Free ranging straight out from the cage

For everything to do with rat housing, from cages, litter and bedding to accessories and toys for your rat. Not for advertising items for sale.

Free ranging in the room where the cage is

Door open so they have cage access
Door closed so they have to stay out
Total votes: 52

User avatar
Posts: 14376
Joined: Sat Dec 28, 2002 7:31 pm
Location: SW London

Free ranging straight out from the cage

Post by acapae_wolf » Thu Apr 21, 2011 11:56 am

In both London and Aberdeen my rats live in my bedroom. In London they free range in a seperate room, but in Aberdeen they just run around (or not) my bedroom. Previously I've been opening the door of the cage, chucking them on my bed, and pretty much leaving them too it. They'll run around, go back into the cage for a drink/ poo ( :lol: ), and come back out again. Or rather they used to, but more and more they just run back into the cage. They'll come out again of their own free will, but it will take a while, and they may well just go and sit somewhere.

Before now I've never really thought about a) closing the door so they can't get back in or b) why I automatically left it open. What do other people do if they do have the option?

I've added a poll for ease if people don't want to type a longer answer, but please don't vote if it's irrelevant because you free range them elsewhere without possible cage access!
with the ratlings: Orbit, Lanorial, Amdridh, Arkiadera, Esker, Brie, Larka and Foxtrot. Also Anfreda the hamsterling.
:hearts: All those who've moved on

User avatar
Posts: 2077
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 8:09 pm
Location: Berkshire

Re: Free ranging straight out from the cage

Post by tagalong » Thu Apr 21, 2011 12:03 pm

tbh if I tried to frree range any of mine near the open cages they would be straight back in then sit there like dummies waiting to be taken out again lol
I think the instinct in rats to always be close to home is a very strong one.
My boys: Sooty ,Sweep, Cookie, Muffin ,Fugles
My girls: Roxy,Millie,Isabel ,Polly
and all my little ones past and present

User avatar
Posts: 2450
Joined: Sat Jun 13, 2009 10:43 pm
Location: Sampford Courtenay, Devon

Re: Free ranging straight out from the cage

Post by Snippet » Thu Apr 21, 2011 12:05 pm

My girls live in the shed. I open the door and put them on the floor. Once they're out they're happy to run about and only go back in the cage for a bite to eat/ run on the wheel. If I don't take them out they'll sit at the door and wait to be taken out (all apart from Willow, who escapes at any opportunity)
Owned by Willow, Fern and Nix
Missing Snippet and Frost

User avatar
Posts: 1606
Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2007 9:58 pm
Location: Plymouth

Re: Free ranging straight out from the cage

Post by Jird » Thu Apr 21, 2011 12:28 pm

These days I just open the door when I decide it's free range time (well, sometimes it's when the rats have decided it's free range time and I cannot ignore the frantic door rattling any longer), and the boys take care of the rest. They charge out (usually stamping on their cagemates' faces, tumbling off my lap, and landing on their heads in the process), have a brisk potter/gallop/wrestle/cuddle for an hour or so, and one by one either settle down in a nest of receipts and uni notes or take themselves back to the cage. They rarely go back to the cage before at least half an hour has passed - they're quite happy to do their poos in dark corners and under my armchair :roll: :lol:

Although, with my first group I used to have to lift them out and then shut the door after them for about an hour. If I'd left the door open Blaze would've just done a quick circuit of the room to check for hidden food and then headed back home to his favourite hammock to wait for dinner :oops: Bless his furry wee heart... :hearts:
Emily and the boys - Jamie, Bailey, Finn and Tumnus
Love you Bond, Liam, George, Blaze. See you at the bridge little guys.

User avatar
Posts: 2922
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 3:40 pm
Location: North Wales

Re: Free ranging straight out from the cage

Post by siberiankiss » Thu Apr 21, 2011 12:38 pm

I tend to just open the door and let them choose whether or not they want to come out (some days the older boys don't bother at all). The rats that do come out tend to come and go from the cage and George in particular can get a bit panicky if the door is closed whilst he is out.
Kate x
Lovingly owned by Boba, Manny ,Floyd, Tom, George, Tiny, William & Eugene.
Resented by Maida & Nilda - The Angry Babies
:rainbow: Snow, Ajax, Ken, Ryu, Daisy, Jack, Dave, Dotty, Bruce, Reg, Eric.

