Can You Let Your Pet Rat Roam Free? (Safety Guide)

You might feel bad about having to leave your pet rats in their cage for a big part of the day. Or you might just want to see how happy your pet rats can be by free-roaming! But there are a few things that you should know before you open up the cage.

You can let your pet rats roam free in your room safely. Firstly, you must rat-proof the division you want your pet rats to roam free, and then you need to supervise while you’re letting your pet rats out of their cage.

But how exactly can you keep it a safe experience to let your pet rat roam free in your room?

What Do You Need To Let Your Pet Rat Free Roam?

Before letting your pet rats roam free, it’s important to decide where their cage is going to be, or where you want them to roam.

Their cage could be in an area where you spend most of your time.

However, some people prefer to have a specific room for their pet rats.

If you go with the second option, then it’s very simple. That whole room can serve as their own playground. Just be sure there are no cables around, any dangerous objects, or even crawling spaces that they shouldn’t get into.

Generally, if you have a specific room for your pet rats, the place should be mostly safe for them.

Take the opportunity and add toys, digging boxes, and other puzzles so they can entertain themselves.

Even if it’s their own room, you need to supervise them. So whenever you want them to roam about, be sure you’ll be present.

Join them in their activities even, this is a very good opportunity to teach them a few tricks!

albino pet rat free roaming in a room
Look at this little pet rat free roaming!

On the other hand, if you want them to roam in the same room you spend most of your time in, you should create a safe perimeter for them.

For example, you can create a perimeter around their cage. This space can be as big or as small as you want.

You can even use a pet playpen, that you can find on Amazon.

It’s very common to use these to create a playground for pet rats.

They are very easy to use and you can connect several panels to make the playground walls as tall as or as big as you need.

This is especially useful when you have escape artists that will try to jump or climb out of their safe area!

Create A Safe Area For Your Pet Rat

Once you set up a perimeter, be sure that it’s 100% safe for your ratties.

Check if any electrical cables pass through the area.

If they do, move them out of the perimeter.

If there are any electrical sockets in the area, be sure to cover them. You can use some cardboard or even those electrical socket protectors, so your pet rats can’t reach those and get any crazy ideas.

Make sure that there are no plants in the area, as well as any object that isn’t proper for a pet rat.

Finally, try to maintain the area clean. Remember that pet rats are very sensitive and dusty environments can be harmful to them.

Once everything is ready, all you have to do is add some toys so they can play around!

As always be sure you’re in the room whenever you want them to roam about free.

Even if they have a safe perimeter, your pet rats can manage to escape that space, and they will find new, hard-to-reach places to hide in or even chew on something they shouldn’t.

I always recommend having a safe perimeter for your pet rats, instead of just letting them roam about any room since it’s very hard to make sure everything is safe for them.

Pet rats are very cunning and they will definitely find a cable, a plant, or an object to chew on or even get into some furniture.

Even if you’re sure it was impossible to fit into or reach!

This way, your ratties have a specific place for them to play and explore in while keeping you company.

Do Rats Need To Free Roam Every Day?

Although not 100% necessary, it’s definitely good for them.

It’s good for their physical and mental health, but it will also reinforce their bond with you.

Even if their cage is big, like the ones we recommend here, it’s limited. Pet rats have lots of energy and need proper space to exercise.

Not only that, but it’s good to stimulate them with toys and puzzles which need more space.

It’s a bit like us, we do not like to be cooped up inside our homes the whole day. Sometimes we might think we do. But after some time we realize it’s not good for us and go get some fresh air from time to time.

For pet rats, it’s the same. It’s a matter of changing scenery for a bit and exercising their bodies and minds.

It’s actually recommended for them to have 1 to 2 hours of free time out of their cage!

Try to set up a schedule, where you’re relatively free.

You do not need to interact with them the whole time while they’re roaming and playing about.

As long as you can check on them, to be sure they don’t escape or get into some mischief, they can entertain themselves.

For example, our girls have a nice big perimeter where they can roam about freely for most of the day.

While we’re working they’re either inside their cages or exploring the space outside.

From time to time, it’s nice to take a bit of a break and play with them!

If you want your ratties to have a happy and active life, it’s good to let them out of their cage often in a safe space, filled with fun activities for them.

Should You Let Your Rats Free Roam On Your Entire House?

You can let your pet rats free-roam throughout your entire house as long as you keep an eye on them. 

And even if you’re supervising them, first, be sure to rat-proof your rooms so they don’t get into a difficult-to-reach nook or cranny.

Again, you might think that the sofa is safe, but believe me, your pet rats will find a way to get inside of it, even if that means chewing through the fabric!

You can use cardboard or pieces of clothes you don’t use anymore to fill up gaps under the furniture, so your pet rats can’t reach them, for example.

If you have any plants, be sure they’re in places that are hard to reach.

Most plants are toxic for pet rats, and due to their curious nature, they will investigate them if the opportunity arises.

Not only that but follow the tips we’ve mentioned above so you don’t have any accidents with electrical wires or messy rooms!

As long as you always know where your ratties are, they will love to be free to explore the whole house.

Just look here how happy a pet rat can be by free-roaming an entire house (supervised!)

It’s an adorable sight to behold, and quite worth the hassle of rat-proofing and preparing everything for free roams.

Tips For Free-Roaming Time For Pet Rats

We’ve mentioned before that it’s good to have a specific perimeter set up for your pet rats, but what should you do with that perimeter?

Aside from making sure it’s safe for your pet rats, be sure to fill it with fun activities for them.

Spread some toys around, such as chewing toys, bridges, or even a wheel. Hiding places are also a good option for when your pet rats want to rest for a bit.

Their cage should always be on reach so they can go back to it whenever they want. Be it either to rest, eat, drink, or even go to the bathroom.

You can also set up some extra litter boxes around if their playground is big. This way, they always have someplace to go besides the cage.

In the summertime, you can add a box of water so they can fish peas or other treats out of it.

Digging boxes are also a good activity for pet rats that tend to be too messy to have inside their cage.

So take the chance to bring one to their playground from time to time.

Pet rats are very small and will fit almost any gap, so be sure to close everything as much as possible.

You can set up obstacle courses as well, it will both exercise their body and brain!

Other than that, be sure the perimeter or room is safe and is very hard for them to escape. Be sure to close the door, for example, so they can’t leave the room.

If the door has some space between the floor and the end of the door, use some fabric or cardboard, so your pet rats can’t fit through that gap.

The same goes for the panels if you decide to build up a perimeter. Pet rats are very small and will fit almost any gap, so be sure to close everything as much as possible.

On rare occasions, your pet rat might also escape while free-roaming, but don’t worry! This can happen and there are solutions to this. So be sure to check this article: Your Pet Rat Escape? Here’s What To Do!

And of course, join in the fun. Play with your ratties and join them on their playground!

They will welcome your company and love having one more friend to play with.

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