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  • What is our Mission?

    The Rat Retreat’s mission is to champion the rights of rats across the world through education, outreach, adoption, health research, and hospice. We seek to eliminate abuse and improper breeding; to assist with educated adoptions; to reduce disease leading to early death; to educate consumers and pet stores about proper handling and maintenance; and, to provide companionship and on-going care for abandoned and sick rats.
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Rat Cage – How To

Preparing and setting up your rats’ cage is very important. Your rats will spend most of their life inside this cage and so you need to make sure it is a safe and fun place to live. We will go over each aspect of setting up your rats’ cage.

(Source links at bottom of page.)

1-Cage Size

2-Cage Type



5-Litter Boxes

6-Filling the Cage


8-Free Range Time

9-Sample Cages


1-Cage Size

Each rat should have at least 2 cubic feet of cage space. To make a cage more interesting, choose one with multiple levels and ramps. For senior rats that may have difficulty using ramps or for rats that have balance issues or hind-end degeneration, I suggest a one-level cage.

Here is a rat cage calculator here:

Just enter your cage’s dimensions and it will tell you how many rats will comfortably fit in your cage.









2016 Calendar Fundraiser

The Rat Retreat’s 2016 calendars have arrived and are ready to be shipped! They are $15 each including shipping in the US – for shipping outside the US contact with your address for additional shipping charges.

All proceeds are used for food, bedding, toys, and vet care for the residents and foster rats in Boise.

Make payment via Paypal or Razoo using the links provided on our website home page.


Feeding your Pet Rat

Feeding Your New Pet Rat

By Carol Weekes


Rats are very much like us. They savor good food. They can have a sweet tooth and be happy to snatch up a Twinkie before eating their vegetables, but like any of us, although the occasional sweet treat won’t hurt anyone, too much refined food will eventually lead to health problems.

Nutritionists universally will tell you that for anyone, but you rat person or human person, the best foods are whole foods: unrefined grains, seeds, nuts, fresh fruits and vegetables, and limited lean meats with more of an emphasis on cold water fish like salmon and mackerel, and lighter meat like chicken.

A rat’s main diet comes from a good rat block, such as that produced by companies like Harlan Teklad and Regal Rat by Oxbow, which keeps the protein to below 18% in order to keep your rat healthily lean while providing a balanced source of nutrients and supplements. You can accompany this with small amounts of daily fresh and/or steamed vegetables such as broccoli, carrot, kale, bok choy, among others. Provide fresh fruits, but don’t overdo it due to natural sugar contents of fruits. Fresh apple, blueberry, any berry, red grapes are some examples that rats love. If you provide a bit of banana, mash it down well with a fork so that it’s gooey enough to prevent choking (due to the sticky nature of banana).



If giving grains and rice, stick to brown and wild rice and grains such as barley, rye, whole oats, bulgar, oat bran, and wheat bran. You can cook these up in some light vegetable or chicken broth or a bit of miso for flavor and add bits of grated carrot, kale, green peas and even tiny bits of cooked chicken for a delightful ratty stew.

Occasional servings of hardboiled egg, light cottage cheese, probiotic yogurt go over well too.

It is best, like in any good diet, to avoid junk food. If you feel you’d like to give an occasional sweet treat, a small dab of frozen yogurt or sherbet can go over well. Although some leftovers from human meals can be a treat, keep health and content of the type of food in mind. Trans fat, saturated fats, excessive salt or sweet, white rice, breads, potatoes and such are not good and are best avoided. Never give your rattie carbonated drinks or alcohol. The first is because rats can’t burp the carbonation which can result in bloating and pain in their tummy, while the second is simply toxic and can damage inner organs.

Some foods that can cause choking problems due to their texture are breads, peanut butter, hard lentils and beans (which can also be toxic) – basically anything too sticky or hard that won’t break down and can lodge in the throat.



A quick glance at The Rat Fan Club’s site will provide you with a rundown of good foods, occasional foods, and foods to avoid in being able to provide your new furry family members the absolute best in nutrition while keeping the diet interesting and fulfilling.

Nothing will make your heart melt sooner than seeing your sweet rattie diving into a meal, grasping food in their tiny pink hands while nibbling with delight. Often my ratties, upon enjoying a meal, will pause briefly to stick their noses into the air as if to say ‘You hit the mark!’ before plunging into the dish for more. Always keep plenty of fresh water available and change water bottles each day for freshness. Glass bottles are better to use than plastic; ensure that the drinking appendage works and that water flows freely. On occasion, a small bowl of cold rice milk, soy milk, or coconut milk will be greatly appreciated.

A good diet provides one of the mainstays towards a healthy life. Enjoy good cooking and good eating with your new furry kids; it is time that can be shared and relished!




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