This is What a Species-Appropriate Rat Cage Looks Like

A rat makes quite a few demands on the perfect home so that it can have a good time there. Read here how to create a rat cage for your loved ones to feel good in!

A rat is an animal with many passions: they love to climb, run, romp and play. This makes rats particularly demanding pets that you need to prepare well for before you buy them. In order to meet the varied needs of rats, you should therefore pay attention to many different factors when choosing and designing the rat cage.

The right size of the rat cage

First of all, in addition to the right location, you should also plan enough space for the rat enclosure – rats like to climb, play and rush around, which is why the small rodents require a lot of space. By the way: The animals are only allowed to be kept in groups, as rats are highly social pack animals. The following applies: the larger the cage, the more species-appropriate the rat home is. The Association of Rat Lovers and Keepers in Germany also recommends a high cage with several levels: the top level for the rats should be at least 1.5 m from the floor.

Dimensions for the ideal rat enclosure

The size of the cage also depends on the number of rats living in it. It is important that each and every one of them can exercise enough and pursue their natural needs. The Association of Rat Lovers and Keepers in Germany e.V. recommends the following measurements depending on the number of rats:

  • Three rats: 1.5m²
  • Four to five rats: 1.8 to 2 m²
  • Six to eight rats: 2.3 to 2.7 m²
  • Nine to fifteen rats: 2.9 to 3.9 m²

Nature and structure of the rat cage

In any case, the rat cage should have at least one lattice side to keep the air congestion in the enclosure as low as possible. Also: The rats must be able to climb around the grate. A grid that is arranged either in a checkered pattern or across is ideal for this. The lattice spacing should be a maximum of 1 to 1.5 cm: Even young animals can then not accidentally go on an exploratory tour. It is also important to have several large doors so that you can easily set up and clean the cage.

Different floors give the rats a wide range of movement options: This works best at a minimum height of 80 cm. This allows the rats to jump, climb and stand up. At least one of the floors should cover the entire length and width of the enclosure. For rats that are old and/or have difficulty walking, it makes sense to choose a cage that is less tall and wider. In order to create more room to move, you can install entire floors with shallow ramps. Adequate protection against possible falls – especially in the case of old and/or disabled rats – should also be guaranteed.

Rat cage with an exciting interior

When it comes to the interior of the rat cage, the possibilities are almost limitless. The main thing is that the rats feel comfortable and that they can pursue their natural instincts, such as hiding and climbing, at any time.

The most important thing: Make sure that the feeding bowls are as heavy as possible. This allows the rats to stand on the edge of the bowl and enjoy their food, as they love to do. The rats get water from nipple drinkers, which have to be cleaned and refilled regularly. Also: Many rats perceive the possibility of a “rat toilet”. Rodents like to relieve themselves on a flat tray in one of their favorite corners.

Rat cage homemade!

A homemade enclosure has one major advantage: you can customize it and adapt it to the space available in your home. Solid wood or coated chipboard (as rear and side walls), for example, can be used for self-construction. You can also repurpose wooden shelves and cabinets. They are good for scaffolding as they are usually tall with multiple tiers of plenty of room to run and climb. The individual floors are connected to each other by tubes, climbing ropes, branches, ramps, etc.

Important: The wooden floors of floors must be treated with non-toxic paint to protect against feces and urine. However, you can also layout PVC if the corners are protected against nibbling with the help of metal strips or similar. To ensure good ventilation, it makes sense to make at least one side wall out of aviary wire. The front can also be provided with wire mesh and several doors.

When choosing the rat cage, consider all the essential points and always think first about the needs of your future pets. If you manage to take all the important aspects of keeping rats into account, your rats will quickly feel comfortable with you and enjoy their new home.

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