Rat Training Miracle: What’s a Pee Rock, How Do I Use It?

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A pee rock is a rock that is sworn by in the world of experienced rat owners, trainers, and breeders. Pee rocks are named as such because they are used to encourage territorial marking and urination. They are placed inside of a rat’s litter box, persuading the rat to use the box instead of the cage. If you haven’t tried the pee rock, you should today! It is one of the most useful tools when training rats to use a litter box. We’ll even show you where to get them!

What Exactly Does a Pee Rock Look Like?

The proper pee stone should be somewhat rounded, with a smooth or slightly roughed surface. Click the image to the left to see an Amazon example of some great stones to use! It can have a porous surface as well; this will actually help to hold in some scent after you wash it with the litter box during cage cleanings. You might refer to these stones as river rocks or as smooth pebbles; but they need to be at least one third of the size of your rat. Or, you can use several small pebbles that will encourage the rat to mark multiple times, reducing the amount of urine in his or her bladder. Both methods will work- but the stone must be large enough for the rat to rub his or her bottom against. The stone actually stimulates urination!

Why Do Rats Use Pee Stones?

For some odd reason, whether it be the smooth hard surface or the fact that the rock stands out from its surroundings, rats are attracted to urinating on the stones. They will drag their rear ends across the rock frequently, refreshing the urine that was already on the stone. When multiple rats live in a cage, it only gets better! They will all compete to be the last one to mark the stone. Perhaps the fact that the stone stands out from its surroundings encourages the rat to use it as a territorial marking. They might think that this marker would make a great “flag” attracting other rats, so that they come close enough to receive the message.

How Do I Implement a Pee Stone into My Litter Training Method?

It’s actually quite simple to implement a peeing rock into your rat’s litter training. First, ensure that you have a litter box with litter in the cage. Next, place soiled litter or feces from all around the cage in the litter box. Now, you’ll ensure that the rest of the cage is clean; but be careful to NOT deep clean cage accessories. You do not want to eliminate their scent from cage items, you simply want to clean the cage floor. Eliminating their scent from cage objects will encourage them to mark them again. You do not want this to happen.

Once the cage is set up for litter training, you can now add your pee stone to the ratty litter box. Slowly, they’ll no longer pee everywhere, on everything! Sit back, and watch the magic happen! This is all there is to it; the rats will naturally gravitate towards the litter box and the stone. Allow the litter box to stay a bit stinky while keeping the cage clean. The rats prefer to urinate and defecate in a stinky part of the cage, keeping their living quarters clean.

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7 thoughts on “Rat Training Miracle: What’s a Pee Rock, How Do I Use It?”

  1. What do you do about long teeth? Our pet rat rat actually found us. He crawled into our garage. He behaved like he was someone’s pet. He is a black and white. We have had him over a year. I got cancer and my son traveled with me to treatment in TX. We live in IL. We were gone two months. Family took care of him. He was acting a little different before we left. Two months later, his weight has decreased. Not sure if it is age or teeth. Advice? He is getting stronger, yet still weak. We also though he missed us. Any advice?

  2. I couldn’t have said it better myself. The thing that changed my mind and made me decide to get pet rats (after my kids had been begging me about it for years) was when I found out how easy it is to litter box train rats.

  3. Hello Cyndi! It is very possible that the rat has teeth that are in need of trimming. However, this is usually only if the teeth or jaw are deformed. Rarely do teeth need trimming due to age; however, if he had a minor defect that has worsened, you may have to have his teeth trimmed. Some do this with a pair of nail clippers (please do research beforehand, as this can be dangerous for both you and ratty if the process doesn’t go smoothly) or you can take the rat to the vet. Also, most rats live for an average of 2 to 2.5 years. It sounds as if he was an adult when you found him, meaning he is likely 1.5 to 2.5 years old. Old age poses lots of health problems for ratties. A trip to the vet is my best recommendation, because there could be other issues at play. Elderly rats have been known to lose or gain lots of weight, become slow and quiet, and overall seem to lose their desire to be as playful. Keeping an older rat on a strict diet, limiting treats, offering lots of toys/play time, and ensuring they are staying clean and in good shape is the best way to keep them comfortable throughout the rest of their lives. Just be sure he’s eating and drinking and maintaining a healthy weight. Also, many rats WILL see a personality change as they age. THIS is not necessarily a bad thing either. Just like people, they change with age 🙂

  4. Since I see a ratty health question answered here, I’ll go ahead and pose my own. I just stumbled on the site and haven’t figured out how to navigate it. I have owned many rats for many years, but my vet and I are at a loss for what’s going on with one of my boys. He and his brothers are 2.5 years old. Mom was a Wistar lab rat and dad was a dumbo veriberk. Dad passed away recently after a series of seizures. Before he passed he started exhibiting an odd behaviour we couldn’t make heads or tails of: he was making the jaw motion of gasping but didn’t seem to have trouble breathing. He had also lost some weight rather quickly. We weren’t able to figure out what was wrong before he passed away. Some friends who’ve worked with lab rats suggested a myco flair up and after his seizure suggested it could be a pituitary tumour. One of my boys has exhibited the same jaw behaviour and also lost a lot of weight. He’s down to 9.5 oz where his brothers are all about a pound. He also doesn’t seem to be eating solid food by himself. I’ve intervened and syringe fed him Pediasure and offered him applesauce from a bowl. He took to the applesauce but the act of eating seems to wear him out. He also doesn’t seem to be retaining body heat. He seems cold all the time. Luckily his brothers seem to be taking good care of him and he’s letting me syringe feed him. His bowel movements appear normal and he’s still urinating frequently. Some days he’s more active than others. Most days he still grooms. I have no idea what’s wrong with him, but I want to keep him as comfortable as possible. I know the best way to do that would be to have a diagnosis, but I don’t. I’m doing my best to keep him warm and fed, but if anyone has any advice I would greatly appreciate it.

  5. I was a lab animal tech for years and I never knew about this. We provided our animals with pvc tubing, and nesting materials for enrichment. I wish I would have considered the type of enrichment that the pee rock provides. Scent is important to rodents, especially breeding animals.

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