Rats have become a popular pet to own since they take up significantly less space than a dog or cat would need. Although rats require their own special attention, they are a great pet to own and show endless affection once they are comfortable with their new owner. Cute, cuddly, and take up little space, they are a wonderful pet to have in your home.
If you are thinking about getting a rat as a pet for your own home, one of the most important things to consider is their cage. Rats need a good cage so that they can feel comfortable. Along with comfort is safety, materials used, ease of access for the rats and yourself, cleaning needs, and the lifestyle you live. These all factor into what you should look for in a rat cage.
So these 5 tips are what you should look for in a rat cage:
1. Size Requirements
Rats like to play, and they can grow pretty big sizes depending on their breed. Getting a cage that has a good amount of room will be good for your rat. Especially when you consider that you may need to eventually get a second rat. Rats are social animals and rely on a friend to stay happy. Get a cage that is big enough for both of them. You also need to account for the room needed to place wheels, play structures, and ramps as well.
The material of your rat cage is very important. Typically, the best rat cages are usually metal or plastic, and have a solid bottom. Glass enclosures can keep in too much dust that can harm your rats, and a wire cage bottom can hurt your rats' feet over time. Having a solid surface bottom to the cage is also easier to place a soft cloth and bedding material for your rats.
3. Ease of Access
Allowing your rat(s) to be taken out of or put back into the cage comfortably is a big thing to consider when buying a rat cage. The cage should be able to allow a human hand easy access to reach in and get your rats out if it needs cleaning. Alternatively, if the cage needs to be disassembled or have ramps put in, you should consider how easy that is to do. Make sure all the space in the cage is open so the rats have uninterrupted play room.
4. Cleaning Needs
You are going to be cleaning your rat cage fairly often. Enough that the cage should be easy to clean so the process does not feel so tedious each time. You care for your rats, so you would do it regardless, but it is a chore. Metal cages can rust over time from cleaning because of the water and soap, and plastic cages can crack if they get damaged during cleaning. If it is a metal cage, check if it has a plastic coating that keeps the metal in tact, and routinely inspect the condition of the cage after cleaning or moving it.
5. Lifestyle Requirements
Assuming you have children or have friends that visit with their children, you should consider how the cage can accommodate these situations. Your cage wire bars should be close enough together that small children cannot put their fingers into the cage and hassle the rats. You should factor in how well your cage can be transported to, and how easy it is to take apart if need be. This is a big factor for people who travel a lot and need that kind of portability.
When shopping for a rat cage for your rats, you want to keep many things in mind. Mainly, how comfortable and safe it will be for your four-legged friends.
Many people do not realize that rats are social animals, so you will eventually get a second rat to keep your first one comfortable. You should get a cage that has a lot of space for play. You also need to look for metal or plastic cages, because they will not trap in dust like a glass aquarium style enclosure. The ease of access for you to get in the cage to take the rats out is important as well. For cleaning needs, metal cages are good, but monitor the condition of the wire or plastic if there is any damage. Lastly, the lifestyle requirements you have like kids or travelling should be a consideration. Good cages can be easily disassembled and have small spaces between the wire so kids cannot reach in and poke or disturb the rats.