Playtime Ideas for Pet Rats: How to Keep Them Engaged and Strengthen Your Bond

Pet rats are intelligent and curious animals that love to play.

If you're looking for fun rat activities, you've come to the right place!


These little companions need entertainment and activities to stay happy.

In this article, we offer a list of rat games that will enrich your pet's life and strengthen your bond with them.

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Essentials Before Exploring Rat Games

Pet rats can easily get bored, so offering fun rat play ideas can help combat this boredom.

Before introducing games, it's crucial to establish a trustful relationship with your little companion.


Avoid forcing them to play and always rely on positive reinforcement to encourage them.

During play sessions, stay attentive to your rat's behavior. Some signs could indicate discomfort or pain.


By respecting these principles, you provide your rat with a fun and safe experience while strengthening your bond.

Simple Rat Games

Gently Tossing Your Pet Rat

Gently toss your pet rat onto a soft couch or pillow. However, pay attention to their reactions and keep the height moderate.


Chase and Play

Engage in a playful chase with your rat using your hand. Let them roll over, wrestle gently, and maybe even enjoy a little belly tickle.


Hide and Seek Treats

Hide treats in your hands, pockets, or corners of their cage. Let their curiosity and sense of smell lead the way.


Rolling Over with Your Rat

If your rat enjoys being on its back, try rolling them over gently. It's another way to give them a belly rub.


Paper Treasure Hunt

Give your rat strips of paper; they'll love to carry them off to hide or build a nest.


Paper Bag Exploration

Let your rat explore and hide in paper bags. Feel free to hide treats or objects inside for added fun.


The Towel Maze

Lay a towel (or a bedspread, sheet, rug, etc.) over your rats and watch them have fun finding their way out.


Laundry Basket Adventure

Your laundry basket can be an unexpected playground. They'll have fun sniffing and burrowing... but watch out for your clothes!


Sharing Daily Activities

Simply include them in your daily activities!

Share a bit of food during your meals, let them snuggle with you while reading, or have them climb on your shoulder as you work on the computer.

Digging Box with Soil for Pet Rats

Domestic rats love to forage, dig, and explore.

To provide your pet rats with an enriching digging experience, an appropriate bin filled with soil is ideal.


Here's how to set it up:

  1. Choosing the Bin: Opt for a spacious plastic crate or bin. Space is crucial for their playful activities.
  2. Preparing the Bin: Drill some holes in the bottom of the bin to ensure good ventilation.
  3. Adding Soil: Fill the bin halfway with chemical-free soil.
  4. Adding Seeds: Sprinkle some bird seeds.
  5. Light Watering: Slightly moisten the surface without saturating it.
  6. Patience: Place the bin in a sunny spot and wait for the seeds to sprout.
  7. Ideal Placement: Once ready, place it where cleaning up will be easy. Prepare for some splashing!
  8. Setting the Scene: Before releasing your rats, scatter some treats to stimulate their senses.


The joy of your rats will be palpable as they discover this new play area.

Sure, there will be some cleaning up to do, but seeing them thrive and have fun is well worth it!

Exploration Box or Curiosity Bin

Provide your pet rats with a box full of curiosities to awaken their explorer spirit.

No soil here, but a collection of objects that spark interest.


It's an excellent game for your rats that tickles their natural curiosity!


Suggested content:

  • Cork stoppers: Perfect for chewing, and safe.
  • Crumpled paper: Its appeal lies in its sound and texture.
  • Tissues: Great for hiding or even building a small nest.
  • Small wooden objects: Ideal for nibbling and playing.
  • Variety of seeds: They encourage foraging behavior and offer a reward.
  • Hazelnuts: A treat that poses a challenge, that of opening it!
  • Pieces of fabric: Offer a different tactile experience.

Change the items from time to time to maintain their interest.

Just make sure that each item is safe and non-toxic.

Building a Maze for Pet Rats

Creating a maze for your pet rats is easy and requires minimal materials.


Use your cardboard boxes, think of your Amazon parcels, cereal boxes, or even shoe boxes.

Make doorways for them to navigate easily and add tubes, either cardboard or PVC.

Hidden treats scattered throughout will pique their interest.

Add ropes as bridges or fabric for them to rest on.


The most fun part is watching your rats explore and discover every nook and cranny.

Feel free to rearrange occasionally to keep the challenge fresh!

Pinata (Hanging Toy for Pet Rats)

The "piñata" game for pet rats is a fun and easy DIY project.


Here are two methods to create one:

  • Rolled Paper: Wrap seeds or treats in paper. After several wraps, form a small ball. Hang it in the cage so that your rats can reach it while standing.
  • Toilet Paper Tube: Fill a toilet paper tube with treats, then fold each end to close it. Hang or place it on the ground. Your rats will love finding their snacks!


A clever way to stimulate their thinking while rewarding them. Simple and cost-effective!

Fishing for Treats Game

Water games for pet rats, like fishing for peas, provide a welcomed relief during heatwaves.


To set it up:

  1. Use a basin with lukewarm water, but make sure it's shallow to prevent any accidents.
  2. Add frozen peas or corn, which will float on the surface.
  3. Place the basin in a secure area where your rat can easily get in and out. 

Your rats will have fun catching the treats while cooling off. It's an ideal activity for hot days.

Teaching Tricks to Your Pet Rat

Rats are clever creatures, and engaging them in learning games or tricks strengthens the bond between you and your pet rat.

To ensure success, arm yourself with treats: they act as a great motivator.


Some simple trick ideas include:

  • Bell Ringing: Teach your rat to ring a small bell. Reward them each time they do it successfully.
  • Spinning: Using a treat at your fingertips, guide them to perform a full spin, then reward them with the treat.
  • Jumping: Encourage your rat to jump onto you using a treat as a lure.
  • Hoop Jump: Use a small hoop (or make one from wire) and train your rat to jump through it, guiding them with a treat.
  • Fetch: Teach your rat to fetch a small object. Start by throwing it a short distance, then encourage your rat to bring it back for a treat.
  • Standing Tall: Using a treat, train your rat to stand up on its hind legs.


These moments enrich your relationship and sharpen their minds.

Precautions & Final Thoughts on Pet Rats

Every interaction with your pet rat strengthens your unique bond.

Unleash your creativity to offer them fun games!


However, always ensure their well-being: if your rat seems reluctant or anxious about an activity, do not force them.

Observation is key.


If their nose twitches and their eyes sparkle with curiosity, you're on the right track.

On the contrary, if they retreat or seem stressed, give them some space.


These shared moments contribute not only to your rat's well-being but also to creating beautiful memories together.

Every game, every training session, every moment of connection is precious!

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