How to beat the heat!

Cool Beans.....

don't work when trying to help your rattie beat the summer heat, but
here are some other possibilites, many of which have been gleaned from
the Rat List, other rattie folk, and some experience with keeping
ratties cool in the hot Chicago summertime....
•Frozen chunks of fruits and/or veggies will keep your ratties cool from
the inside out. If they are not pre-bagged frozen, and you are buying
fresh to freeze, be sure to wash the produce before chopping and bagging
and freezing....pesticide residues are bad news for ratties....
•Ice in a dish. Quick, simple, yet oh so satisfying. I have seen a hot
rattie lick ice with great relish and seem much more comfortable
afterwards, probably because the blood flowing through the tissues of
the rattie's mouth is cooled by the ice, and as the cooled blood
circulates through the rest of the body, it reduces overall body
temperature. The cold water that is swallowed in the process has a
similar effect, and additionally helps prevent dehydration. Plus, how
else will you be able to see your ratties flap their arms? Unless you
give them....

•Peas in a pie pan. Frozen peas with cool water. Your rattie may or may
not be willing to wade in for the refreshments, but the possibility is
good, and this can provide quick relief. Make sure to supervise
adequately. This one can be messy; best done on a tile floor, not in the
cage. The bathtub would be even better.

•Icewater in the water bottle. Same principal as the ice. Of course, ice
won't fit into most water bottle openings unless it's crushed. A handy
thing to do is simply have two water bottles and have one in the fridge
cooling while the other is in use, and switch the two every couple of

•Bottle full of ice. Save your old juice, pop, and water
bottles--whatever size fits the number of ratties and the size of the
cage. Wash thoroughly. Fill 3/4 full with water. Freeze thoroughly. When
the the mercury soars, put a frozen bottle in with the ratties...they
will sleep on or near it, and it will also lower the ambient temperature
in the cage somewhat. It’s best to have two bottles per cage so you can
switch off. Also, realize they may chew a hole in the bottle and soak
the cage.....sometimes glass is best, but it can crack in the freezer.

•Spray Bottle--get a clean spray bottle--make sure it has no chemical
residues. Put clean water in it. Refrigerate it. Periodically spray the
rats down with it, as often as they seem to need it. This will not work
well without adequate air circulation--a fan can help with this. Just
make sure you don't soak the ratties and blast the fan on them--that's
too stressful. Set the spray bottle to deliver a gentle mist, and set
the fan so that it will move the air around the rattie, but not make it
say, "Auntie Em! Auntie Em!"

Best wishes for a happy, healthy summer. Stay cool!

Sarah Shuman