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Make Your Own: Elizabethan Collars for Rats

In case you've missed this: Debbie Ducommun has some great suggestions for rat restraint in her Rat Health Care booklet - it's cheap and worth every penny. But perhaps you haven't ordered that yet so here's a pattern for a rat e-collar:

What you'll need:

Sturdy, but flexible, plastic or cardboard (plastic is better, obviously, as it will last).
Traipsing through the house should help you find the plastic you need: Be creative!
Some suggestions include:

    Those little flimsy plastic mats you use to chop vegetables, roll dough on, etc
    Lids from larger containers like margarine tubs, cottage cheese, etc.
    Bases from disposable storage containers like those made by Glad and Ziploc
    Gallon Milk Containers

A knife (XActo, Matte Board cutter, plane ol' sharp kitchen knife)

Nail File or Sand Paper

Fabric Scraps or Trim

Needle and Thread or Stapler or Functional Glue

Self-Stick Velcro (Fabric Store sells this by the yard)

Step 1: Print out the pattern (tip: click the image below to view the image by itself and use the back arrow on your browser to return to this page after printing):

The height and length if the circle should be approx. 3 3/4 inches.

Step 2: Cut out the black areas of the pattern (but save the line for later - easier to manipulate the plastic when it's whole)

Step 3: Trace the pattern onto your piece of chose plastic or cardboard.

Step 4: With the scissors, cut around the edges of your larger circle.

Step 5: With the knife (or scissors, of you prefer) cut out the center.
(tip: If your plastic is flexible enough, you can fold the larger circle in half to easily make a hole in the center)

Step 6: With the sand paper or nail file, soften the edges of the plastic, particularly the outside edges. Rub your fingers around all edges to make sure it is smooth and not sharp.

Step 7: Cut the line out (where you will be later putting the velcro).

Step 8: Cut out a strip of fabric: About 5 inches long (4 1/2 inches should be the exact length but you can always trim off excess later) and half an inch wide.

Step 9: Fold the fabric in half width-ways and attach to the inside of the collar either by sewing, gluing, or stapling. Obviously sewing would be the most secure and safest option but it will also take the most time. If you use staples, make sure no sharp edges are sticking out.

Step 10: Apply a 1" to 2" square of self-stick velcro to one end of the collar. Fold the other end of the collar to match and stick. Precision isn't necessary - just trim off the excess.

That's it!

Keep in mind this is a one-size-fits-all type thing so you won't necessarily need to match the velcro when wrapping around your rat's neck - after all, you don't want to make them all puffy and blue!

Fed up? Buy one.

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Disclaimer: There are many non-sarcastic accounts and tips on the web regarding rat care. This is not one of them. These are merely accounts of our experiences with rats, our perceptions of these experiences, where we've failed and where we've succeeded. These accounts are here for two purposes:

    1) To entertain.
    2) To help avoid repetition of mistakes

  Remember! Your rat is not a science project, he is your friend!

All content contained herein © 1996-2007 by Andrew Waltz, Nathalie Baldwin, & the rats of RatRaisins, Inc.  
Use of images and/or text without permission is prohibited.