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Finding and Catching a Lost Rat


If your rat has somehow gotten out of his cage and you can't find him, just know that he probably hasn’t gone far. There are some things you should know about and do immediately:


  • DO NOT use your appliances (especially ovens and dishwashers) until you have found the rat. Rats will go under ovens, dishwashers, refrigerators, washers, and dryers or squeeze behind them and can get stuck underneath or behind. They can also get tangled in a gas line or power cords! If you turn the appliances on when the rat is stuck behind or under it he could die from high temperatures that the appliance emits.


  • If you have ant bait or roach bait traps down on the floor in your residence pick them up off the floor immediately.


  • DO NOT use reclining furniture like chairs until the rat is found because they love to crawl up inside recliners and can get crushed if someone sits on the recliner and raises or closes the foot rest.


  • Remove all cleaning products, personal care products, etc. out from underneath sinks because the rat may ingest them.


Before beginning the search for your rat:


  • Close all bedroom doors in your residence to confine the rat to whatever location he is in.


  • If the rat lives alone, put his cage down on the floor near where it is usually kept because the rat will smell the cage and very possibly return to it on his own. If the rat has a companion move his companion to another cage. If the rat's cage is usually kept in a specific bedroom and you can't find the rat in that bedroom, close the door and put the cage on the floor near the bedroom. Make sure that the rat's water bottle has plenty of water and food.


  • Put all cats and dogs you have into crates and temporarily move them to another location like your back porch or garage if it's not too hot or cold.


The search:


  • Now that you have all bedroom doors closed keep them closed. Why? Well, you wouldn't want to take time thoroughly searching a bedroom only to have the rat enter that room as soon as you leave. Keep doors closed until the rat is found.


  • Thoroughly search bedroom closets, under beds, under furniture, inside dresser drawers (rats can access some drawers from underneath as ours once did!), behind drapery, under bedcovers too because rats can climb blankets right up to the bed, under sofas and chairs, behind all appliances like your washer, dryer, refrigerator, and stove, etc.


  • If you have searched all bedrooms and elsewhere in your residence and still not found the rat then start searching over and search more thoroughly.


  • If you still haven't found the rat before going to bed for the night, place a low profile bowl of water and another bowl containing 10 pieces of food on the floor of each bedroom that has a closed door. If you know that you placed 10 pieces in the bowl and find only 8 pieces (for example) in the morning then you know the rat is in that room.


  • The final option is to buy a humane rat trap from a feed store and bait it with a very small amount of peanut butter spread out flat because a rat can easily choke on a glob of peanut butter. For baby rats, use a humane mouse trap.

Tiny Toes Rat Rescue

of New Mexico, Inc.


a 501(c)(3) non-profit animal rescue


Just because they're tiny doesn't mean they're disposable

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