Which rat cages are best?
Rats are intelligent, affectionate animals that many people enjoy keeping as curious, clever companions. Because of their small size, high energy and unique abilities, these rodents require a great deal of special consideration when it comes to safely housing them.
The Midwest Deluxe Critter Nation cage provides rat owners with a sturdy, all metal enclosure that prevents escape and is easy to clean. It includes a second tier and even allows for expansion if you add another rat to your family or just want to give your single pet more room to explore.
What to know before you buy a rat cage
How many rats you own
For many rat owners, a single pet just isn’t enough. Thanks to their individual personalities and wide range of colors and patterns, people delight in watching their animals play and interact. Consider how many rats you own and select a cage that will allow each animal its own personal space. While they are social creatures who will spend a great deal of their time sleeping and nesting together, it’s important to also give your rats room to explore and play on their own to avoid squabbles or territorial disputes.
Where you will keep your cage
Consider where you intend to keep your rats and choose a cage that will fit that area without becoming an obstacle. Rats enjoy stimulation and activity, but they also require quiet time to rest. Keep in mind that rats are highly active at night, so keeping them in a bedroom may result in a loss of sleep as their play and nocturnal activities could be noisy and disruptive.
If you intend on breeding your rats, careful planning is required. Female rats can have as many as 12 babies in a litter and can breed up to six times in a year. Young rats grow quickly, and even large cages can become overcrowded resulting in fights and injury. Be sure to have more cages available if you plan on keeping your rat babies, or reach out to other rat enthusiasts to organize adoptions. Keep in mind that large rat populations can become overwhelming to keep clean and healthy.
What to look for in a quality rat cage
Select a cage that is sized appropriate for the number of rats that you will be keeping. Two cubic feet per animal is the bare minimum space allowance, with more highly recommended. Cages that are too small for single rats will not provide them with the room they need to stay healthy, and those that aren’t large enough to accommodate more than one animal quickly become dirty and increase the likelihood of fighting among your pets.
Rats are the ultimate escape artists. Their furry bodies hide the fact that they are flexible enough to fit through any space large enough to accommodate their head. They can chew through even the hardest wood and plastic, and are adept climbers and jumpers. To avoid swift escape, select a cage that is specifically designed to safely keep rats and built with their talents in mind. Cages with ½ inch bar spacing will prevent even baby rats from squeezing through.
Many rat cages include multiple tiers, ladders and ramps to provide your pet with an environment that invites exploration. Selecting a cage that has these features built in will help you create a fun atmosphere for your pet without having to purchase as many additional accessories and obstacles.
Cages made of metal wiring are the most appropriate for keeping rats. Not only are the bars durable enough to withstand chewing, but they also provide your pet with opportunities for climbing. Select a cage made of powder coated metal to resist rust. Avoid models that are painted or coated in plastic or rubber as this will be quickly gnawed off by your rat.
In spite of their small size, rats produce a lot of waste that results in a strong, unpleasant smell. It’s important to choose a cage made of a material that is easy to clean and will not absorb or retain any odors. Select a rat cage that allows you to easily access their bedding and toys so you can keep them clean and healthy with minimal fuss.
How much you can expect to spend on a rat cage
Small rat cages suitable for one animal can be purchased for $60-$70. Larger cages with multiple tiers that can house multiple rats may cost as much as $300.
Rat cage FAQ
Can I keep my pet rat in a bird cage?
A. This is possible. However, most bird cages are not designed with a rat’s preferred escape techniques in mind. If you choose to house your rat in a bird cage, select a parrot cage tough enough to withstand your pet’s chewing and with narrow spacing between the bars. Pay close attention to your pet’s ability to escape through the bottom of the cage or figure out how to manipulate any levers that keep the cage’s doors closed.
Does my rat need time outside of its cage?
A. Yes. Your pet rat will require daily time outside of its cage to explore and exercise. Even if your cage is large and equipped with a wide variety of toys, rats require the stimulation and excitement that only social interaction provides. Playing with your rat strengthens the trust and bond between you and your pet.
How often do I need to clean my rat’s cage?
A. To avoid the buildup of waste and odors, your rat’s cage should be cleaned twice a week. Soiled bedding and substrate should be replaced and all toys and surfaces should be wiped clean. Objects that have become heavily chewed or too dirty to clean should be thrown away and replaced.
What’s the best rat cage to buy?
Top rat cage
What you need to know: This two level cage is sturdy and expandable with a shelf for storage.
What you’ll love: Lockable wheels make this cage easy to move. It features a second tier and can be expanded to two levels if you find you require more room for additional pets. Metal construction and a large door make cleaning a breeze.
What you should consider: Most users recommend placing a tub of litter at the bottom of this cage, as its shallow floor does not permit the use of wood chips.
Top rat cage for the money
What you need to know: This affordable cage is aesthetically pleasing and large enough to accommodate two rats.
What you’ll love: Metal construction, multiple tiers and ample room for toys, ropes and ladders make this cage a great choice for owners of busy rats. Its bottom tray slides out for easy cleaning and its surfaces can be quickly wiped down.
What you should consider: The bar spacing on this cage might be wide enough to allow young or small rats to squeeze through. Suitable for adult animals only.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This cage is ideal for keeping a litter of baby rats or a single adult animal.
What you’ll love: This cage’s deep bottom keeps cage litter and food inside, preventing messes from spilling out. It features a single extra tier and locking doors. The cage unclips from the base to allow for total access to the entire interior.
What you should consider: Not suitable for multiple rats. This cage also does not include legs, so placing it on a stand or table is ideal.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Derek Walborn writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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