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Some rats cannot be trained to use the litter tray. This can be due to bad experiences with owners who were too harsh when training the rat. Another reason is that the rat simply doesn't take well to training, without explanation. Regardless, it's important to keep in mind that your rat may or may not take to litter training and that it should not alter your love and affection for your pet.
Rats are very intelligent animals and can be taught to do a varied amount of tricks; litter training being the most productive and advantageous for the pet's owner. This trick will save time when it comes to cleaning the cage because it will not have to be done as often. It additionally saves money because soiled bedding will not need to be replaced as often either.
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Find a plastic tub or bowl that can serve as the rat's litter tray. Pet stores and pet supply websites now sell litter trays designed for small rodents. Save money by using a shallow plastic food storage container or an old bowl which will serve the same purpose.
Fill the new litter tray with litter, rat droppings and some soiled bedding. The rat droppings will help the rat understand that this is where it should relieve itself. Local pet store personnel can suggest the best type of litter for the job.
Place the tray in the corner of the cage where the rat tends to relieve itself. Most rats are very clean and like to use only one spot in order to keep the rest of the cage clean and soil-free. This makes it very easy to litter train the rat, as it is already a naturally clean and tidy animal.
Clean the cage the same day the litter tray is installed in the rat's cage. This will get rid of all previous waste from the rat and help it understand that only the corner with the litter tray should be used to relieve itself.
Place the rat in the designated litter tray to let it know that it is there. This is especially important if the rat has a very large cage or a cage with multiple levels. The rat needs to be shown the location of the litter tray; quite possibly numerous times, especially if the rat does not immediately take to using the litter tray.
Check the rat every few hours the first day to see if it has used the litter tray. If you find droppings outside of the litter tray, simply place the rat and its droppings inside the tray and say, "No!" If you do see that the rat is using the litter tray, praise your pet with love, kisses and its favorite treat.