Pet rats are typically pretty hygienic and will do their business in almost the same spot each time. They can be quite easy to train, you just need to have patience and sometimes a little treat to make the training easier. Potty training your rat helps to keep the cage that little bit cleaner.
The first thing you need to do is set up a litter box. This is often quite easy because rats typically do their business in the same area so setting up a litter box where they do that most is best. It’s important that you don’t use a litter tray that is too deep for your rat to get into and one that attaches to the cage is also helpful so that they can’t move it around. You can get some good ones at a local pet store or on amazon.
Next you need to add litter to the litter box. It’s best to use a litter that’s different to everything else that’s used in the cage. This way, in your rats mind, the litter box is different to the where he/she lives and will be easier to recognise. You should use the bedding or litter you’re currently using in the cage to put in the litter box and replace that with new bedding or litter. It’s best to do this because your rat is used to going potty on the old bedding or litter, so this will help your rat distinguish the difference between the old litter and the new.
After the litter box is set up, you should place some of their poops into the litter box. Having the old litter in the box and doing this will assist in making the litter training easier. You should also ensure that you’ve picked up all the poops and that there’s none left anywhere else in the cage other than in the litter box. This way they won’t be able to smell any other scents associated with their poo in their cage other than what’s in the litter box.
It’s also important that you stay on top of putting any poops that weren’t done in the litter box, into the litter box. This just helps with training them into knowing to use the litter box.
When your rat starts using the litter box you should start rewarding them. If you see your rat doing their business in the litter box, wait until they’re finished and then give them a treat as soon as possible. Positive reinforcement helps with behavioural changes.
It’s important to continuously follow these steps, as well as cleaning the litter tray when you clean the cage. You may not need to change the litter every time but always remove the poops, leaving a few in there, just to keep it clean.
When following these steps, litter training your pet rat should be easy. You just need the patience, time and treats.