Why Does My Pet Fancy Rat Poop and Pee On Me When I Play with Him/Her? How to Stop It!

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Why Does My Pet Fancy Rat Poop and Pee On Me When I Play with Him/Her?

Does your pet rat seem to like to use the bathroom on you every time you get him or her out? If so,
we all feel your pain. Every single rat owner out there has been turned into a toilet more times than they can count! It’s just a part of rat ownership. So, exactly WHY does the entire rat species deem it necessary to poop or pee on us? Well, I definitely have the answers for you; even though you might not like what I present you with. Just know that there are ways to lessen this behavior and to potentially eliminate it with enough perseverance.

Why the Rats Love to Wee and Poo On Us!

There are two major reasons for your rat to potty on you. The first is due to territorial marking. Rats mark everything, and I mean EVERYTHING. Don’t think that you’re an exception. If they crawl over you, you’re going to get marked at least every now and then. Males are the worst offenders, and can tinkle/dribble all over you several times in one session. It’s like the never ending urine factory! Males are naturally far more territorial. Our second reason is because, well, when ya gotta go, ya gotta go. Rats have absolutely NO shame in their game, and will up and potty on you if they feel like it. It’s nothing personal; they just have to do their business.
1Other reasons can be common as well, but usually the two above conclude the majority of occurrences. Otherwise, it could be due to one of the following reasons:
  • You previously held another rat, and the new rat is trying to cover you in his/her scent.
  • The rat might have a health issue and cannot contain it.
  • The rat has no litter area when outside of the cage.
  • You picked the rat up while it was sleeping.
  • It’s super scared/timid, and it may be terrified of being held.

Using Litter Box Training for Rats

Pet fancy rats can be litter box trained! I know it may seem crazy, but litter training pet rats can┬ádefinitely keep you from having to deal with this issue. They begin to associate litter boxes with toilets, and will actively seek one out to potty. Once the rat is trained, keep a litter box nearby for your pet rat to eliminate in when being handled. This could fix your issue completely if it is done correctly. This may not resolve territorial urine marking, but it will help spare you from excessive amounts of ratty waste. Just remember that you will need to use a large litter box that the rat can comfortably fit in; rabbit litter boxes are actually the perfect size for them. In addition, it is important to NEVER use clay litters. Instead, brands like Yesterday’s News provide safe alternatives that won’t harm the rat’s digestive system.

Spaying and Neutering Pet Rats to Help End Territorial Urine Marking

cup-48500_1280Usually, this type of marking is associated with rats who are trying to establish dominance, sexual availability, and no trespassing areas for other rats. As with other animals, having them spayed and neutered can greatly reduce the instinct to mark territory, especially with urine. Results will be varied, as each rat is different; both in age and personality. This surgery also has its perks as far as health benefits go, but you should contact your local veterinary small animal specialist to inquire about the surgical procedure, fees, and risks.

Give Them Alone Time After Naps!

Rat in a hammock. Courtesy of Maria Harrison, of BRats Hammocks https://www.facebook.com/Bratshammock
Rat in a hammock. Courtesy of Maria Harrison, of BRats Hammocks https://www.facebook.com/Bratshammock

If you are waking your pet rat from naps and holding them, you should not continue to do this unless you want to be covered in urine and feces. Instead, just give the rat some time to wake up and go potty. Just like us, rats tend to go to their litter boxes or potty corners before they really start their morning. You could even pick the rat up and set him or her down in the potty area, and soon the pet rat will be trained to go potty when you place him or her in the potty area.


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