Sleeping places for your Roof Rats
Just like you, Roof Rats need their sleep to stay healthy and happy. They are semi-nocturnal, and will spend most of the day sleeping with their friends. However, they are adaptable, light sleepers, and will often come out and play (or ask for treats) when they sense that you are around.
A Roof Rat’s ideal sleeping place should be:
- Safe. Animals are vulnerable while they are sleeping, so they don’t like feeling totally exposed. Hammocks are enclosed on at least 2 sides, and up high where Roof Rats feel safest. Houses are on the ground, so they will often use litter to block the entrance.
- Cozy. Soft enough to conform to their bodies, but supportive so they can stretch out and relax. Like your bed, but smaller and rat shaped. Hammocks are the right size and shape, supported on 4 corners so they stay flat enough to provide support, and lined with soft flannel. If they sleep in a house, you will need to provide them with soft nesting material so they can make it comfy themselves.
- Warm and comforting. It’s hard to sleep without a blanket, right? Roof Rats also want to feel snuggly and warm in their beds. Their hammock needs to be the right size so that they feel somewhat cocooned while they are sleeping inside. Having other rats around is even better (see next point.) Again, if they sleep in a house, they will use litter to make themselves feel snuggly.
- Social. Roof Rats are social animals. If you have 2 hammocks and 2 Roof Rats in the same cage, they will both sleep in the same hammock unless they hate each other. It is amazing how many Roof Rats can squeeze themselves into one hammock! To us, it looks terribly uncomfortable, but they make each other safe, cozy and warm, plus they feel love and companionship. Sometimes, I feel jealous, actually.
- Clean. If you use hammocks, try to wash them twice a month. Our hammocks have removable metal parts so they are machine washable. If you use a house, you will need to change the litter they collect inside when it becomes soiled. The house will also become dirty after a while, and you will need to wash or replace it. It is harder to keep houses clean, which is one reason why we use hammocks (except for expectant or nursing moms which should be given houses.)
- Durable. Rats love to chew. You’d think they would have better sense than to ruin their own bed, but no: they will also chew on their hammocks and houses. Fortunately, they mostly chew on the hanging parts of hammocks, so we make those out of stainless steel. They will also chew holes in wooden houses, but they seem to like having multiple entrances and exits anyway.
- Accessible. Roof Rats mostly sleep during the day, which means you will know where to find your pets when you want to play with them. When it comes to looking at, petting and taking them out, hammocks with front facing openings are the most accessible. If your Roof Rat is in a house with the opening barricaded with litter, you will rarely see her, let alone play with her–which is what you want anyway if she is nursing babies.
- Multipurpose. Rats don’t just use their hammocks and houses for sleeping: they are actually part of their living space. They use them for sitting, eating and even exercising. We design our Roof Rat hammocks to be played on, like this little monkey!
For most people, we recommend using hammocks instead of houses. We make and sell 3 kinds of hammocks, two of which we recommend for Roof Rats.
The standard, Roof Rat hammock, is just the right size for 1-3 adult Roof Rats. It has a front opening for easy access, removable stainless steel cables and clips for durability, and is machine washable. It is soft, snuggly and warm. We’ve had years of experience designing and testing hammocks for our own rats, and we have yet to find a better one.
The baby snuggle hammock is specifically designed to help socialize young Roof Rats. It has two clips, near the front and rear entrances, so it is easier to take it in and out of the cage with the baby Roof Rats still snuggling inside. You can then touch and bond with your Roof rats while they feel safe in their own hammocks. Because the snuggle hammock was designed for Roof Rats, we are the only ones that sell it.