Rats want to run, climb and constantly explore new things. Even with simple means, you can make the rat cage exciting for your active rodents.
In order for your rats to be happy, the rat cage must provide them with everything they need. At the same time, it must be varied and exciting. The basic equipment of the rat enclosure includes:
- food bowls*
- nipple drinker*
- resting places
- different climbing possibilities
Houses and hiding places for rats
Your rats need several hiding places and places to sleep so that they can avoid each other. The rodent sleeping house Forest* is particularly suitable for this. Wooden bridges*, cork tubes, and wicker tunnels* (with a diameter of at least 12 cm) make the rat cage even more interesting.
Make sure that the hiding places always have two (or more) entrances. Otherwise, there is a risk that the animals will not be able to escape if another rat blocks the entrance. You should also consider the following when choosing hiding places for your rats:
- Minimum size 15 x 20 cm
- Entrance size of at least 6 cm
Maintenance of the houses and tunnels
Tunnels, houses, and other wooden hiding places need to be replaced from time to time. They soak themselves with urine all the time. Unhygienic cage furnishings can make your rats sick. In order to keep the rat cage clean, all objects in it must be cleaned thoroughly (e.g. with hot vinegar water) on a regular basis.
Climbing opportunities for rats
In order for your rats to be able to walk and climb a lot, the cage must have several floors. If you have bought a cage where this is not the case, you can design different levels yourself.
For the levels take wooden or plastic boards. Wooden boards are treated with non-toxic varnish (drool-proof varnish labeled “EN 71”), making them easy to clean.
Arrange the tiers so your rats can stand up at any point. The levels can be connected with each other using ramps. Also large tubes (with a diameter of at least 12 cm).
More climbing equipment for rats
To help your rats climb, even more, you should also provide them with the following in their cage:
- Wooden ladders (with a rung spacing of about 1.5 cm)
- climbing ropes
- thick branches and second branches (e.g. from apple, hazelnut, and pear trees)
- Fabric hammocks* (also made from old towels, sweaters, jeans)
Toilets for rats
Set up several toilet crates in the rat cage and in the free-range. Place them in the places where the rats often do their business. The animals usually accept these toilet bowls very quickly.
The rat toilet consists of a bowl, such as a corner toilet from Popetpop*. Fill them with litter. Suitable for this
- hemp litter*
- corn litter*
- beechwood granules*
- linen bedding*
- bird sand*
- non-clumping cat litter
Bedding for the rat cage
You can line the rest of the rat cage with newspaper. Additional nesting material is important so that the rats can build their own small nests and pad their sleeping places. You can use torn newspaper, household paper, or paper shredders (unprinted and without sharp edges).
It is better to avoid hay: it is often infested with mites. Freezing the hay a few days before use and then using it (again at normal temperature) can help.