IN THIS ARTICLE
- Top 7 Rat Cages
- Understanding the Unique Needs of Rats
- Essential Factors to Consider When Choosing a Rat Cage
- Making the Right Choice for Your Furry Friend
It is not a secret that rats make excellent small pet companions; they are friendly, and incredibly intelligent, and will bring great joy to your life. So when you've decided to bring home your new family member, getting the right cage is a crucial consideration.
Ensuring you have the right type, and properly sized cage will ensure that your rat can live a happy and healthy life in their new home. In this article, we will be covering what to look for in a cage, and our top seven picks!
Top 7 Rat Cages
Below are our top seven picks for pet rat owners looking for the perfect cage for their new furry friend. Our picks are based on many different aspects, including having ample space, ease of cleaning, and safety for your rat. We have provided more information below the list on what factors we used to rate these cages, as well as what to consider when choosing a cage.
1: Quality Rat Cage
While we’re biased, in our opinion this is the perfect cage for your rat. Featuring a durable design made with high-quality steel wire mesh, and a deep powder-coated pan that can be removed and cleaned separately, this cage is built to last.
These cages are handmade in our warehouse in Austin, TX by our team and made distinctly with your rat in mind. With the high-quality steel we use, this cage is a chew-proof house for any rat that is a persistent chewer to enjoy.
Additionally, there is enough room in the cage for you to hang toys as well as provide standard rat supplies like food dishes and litter boxes in the cage. The bar spacing is also perfect for a water bottle to sit perfectly on the side.
2: Midwest Deluxe Critter Nation
This Midwest Deluxe Critter Nation cage is a great choice for your furry friend! This one small cage still gives your rats everything they need while also optimizing your space.
The add-on and the two-story version of this cage feature ramps that allow your rats to climb all around and have non-pill fleece coverings for easy clean up.
3: Prevue Hendryx Black Feisty Ferret Cage
For those with adult rats, this cage is an amazing pick. Like Critter Nation, this cage also features ramps that allow your rats to climb between the many levels. The flooring is sturdy and solid to protect their feet as well.
Compared to other cages, this one is better suited for adult rats due to the bar spacing that is ⅞ of an inch, which makes it much easier for younger rats to escape.
4: Prevue Rat and Chinchilla Cage
Rat owners just getting started should consider the Prevue Rat and Chinchilla Cage, as its size and simplicity make it an ideal place to start. Many owners also praise this cage for the ease of putting it together.
In order to make sure that your cage is safe, we recommend you use a detachable base that you can place inside the cage, since the wired ground space may present some concerns both from a cleanliness and a safety standpoint.
5: Kaytee My First Home 30 X 18 Multilevel Exotics
Another good starter cage is this one by the Kaytee brand. With a deep base tray and wires that allow for good ventilation, many owners praise this as a great starter cage.
Another benefit of this cage is the fact none of the surfaces have wires, which largely prevents the chance of your rat developing bumblefoot.
6: You & Me Rat Manor Habitat
This spacious cage is a great choice for those who want to spoil their rats with a little extra height. This height allows you to add even more climbing toys and hammocks for your rats to enjoy.
This cage has a solid base, and many owners say this is a good choice for owners who have rats that are heavy chewers. As the metal bars make this a chew-proof house.
7: Ferplast Ferret Tower Two-Story Ferret Cage
This cage is ideal for people who have plenty of space for a cage. Being the tallest cage on our list at 63.4 inches high. This gives your rats plenty of climbing space to enjoy and play.
The cage is ideal for younger rats since older rats need a wider cage to accommodate the fact that they can no longer climb as well as they used to.
Understanding the Unique Needs of Rats
While all types of pet rats are different, there are some commonalities in their care needs. No matter what cage you go with, it’s important for rat owners to take into consideration these specific needs. Knowing this will not only clue you into the right cage to choose for your rat but also what to put in the cage itself.
Rats are incredibly social creatures that do best when adopted in pairs. In fact, many breeders and rescues will only let pet owners adopt in pairs. This is exactly why larger cages are necessary. This gives both rats plenty of space to co-exist happily.
Most cages keep this exact factor in mind during the manufacturing process so your rats have lots of space to play around in. Making sure your cage can grow with your rats is also important, as many rat owners do adopt more rats after their first pair.
Intelligence and Activity Levels
Rats are extremely intelligent animals, which means that they need plenty of stimulation both in and outside of their cage. This stimulation can come from filling the cage with toys like exercise wheels, foraging toys, and climbing toys.
Making sure that your cage can accommodate all of the toys needed, both in terms of space for foraging toys like cardboard boxes that you can hide rat food in and instability of the cage bars to accommodate items like climbing toys or the exercise wheels.
Another aspect to think about when choosing the right cage to cater to your rat is their natural climbing abilities and instincts. A multi-level cage with solid ramps will best be able to accommodate this need.
