can buy them for very cheap at a local store (like cloth patches).
PLUS, you can customize your own pet rat toys, isn’t that great?
So let’s get into the fun part.
12- Digging Box
Rats love to dig. My flowers know that all too well.
So for the sake of your flowers and for the happiness of your pet rats, build a digging box!
This is very easy to build. Here’s a super simple step by step guide:
- Choose a Box or Vase (a box from Amazon is fine!)
- Fill it with stuffing (shredded paper is a great option)
- Let them have fun!
They will love just getting in there and digging. You can even hide some tasty treats beneath the stuffing, so they have an extra incentive to dig for it. They LOVE scavenging.
Another option is to stuff it with pieces of old clothing and let letting them “dive” down into the box.
13- Fishing For Peas
One of the best activity you can have for your pet on warm summer days is to let them go fishing! Well, more specifically, fishing for peas!
Not only will they freshen up (and trust me, too much warmth and sunlight will hurt BADLY your pet rat’s health). They’ll also have a wonderful time eating those tasty treats.
To do a “fishing for peas” toy/activity, here’s a step by step guide:
- Fill a container with water
- Put some frozen peas inside
- Let them fish them out!
Now, there are two things that you can test out with your pet rats.
Firstly, you can change the size of the container. So, for example, if you’re just starting out you’ll want to have a container with very shallow water, so your pet rats can get used to it.
Later on, you can increase the depth of the container and even let them dive down into a big container! Just make sure it’s on their own terms, never drop them in the water or they’ll stress out!
And secondly, you can change the tasty treat. Some other treats that work well are frozen Blueberries and Corn.
You don’t need to cook the treats! They will have more nutrients raw, and they will love just chewing them up.
14- Treasure Hunt
(hide treats in containers or something like that)
Another fun activity and toy, is to have them do a treasure hunt. Since pet rats love digging and scavenging, they will really like this one.
There are a few ways to do this, so I’ll list them here:
Hide treats behind their beds, inside the hammock, in a corner of the cage, and any other creative spot that you think of!
Use empty toilet paper rolls in a vertical position, lay them down on the floor and put treats in some of them. Your pet rats will sniff out the scent and go one by one looking for the tasty treasure! Works best with extra toilet paper rolls.
Grab an empty toilet paper roll or paper towel roll and put the treats inside. Then block the exits with pieces of paper! This will make your pet rat need to dig through the paper or pull it out, to get to the treasure.
These are just some options for a treasure hunt, you can use boxes, old clothing and much more to hide “treasure” in!
15- Hiding Places
Another way to reuse boxes is to create hiding places for your pet rats!
You can use boxes from cereals, tissue paper, shoe boxes, even the packing boxes from Amazon if you want!
It’s great since it’s a basically a free toy that you would send to the trash otherwise. The downside to this is that they will get peed on and nibbled. This means you might want to replace them now and then.
Still, a worthy toy to make them feel safe and cozy!
16- Toilet Paper Roll Tunnels
Another use for toilet paper rolls is making them into tunnels!
You can join toilet paper rolls together to create big tunnels for your pet rats to go through! If your rats are already big and chubby, you can use the paper hand towel rolls instead.
Pet rats love exploring and adventuring through tight spots, so they will really like paper tunnels. Plus, it’s another free toy, since the toilet paper rolls would go recycling otherwise
17- Make Your Own Hammocks!
This is a great option if you’re the creative type! Not only you can cut back a lot of the costs of a store-bought hammock, but you can also personalize it!
It’s not super hard to do, and you can use patches of cloth you no longer use to make them.
If you’d like to see a video on how to make your own, I really like this one by Jessica.
Do rats need toys? Yes! Not only will they become bored if they have nothing to do in their cage (which can lead to mental issues), they also need something to chew so their teeth won’t grow too long.
Is it safe for rats to chew cardboard? Yes! It’s completely safe for them to tear through cardboard, so let them chew all those boxes. Just be careful and inspect the boxes for glue and sharp objects that might be stuck on it.
Do rats teeth keep growing? Yes! This is why it’s so important for them to have chew toys that they can gnaw on. Otherwise, they just keep on growing and might hurt their mouth with time.
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