Here is what you will need to do to take care of your rat:
__ Refresh water (dump out unused water from the day before).
__ Fill food bowl.
__ Take rats out to hold and play with for an hour or more. (Can include sitting on your lap to watch TV)
__ Throw out any soiled bedding or uneaten non-dry food.
__ Throw out all litter/bedding and replace with new stuff.
__ Clean any stinky parts of the cage with soap (or cleaner) and water.
__ Disinfect and scrub cage completely with a bleach solution. Rinse well.
__ Bathe rats and/or clip claws if needed
__ Take your rat to the vet if he looks or acts strangely (red discharge on nose or eyes, wheezing, lethargic...)
__ Replace any toys or accessories that get chewed up, rusted, or nonfunctional.
X Pick up or hold a rat by his tail or limbs
X Feed your rat junk food
X Allow your rat outside his cage unsupervised
X Expose your rat to the outdoors overnight or for a long time
X Keep your rat anywhere (such as a garage or basement) that gets very cold or very warm
X Keep your rat on pine or cedar bedding
X Allow an unneutered male and unspayed female rat of any age (5 weeks +) to be together even for a few minutes
X Allow the water bottle to be empty
X Give your rat any medicine or supplements made for other animals (except hamsters/gerbils)
X Expose your rats to any cleaning solutions or other hazards
X Hang or place anything near the cage (rats will chew on cloth, paper, plastic, wood, wires...)
Going on Vacation?
Remember to make arrangements for your pets! Here are some options.
On Their Own: Rats can be pretty self sufficient, so you can leave them over a long weekend. As long as they have each other, clean litter, and extra food and water, they will be okay for a few days. Before you leave, make sure the room temperature is stable. Change the litter/bedding and get rid of any soiled toys or hammocks. Give your rats enough food for the days you'll be gone and a little extra. Make sure the rats have a large, working water bottle. (It is a good idea to give them an extra one too, in case one leaks or is jammed.) Give them some extra things to play with, such as new hammocks, chew toys, and cardboard boxes to "redecorate." If you'll be away for more than three or four days, have unpredictable temperatures, or other factors, your rats should not be left entirely alone. Also, a rat living alone should not be left more than overnight without some kind of companionship (social needs are as essential as food and water to rats).
Get a Sitter: Under construction.
Bring Them Along: Under construction.