Introduction: How to Catch and Escaped Pet Rat
If your pet rat has gotten loose follow these steps to catch your little friend.
Step 1: Don't Panic
It may be tempting to panic when your small friend is lost/loose. The goal is not to catch them quickly, but to find them and keep them safe.
Rats are very smart animals, they are less likely to chew on non-food items than other rodents/pets. Domesticated rats are not the same as wild rats. Domestic rats know that you are going to feed and water them, whereas wild rats have to fight and scavenge to find food. All rats, domestic and wild, are very attached to their homes. As long as they feel safe in their home, they will come back on their own.
Step 2: Don't Scare
It is also tempting to bang and yell and make loud noises to scare them out, but this rarely works. If they feel scared they will hide even longer. Instead turn off the TV or music and be as quiet as possible. Listen for rat sounds, such as a scamper, small sneeze, or the sound of their movement. You will only hear the squeak if they are hurt or scared. So no squeaking is a good thing. It means, at least, they are not in danger.
Step 3: Entice
Entice your rat with a favorite treat. (Some rats will come to the sound of food such as the rustling of a bag or shaking a box of treats.) Leave a bowl of the treats in the middle of the floor and wait for them to come to it. Treats that have a stronger scent work best.
If you have located your rat but can't get him or her out try soft food on a spoon such as yogurt or applesauce. This way your rat has to come to you. Make sure to hold the spoon far enough away from the hiding space to be able to pick him or her up.
Step 4: Lights Out
Rats are naturally nocturnal animals. Some rats will come out after the lights go out.
Step 5: Search the Small Places
If you can't find your pet rat he or she has likely found a tiny place to squeeze into. Check under and behind all furniture and appliances. Rats can fit through any space that their head can fit through. Even the places you think they cannot fit, check anyways. They may surprise you.
Step 6: Trap
If you don't have time to seek out your rattie you can rent or buy live rodent traps and place a treat inside.