How do you bathe a rat? Very carefully. Here are some tongue-in-cheek, step-by-step directions.
1. Put on a kevlar protection suit -- or at least a long-sleeve sweatshirt. Trust me.
2. Fill the tub no deeper than 2 inches with warm water.
3. Set up EVERYTHING you need -- shampoo (kitten shampoo is good), towels, etc.
4. Add rats. I usually put them in the tub, let them get used to the water and release a few fear poops, then get to work.
5. Wet rats. I usually use a small cup to gently pour water on their backs -- avoid the face.
6. Pry wet rat off your shirt sleeve.
7. Shampoo rats (again, back only).
8. Pry wet, soapy rat from your hair.
9. Rinse rats well with warm water. If you don't want to use the same water they are in, have a separate bucket of warm ready before you begin. I try not to run the water while they are in the bathroom because it freaks them out (loud).
10. Chase wet, but clean, rat down the hall. ["Get back here!!"]
11. Rub down rat with a dry towel. They usually like this part.
12. Optional (but recommended in winter): Blow dry rat at lowest setting, from at least a foot away.
13. Throw your hands up in the air when they go back to sleep in the hammock they just peed in.
14. Apply Neosporin Plus to your multitude of scratch marks, and spend some time coming up with publicly-acceptable explanations for them.
The Drowned Rat Gallery
All photos of bathed rats used with permission.