User avatar
Posts: 5004
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 6:37 pm
Location: Cardiff

Re: Free ranging straight out from the cage

Post by Rhi01 » Thu Apr 21, 2011 12:39 pm

When I let them out I pick them all up and put them on the floor. I then leave one door open and put a ladder so the oldies can climb back in when they want.
The babies will run around like loons for 2+ hours while the oldest, Winkie, has an average energy time of 20-30 minutes.
I let them go back when they want as I think freerange is meant to be enjoyable and if I were them I wouldn't want to be stuck outside of my home with its nice cosy bed if I was tired after running around for a while. I also find if they aren't able to go to bed they will only curl up in a corner somewhere anyway so I might as well let them go back if they want.
Rhiannon with Charlie, Fizz, George, Gus, Inga, Kent and Oscar.

User avatar
Posts: 2131
Joined: Mon Apr 27, 2009 4:23 pm
Location: Rattingham Palace, Portsmouth.

Re: Free ranging straight out from the cage

Post by ScattieMcRattie » Thu Apr 21, 2011 12:54 pm

i have voted for cage open allowin full access... i can't write a proper comment right now as am at work but i do want to come back to this. x
" and the muttering grew to a grumbling; and the grumbling grew to a mighty rumbling; and out of the houses the rats came tumbling,"
Maidenhair Rattery Website
Maidenhair on Facebook
Maidenhair on Youtube

User avatar
Posts: 4143
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 11:09 am
Location: Dunbartonshire

Re: Free ranging straight out from the cage

Post by MarieM » Thu Apr 21, 2011 1:06 pm

Once my girls are mature enough, they are allowed to stay out of the cage if they want to. Right now, susie is sleeping in the tunnel in the free range area, normally it's a box. And Rosie is in the kitchen cupboard on one of the ledges where she has a bed. Bonnie mainly likes to sleep in her sputnik in the cage. And the babies only get out during free range time.
:girly: BonnieSusieRosieMindyCleo
:rainbow: SilvaCocoSumaPoppyDaisyTara :hearts: :girly:
Holistic Health Care For Rats

User avatar
Posts: 3623
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 9:38 pm
Location: Somerset

Re: Free ranging straight out from the cage

Post by Woody » Thu Apr 21, 2011 1:09 pm

Ours are standing by the door ready to come out at around the time they come out (which is indicated by putting the laptop leads away!). We just open the door. Mostly they all come out and then variously go back to the cage for food, or come out when they are ready. Some of them go away when they feel they have had enough, others go to sleep at various places around the living room.

The only time I would shut the door to stop them getting back in the cage is when they have had fish and want to take it from the food bowl and stash it round the house :lol:
Hot and righteous :D

The views expressed in my posts are not related or endorsed by any company or organisation. In fact, often, they aren't even endorsed by me!

User avatar
Posts: 473
Joined: Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:32 am
Location: south shields

Re: Free ranging straight out from the cage

Post by debzratties » Thu Apr 21, 2011 2:05 pm

Woody wrote:The only time I would shut the door to stop them getting back in the cage is when they have had fish and want to take it from the food bowl and stash it round the house
:lol: :lol:
Poppy does this, just not from her own bowl. She stole fish from our dogs bowl the other day and left a trail of it around various rooms of the house that eventually led into her cage, we learn't our lesson after that and remember to move the dogs bowls now.
Some of ours (the ones that don't chew and wee everywhere) get freerun of the sitting/dining room and kitchen and they normally have to much to explore to want to go back into their cage, even on the odd occasion that they do, they run in then do a faster than lightning u turn and run back out, I think they must be frightened that i'll close the door on them so don't stay in there.

I still leave the doors open though as a couple of our girls are a little skittish still, and if they do escape down onto the floor i'll normally be hunting high and low for them only to find them snuggled up fast asleep or eating food that poppys stolen and stashed in the cage. :roll:

Debz :dumbogirly:
Proudly owned by the ratty gang :dumbogirly: Poppy, Brown nose, Sage and seven adorable rescues :love:
Gone but forever in our hearts our special girls :rainbow: Dill, Parsley, Basil, Midge, Whisper and Parsnip :rainbow:

User avatar
Posts: 644
Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2010 11:59 pm
Location: Lancaster

Re: Free ranging straight out from the cage

Post by Flox » Thu Apr 21, 2011 2:16 pm

Mine have free access. They enjoy running in and out, climing up the doors, getting stuck on top, balancing on the top of the open doors, falling off...

