Choosing a cage for your rat


Your rat will spend most of its days in a cage. This cage should be large enough so that your rat does not feel too cramped. It will guarantee well-being and development for your rodent. Our advice for choosing a perfectly suitable one.

No mouse or hamster cage will suit your rat. They are usually far too small for the larger size of a rat. Its cage should be above all higher than wide. Air will have to circulate there to prevent your rat from suffering from the toxicity released by its urine. Finally, his cage should contain several accessories offering him the opportunity to work out without counting.

What cage?

The cage with bars

The ideal cage for your rat provided that its surface is large (at least 0.05 m3). The space between the bars should not be too large (less than 2 cm) thus preventing your rat or ratte (the females are smaller) from sneaking outside. Its cage with bars should be easily openable by means of a door. This will make it easier for you to clean and maintain.

The plexiglass cage

To forbid. The absence of bars will prevent your rat from climbing as it likes to do. Additionally, lack of ventilation will harm your rat’s airways. Add to that the toxicity of his urine which he will therefore breathe more easily. This type of cage is only used if your rat has an illness and needs to be quarantined.

A homemade cage

If you are a little DIYer, you can start building a homemade rat cage. It will have the advantage of being designed as you wish and with the material of your choice. As such, avoid wood. Indeed, it deteriorates quickly on contact with urine. Thus, everything will have to be thought for the life of your rat. The floors must be easily removable for cleaning.

The dimensions of the cage

Your rat should be able to exercise. Naturally curious, your cage should be able to include several accessories essential to its well-being. Therefore, it seems appropriate to invest in a cage with a volume at least equal to 0.05 m3.

What litter?

Like all rodents, your rat will be sensitive to litter made from wood chips. Indeed, these are toxic. The dust will damage his respiratory tract. So, choose hemp, flax or even cardboard litter.

When it comes to plant or corn litter, they could damage your rat’s paws.

The accessories

Your rat is a curious, intelligent animal. He will be keen to have fun and work out in his cage. Otherwise he could spend his days and nights chewing on the bars of his cage. So think of the accessories to install in his cage.

The indispensable

  • Your rat will need to eat from a bowl. Try to install a rather heavy bowl so that it does not overturn it.
  •     To hydrate, your rat will need a bottle of water. This is the best compromise with regard to a bowl of water that could spill, but also that could quickly become dirty. Not very hygienic.
  •     A cabin where your rat can rest, sleep, but also take refuge to eat out of sight.

The little extras

  •  Your rat likes to sneak into tight corners. For this purpose, you can install hiding places, tunnels in his cage. Prefer plastic to wood. However, you will need to replace them regularly. Your rat will like to chew them and therefore destroy them as you go.
  •     A hammock in which your rat will throw himself as soon as he can. It will eat away at them too, you will need to think about replacing it often.
  •     Hazel, apple or cherry branches will delight your rat. He will spend his day gnawing on them.
  •     The wheel is a less essential accessory than for mice or hamsters. Some rats like to use it, in this case opt for a full wheel. Others, however, will never use it.

The price

The price of a cage varies according to its size, its material too. The new ones can be purchased between 80 and 200 € for the larger ones. On occasion, you can find cages at € 50 or less. An essential investment for the life of your rat.

In summary

Your rat’s cage should:

     Be large enough, with a minimum volume of 0.05 m3.
     Have several places to install accessories
     Being with bars. Avoid plexiglass cages or aquariums.
     Have a hemp or linen litter.

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