This is a little guide to making your own boredom-breaker treat box toy for your rats; I make these at random as a way to keep my ratties busy for a while. I'm sure others have thought of similar things but I wanted to share this idea. You can buy treat balls that have a small hole you can fill with nibbles that your pet can shake out, however if you don't happen to have spare cash for buying such things (and constantly replacing them as you inevitably need to do with everything rats get their paws on!) then these are a cheap (essentially free) alternative. It doesn't matter when they destroy them as you can always make more when your next toilet roll runs out.
1. Take a toilet roll tube and make several cuts along each end, evenly spaced, forming 'teeth' flaps. I usually make about 8 cuts.
2. Fold in the flaps at one end to close that end of the tube.
3. Fill the half-closed tube with a selection of tidbits. Make sure there is enough to be fairly divided amongst your ratties. (As if they'd share!) Pictured in my selection are Cheerios, dry pasta, bits of bread, dried banana, dried coconut, bits of taco shell and rat-safe yoghurt drops.
4. Close the flaps at the other end of the tube too. You now have a sealed treat box that isn't too difficult for your pets to get into but still poses a challenge that will keep them occupied for a while. After a couple of times, they learn that the rattling tube is exciting and come running!
5a, b, c. Happy ratties! ^_^
This isn't rat-exclusive of course, pretty much any rodent will enjoy having a go at shaking some treats free. Make sure you put treats inside that are appropriate for the intended pet and remember not to go crazy with the amount, as obesity can shorten a rodent's lifespan.
Thanks to Raziel, Kain, Hades, Sheeva, Persephone, Dione and Freyja for the help, lol.