Lost Your Pet Rat? (How To Find It Indoors And Outdoors)

Pets of all types get lost, whether large or small, your pets will likely get lost at some point of you raising them, pet rats will do the same. This can be an unfortunate experience especially if you’ve never had this happen before, and especially because this animal is so small. So, what do you need to do to find your lost pet rat? This article looks into it

Finding your pet rat requires you to look for the animal in places that it likes to hang out when you release it from its cage, as well as in small, dark, and enclosed spaces. If you cannot find the rat by doing this, leave food out for it, it’ll get hungry at some point and come out into the open

Lost your pet rat? Steps to finding your rat both inside and outside the house 


Before you start the hunt for your pet, there are a couple of things that you need to put in place before you start your search.

Doing this will ensure the rat will be safe at all times. Keep these in place until you eventually find it or it eventually comes out of hiding, things you need to make sure to do include: 

Leave food and water out:

In case you do not find your rat in good time, you need to leave food and water out for the animal to eat while you’re looking for it. This will ensure that the rat won’t starve to death or die of thirst before you find it

Close your house:

Rats may eventually try to wander off while you’re looking for them in the house, there is also a high chance that they will try to go outside.

To keep this from happening, you’d need to close off any windows and doors to the outside as well as close windows and doors that connect different rooms. Also, close any small areas that rats can get into, like vents

Remove rat poisons:

If you have any rat baits in your home, or if you have anything else lying around that may be poisonous to rats, you need to remove them and make sure that the rats cannot access them.

Remove not only your rat baits, but also any cleaning products, rat poison, and traps meant for rats as well.

Looking in the home: 

In the cage:

The first and maybe the most obvious place to look for rats are in their cage, this may seem like a silly thing to do but rats can sometimes be right under our noses, in their cages.

If you cannot find the animal in its cage, then you may find a trail that will help lead you to the rat, or, the trail may give ideas of where the rat is.

Rats can fit in very small areas, look in the holes and hideaways within their cage as well

Their favorite spots in the home:

You may sometimes let your rat out of its cage and let it wander around. If this is the case, it may find places that it enjoys sitting in when released. Your rat will likely go straight to that location and relax there when it escapes.

The animal may have a number of favorite spots, checking all these areas is important

Small, dark, and safe spaces:

If your rat is not in its cage, and it’s not in the spot that it enjoys sitting in when it’s left to roam free, then you’d need to start expanding your search into places like cupboards, drawers, and small crevices all through your house.

Rats enjoy being in small, dark, and safe spaces, put yourself in a rats shoes and look for it in spaces that they would consider to be safe

Calling them:

Some rats will respond to you calling their name. If they’ve been trained to know what their name is, and they know the sound of your voice, then the rats will come out when you call them

Leaving food out:

Rats enjoy food and they will make their way towards any food that they can find, especially when lost and hungry.

You can lure rats out of hiding by leaving a pile of your rat’s favorite food and treats somewhere visible. This will draw your rat out and allow you to catch it.

Looking at night:

One tip about finding rats is that you may want to look for them at night. These animals are nocturnal, which means that they’re out and about in the evening and sleep during the day.

If you look for the rat during the day you may miss it, but if you look for it at night, you may be able to hear it scurrying around


Having cameras in your house is extremely helpful when you’re trying to look for rats, cameras act as your eyes when you’re not able to see.

Motion detection cameras will also be helpful because they can give you clues about where the rat is.

Looking outside the home: 

Secure hiding spots:

If you’ve lost your rat somewhere outside, then you need to think like a rat in order to get it back. You likely won’t find this animal in any open spaces so look for them in closed-off and small spaces.

These small spaces are the safest places for the animal to hide, thus, they will be the most appealing hiding spot for them

Bringing friends:

If you can’t find the rat using the above method you may be able to find it using other rats.

If you raise more than one rat you can bring the other rats outside (in a secure cage) the lost rat will be drawn to the other rat’s scent and gravitate towards it

Leaving food out:

Food is not so easy to come by outside, if your rat is outside it might be struggling to find food, especially if it is domesticated and used to you giving it food.

Leave its usual food or treats outside, in your view, and then wait for it

Humane traps:

Setting up humane traps may help get your rat back. Note: you should not leave these out for too long. In addition, you should check the traps every two hours and take them in at night.

Taking them in at night is necessary because your rat will not be able to get out of the trap once inside, if it is exposed to the cold overnight it can die


You can attract your rat using a shoebox. Grab a shoebox and create openings on the sides. Place objects that smell familiar to your rat into the box. Your rat will soon gravitate to the shoebox because it smells familiar and safe.

Pest control:

If all else fails, you may have to call pest control professionals to find your rat. Pest control is very good at finding lost pets and will return your rat to you safe and sound.

What to do once your rat is found: 

This whole process can be a traumatic experience for you and your animal.

Once you get your friend back you’d need to check that it is all safe and has no injuries. Offer your pet some food and water, it may be hungry and dehydrated

Also, make sure to keep it as relaxed as possible once you find it. Avoid creating loud noises and do not suddenly move around in front of it

Using a harness or a leash on your pet, when it’s out of its cage, will keep it close to you and will prevent it from scurrying away


In conclusion, the first place to look for your rat is in its cage, if this doesn’t work, look in your pet’s favorite hiding spot.

If you cannot find it there, look for it in dark secluded areas in and around your home.

You can also lure the animal out using food and water.

If you enjoyed this article then you may also be interested in other rat related articles. Here are some articles that you may be interested in: How to tell if a pet rat likes you, 13 signs to look out for, What to do with a dead rat in the garden? A thorough guide, Is there a rat or possum in your roof? 8 ways to identify your visitor, Rats in roof? 6 sounds to listen out for to confirm

Lost Your Pet Rat? (How To Find It Indoors And Outdoors)
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