Pet Rats: Tips on leaving them alone whilst on vacation

Rats are cute pets and are becoming popular among many families in the U.S. As a rat-parent, you may plan for a weekend-long work trip or a family gathering only to realize that you may not be in a position to carry your pet along. This might have you wondering if you could leave them alone for a weekend.

So, can you leave pet rats alone for a weekend? Your rats will be fine if you leave them alone for the weekend. You have to ensure that they have enough food and water and clean the cage before you leave. As soon as you get back, make sure you clean the cage, give the rats fresh food and water, and check them for any signs of illness or injuries. However, you cannot leave your rats alone if one or all of them show any signs of illness.

When you are planning to go on vacation, you also have to make plans for your pets, whether they are coming with you or staying at home. Read on to find out more on whether you can leave your pet rats alone for a week or what to do with your pet rats when you go on vacation.

Just like most rodents, rats are social animals. Therefore, if you are planning on going for a one-week vacation or a business trip in another town, you need to know if your rats will be safe if you leave them alone.

You cannot leave your pet rats alone for a week because they may seem like low maintenance pets, but, in reality, they require great care. Rat's poop and pee a lot, and you need to clean the cage at least once a day; or else, the cage will start to smell.

You also have to check on their health from time to time. Rats also enjoy human interaction, and one week away from them can be stressful. Rats are also very smart, and they can easily escape from their cage and cause havoc in your house.

When keeping rat pets, cleanliness is very important, and it is a bad idea to leave them alone for a week. If you let the poop and pee accumulate for seven days, the ammonia fumes can cause mycoplasma.

Mycoplasma is a respiratory disease that affects rats, and it is mainly caused by urine build-up in the cage. Symptoms of mycoplasma include sneezing, wheezing, lethargy, and loss of appetite, among others. When you are away for a week, you will not be able to monitor your rats' health, and you might come back when it is too late to treat the disease.

Pet rats enjoy physical interaction with their owners, and they look forward to getting out of the cage and cuddling with their owners. They can also go without having any human interaction for one or two days; however, seven days is pushing it a little bit too far.

Once your pet rats are used to interacting with you each day, missing you for more than seven days can be stressful. Pet rats need intellectual stimulation, and when you are not there to give them toys, play with them, or teach them a few tricks, they will develop stress.

You might think that rat-proofing your house and letting your rats run free when you are away for a week is a good idea; but it is not. Rats can chew through walls and floors and find their way out of your house within a short time.

You might come back home to an empty house with rat holes inside your walls. If you let your rats run free inside your house, they might get trapped in loose wires or threads, injure their bodies, or even die from strangulation.

What Do You Do with Your Pet Rats When You Go on Vacation?

Rats require attention from their owners regularly; therefore, owners have to make living arrangements for pets. Some people usually take their pets with them; but, for pet rat owners, not every establishment will agree to accommodate them with their pets.

The best option you have when going on vacation is to hire a sitter. You can also ask a friend or family member to take care of your pet rats. You can hire a pet caregiver who can visit your home once a day to check on your pet rats to feed them, give them water, and play with them. However, you cannot leave your pet rats alone for many days without anyone providing care.

There are people offering rat sitter services online, and you can hire one of them to come and take care of your pet rats. You should hire a rat sitter with the most experience and best reviews from other pet owners.

Before you leave for your vacations, you should also give your rat sitter instructions on how to take care of your pet rats, the phone number of your trusted vet, and your contacts in case of any emergencies.

If you are leaving your pet rats with your friend or relative, ensure that they have experience taking care of rats. Do not leave your pet rats with a minor, even if they have spent some time around pet rats. Give them instructions on how to take care of pet rats. Unless your pet rats are used to your friend or relative's presence, do not let them take your pets out and play with them.

You can also hire a caretaker if you do not have any friends or relatives who can take care of your pet rats. The caretaker will come to your home at a specific time to give your pet rats food, water and toys.

The caretaker will also clean the cage and exercise your pet rats before leaving. Hiring a caretaker should be the last option because it is not wise to let a stranger into your home unsupervised. You can also arrange for a trusted friend or relative to accompany the caretaker each time they visit your home.


Leaving your rat at home alone for more than a week is not the best idea; it does not matter how well prepared you are. Pet rats require constant care and leaving them alone for more than a week can cause health complications.

You can either hire a sitter or caretaker to look after your pet rats or ask a trusted friend or relative to look after them. If the place you are vacationing allows people to bring pets, you can consider carrying your pet along.


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