Whether you’re transporting new rats from a far away breeder, taking your rats on holiday with you, or just worried about a trip to the vets, travel with rats doesn’t have to be stressful.
Carriers For Travel With Rats
For journeys of any distance, you’ll need a safe carrier for your rats. Choose one with enough space for your group, good ventilation and a good secure lid. You don’t want any surprise escapes!
A small top-opening carrier, like this one, is useful to have. If you have a small group, it could be all you’d need, but even if you have a larger group, a small carrier is useful for transporting one or two rats, for vet trips, for example.
For large groups, a cat carrier works brilliantly, as long as the grill in the door doesn’t have big enough holes for escapes. At Rattie Ratbags, we use a Catit Cabrio (affiliate link). It’s a large carrier, with sturdy catches, dishes for food and water, and plenty of ventilation. It opens from the top, as well as the door, making it easier to load rats in without catching tails and paws.
Comfortable Travel For Rats
Once you’ve chosen your carrier, you’ll want to put something inside to make it comfortable. You could use some of your usual substrate, or whatever bedding materials you usually offer. If you’re using a cat carrier, you may even be able to hang a hammock inside.
Make sure your rat has a water source. Depending on the carrier, you may be able to attach a water bottle. You could put in a water bowl, or use a built-in water dish. If you can’t attach a bottle and are using a water source that could be knocked over or spilt during travel, offer a wet vegetable in large chunks. Cucumber or apple work well.
If you’re travelling far, sprinkle some of your rats’ dry food into the bottom of the carrier.
Rats travel well in the car, or on the train. If you’re using public transport, a blanket or something to cover the carrier can help keep the rats calm and prevent prying eyes who might not be as fond of your pets as you are. If your journey is more than a few hours, stop to check your rats have food and a moisture source, clean up any poos causing smells, and if it’s safe, let your rats out to stretch their legs with a climb on you.
If you’re taking your rats on holiday or sending them for boarding while you’re away, you’ll need a holiday cage.
As this cage is temporary, it doesn’t need to be as large as the main cage, but otherwise, should be set-up in the same way.
There are lots of cages on the market that can be folded down flat or dismantled when not in use. This is great for storage, and for transport. At Rattie Ratbags, we use a Mamble 100 (affiliate link).