Earlier, we mentioned that climbing toys are an excellent way to foster this natural instinct. Particularly hammocks are a great option when it comes to items in a rat's cage. They love relaxing in them and having a great view of everything around them. The best types of hammocks are ones made of non-pill fleece with metal installation, ones that are made with chinchillas in mind can often be a great choice!
Essential Factors to Consider When Choosing a Rat Cage
There are many factors beyond the above ones that are crucial when it comes to choosing the perfect rat cage. Below are some of the most important things to look at when choosing between cages to ensure you’re giving your furry friend the best care.
Sizing is the most crucial factor to consider when it comes to choosing the right cage for your rat. An improper cage size, like one that is too small, will make your rats feel stressed, and cause aggression towards both you and their cage mate(s). Likewise, the size of the wire bars cannot be too big, as rats can squeeze their way through surprisingly small spaces.
The proper size cage for two rats is, at minimum, 30" wide x 18" deep x 24" high. This gives both rats enough room to comfortably live together in the cage and not feel cramped. For more than two rats, you may need a larger cage. A good rule of thumb is that within a cage, there should be a minimum of two cubic feet per rat to live comfortably.
The materials the cage is made out of are also an important consideration when choosing a cage. Metal cages are preferred to many other types of materials due to their durability and safety.
While other materials like glass and plastic can technically be safe, it’s better to choose metal as it’s chew-proof, and a metal wire cage allows for good ventilation and airflow.
Safety is of the utmost importance when it comes to choosing a cage and making sure your rat can live out a full and happy lifespan. Cage bars in specific need very specific spacing – The metal bars should be small enough to prevent your rat from squeezing through, but large enough to allow water bottle spigots and toys to hook on – 1/2 inch is the best spacing for baby rats as well as adult rats.
Another aspect of safety is the cage bottom. A rat requires floor space that is solid and not wired, as constant pressure on the wires can cause bumblefoot.
Proper ventilation is also incredibly important. This is why tanks aren’t recommended unless you have a cage topper that allows your rat to climb up and get the airflow that they need.
Lastly, the safety of what you put in the cage is as important as the safety of the cage itself. Safe items to put in your rat's cage include pellets, kiln-dried pine, aspen, and cardboard bedding. Safe toy materials include smooth-edged PVC pipes, cardboard boxes, pumice, loofah, and unprinted brown paper bags.
It is beneficial to both you and your rats to choose a cage that is easy to clean. There are many cage designs with larger doors to make this process easier, including metal or thick plastic ramps that detach so you can easily clean them.
There is also a part of cleanliness that includes keeping the mess inside the cage as much as possible, and items such as our new Ferret Nation & Critter Nation Scatter Guards do a great job of helping to maintain this cleanliness. These scatter guards are easy to apply and take off to clean for any Critter Nation or Ferret Nation cage, and come in a variety of colors perfect for any cage!
Design and Enrichment
A well-designed cage should provide plenty of space for your rat to explore and play. It should also have multiple levels and climbing areas, such as ramps or hammocks. This helps to provide enrichment for your rat and allows them to engage in their natural behaviors.
Additionally, access to hideaways and tubes gives your rat a safe place to retreat to when they feel overstimulated. This helps to reduce stress and keep them healthy. Providing a variety of toys, such as tunnels, ladders, and chew toys, can also help to provide enrichment and keep your rat entertained.
Making the Right Choice for Your Furry Friend
Choosing the right cage and items for your rat’s habitat is an important part of being a responsible pet owner. It is important to consider size, materials, safety, cleanliness, and enrichment when selecting the best cage and items for your rat. With these tips, you can make sure that your rat lives happily and comfortably in their own home.
If you want to learn more about quality rat care, check out some of our other blogs on the website. And if you find that a rat is not the right pet for you, check out our chinchilla and rabbit blogs.
What kind of cage is best for rats?
An open wire cage with solid and deep bases that are 30" wide, 18" deep, and 24" high is the perfect cage for rats. The solid base gives them a safe place for their feet, and the sizing gives your rats adequate space to run around and play in.
Do rats prefer tall or wide cages?
This preference varies from rat to rat, ideally, you want a cage that is tall and wide so the cage can grow with your rat as they age. But for those who have to choose one or the other, a taller cage might be best as young and adult rats love to climb.
What cage for 2 rats?
The minimum rat cage size for two rats is 30" wide x 18" deep x 24" high and will accommodate two adult rats. Rats should have at least two cubic feet of space to live comfortably and happily with one another.
What is the bar spacing for rats?
For both baby rats and adult rats, the minimum bar spacing required is ½ inch. Any larger space between bars allows your rats to squeeze through them and escape.
Have Questions About Rat Cages?
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Author Bio: Morgan Mulac
Morgan Mulac has been working as a freelance writer for five years and has developed a passion for exotic pets. Dedicated to learning about exotic animals from all over the world, she seeks ways to share her knowledge with new owners about how to better care for their animals. If Morgan is not researching or writing about exotic pets, you can find her enjoying a cup of coffee and planning her next adventure. https://morganmulac.com/