How To Stop Rats From Hiding Their Food?

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Dec 19, 2009 in Rat Answers | Subscribe

My pair of rats, recently started to hide their food within their bedding. They completely bury it. I can’t tell if they need more food, or if they have enough. How can I stop my rats from hiding their food?

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  • zorabella says:

    Are rats also hoard their food in a corner under bedding but it is just a natural thing for them to do so I would just let them do it and feed them once a day like normal

  • Spozhmai says:

    Most rats seem to have their own special hiding places for their food. There may be a concentrated pile somewhere in the cage. If you can find the location of most of the hidden food, then move the food bowl over to that area, wait about an hour for them to see the food bowl, but not move much out of it. Then, put some bedding on top of the food. They may begin to identify that this bowl is the main location to put stored food. If you go ahead a bury it for them, they may see it as safely hidden already, and leave it alone. Then, you can check how much food they have by brushing the bedding off the top and looking. This is assuming you’re feeding them dry food, or anything the bedding won’t stick to or make a mess.

  • effie says:

    I was just looking up to see why my rat was hiding his food in his bedding , and i just realized that it is in their nature 🙂 And i think I will deal with it as I don’t want him to be anything but a rat and a rat he shall be.
    I change and clean his cage every few days anyway, but I did notice at times he reacts weird after cleaning his cage, somehow i feel like i interfere with his personal space when I throw out all his food on his bed. But I really don’t want a smelly cage. Sorry Chef! He is the cutest, looking for a buddy for him in Ballina, does anyone know of any good breeders here.

  • Anonymous says:

    This is just something that rats seem to do. The only way to control it at all is to give them less food at one time and even then they will probably still hide some of it. You don’t want to feed them too little either. I just always let them stash what they wanted and clean it out when I cleaned the cage. Unless they are stashing fresh food like fruit and veggies it is not going to hurt anything for dry food to be hid in the bedding for a few days until you clean their cage. Just make sure you clean out any fresh food asap so it does not ruin and start growing bacteria and stuff…you may want to give them that kind of treats outside the cage if it is a problem. Guess now you know where the term “pack rat” comes from! LOL! Good luck!

  • Anonymous says:

    Not only rats do that, but hamsters too. The reason they do that is because wild rats and other rodents have a very hard time finding food in the wild. They never know when they are going to come across food again so they start stocking up. This is when their cheek pouches come in handy. They stuff their food in their pouches and then return to their nest/burrow. They hide their food for other animals can’t find it. I have experienced this in my own pets too. There is no way to stop it, it’s like a habit. They were taught to do this at about 6 weeks old. I would recommend giving less food to your rat each day. (They do have enough food) Everyday at feeding time remove all the hidden food, usually stored in sleeping area or any corner, for they only have their bowl food. They will probably keep hiding their food. Each day repeat these steps, don’t forget to praise your rat when you see it is eating out of the bowl. Give it some time, and hang in there…he/she’ll will get it eventually.

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