Best Cages for Pet Rats

If you are a genuine animal lover, you don’t have to limit yourself to loving only one or two different types of pets. There are animals that also deserve to be loved just as much such as rats. Although rats as pets may sound eccentric to some, know that these tiny creatures are fun to be around provided that you are properly taking care of them. Rats are social, smart, and full of quirks!

best rat cages

Domesticated rats are far from being the vermin that most people think they are. Taming rats is an easy and enjoyable task. Therefore, they can be incredible pets, especially for those who are busy as a beaver. They also have their own idiosyncrasies just like dogs and cats.

Although taking care of domesticated rats sounds much easier than taking care of larger animals, that doesn’t imply that they are low-maintenance. Rats need your tender loving care and attention. Regardless of how busy you are, you need to devote a fair amount of time to play with your tiny critter; an hour each day would be ideal. But before you adopt a rat, you need to make sure that there is a secure and comfortable rat habitat waiting for him.

Buying your rat a good quality cage is the first step to them achieving a healthy and happy life. Since there are too many to choose from, we made a list of the leading rat cages in the market today. To make it even easier for you, we also provided a buying guide so you will know what you are looking for.

Top 10 Rat Cages Reviews

Buying Guide: Factors to Consider When Buying a Rat Cage

You need to provide your whiskery friend with a habitat that has the conditions necessary to make him feel safe, happy, and comfortable under your roof. The following are the critical factors you need to think about before you make a purchase.

1. Size of the Cage

According to some rat owner’s blog, at least 2 cubic feet of space is recommended for each rat but we suggest otherwise. Your tiny critter is going to live his entire short life in an enclosure and hence it would be best to make it as comfortable as possible. The short and long of it is choosing the largest cage you can get your hands on as long as it won’t pose an inconvenience to your house.

The only way your whiskery friend can enjoy various perks is to have a large cage. While male rats or bucks prefer more ground space, female rats or does prefer more height so they can climb up as often as they want. With a large cage, you can add toys and paraphernalia to keep him entertained. You can place a hammock, a tunnel a digging box, a bean bag, his very own clubhouse, or all of these.

Nonetheless, you may opt for a smaller rat cage if you only need to house kittens or baby rats. Bear in mind that you need to transfer them once they grow; otherwise, they won’t have the appropriate space they need to move around and play. It is more economical to choose a rat cage that can accommodate their needs even when they grow into full adults.

Take note that rats are originally forest creatures that live in harmoniously large groups. Among all rodents, rats are the most social. Therefore, it would be wise to adopt at least a pair of rats instead of just one.

2. Accessibility and Ease of Cleaning is a Must

Take a closer look at the cage’s doors. Its doors should be wide enough for you to reach in and take out your pet. If you opt for a full-width door, it’s better. Such a feature prevents you from squeezing yourself into an opening just to interact with your pet. A full-width door also paves the way for quick and easy cleaning.

rat cage

3. The Cage Should Provide Maximum Visibility and Ventilation

Fish tanks and plastic enclosures are the worst dwellings you can ever bestow on your pet rat as these items easily build up ammonia and air contaminants, which could greatly affect your pet’s respiratory health. Likewise, these dwellings build up humidity and temperature quite fast.

Rats are highly susceptible to respiratory illnesses and hence, they need a well-ventilated cage. Glass and plastic enclosures isolate bad air quality and thus, foul smell and contaminants will linger much longer. Although some plastic cages may seem acceptable, choosing an all-metal cage would be the best option.

4. Take Note of Its Design

A cage’s design is not just a trivial factor as it defines the level of comfort your pets get from their shelter. It is imperative that your cage exhibits a solid flooring to hold paper or fleece bedding. This could be heavy-duty plastic or PVC covered metal. Wire grates may seem beneficial as it allows pet waste to just fall through and hence, your fancy rat doesn’t have to step on his own poop. However, wire floors increase the risk of your tiny fellow slipping his feet between the mesh flooring. Not only will this cause sprains but also serious damages to his tiny feet that may require amputation.

Having his feet constantly pressed against wire causes a condition called bumblefoot, which is characterized by painful sores and swellings that could become infected. If you don’t want your pet hurting, then choose a cage with solid flooring.

Moreover, take a closer look on its shelves and ramps. Both should be organized in a way where you can easily adjust them. Most importantly, make sure the ramps have a textured surface for traction so your pets won’t slip as they climb up.

5. Focus on the Level of Security it Provides

While you opt for a cage that provides you with an easy access to all its parts, make sure its door will also remain tightly shut and inaccessible when you mean to close it. A cage is completely useless if it can’t contain your pets. Rats are highly intelligent and hence, they can easily unfasten a feeble latch. If your pet rats can easily open the door, then the cage fails to serve its purpose.

Apart from its latch, check the gap between its bars. In general, the gap depends on the size of your pet rats. If you wish to get a temporary housing for your baby rats, then choose a cage that has ¼” bar spacing. It doesn’t matter if the cage has vertical or horizontal features. On the other hand, the most secure cages for adult rats and large rat breeds, have ½” bar spacing.

