View Full Version : Training rats not to relieve themselves on oneself
10-20-2006, 02:49 PM
the title basically says it all- anyone know about how to get rats to hold themselves till they get in their cage?
10-20-2006, 04:46 PM
I don't know about rats, but when I had lizards it was like they waited to be in your lap to crap all over the place. I've never been sure though if it's a nervous/defense thing, or if they are just smart enough not to go in their home.
10-20-2006, 06:36 PM
That's going to be a tough one. I think the rats are smart enough to realize that when they go, they get put down. It's their defense mechanism against handling. As they get more used to the handling, and even enjoy it, they'll poo/pee on you less. That was my experience with my rats, yours may vary, of course.
10-20-2006, 06:42 PM
I can take my rats out of the cage for two minutes in a one week period, and they will piss and shit, so its not a case of training, or unbelivable coincidence- definitely something they do on purpose.
10-20-2006, 08:45 PM
Are they male or female? I've noticed that females typically dribble everywhere, and it is not usually immediately noticable. Males usually don't pee often, but when they do, they leave a puddle.
Harriet the Spry
10-20-2006, 09:55 PM
Since rats are supposedly so trainable for psychological experiments and such, it seems possible. A good approach might be to train them to do their business in exchange for a treat, then pick them up. Good luck with all that!
10-20-2006, 10:55 PM
I don't know all that much about rats, but from what I've heard, they're able to be trained by operant conditioning.
There are two ways to go about it:
1) The praise-only method. It's kinder and gentler, but it generally takes longer. Feed the rat when it eliminates where you want it to, and ignore it when it pees on you. The object is to get the animal to only want to do the behavior in a way which generates a reward, but some animals take a long time to make this connection.
2) Negative conditioning. Punish the rat whenever it pees on you. Now, how you'd go about punishing a rat, I can't say. (I don't know if they'd be bothered by scolding or isolation like a dog would be.) You may have to use, uh . . . corporal punishment. A minor pinch or something that doesn't hurt the rat, but gives them a unpleasant feeling.
10-21-2006, 06:01 PM
It depends on the rat. Are there little dribbles and drops being left everywhere? Congratulations: you are loved. The rat is marking you to make you smell like family/home. Get used to it - unless you have a male rat and choose to neuter him. My neutered guys never marked. Not everyone wants to do an elective $100 surgery on a pet with a 2-3 year life span, though. YMMV.
What we refer to as a 'mega-whiz', however, I have found to be trainable by putting rats back in the cage before they are ready to pee - like taking a puppy outside before it has a chance to mess on the floor. Likely they will go to their favored cage peeing spot, pee, and do whatever rat errands they've got - a drink, a bite of food, etc. Mostly mine run back to the door to play some more.
I find my rats prefer to do a big pee in the cage. A couple will even rouse themselves from snuggling and do a restless little "pee dance" that alerts me they've got to go. I put them into the cage and all's well. If they can reach the cage themselves, they will go there like a cat to a litter box.
Are you getting pooped on when you handle the rat? Is it really stinky and softer than, say, a raisin? That is fear poop - acclimation and trust is the only thing to stop this. Little 5-6 week old guys can't hold it as long as older rats, who can control all their 'stuff' better.
Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor
10-21-2006, 06:11 PM
Training a rat not to crap/piss all over you is the essence of simplicity.
First, you need a large mallet....
vBulletin® v3.7.3, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.