Stove/open fire, and rat health/safety.

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Stove/open fire, and rat health/safety.

Post by dakbie on Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:34 am

Hello there everybody, Grin

I'm a newbie to the forum, and to rats in general. I won't have my rats for, I guess, another few months, and I'm trying to do as much research as possible before they come along. This forum has been a great source of information so far.

My conundrum is kind of two-fold. I'm planning on keeping the cage in my living room, as it's the cosiest, and that's where I'll be in the evenings. I have a stove in the room, and there's only so much I can do to keep ash dust out of the air. With rattie's sensitive respiratory systems, will this dust cause problems? Does anyone out there keep their rats in a room with an open fire? Has it had an ill affect? I assume, with their sharp intellect, it'll be easy enough to teach them that the stove is hot, and not a place to hide under, or climb on.

Any words of advice would be greatly appreciated.

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Re: Stove/open fire, and rat health/safety.

Post by Zoundz on Wed Jan 16, 2013 4:53 am

A good fire guard should solve the problem of them getting in/under/around - but I don't know about the ash etc, being honest with you. I would *think* it could be problematic - and if we've ever had to have ours in the house (in the lounge) we make sure there's no fire going.

xx

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Re: Stove/open fire, and rat health/safety.

Post by dakbie on Wed Jan 16, 2013 7:56 am

Hi Laura Smile thanks for the reply. Darragh here. You probably guessed from my username. I had thought of a fire guard, but had visions of "spider-rat" climbing it and jumping on to the top of the stove, which makes me shudder every time! Shocked This is why I thought if I were to spend time teaching them "this is Really Hot", like you would with a cat or a dog, it might be a safer bet. I guess maybe I could try it, and if they don't seem to understand, sort out a guard that would go over the top.

As for the ash in the room, there really isn't much, if any, escaping when the stove is lit; It's mostly when taking out the ashes in the afternoon. So I just had the thought, maybe I could move the cage into the hallway while I do this, and until the dust settles, then move it back in? Or maybe just cover the cage with a sheet? I also use a negative ion generator in the room, which is pretty effective at knocking airborne pathogens and pollutants out of the air, and on to the ground. I'll keep an eye on it over the next few weeks and months, to see how much ash gets out, how far it travels in the room, and how long it takes to settle.

I'm sorry if it seems like I'm deliberately trying not to take your advice! It's just that it's the most suitable room for them. Warm in winter and cool in summer. I'd really like to let them free range as much as possible, as that's where I'll be in the evenings.

Thanks again Grin

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Spider-rat, spider-rat....

Post by Tribble on Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:50 am

You have a good feeling there.
Indy and occasionally Cringer will climb onto the wire fire guard in the living room, where we keep them.
We never use the fire though, so I couldn't comment on ash issues. I can say however, that if your guys are anything like Indy, they will be considerably worrisome.
When we just got him he would constantly climb the grate, didn't have the ability to get himself off it easily, and we're convinced he wanted to go up the chimney.
Now that he's older, he can get himself down off it, and looks less like he's going to swan dive onto the hearth.

Cringer definitely would jump onto any surface he could from the cover though, and Indy likely would do the same on occasion; so I would get a total cover sooner rather than later. I will mention too that Rocky has never shown any interested in climbing the thing, so I guess it depends what kind of guys you have.

Best of luck!

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Re: Stove/open fire, and rat health/safety.

Post by GillianK on Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:33 am

My rats cage is in my living room. And we have an open fire in it. Its only lit the odd weekend. And the rats don't get free range in the living room if it's lit. But its never done my rats any harm. x
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Re: Stove/open fire, and rat health/safety.

Post by Zoundz on Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:37 am

If it helps, they don't need to be warm in the winter Smile they cope very very well at lower temperatures, and in fact often do better in low temperatures. I would like to think that 10-15 degrees C is about right Smile

xx

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Re: Stove/open fire, and rat health/safety.

Post by dakbie on Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:44 am

Thanks for all the words of wisdom. It's good to know the fire hasn't done your rats any harm Gillian. As for Indy's partiality to Santa's entrance, it seems he's not the only one. I've been searching through other forums for info, and came across a few rats with a penchant for chimneys. I also found a few rats who liked to cuddle up behind, and on top of radiators! And one owner who's rats actually go for a nap UNDER their stove. The consensus seems to be they're clever enough to figure out what's warm, and what's too hot. Big Grin

So 10 - 15C is about optimal. Good to know. My living room hovers around 20C when I have the stove lit, and the door ajar. Would this be ok for them, if I had a nice big stone flag, or ceramic tile for them to lie on and cool down? Or might it be better to keep them in the hall during the winter? I suppose it would be easy enough to see if they were overheating. Heavy breathing, warm tail, pancaked...

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Re: Stove/open fire, and rat health/safety.

Post by dakbie on Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:12 pm

Hi,

So it turns out my living room is only 20C at the top of the bookshelf, where I had the thermometer. A more thorough check last night, with a more sensitive thermometer, showed the temp around 17C at waist height, which is roughly where the cage will be situated. So, depending on the ash, it may be suitable after all.
I'm sorry if it seems like I'm just thinking out loud Roll Eyes (and writing it down). I guess it just helps me figure this out a little more. Thanks again for the help... Smile

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