They don't generally stash things anyway, and have little to stash cos I let them out before I feed them (makes sure I can get them all back!). One of them is very cautious and likes to hang around by the cage - I think it's important that he knows he can get back in if he panics. And when the bully is on one of his hate campaigns the victim usually gets chased back in there and holes up for a while.

So my reasoning is I leave it open so they can get water, have the security of home within reach, and hiding food around the room isn't an issue. I'd be interested to hear people's reasons for closing the door - I see there are two votes! Not because I think either is right or wrong, just curious.

Posts: 40
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2010 2:27 pm

Re: Free ranging straight out from the cage

Post by sanitysuckz » Thu Apr 21, 2011 3:12 pm

Sometimes mine free-range in the hall away from their cage, but they also are allowed to free range in the spare bedroom (often while I use the computer). Originally I got them out and didn't leave any way back to their cage (which is on a cupboard) but now have some boxes meaning I'll just open the door and leave it up to them if they want in or out. So far, all 3 will wander out (Thea and Leto pretty much instantly) and start wreaking havoc etc. Part of the reason I leave them the access back to the cage is in the vain hope that they'll decide they've had enough -before- I'm fed up of rescuing them from the windowsill or trying to save my cables :lol:

As a whole I like leaving the door open so that if they don't want to come out at that instant, they don't have to - but that's partly as they tend to get one "forced" (i.e. in another room) free-range and this other one's an extra anyway.

I think shutting the door could be useful for slightly lazier ratties though - sometimes I gently prod Iris to actually wake up (I'll move her from the hammock to by the cage door) and she always then chooses to leave and explore like a nutter for a good while before going to sleep - usually on the desk by my computer. I think it would take her a lot longer to bother to move without the gentle prod and it means I don't feel the need to extend free-range time so she gets as long out as the others. I guess it all really just depends on the rats lol.

(Apologies, I tend to ramble lots)
Amy + Iris, Leto & Thea

User avatar
Posts: 1895
Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2009 1:58 am
Location: Bodmin, Cornwall

Re: Free ranging straight out from the cage

Post by Amzy » Thu Apr 21, 2011 3:33 pm

I've got a pretty big pen that attaches onto the front of my explorer. So I attach this, attach a ladder and open the doors. Mine seem to love running up and down the ladder from the pen to their cage... it also allows them to go back for a drink if they like. My girls are all very active so generally dont need forcing out however I have 2 which are very nervous about being picked up inside the cage, they LOVE free range, and I can handle them if i need to go to the vets etc they just like to come out by themselves.
Amy&the girls: Mary Miffy Lily Cupcake Lucky Pickle Dina Seven Fortune Rowena Tianna Leila Aurora Enya Texalina Kiara :dumbogirly: & the boys!: Heinz Branston Hellmans & Dave
Aunty to 30 & Half-Mum to 4 :hearts:

User avatar
Posts: 4736
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2008 6:49 pm
Location: Kent, UK

Re: Free ranging straight out from the cage

Post by RetroLemons » Thu Apr 21, 2011 6:09 pm

Doors open! It means that they can get a drink and use their litter trays.

My current free-range set-up is using a large tube to and from my bed, which they sometimes climb up onto making their lives difficult! :lol:
From Rowan and the Fuzzlets! Miss you Kenco, Salt, Pretzel, Delilah, Moony & Bailey :( x
RatPad Hammocks - New hammocks out now! Oh and 20% of pre orders go into the rescue pot ;)
10% of your order going to a rattie rescue every time!

User avatar
Posts: 3520
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2007 7:36 pm
Location: southampton

Re: Free ranging straight out from the cage

Post by aimlessdesire » Thu Apr 21, 2011 7:06 pm

I have to shut my cage doors, because while my rats will happily free range with rats of the same sex that live in another cage, they do not like them going into their cage and cue lots of fur flying especially from Iona. So it's just easier to keep the doors shut especially as I'm not always in the rat room when they are out.
Caledonian Rattery breeding for Russian Blue Point Siamese, Black Eyed Siamese, Black and Russian Blue.


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests