Rats are super intelligent, love to cuddle, and make wonderful little pets. Because of their small size, and quiet nature, they are the ideal pet for apartment dwellers, who may not be able to accommodate a dog, or a noisy parrot due to the proximity of neighbors.
Rats are fairly active creatures that love to climb and explore, and thus they ideally need a fair size cage. Tall cages, with multiple levels are perfect for rats, just make sure that the bars are horizontal to allow your rat to climb upwards. The additional space that a tall cage provides also allows enough room to add a hammock, which your rat will love to snuggle into when he gets tired after all the activity.
Aquariums and enclosed hamster cages are not suitable for rats as ammonia build up from their urine can cause health problems due to poor cage ventilation. Some of the best rat cages on the market are actually ferret cages, however, the bar spacing may be a little wide for young rats, which may be able to squeeze through and escape. If you own a large rat, ferret cages offer fantastic spacious living quarters for your pet rat.
Rats are also very sociable animals, that naturally live in colonies. It is therefore kinder to keep more than one rat housed together, but do keep the sexes apart if you do not want hundreds of rats in no time at all! The size cage that you will require will depend on how many rats you need to house, but you should allow a minimum of 2 square cubic foot per rat. Use an online rat cage calculator to determine the optimal cage size for your pet rats. As a guide, we recommend the following, but always opt for the biggest cage you can afford and accommodate:
- 1-2 Rats: Kaytee My First Home Cage for Pet Rats
- 3-4 Rats: Kaytee My First Home Habitat Multi-Level for Exotics
- 5-7 Rats: Kaytee My First Home Delux Multi-Level Pet Home with Casters
- Up to 6 Adult Rats: Single Level Critter Nation from Midwest Homes for Pets
- Up to 12 Adult Rats: Double Level Critter Nation from Midwest Homes for Pets
If you really want to house your rats in style, you can opt for the Double Level Critter Nation from Midwest Homes for Pets, which at 36″L x 24″W x 63″H (91 x 61 x 160cm) can house 12 rats in luxury accommodation, with all the bells and whistles. This cage comes fitted with castors, so it can easily be moved around so that you can enjoy your little critters wherever you are in the house.
Featured Image by Brad Clinesmith, via Flickr, [CC BY-SA 2.0]