How Do Pet Rats Exercise? What You Need to Know to Keep Your Rat in Shape

Many people don’t realize that pet rats require exercise just like any other pet. Rats are energetic and curious animals that need to move and explore to stay healthy and happy.

In this blog post, we will explore the importance of exercise for pet rats, the different ways they can exercise naturally, and how to create a safe and enriching environment for them to play in.

We will also provide tips on how to develop a regular exercise routine for your pet rats and solutions for common obstacles.

Why is Exercise Important for Pet Rats?

Exercise is essential for pet rats to maintain their physical and mental health. Rats are active animals that need to move and play to stay healthy.

Regular exercise is crucial to preventing obesity, which can lead to a range of health problems. Exercise also helps to keep rats mentally stimulated and prevent boredom, which can lead to destructive behavior.

Natural Exercise for Pet Rats

Understanding the Behavior of Rats in the Wild

To understand how pet rats exercise naturally, it’s important to look at their behavior in the wild. Rats are social animals that live in large groups, and they spend most of their time exploring their environment, foraging for food, and engaging in play with their fellow rats.

How Do Rats Exercise Naturally?

In the wild, rats get plenty of exercise by climbing, jumping, and running. They also enjoy playing with objects and toys they find in their environment.

As pet owners, we can encourage natural exercise by providing an environment that mimics the wild, with plenty of opportunities for climbing, jumping, and exploring.

Creating a Safe and Enriching Environment for Exercise

Setting Up the Perfect Rat Cage for Exercise

A rat cage should be large enough to allow your rats to move around freely and engage in natural activities. The cage should also provide plenty of opportunities for climbing, jumping, and exploring.

You can create a multi-level cage with ramps, tunnels, and platforms to encourage exercise and exploration.

Providing Toys and Accessories to Encourage Playtime

Toys and accessories are essential for keeping pet rats mentally stimulated and preventing boredom. You can provide toys such as ropes, ladders, and chew toys that encourage climbing and gnawing.

You can also provide tunnels and hideaways that encourage exploration and play.

Developing a Regular Exercise Routine for Pet Rats

How Often Should Pet Rats Exercise?

Pet rats should have opportunities to exercise every day. You can provide supervised playtime outside of the cage, such as in a playpen or on a rat-proofed table.

You can also provide exercise opportunities inside the cage, such as by providing toys and accessories that encourage movement and play.

What Are Some Fun Exercises for Pet Rats?

There are many fun exercises you can do with your pet rats to encourage movement and play. You can provide an obstacle course with tunnels and platforms, play games such as fetch or hide-and-seek, or provide a rat wheel for them to run on.

Another fun idea to get your rat some exercise is to create a maze for them. Not only will this give them a physical workout, it’ll also stimulate their little rat brains!

Common Obstacles and Solutions for Pet Rat Exercise

What if My Pet Rat is Too Old to Exercise?

It’s important to adjust your pet rat’s exercise routine as they age. Older rats may not be able to climb and jump as much as younger rats, but they still need opportunities for movement and play.

You can provide gentle exercise opportunities, such as a shallow pool of water for them to wade in or a soft ball for them to roll around.

What if My Pet Rat is Resistant to Exercise?

If your pet rat is resistant to exercise, it’s important to encourage them gently and make exercise fun for them. You can provide treats as rewards for participating in playtime, or try different types of toys and accessories to find what they enjoy.


Exercise is essential for the health and happiness of pet rats. Regular exercise helps to prevent obesity, improve mental stimulation, and prevent boredom.

By understanding the natural behavior of rats in the wild and providing a safe and enriching environment for them to play in, you can help your pet rats stay healthy and happy for years to come.

ThePetFaq Team