This article is from the Spring 2002 AFRMA Rat & Mouse Tales news-magazine.
Kids Q & A
By Helen Pembrook
Samantha Carpenter, Oxnard, CA
QHi. My name is Samantha, and I have a problem with my rat Chester. When we first got him we did not have a water bottle because my brother stepped on it and it broke. So, we had to give Chester a dish for his water, and now he won’t drink out of the new bottle. He will drink out of the dish. We keep it clean and it rarely gets dirty, so is it okay to let him have his dish?
AIt is always better to have a bottle than a dish because of the cleanliness issue. Make sure the water bottle you get has double ball bearings and shake it and test it with your finger every time you fill it up to make sure that the bearings don’t get stuck. When you first get it, wash it thoroughly with soap and water to get rid of the new plastic smell and any germs that it may have picked up from being handled at the pet store. You also need to clean it regularly just as you would the water dish. Set up the bottle and take the water dish out of the cage. Your rat may prefer the dish, but he should quickly learn how to use the bottle when he gets thirsty enough. He will smell the water and through testing, will learn how to get a drink.