How High Can Pet Rats Jump? Stop Your Pet Rat From Escaping!

Pet rats have lots of energy to spend.

For that reason, they are very quick and small but also tame and playful.

They’ll run around, crawl up your shoulder and often jump. Given their size and speed the question that always arises is how far and how high can pet rats jump?

Pet rats can jump as high as 3 to 4 feet. Studies show a rat can jump up to 20 times their height.

But you might have more questions about pet rats and jumping, so let’s get over all the most common questions!

This way you can play all sorts of games with your pet rats without being afraid they’ll escape.

How High Can Pet Rats Jump?

Rats are intelligent rodents that can show very curious characteristics.

Since pet rats tend to be very sensitive animals, we tend to be often concerned about them.

For example, since they’re so small, it’s normal to fear that if our ratties fall down, they’ll get hurt. 

However, most of the time, there is nothing to worry about. They can easily jump from the top of your roof and still not have a scratch on them.

If you do have a pet rat you know how good they are at jumping. It’s one of their favorite activities!

Generally, pet rats jump vertically, up to 3-4 feet. This means that if your pet rat is jumping upward to get somewhere, there is no reason to panic as they can travel a good length and then proceed to jump higher.

They’re good at that!

How Far Can Pet Rats Jump?

Pet rats will also jump horizontally to reach certain areas and can travel a distance of over 4 feet! Meaning they can jump horizontally as much as vertically.

Not only that but they’re very good climbers.

So, if the surface allows it, they’ll be able to jump, climb, and continue jumping until they reach their goal.

For example, if you have a bed in your room that looks comfortable enough, your pet rat can easily jump up on it and jump off it too. Without getting hurt!

You can also have fences or boxes in which you keep your pet rats that are as high as 3 feet and when left unattended your pet rat can jump out of it.

pet rat climbing through it's cage, trying to escape
Pet rats can be quite the escape artists!

That’s why it’s important to keep an eye on them, so you’re sure that their playpen is both safe and there’s no way they can leave it!

Pet rats do also hop around traveling the same distance, so if there are chairs and tables up close, they will be able to use each obstacle to jump further or even higher than usual.

Can Rats Jump Out Of Water?

In order to understand if rats can jump out of the water, we must be aware of their swimming strength.

If they like water, pet rats are extremely good swimmers. They really excel at it!

So if you want them to get used to it, you should introduce water to your ratties very slowly.

Rats can normally dive into the water and swim underneath for up to 30 seconds.

If it is open water, rats can swim as far as 0.8km. That is about one and half a mile.

If for some reason it happens that your pet rat falls in water (like a container or even a pool) they’ll very easily be able to jump out of it by swimming.

So all in all you don’t need to worry since it’s very unlikely for a pet rat to drown. I do recommend, however, that if they’re playing with water, always keep an eye on them!

If your ratties are not big fans of water, you will also learn very quickly that they can jump out of the water when trying to bathe them.

On the other hand, if it’s an activity they enjoy, they’ll quickly swim around to wash themselves off and when you extend your hand, they will either jump on your hand/shoulders or even out of the bathtub.

Do Female Rats Jump Higher Than Male Rats?

While characteristics vary among male and female pet rats, there isn’t any difference in their ability to survive or move.

Both female and male pet rats travel the same distance as any other rats. They will both jump the same distance of about 4 feet from the ground.

Nearly 11-31% of female rats are always pregnant which makes them weigh more than the males for carrying babies.

However, that does not slow them down or make them jump lower than a male rat.

So even if females tend to be more energetic than males, they both have the same jumping ability!

How To Prevent Pet Rats From Escaping A Play Pen

Pet rats are curious.

Their natural characteristic is to move about and once out of their cages they tend to be even faster and jump around.

They want to see everything!

If handled well at a young age, keeping pet rats in groups is not very difficult.

They are very friendly in nature and bond easily. They can even be trained using food as a form of reward!

A common issue that many pet rat owners face is keeping their rats in their playpen.

If they see a barrier, our ratties will rather jump out or dig through instead of being inside the playpen.

But there are ways to make sure they’ll stay in their proper place. For one, you can reinforce the space with taller, smooth barriers, so you’re sure they can’t jump or climb out.

Or… you can train them! This is good for them, so they learn where they can and can’t go, but also it keeps them entertained. 

Start by teaching your pet rat to jump onto your shoulder.

You can make them jump by luring them in using rewards. Pet rats tend to learn faster when you reward them. And these rewards can be the food they like.

Feeding pet rats isn’t very hard (here’s a quick guide!), they can be fed natural food but in small quantities to intake.

Soon due to pattern recognition your pet rat will jump on your shoulders looking to be rewarded every time you extend your hand.

Once you have taught your ratties to jump onto your shoulder, tap on areas you want them to go to.

Guide your pet rat upwards or downwards as necessary using your hand and taps. Soon your pet rat will learn to move around according to your gestures.

Do keep in mind if your rat is failing to learn, always use rewards!

At some point, during your training, your ratties will start to understand where can they freely go and be more interested in those places than leaving their playpen.

Train them now without rewards

Now, this is the hardest part. Since pet rats are naturally drawn toward rewards and fulfilling activities to obtain them, it gets hard to break the cycle.

Every time you extend your hand to bring out your pet rat, it will climb up to your shoulders and search for reward food.

Once your rat climbs up to your shoulders, give them a good treat, and then put them back into their cage.

Again after 20 seconds, bring them out again. Slowly reduce the number of treats as you repeat this action!

Repeat The Process

After you have repeated the process daily, you can start to keep your rat in the playpen for a longer period of time.

Slowly increase the time of them being put back by 20 seconds to a minute later on.

Your goal will be to make your pet rat understand that once they are asked to come out, they have specific places they can go to.

They understand that they are rewarded by being inside their playpen and not everywhere else.

Once you see this understanding you can move on to other tricks and training to keep them entertained!


In short, pet rats jump really high and have no trouble moving around tall places. They can also fall from a greater height of 50 feet without getting hurt due to their size and features.

This means they can very easily flee their playpen if they have the means and opportunity.

However, some training and good barriers will help keep them in the place you created for your ratties!

Above all, there’s no need to worry if you see them jumping around, for it’s very unlikely for them to fall and get hurt.

Just keep an eye on them so you’re sure they’re in a surveilled, safe area.

how high can pet rats jump, pinterest cover

1 thought on “How High Can Pet Rats Jump? Stop Your Pet Rat From Escaping!”

Comments are closed.