How to Potty Train your Rat

By Small Furries - May 08, 2019

I have been asked many times to explain how to potty train rats, and I've heard a lot of people saying their rats ' Just wont be potty trained'.

Whilst i have had a very mentally ill rat who refused to be potty trained i have never had a problem with all the others so i thought i'd write a very simple Step by Step Guide to help you :)

What are the benefits of my rat being potty trained?

The main benefit is that you no longer have to clean you cage out so frequently.

Owners who have potty trained rats 'spot clean' every day, which means picking any feces or urine soaked litter out the potty and into the bin!

This keeps the potty fairly clean too and also minimizes the amount of ammonia you and your rats are breathing in.

No one wants their rats walking around in their own urine and its much more hygienic for you and your rat to have everything neatly in one place!

Another benefit is that they will stop peeing all over your house guests! ( and yourself, and your furniture, basically everything! )

When your rat has a very specific place to go, they will literally only use that area ( the potty ) and will tend to hold it in when they are out until they are back in the cage.

Obviously, there are accidents and if your rat doesn't have access to their cage during free roam time, you should put them back in 30 minute intervals, just in case. :)

** REMEMBER Most rats leave a trail of urine when they are running around anyway to scent mark their surroundings and allow the other rats to know where they have been ! If you potty train your rat and this is still happening, its normal! Males tend to 'dribble' less after being neutered. **

The final benefit is that you will be able to read you rats emotions more easily as rats tend to poop when they are scared.

If your rat is potty trained and starts rapidly pooping, its highly likely they are very stressed out or do not like the environment they are in!

Potty training rats can happen over night, or could take weeks before you see results. The key to success is to never give up! By following this step by step guide you are guaranteed to have clean potty trained rats!


Step 1 - Purchase Potty and Litter

Step 2 - Remove soiled bedding and replace with Potty

Step 3 - Continue to remove any soiled bedding place it in the Potty ( may need to repeat. )

Step 4 - Move Potty to the new areas they are urinating ( may need to repeat. )

Step 5 - Find a Pee Rock


* Step 1 * Purchase a Potty!

Although there are very specific litter trays and bowls out there you can use just about anything for a litter bowl as long as it doesn't leak and can be accessed and cleaned easily.

I currently use two old dog bowls filled with Critter Litter which i buy from Amazon, but in emergencies, my local garden centre sells it too!

Some cages come with built in litter trays at the very bottom of the cage, and the entire floor is the potty. Other cages come with nothing and you have to improvise!

Many people use a corner litter box as its large but still leaves some room on the floor for other bits.

Other Litters than can be used include Soft corncob litter, Crushed walnut shells, Swheat Scoop, and some cat litter products. Avoid Cat Litters that contain deodorizers, dust and clumping agents. Its best to stuck to reputable litter brands like Kaytee.

* Step 2 * Replace Their Toilet Area with a Toilet!

Find the area your rats are currently using as a toilet and scoop up any soaked substrate and feces and place them in the Litter Bowl.

If there are multiple places they are using, you can either use multiple potties or, if you only have one, you'll have to keep putting and fecal matter in to the potty from all of the areas.

* Step 3 * Pick up any fecal matter or soaked bedding and place in the potty!

This is the step where everyone gives up! Everyday you will have to chuck all soiled matter into the potty. No matter where you find it, remove it and put in the potty!

Whilst potty training your rat you may feel like you need to do something when they poop outside the cage. I tried to put them back every time they defecated but it really didn't make a difference. Just pick up the poop and put it in their potty!

* Step 4 * Move the potty around

Sometimes you might have to move the potty around to the places they are urinating but don't give up because step 3 and 4 are crucial to success!

* Step 5 * The Pee Rock

The majority of the time you only need to get to step 2 before you see results but its not always that simple!

But its OK! Rats owners have a back up for when all else fails and we call it the Pee Rock!

Any small rock will do as long as you properly clean it and aren't aware of anything that could have contaminated it. Make sure you clean it in boiling water before giving to your rats.

Rats LOVE peeing on rocks, and they soak it up really well! Chuck one of these little rocks into your potty and hopefully this will do the trick!

NOTE: If your rat still isn't using the potty and defecating outside the cage you may need to repeat steps 3 and 4 for a few weeks . Also remember while most rats are potty trained in days, a very select few DO refuse and you'll have to get used to being pooped on for the next 3 years! 


Small Furries 2019 Extended Diploma in Animal Management


  • Share:

You Might Also Like