How to Bathe a Rat, THE NICE, NO FUSS WAY

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Introduction: How to Bathe a Rat, THE NICE, NO FUSS WAY


Everywhere I look, I see traumatizing instructions on how to bathe a rat. By filling the tub or sink, dipping them in the water and taking care that the rat doesn't scratch your arm open trying to cling on for dear life!
It's Ok though, don't feel too bad about it. I did it too the first time because I didn't really know how else to bathe them. But now I have a much easier and friendlier way that my ratties enjoy, even though they still don't really like to swim!

Step 1: What Do You Need?

In your bathroom:
1: A dirty rat
2: A pail of comfy, lukewarm water
3: cotton balls, pads, or a small face sponge will work to
4: bath toys, berries, frozen peas, pieces of carrots or apples or any other treat that doesn't dissolve in water!!!! (optional)
5: A towel
(6: A tiiiiny bit of baby bath/shower gel, for the really dirty, dirty rats) You usually don't need anything.

Step 2: Making the Bath

First make sure your bathroom is warm. Bathing in a cold, drafty bathroom will make anybody ill.
Make a nice bath for your ratties. 1 or 2 inches of lukewarm water is more than enough. Put some bath toys, berries or whatever in the pail and put it on the ground in the shower or empty bathtub.
Chances are they won't be impressed by it, but some rats do like to swim.
Whatever you do, don't stick your rat is the pail!!!! Just let them walk around the bathroom or empty tub, feed them the peas or berries and let them explore the pail on their own time. This way the rats are calm, not trying to run or scratch to escape. As long as they're concerned, it's just play time.

Step 3: Bathing the Rats

Sit next to them on the ground or on a little chair. Dip the cotton pad, washcloth, sponge or whatever in the bathwater and just calmly sponge-bathe your ratties. They won't fight you and will just start grooming their self. You don't have to hold them or anything. Just let them walk around and sponge them until they're soaked.
They might want to come keep warm next to you or on your lap, it's all good, as long as nobody is distressed or afraid, it's all just part of a nice fun bath. Heck, they might even start swimming on their own!

Step 4: Lathering

If your rats are particularly "nasty" you might want to use some no-tears baby soap.
So soak your ratties good,  then rub a tiny bit of soap in your hands into a lather and then lather your ratties up.
Don't do their faces so it doesn't get into their eyes! Even if it's no-tears it can still irritate a little.
When you're done just sponge on some more water until all the soap is gone.

Step 5: You're Done!

Now you're done with the bath and you can towel-dry your happy ratties!

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    43 Comments

    Thank you for this tutorial. I am going to try this soon. I have had girls in the past and never had to bathe them, but my boys seem to enjoy making their hammock or living areas kind of gross....Even though I clean their cage and shelves about every four days. I am glad to see that others have had boys that are a little smelly at times as well!

    Thank you so much, I washed my rats two times so far, because they pee in their chilling hammock (they smell like pee) and both times the rats and me were totally traumitized. It was not fun. Lots of scratching and climbing up my back involved. From now on i'll do it this way

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    1 reply

    I have had female rats before and they were clean little girls, but my boys like to pee in their hammock as well! I am glad it isn't just mine....I was starting to worry!

    Thanks for the info on how to bathe rats!! :) we just got two baby dumbo/fancy rats they are so cute. And smart! ?? im going to try to bathe them tonight. We have had them about a week. Still babies through and im also going to try to train them.

    Nice ~_~
    I bathed my older (white) Dwarf hamsters by holding them and softly scooping water over them in a small plastic lunchbox, mixing the soap with water in a separate bowl and softly rubbing it in. They didn't like it too much, so I'm gonna try your method with my current one. :)

    When they're bathed, I highly recommend holding them in a small towel and keeping it close to your body so they don't get cold. You can towel-dry them, but one of the older ones just groomed himself with little physical input from me - apart from body heat!

    1 reply

    really? I've heard that you really shouldn't get dwarf hammies wet under any circumstances due to their fur being too thick, it is almost impossible to dry them properly and they most likely will not dry on their own due to their thick fur, and it can lead to nasties such as their fur becoming mouldy and their skin getting infected ?

    im going to try this thanks ive got two girl rats, oreo and champange oreo a dark brown and champange is the colour of champange. dorky u may say but they have gotten used too thier names and are well trained but not at bath time! love your rats by the way didnt know so many people like rats.

    I'll have to try this next time my little Pendleton needs a bath. Poor guy HATES bath time and I have the scratches to prove it, though he's gotten a little better.. he's more a fan of the post-bath snuggle time when I wrap him in a towel as a little Rattito ^_^ just washed him a little bit ago and he's bruxing away in my lap~

    Thanks for the great idea so I can wash my scared rat in. Better way. Thanks a lot

    Nice to finally see someone acknowledging that it's not a good things to traumatize your rats or even use shampoo, unless they are unusually filthy. Otherwise you end up with a bad relationship and a rat with irritated skin from walking of all their natural oils. Well done! Thanks!

    This is going to help soo much!! We have two beautiful 1 month old brothers and I'm sure they will love having a swim

    Thank you for this, will definitely try next bath time.

    Your rats are so cute! We're getting rats soon and if we have to bathe them we'll give this a try.
    :-D

    I forgot to mention: Your rats are absolute cuties!

    1 reply

    Thanx! ^^ I'm sure yours were adorable also!

    Wish I knew this method, oh, 16 years ago. My boy Nosedive was always crawling up my arm. If he didn't sleep in his own filth and smell of homemade nachos, I wouldn't even have considered giving him a bath. He was a blast, though, loved 'im to pieces.

    I've noticed girl rats keep themselves cleaner than boys; I never did have to bathe Bunny or Blackberry.

    My boy do not like baths so I'm going to try this thank you!

    Your grey rat is adorable! I have 2 rats, one is grey and white and one is a white albino , both boys and I love them to pieces! Defiantly going to take your advice with the bathing as my boys aren't to keen on water!!

    1 reply

    Succes with your bathquest!! Much love to your ratties!

    I have my rats for 5 months and i didn't give them a bath yet. When are you supposed to?