Are Fans Bad for Rats? (13 Answers You Need To Know)

If you enjoy pet rats, you need to know how to keep them cool without making them cold. You may have wondered about using fans.

Are fans bad for rats?

Fans are not bad for rats. Residential fans help rats regulate temperature, humidity, and prevent heatstroke. Strong fans, loud fans, and very cold fans can harm rats, especially if the rats are sick, wet, or already cold. Do not blow fans directly on rats or leave rats unmonitored around fans.

5 Reasons Fans Are Not Bad for Rats

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Two rats cuddling—Are fans bad for rats
Image by author via Canva—Are fans bad for rats?

There are five good reasons most fans are not bad for rats. The reasons include biology, adaptation, fan design, and fan placement in your home.

1) Rats Don’t Sweat Like Humans

Rats don’t have many sweat glands and don’t pant to cool themselves down.

Since fans cool by evaporative cooling, they will not hurt rats. Instead, fans can help circulate air and manage room temperatures.

Rats typically cool themselves down by using their tails, paws, and nails.

They also move to cooler environments, such as shade or water.

2) Rats Can Sense Heat and Cold Better Than We Can

Rats can detect heat and cold through their whiskers and noses, which are both very sensitive.

They know what they like and don’t like as far as temperatures go.

Watch your rat’s behavior to figure out their preferences. For example, some rats love water while others avoid it.

Most rats prefer cooler, darker places safe from predators.

They also really like the company of other rats, which they use for warmth and companionship.

3) Residential Fans Do Not Blow Strong Air

Most fans designed for residential use do not blow air strong enough to bother rats.

Rats like to stay in areas with moderate to light airflow.

They are used to outdoor weather conditions like gentle breezes and even windy days.

Rats can sense when air currents are strong enough to push them around and they know how to handle situations where they may be blown off balance.

Typically, they seek shelter.

4) Most Fans Are Inaccessible

Many fans are inaccessible to rats.

While rats love to explore and climb, they will probably be monitored while free in your house or apartment.

Therefore, you’ll be able to keep them from playing too close to floor fans or desk fans.

Wall fans and ceiling fans are likely out of reach for most rats.

Plus, the vast majority of residential fans come with protective grilles or coverings. These covers will help keep tiny feet, tails, and noses away from fan blades.

5) Fans Help Prevent Heatstroke

One of the best reasons fans are not bad for rats is that fans can play a role in preventing heatstroke.

Rats are very vulnerable to overheating.

If you think your rat is too hot:

  • Remove them from the heat
  • Sprinkle cool water on them (a misting fan works)
  • Gently rub cool water on their tail and feet
  • Freeze a water bottle
  • Lay them on a cooling mat

Here is a good video on how to keep your rats cool and prevent heatstroke:

YouTube video by The Rat Guru—Are fans bad for rats?

Are Loud Fans Bad for Rats?

Loud fans are bad for rats.

Loud fans can hurt the sensitive ears of younger rats or frighten adult rats. Noise can make it difficult for rats to relax or sleep. In the wild, loud noises usually signal danger.

To raise healthy and happy rats, I suggest that you replace loud fans. There are many small and quiet fans you can purchase.

One of my favorites is the Dyson bladeless desk fan.

Are Strong Fans Bad for Rats?

Strong fans are bad for rats.

Rats usually don’t have to worry about strong winds or high temperatures in your home. However, strong fans can hurt them if they are placed too closely and blow air directly on them.

This usually happens when a powerful fan is left running in a small space.

Strong fans can feel uncomfortable, make sick rats too cold, and blow rats off balance.

Therefore, I do not recommend using strong fans with your rats.

Are Fans Bad for Baby Rats?

Fans are generally not bad for baby rats.

They should have access to cooler, shadier areas in their nest, but some large fans are probably off-limits—particularly if you leave the fans running overnight or while you are at work.

Baby rats may be accidentally pushed around by the powerful air currents.

They may also get too cold.

The best option is a quiet fan placed across the room and not aimed directly at your baby rats.

Is It OK To Leave a Fan on Pet Rats All Night?

I don’t recommend leaving fans on your rats all night, but you can safely use them for several hours.

I always suggest that you monitor your rats around fans.

You want your rats to feel comfortable and not get sick or overheated. So, use fans temporarily along with other temperature control methods.

You may want to get a fan with a timer that starts and stops automatically.

Personally, I love temperature-controlled smart fans that, like AC in your house, turn on and off based on a preset temperature range.

Do Rats Like Fans?

Some rats like fans and some do not.

Some rats will run and hide when a fan turns on. Others ignore the fan or don’t mind it at all.

To find out what your rat likes, watch how they react to movement and airflow around their cage. Place the fan near the cage so it is easy for them to get used to its presence.

Just don’t blow the fan directly on your rats.

You can also observe how your pet rats react to fans by letting your rats roam free around the room.

Pay special attention to any floor fans—such as box fans, tower fans, and pedestal fans. I suggest that you place these fans against a hard, flat surface (like a wall) and wrap the fan cords in protective material to discourage chewing.

Should I Use a Fan With Pet Rats?

The best way to decide whether or not to use a fan with your pet rats is observation.

Start by turning the fan on its lowest setting, watching your rat’s reactions, and asking yourself a few questions.

Ask yourself:

  • Does your rat run away?
  • Does your rat seem scared?
  • Does your rat look cold?
  • Does your rat investigate the fan?

Answering these kinds of questions will give you a good idea of what your rat likes.

What Temperature Is Ok For Rats?

Rats get sick when it is too cold or when it is too hot.

Keep your rat in a room where the temperature stays between 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Here are some other temperature tips for rats:

  • Avoid placing your rats in the direct path of drafts
  • Keep your rats indoors where the temperature is more stable
  • Make sure that your rat enclosure is not close to fans or heaters
  • Provide space in the enclosure for shade and other cool spots

How To Tell If a Rat Is Cold

When using fans with your pet rats, it’s important to know how to tell if your rats are cold.

You can tell that a rat is cold when they:

  • Huddle in a corner or hide behind something
  • Seem lethargic and listless
  • Seek warmth by cuddling with you or other rats
  • Attempt to burrow under anything available (blankets, towels, cloths)
  • Shiver repeatedly

If your rat is cold, move them to a warmer environment, cuddle with them, and wrap them in warm bedding or soft cloth.

Keep an eye on your rats to make sure they don’t overheat.

Final Thoughts: Are Fans Bad for Rats?

The bottom line is that fans are not bad for rats. As long as you use fans appropriately, they’ll be fine.

Read about fans and other pets:

Humane Society of the United States

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