Every pet rat owner knows just how much rats love to hammock. This fondness has actually inspired their owners to devise various ways to give the hammock some sort of a variety. Some of the most popular varieties are:
1. The Basic
Simple and easy -- a small fabric with two edges tied up two supporting poles. You can cut off a leg from an old pair of jeans, a sleeve from a worn-out overalls or any other fabric to serve as the hammock. You can punch holes along the edges of the fabric to make the rope support even tougher. Shoe laces make an excellent alternative if you can't find the appropriate rope to use. The basic hammock is best when placed inside your rat's cage so that they can just crawl into it whenever they feel a little too bored inside their cages. If the cage is too small to contain a hammock hanged through ropes, you can just take away the rope and attach the fabric into the railings of the cage using tough curtain hooks or safety pins.
2. The Pocket
This is very similar to the basic hammock; the only difference between the two is their depth. Pocket hammocks are designed to serve as a semi-burrow in which a rat can squeeze into when the temperature gets too cold. To make a pocket hammock, prepare a piece of fabric (preferably denim or anything with similar toughness), strings, hooks, thread and needle. Fold the fabric over so that it would appear like a pocket with about 3/4 of the fabric covering the bottom part. Using your thread and needle, sew the sides of the pocket and attach the strings after. Hook up the pocket hammock up in your rat's cage. If you intend to use it for the winter season, fleece-like and other fluffy fabrics are the most ideal materials to be used.
3. The Snuggle Sack
If you can find fleece or calico fabric, then it is best if you make a snuggle sack. Just sew the fabric to take the shape of a sack that has a mouth wide enough to accommodate your rat. In order to keep the sack's entrance open, you can use a hook to hold one side of the sack up high. The snuggle sack is most ideal when coupled with ramps and ladders. Some rats even enter the sack in pairs and wrestle inside until one gives up.
There are so many other ways to customize the simple hammock into something that your pet rat will definitely love. By using your imagination, you will realize how limitless the possibilities are. If you have pieces of fabric at home, experiment of each fabric and investigate which fabric is most preferred by your rats. Remember that no matter how appealing your hammock might be, if it does not feel comfortable, your rats will not mind neglecting it.
Moreover, if you make a hammock, make sure that you make at least two pieces of each. Rats are very fond of nibbling and chewing too; there's a very high possibility that they will also end up damaging the hammock sooner than expected. If you dislike making the hammocks yourself, you always have the option to buy ready-made hammocks from pet shops and other specialty stores. If you are lucky, you will be able to scour through these shops for cheap items; but in most cases, these items are relatively expensive, most especially if you have already figured out that making them on your own is easy and inexpensive.
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