American Fancy Rat & Mouse Association

This article is from the Nov./Dec. 1996 AFRMA Rat & Mouse Tales news-magazine.

Pet Projects

Apple Bobbers; Bottle Holder
APPLE BOBBERS (i.e. edible ornaments)

Nichole Royer
Decorating our critter’s homes for the holidays is usually a problem since most ornaments are harmful if swallowed. The solution is simple, give the critters holiday decorations they can really appreciate. This one is fun and ornamental, for the 10 minutes it takes the critters to destroy it.

  • 1 small apple
  • A piece of string
  • A large nail (or other sturdy pointed object)
  • Raisins, Craisins, or small seeds

  1. Use the nail to punch numerous holes in the apple. You may have to wiggle the nail around to make the holes the right size.
  2. Stuff one raisin, Craisin, or seed in each hole. You may need to adjust the size of the hole. Treats should fit snugly. If they don’t, use two treats in a hole.
  3. Tie one end of the string to the apple stem.
  4. Securely hang the apple in your critter’s cage so that it is a challenge to reach.
  5. Stand back and enjoy the fun.

Both mice and rats seemed to love the challenge of getting the small treats out of the big one. For mice, don’t hang the apple, just set it in their cage. Remember to remove any leftovers within a couple of hours so that the critters don’t get sick. This treat was also a big hit with the wild animals around our house. Both the birds and the squirrels thought it was great, and I imagine pet birds would also love it. Hope your critters enjoy this one as well as mine did.

Bottle Holder: Soda Can Bottle Guard

Lorryta Bowker
While at one of our shows, we noticed one exhibitor using this wonderful homemade water bottle guard. Brandi Williams was kind enough to allow us to share her idea with you.

Rat Teacher Rat Teacher
  • Ice Pick
  • Wire Cutters
  • Aluminum Soda Can
  • Tin Snips
  • Wire
  • Pliers

First, remove the pull-tab from the top of the can. Then, use the ice pick to poke 2 holes just above the opening, about ¼ inch apart.

Now, use the tin snips to cut off the bottom of the can, about ½ inch up from the bottom. This will leave a jagged edge, so roll the edge down toward the inside of the can with the pliers. Then flatten the edge by pinching it with the pliers.

Next, cut about a 12-inch length of wire—old coat hangers are handy for this. Poke both ends of the wire through the holes in the top of the can, toward the inside, and pull through. Bend the ends of the wire down to form your bottle hanger.

Put a water bottle into the can with the nipple through the pull-tab hole. An 8-ounce water bottle fits nicely.

Now you have a bottle guard that hamsters, rats, and mice can’t chew, and hamsters and mice can’t climb!

NOTE: Can be made to hang inside or outside of cage. *

Updated April 4, 2015