Lavender has an amazing smell, but is it ok and safe for pet rats to have around or even eat?
In general, lavender is a repellent for rodents, so it’s not the safest around pet rats. Pet rats are very sensitive to different scents, so it’s always better to keep lavender away from rats.
With that said, there are studies that show that lavender oil inhalation in pet rats reduces their anxiety and is a sedative.
Can Rats Eat Lavender?
While not toxic for pet rats, lavender is generally used as a natural repellent. It will repel rats, among many other animals.
So, if you’re worried that your pet rats will explore and nibble on any lavender plant you might have a home, chances are, they’re not interested.
Having plants at home can be quite worrisome when owning a pet.
This goes double for pet rats, having into account how curious they are.
So while it’s important to be sure they can’t reach any toxic plant, you don’t have to worry too much about them eating lavender.
However, to be on the safe side, I’d avoid having any kind of plants, including lavender, where your pet rats might roam and explore.
With that said, if it does happen (again, pet rats are very curious and even if it repels them, it doesn’t mean they give up easily!), your pet rat will be fine as long as it only ingests a small quantity of lavender.
Even though lavender isn’t, generally, toxic for pet rats, big quantities will upset their stomach and digestive system.
So, in short, due to its repellent properties and causing some tummy trouble in big quantities, I’d say to just avoid lavender altogether.
There are many other delicacies you can give to your pet rats as treats or snacks. Consider also leaving your lavender flowers at a good distance from your pet rats.
This way, they won’t be bothered by the smell of it!
Is Lavender Bedding Safe For Rats?
Lavender bedding isn’t safe for rats since it’s a natural repellent. Avoid scented beddings in general and go for something that uses a very soft (or without) scent.
I’m going to be very upfront with you here: I’m very much against using scented beddings, in general.
This goes not only for pet rats but any other animal that requires bedding or litter.
I know, even with small animals, like rats, their bedding, cage, or bathroom starts to smell at some point. Although it’s not the most pleasing smell, it’s natural.
There are ways to keep their homes clean and mostly odor-free for a long time. For example, a quick daily cleaning will keep the bad odors very controlled.
Just by picking up their droppings or cleaning dirty litter, daily, you’ll keep the room odor-free, for longer.
But why you might ask, am I so against scented beddings?
Well, generally pet rats like to have their scent on their territory. Again, this goes for most animals. If it smells like them, then it means it belongs to them.
This makes them feel safer in their own homes.
If you add scented bedding, they’ll get a bit confused with the scents. It has their scent, but it also doesn’t. It’s mixed with something else.
It’s especially confusing if you’re using lavender bedding.
As I mentioned before, lavender is a natural repellent for pet rats.
So you can imagine how they might feel, when they smell something that repels them, in their own home!
The other reason why scented bedding should be avoided is that, generally, it won’t be good for your pet rats’ health in the long run.
The scents added to beddings or litter are primarily artificial. Not only that, but by moving around, they’ll release dust around the cage.
Since pet rat cages tend to be somewhat big and open, it’s not as problematic. However, your pet rats will be constantly breathing those scented dust.
They are very small and walk very close to the ground.
This means they’ll be breathing dust from their bedding, quite a lot.
Pet rats are known to have very weak respiratory systems. They’re very fragile in that department. So having safe bedding is a must!
Now, if you do prefer to use scented bedding, be sure to find a brand that does it by using a very soft scent.
However, I do still recommend avoiding those as well as choosing bedding that won’t release too much dust.
With this kind of bedding, you just need to do a daily inspection and clean the bits that are too dirty. This way you’ll be able to control the cage odor while keeping your pet rats healthy and safe!
Is Lavender Toxic To Rats?
As mentioned above, lavender is not toxic for pet rats. Although its scent repels them, it’s not a dangerous plant.
This is not to say that they should get in contact or eat it freely. If, for some reason, your pet rat nibbles on some lavender, they’ll be fine.
However, ingesting a large quantity of lavender might cause some digestive trouble to your pet rats.
Due to its properties, lavender can even cause allergies in some pet rats. Again they’re very sensitive and consuming certain foods/plants might cause some itchiness or upset tummies.
As for the smell of lavender plants, it has no danger for them either. The only thing that it will do is… repel them! Chances are your pet rats won’t show much interest in the plant itself.
But even then, if you let your pet rats free-roam throughout your house or a specific room, I recommend just leaving that place with no plants at all.
Alternatively, if you have no other place for them, be sure the plants are at a hard-to-reach place, so your pet rats can’t explore them!
Is Lavender Oil Safe For Rats?
Generally speaking, no. Lavender oil is a heavily scented product. Even if it comes from a plant, it can have other elements mixed on them.
These chemicals can be quite toxic for your pet rat. Not only that, but due to their poor respiratory system, breathing essential oils might cause some problems.
On the other hand, there are studies that show that lavender oil inhalation in pet rats reduces their anxiety. However, this was done in a very controlled manner!
If you do notice your pet rats are too nervous, you should avoid giving them lavender oil.
First, you need to understand why your pet rats are so nervous.
Maybe it’s something in their cage, maybe it’s one of their companions.
Try to understand what’s happening and change their surroundings.
Be sure to give them lots of attention to discern the problem. Sometimes they’re just not feeling too safe or comfortable inside their space. Maybe the room where they live in is too noisy!
Try different things until you find something that brings calm to your pet rats.
Contact your local vet! A veterinary will know how to help you and can more easily access what’s wrong with your rodent friend.
Your vet might prescribe something for your pet rat if nothing else works.
What’s important is that, in any way, you don’t medicate your pet rats yourself.
First talk with a professional, so you’re sure you have the best solution!
If lavender oil, in small quantities, is recommended by your veterinary, then do follow their instructions. If not, just avoid using it.
What Essential Oils Are Safe For Pet Rats?
Essential oils are not safe for pet rats. Their scent is too heavy and they’re usually mixed with other chemicals that can be toxic for pet rats.
Even if you use essential oils to bring a pleasant smell to your house, avoid using them in your pet rats’ room.
In the case of a reed infuser, it’s the same.
Be always sure there are no scented oils near your pet rats.
If you’re using any kind of oil in another room of your house, it’s good to close the doors where your pet rats live in.
Even though the oil is not in the same room, the smell is powerful.
I always like to say better safe than sorry.
Having into account how sensitive a pet rat’s respiratory system is, I like to go double on that quote!
If you do like to perfume your house from time to time, a nice replacement is to make your own scented waters.
You can even use roses for that. Just boil some roses with water.
When that water cools down, just transfer it to a spray bottle.
Now, you can spray your house freely. This is a good solution not only for your pet rats but for you as well!
It has no chemicals, it doesn’t have a too strong scent, and leaves a refreshed scent on your house.
With that said, if you notice your pet rat sneezing, it might be because you’ve added a scent that it’s not good for pet rats! You can read more about it why your pet rat is sneezing (and how to treat it) here.