If the rat is among the new pets and proves to be very popular with young and old alike, it is a rodent that has very specific needs to lead a happy life. Even if it is relatively easy to raise, the rat needs a cage that is well adapted to its lifestyle. Let’s take stock of the type of cage to buy for your rat and the equipment to install in it.
What type of cage should I choose for my pet rat?
Although multiple models of rat cages are sold in pet stores and specialized stores, this small rodent has much greater needs in terms of housing. Here are our tips to help you choose the model best suited for your small companion.
The right size
Rats need space. Although it is small, it needs to be able to exercise to feel good. It therefore needs a cage at least 1 meter long and 50 cm wide, ideally 1 meter by 1 meter for more comfort. In terms of height, the cage must be at least 70 cm high, but here again, with an ideal of 2 meters high on several levels if you have the possibility.
Let’s be clear, to avoid ruining yourself in the purchase of a large cage, it is preferable to make it yourself if you have the possibility. A rat needs room to grow, to play, to be entertained and to stretch its legs. The ideal cage takes up space, but it is the solution to meet your pet’s needs and to watch it have fun.
The right material
Avoid wooden cages, as it is a material that absorbs urine. The urine will soak into the wood and always give off an unpleasant odor. You will therefore have to replace your investment quickly.
Also avoid terrariums, because they are too closed to allow good air circulation. As for wire cages, they are not practical, adaptable and hygienic enough to meet the rat’s needs.
We therefore recommend that you choose a model that has a certain height to install several levels that you will decorate with several modular shelters for small animals. Choose two solid sides to avoid drafts and two open sides to allow good ventilation of the cage.
The rat is a gregarious animal. It is therefore necessary to avoid adopting only one individual. Indeed, the routine and the daily life of the rat revolve around the group. The toilet is done in common, as well as the meals and the rest, piled up the ones against the others, even the ones on top of the others. Even if you devote a lot of time to your pet, you will not be able to replace his fellow rats.
It is therefore advisable to adopt at least two rats at a time. You can raise only one animal, but be aware that loneliness will weigh on your pet throughout its life and that it may become depressed, get sick or suffer from behavioural problems.
How to equip the cage of his domestic rat?
You now know the ideal cage of the domestic rat, it only remains for you to equip it. The rat is a very curious animal that thrives in a stimulating environment. Let your creative spirit do its work and make a cage full of various and varied arrangements, on several floors, mixing several materials and types of games. On the other hand, keep in mind that you will have to clean your rat’s cage very regularly (2 to 3 times a week), so make your task easier by opting for easy-to-wash arrangements.
You will also need to equip the cage with a litter box for the rat to relieve itself. It is a very clean animal, contrary to what its bad reputation suggests. Opt for a dust-free litter so as not to damage its respiratory tract.
Rats need various shelters, small huts, hammocks, pots, tubes, branches and baskets of all kinds to play in. The huts must be spacious and have a minimum opening of 10 cm so that the rats can all snuggle up to sleep in them without getting trapped.
Finally, give your rat something to wear out its teeth, but avoid food to reduce the risk of obesity and toxic wood, which is harmful to its health.
Vary the games and toys for the rat’s enjoyment, so that it has fun playing, jumping and climbing as it wishes. Regularly replace its toys and accessories with new ones to stimulate its curiosity and provoke a surprise effect much appreciated by these intelligent animals. Create routes with tunnels and other accessories. On the other hand, there’s no need to invest in a wheel, because rats don’t care.