6. Materials Used can Make a Difference

A good quality cage may often cost a pretty penny but this is quite inevitable if you want something that could endure the ravages of time. With proper management, a good quality cage can be used for many rat generations. If you were to choose a metal cage with plastic components such as shelves, ramps, or pans, make sure these items are made of heavy-duty plastic that won’t thin out or crack after countless scrubbing or bleaching. Likewise, make sure the metal is rust-resistant. You may opt for a metal cage treated with a sleek powder or PVC coat. Although these finishes are prone to cracking and lose their touch, still they make the cage last much longer.

7. Your Cage Should be Portable

You’ll never know when you need to transfer your cage from one location to another. Therefore, your rat cage should have wheels so you can easily push it around your house. Also, assembling or dismantling the rat cage shouldn’t be that troublesome.

two curious rats

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of cage is best for a rat?

When housing your pet rats, a metal cage would be the best option. Not only will your whiskery friends enjoy climbing and peeping through the wires, metal cages provide maximum ventilation and are much easier to maintain.

However, not all metal cages are created equal and hence, choose a metal cage that won’t bend and exhibits rust-resistant features.

What kind of cage does a rat need?

A rat needs a spacious, well-ventilated enclosure that can store basic items, toys, and other paraphernalia. The rat cage must be chew-proof and escape-proof.

How big should a rat cage be?

When it comes to purchasing a rat cage, a rule of thumb is to purchase one that is as big as your budget. Unless you have limited space or budget, then choose a cage that can provide at least 2 cubic feet of space for each pet rat.

How to clean a rat cage?

  • Move your pets to a temporary enclosure.
  • Empty your pet’s cage.
  • Discard beddings and litter.
  • You can either dismantle your cage or transfer it to a suitable area for washing.
  • Immerse all rat toys and accessories in a tub of warm sudsy water for a few minutes before scrubbing.
  • Scrub the rat cage using a non-abrasive sponge drenched in dishwashing liquid.
  • Disinfect the entire rat cage using rat-friendly cleaning products or natural disinfectants found in your kitchen.
  • Rinse the cage thoroughly using hot water.
  • Allow your cage to dry. You may use a hair blower to dry your pet’s toys much faster.
  • Once everything is dry, put them back together inside the cage. Don’t forget to add fresh bedding and new covers.

How to disinfect a rat cage?

As easy as spritzing apple cider vinegar can effectively disinfect any rat cage. Spray after every wash and wipe the cage daily with wet tissues drenched in vinegar. This is the safest and most economical way of keeping your pet’s cage fresh as well as minimizing the load of harmful microorganisms that could make your pet sick. A rat-friendly and veterinarian-approved disinfectant is also preferable.

How often should you clean a rat cage?

The frequency depends on how many pet rats you have living inside each cage. Regardless, you need to perform a few tasks daily. This includes:

  • Removing soggy floor coverings
  • Eliminating solid waste
  • Replacing beddings
  • Throwing out spilled food, and
  • Wiping the bars using wet tissues

Moreover, you must thoroughly clean and disinfect your rat cage at least once every week without regard to the number of critters you have.

How to keep a rat cage from smelling?

  • Observe daily cleaning practices. Apple cider vinegar, which is a humble kitchen staple, can neutralize ammonia and serve as a natural deodorizer. Wipe the cage daily using wet tissues soaked in vinegar.
  • In addition, make sure your pet rats are fed a proper diet consisting of high-quality lab blocks and a mix of fresh fruits and vegetables. A poor diet leads to oily skin and foul-smelling stools.
  • Dispose visible waste and dampened beddings as soon as possible.
  • Likewise, take away uneaten produce at the end of the day.

How to make a rat cage smell better?

There are many high-absorbent and odor-control rat beddings sold in the market today. The best rat beddings are recycled wood pulp. Unlike chip beddings, these beddings are dust-free and exhibit a paper-like absorbency.

What to put in a rat cage?

Before you take a rat home, make sure you have the following awaiting in his fur-ever home: warm beddings, a water bottle, a ceramic food bowl (filled alternately with dry rat food and fresh produce), a hammock, and lots of physically and mentally stimulating toys.

What does a rat need in its cage?

Apart from cool water and good quality food, rats need plenty of toys to par with their high energy levels.

How to line a rat cage with fleece?

Fleece may cost a pretty penny at the start; however, they are economical in the long run since you may simply wash and reuse them.

Simply remove the pans and make a square or rectangular cut out for each one of them. Each fleece should be an inch bigger so you can tuck the excess under the shelf using a binder.

How to get your rat to stay in its cage?

Rats love to constantly move around, nibble, and play. As a result, it is crucial that you provide your pampered rat a large cage to accommodate various toys and accessories. If your tiny pet is living in the lap of luxury where he can enjoy doing various things and has an array of delicious treats nearby, he will love to spend more time in its cage rather than squeeze his way out of the cage.

How to make a rat cage escape-proof?

Choosing a cage designed particularly for rats is the best way to ensure it is escape-proof. If you have the misfortune of choosing the wrong cage, head to the home depot, buy a hardware cloth, and use it surround the cage. A rat cage should have ½” of bar spacing to be considered escape-proof.

How much space does a rat need?

A rat needs 2 cubic feet of space to be comfortable.

What cage size is suitable for 2 rats?

For starters, a rat cage measuring 72 cm x 36 cm x 44 cm will suffice for two rats. Then again, you will be needing more space if you plan to add more toys and other items to keep them happily busy.


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