Here are some products the AristoRats have tested and reviewed for the RMCA Gazette

Product Review:
The Rat Roost

Sarah Shuman
From the September/October 1998
Rat & Mouse Gazette


Photo by Debbie Ducommun

For about the last six months or so, I have been seeing The Rat Roost at
pet stores. Out of curiosity, I picked one up a while back and gave it
to my spoiled girls, Anika, Phoebe, Merry, Callisto, Summer, and Milk.
They didnít care for it much.

The Rat Roost is a cylindrical natural plant product. I believe it is a
section of bamboo plant, actually. It has a hole drilled into it for the
ratties to have access to the soft, fluffy inner part, and both ends are
open as well.

According to the hype on the package, my girlies were guaranteed to love
their Roost, hollow it out and sleep in it and play in it. This failed
to happen. I placed it in their cage, on the top level where they like
to sleep. They chewed on it a bit and then ignored it.

I left it in there for about three weeks. Finally, Nate, my son, got
tired of waiting and hollowed it out for them. They chewed on the soft
stuff from the center, which he left in their cage, and then promptly
went back to ignoring the Roost.

Just today, I saw some friends who have ratties. I mentioned this to
them, and they said they had bought one too and their rats ignored it as

Itís kind of sad that this product, which is labeled and sold
specifically for rats, was such a flop with mine. You may wish to
consider trying it anyway. I donít think it can do any harm, and maybe
my spoiled girlies and my friendsí ratties are just strange. I may try
again later with different rats.

Sarah Shuman

Product Review:

Napping Place of Champions

Sarah Shuman
From the May/June 1998 Rat & Mouse Gazette


Ferret hammocks are great resting places for rats - comfy, high in the
cage, and a great place to cuddle, but they do have a few drawbacks.
These include lack of resistance to rattie teeth, a tendency to become
stinky very fast, and they can require you to do amazing contortions
(much to the mirth of your ratties, the glee of your chiropractor, and
the amusement of your spouse) to install them.

I have found a solution I like much better - Ferret Corner Litter Boxes.
They are sturdy, long-lasting, easy to install, easy to clean, and
comfy, not to mention adorable when filled with little ratties with
their eyes closed and their little tails sticking out!

This is what you do: Go buy one or more ferret litter boxes. These are
the triangular ones with the hanging tabs on the back. Check for the
tabs or plan on punching holes in them and hanging them with clips from
the hardware store. Peel out the stickers and wash them with soapy
water. Rinse and dry them. Fill them with either a heavy bedding (to
prevent them from making confetti showers on the rest of the cage, which
they seem to enjoy - especially the girls) or some nice fluffy rattie
rags. Warn your chiropractor not to count on that vacation in the
Caribbean yet. Tell your spouse to quit that anticipatory sniggering.
Then, reach in and hook the tabs over the wires at one top corner of the
cage. Easy, huh? Youíll love seeing how much your ratties enjoy hanging
out in these great cage additions!

Sarah Shuman

Product Review:


Sarah Shuman
From the Nov/Dec 1997
Rat & Mouse Gazette


About six months ago, I started seeing a new type of chew toy as I
walked thru my local pet stores. It was sort of a dusty-looking, colored
bone-shaped toy. It was sort of pricey, so I just walked on. Later, I
heard that these bones were made of cornstarch. I thought that was novel
and wondered what in the world was used to hold the cornstarch together.
Out of curiousity, next time I went to a pet shop, I took a closer look.
My rats seemed a bit bored with wooden chews and I was somewhat
suspicious of rawhide, so I decided to give the Booda Velvet bone a try.
I bought a Medium size and took it home to my big boy ratties.

When I presented the new toy to the ratties, they instantly tried to
crowd their way out the door--pretty normal, but they didn't seem
overwhelmed by excitement. After playtime, I hoped, they would take a
look at it. Actually, I forgot about it entirely until later in the
evening when I noticed they had gnawed off almost one entire end and
were making inroads elsewhere! Interestingly, they didn't fight over it,
but I saw just about everyone chewing at it at one time or another.
Suffice it to say that within 24 hours, they had it chewed down to two
marblelike ends. Before long, those got kind of small and I removed them
to make sure no one would choke.

Needless to say, I got the Extra Large size next time. The results were
the same--no fights, but lots of contented chewing. I have to say,
though, these do not last very long for how much they cost. The big ones
cost almost $10 out here in Illinois, and I am very lucky if they last
three days. Therefore, I use them as an occasional treat, alternated
with wooden chews and other types of toys. My rats have suffered no ill
effects from them, and they seem safe. The rats just love them.

Sarah Shuman