How to Litter Train a Rat

Author: Terri Mitchell | September 15, 2021
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Rats are clever and make excellent pets. They’re smart enough to litter train and use a litter box in the home. Some other reasons why a rat makes a great pet:

  • Entertaining and fun to watch
  • Friendly and able to bond with their handler
  • Easy to take care of and they sleep all day
  • Relatively inexpensive to care for and maintain

Training your pet rat is not difficult but requires time, patience and consistency. Litter train your rat with these tips:

Set up Several Boxes

Set up litter boxes in each corner of your rat’s cage. Make sure that the litter boxes are shallow enough to allow for your pets to easily access and use them. Since rats are nocturnal and often only awake at night, you may want to start checking the boxes each morning to see which litter box the rat has been frequenting.

Show Your Rat Where to Go

If your rat relieves themselves outside the litter box, scoop the poop and put it in the box to demonstrate to your pets where to go. Make sure to clean up after your rat if they have pooped anywhere outside their cage, since this could confuse them. Since rats will smell the excrement and use the same spot as a bathroom; show them where you want them to go.

Eliminate All but One Box

Once your pet shows favor toward one particular litter box in their cage, remove the others. You may move the litter box if you wish, but make sure your rat knows where it is. Continue to stay on top of this, as you want them to identify the litter box as the place to go.

Reward Your Rat

Make sure that you provide positive reinforcement during litter training to let your rat know that they did a good job. Try to catch them in the act of using the litter box and give them a small treat and a bit of praise.

Never punish a rat for not using the litter box. This is a sure way to turn them off litter training altogether—and a sign that you may not be patient enough to train your pet.

Be Consistent

Stay on top of the training process if you hope to teach and litter train your pet rat. As with any other animal, from cats to humans, potty training can be one step forward and two steps back. Simply continue to encourage your pet to use the litter box and provide plenty of positive reinforcement when they do.

Rats are smart pets that really can be trained to use a typical litter box in the home. They are easy to care for and able to bond with their humans. Use these helpful tips to litter train your pet rat.

About the Author

Terri Mitchell

Terri Mitchell is a freelance content writer from North Carolina who brings years of research, experience, and passion in animal-assisted therapy to her work. A former Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Terri believes in the power of pets and has seen first-hand the therapeutic advantages of animals with her two dogs, Peppercorn and Mr. Bean. Author Details

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