If you're looking for an easy step-by-step approach to litter training your rats, then we've got great news...
This simple guide is how we've litter trained all of our current rats, all our past rats and it's how we'll continue litter training our rats because it works!
If you want to benefit from not having to spot check endless poo's scattered all over your rats cage then read on.
What You Will Need:
How To Litter Train Your Rats:
We've managed to apply this simple 5-step approach to litter training our rats, and it's really easy, this isn't a method that takes weeks, you'll start seeing results almost immediately.
The longer you keep this up the better your rats will get at doing their business in their litter tray!
Since rats are extremely intelligent this method is easy even for beginners so if you're a relative newcomer to keeping rats then trust us, you'll be fine.
Step 1: Setup Your Litter Tray...
Your first task is going to be setting up their litter tray… This is an important step actually because you need to keep in mind that most rats are going to make this easy for you.
Since most rats will actually do their business in one place it’s relatively easy to find a place to setup your litter tray… You should do your best to setup the litter tray where they usually ‘do their stuff’.
It’s crucial to make sure you get a litter tray that’s not going to be too deep for them to get into, especially if they’re babies. You can get good litter trays for rats at most local pet stores or on the link with provided above on Amazon.
The last thing to do is place your litter of choice into the tray, this doesn’t need to be massively deep, just deep enough to make it easy for you to clean and of course the scent absorption is really helpful.
Step 2: A Few Of Their Poops For The Litter...
Once you’ve put the litter tray into the cage and it’s all setup you should try and put some of their poos into the litter tray.
This coupled with keeping it in a familiar location to where they do most of their business is going to make litter training as easy as possible.
One sidenote that’s important is that when you do this you should ensure all over poos in the cage are removed, not a single one should be anywhere else… Putting a scattering of poos in their litter tray is fine, but the cage should be cleaned really well.
This ensures they can’t smell any scents associated with their old poos other than their litter tray… Remember rats can smell much better than us humans so it’s important to do this right.
See How To Clean Rat Cages The Right Way for more help on this making sure your rats cage is cleaned thoroughly and is free of scent for this step.
Step 3: Keep On Top Of The Poos...
Step 3 is to make sure that you keep on top of any stray poos and this is crucial because you want to place fresh poos straight into their litter tray…
Doing this ensures that they know that there’s ‘a place for everything and everything in its place’.
Doing this requires a bit of time and it’s on-going, but when you first get started with litter training your rats it’s probably a good idea to do it on a weekend when you’ve got a bit of extra time to keep a closer eye on things.
Step 4: Positive Reinforcement...
Of course once your rats start using their litter tray this should be rewarded right?
If you spot one of your rats doing their business in the litter tray (again this is why some extra time helps) then you should wait until they’re done and as soon as possible give them a small treat.
Positive reinforcement has been shown to help with behavioral changes, whereas negative reinforcement doesn’t which is why we’d never suggest punishing your rats for not using their litter trays which many guides suggest wrongly!
If you want to know some of the treats we give our rats then check out ‘Our Favorite Safe And Tasty Treats For Rats‘.
Step 5: Rinse and Repeat...
The final step just involves keeping on top of their training, while you’ll notice drastic improvements from early on it can take a while until you never spot another poo out of place and even then you’ll still find the odd surprise!
It’s extremely important to make sure you regularly follow steps 1-4, cleaning out the litter tray and setting it up again, cleaning the cage thoroughly and saving a few of their poos for the litter tray, removing and re-distributing any poos they do elsewhere & lastly giving them lots of positive reinforcement for using their tray.
It’s all simple stuff but it does take some time and effort.
As you can see this method is super easy and incredibly simple, but it’s also the most effective way we’ve litter trained our rats.
If you have any questions feel free to leave them for us in the comments and we’ll get back to you! Also if you’ve tried litter training your rats before and it didn’t go to plan what do you think went wrong and why? Be sure to let us know!