Rats are fantastic animals, they are extremely intelligent, independent and easy to handle and for these reasons make the ideal family pet. In fact, the pet rat, or Rattus norvegicus are much more social in nature than other small rodents, such as the common hamster and for this reason, can make extremely rewarding companions.
Like other small rodents, pet rats have specific care requirements that include their living conditions – primarily their pet rat cages. Unlike gerbils and hamsters, rats love to climb and are larger and extremely playful. For this reason, they wouldn’t like a hamster cage and would prefer pet rat cages that are designed with their traits and behaviors in mind, this will ensure your rat has a happy and content life.
Our Top Picks
|Rat Cage||Best For||Our Rating|
|Midwest Critter Nation with Stand||Two Story and High Quality||9/10|
Prevue Hendryx Rat Cage||Spacious and Versatile||8/10|
|Kaytee My First Home Deluxe Multi-Level Rat Cage||Spacious and Fun||8/10|
|Prevue Hendryx Earthtone Dusted Rose Rat Cage||Well Built and Secure||9/10|
Midwest Critter Nation with Stand
This large and sturdy pet rat cage makes the perfect home for pairs of pet rats. It provides ample space for them to explore and exercise and with shelves and ramps allows them to climb and have their own space if they feel they need it. The metal construction makes this cage extremely secure and well-guarded against biting and gnawing, the spacing between the wires also allows your rat to climb and investigate the enclosure freely. The door is equipped with two pet-proof latches that mean you can be sure the doors are always secure and no escape artists ever succeed.
Another great advantage of this cage is the large double doors, which makes cleaning the cage extremely easy and convenient. You won’t have to worry about getting your hands stuck, or having to mess around with metal hooks as is the case with many budget cages. The floor can also be removed during cleaning and is designed to catch debris and prevent leaking.
Finally, the wheel design makes this cage easy to transport from room to room and once in the desired location, the wheels can be locked in place. While the under cage shelving provides a perfect location to store and access all of your rat accessories and consumables on demand.
Prevue Hendryx Rat Cage
With three levels, ramps, and a large vertical design, pet rat cages like this make the perfect home for any rat or rat pair. The ramps have traction to help your little rodent navigate them and maintain grip and the lower and upper levels provide plenty of floor space that allows them to exercise, sleep and socialize comfortably.
This cage does come with a hammock that is hooked onto the cage wires and you are free to adjust and position this elsewhere. This accessory is a great way to add some stimulation to your rat’s environment and they may even find it comfortable enough to sleep inside. Both the top and bottom floor areas are mesh, which does allow you to hand accessories in a variety of configurations. Yet, this does mean your rat will probably find it less comfortable in comparison to solid designs, but this can easily be remedied by laying down fabric, card or other suitable material.
Access to the cage is easy and convenient thanks to the large double doors, which also makes cleaning the cage hassle free. There is also a tray positioned below the mesh on the ground level which catches any water or debris your rats create. This can then be pulled out like a tray and easily emptied. The under cage storage is also great for storage and keep everything rat related in one central place.
Kaytee My First Home Deluxe Multi-Level Rat Cage
This three level cage is another perfect home for pet rats. The tall design and optimized floor space mean your rodent will have more than enough space to explore. What makes this design standout, in particular, are the playful component, including tunnel, slide, ramp, and hammock on the upper level. These additional features will provide a little more stimulation for your rats ensuring they don’t feel too restricted when left in their cage.
Being able to maintain a good level of hygiene is essential when you have pet rodents and whatever makes this a straightforward process is preferred. With a removable base as well as wires and levels that click on and off with ease this cage provides a stress-free and comprehensive cleaning experience is required. Equally, a simple wipe down is also achievable thanks to the easy interior access, in total there are three doors, one at the top and two on the front of the cage.
Lastly, the cage has casters on the bottom making it easy to move around the room or house. However, these can easily be removed if you have a static location in mind. The spacious wires are also tough enough to withstand biting and allow your rat to climb around.
Prevue Hendryx Earthtone Dusted Rose Rat Cage
If your pet rat is quite the escape artist, then this large metal cage is the best option to prevent any future attempts to make a run for it. The wind-bell lock is designed to be extra safe from tampering pets, so provides the peace of mind many rat owners are looking for.
The design of this cage is ideal for adult rats and is one of the best rat cages for 2 rats. Each rat will have enough room to sleep, play and explore. The ramps also encourage your rat to be active and explore their home and since they are constructed from metal, they will last for years.
Like similar cage designs, this model features a large, removable tray that makes cleaning stress free. It captures any residues from your rats, as well as food and unlike other cages can be removed without disrupting your rats since there is a separate cage floor above.
This cage comes with wheels fitted with breaks, perfect for transporting the cage around the house, as well as a storage shelf, allowing you keep all of your pet rat’s belongings in one place.
What Type of Cage does a Rat Need?
The ideal cage for a rat is a mesh cage and the bigger the better. Ideally, the cage should be quite tall since rats love to explore their environment and climb. Other small pet rodent cages are not suitable; this includes hamster and gerbil cages as they are not large enough to house a rat.
In terms of dimensions, a good rat cage is at least 20 inches x 30 inches floor space and at least 20 inches tall per pair of rats is acceptable. Ideally, the floor spaces should be flat and be comfortable for your rat to walk on and a tray should sit below the cage to capture and collect waste and food debris. Mesh floors are not suitable as they can lead to injury if your rat gets their feet trapped, in addition, the mesh is necessary to maintain a good amount of ventilation, and this means glass aquariums ought to be avoided completely.
What should you put in Pet Rat Cages?
The ideal set-up for a rat is a large cage that provides the ability to climb and explore. In addition, the base and floor spaces should be lined with litter, which will ensure waste is absorbed. This is especially important since ammonia can be a potential hazard to your rat if left to sit, this waste should also be routinely cleared away.
Ensure you only use dust-free bedding, since the dust in many bedding materials can impact your rats breathing and potentially lead to health problems later on down the line.
Your rats also need a comfortable place to sleep and get some rest. A nest box is the best thing to add to a cage – a plain box with shredded paper inside is perfect and budget friendly.
It’s also important to remember that your pet rats are extremely susceptible to excessive cold and heat dehydration and so it’s imperative you monitor their conditions. For instance, if it’s sunny, move them to a cooler location and in the cold ensure they are adequately heated and sheltered from the drop in temperature.
Can Rats live alone?
Rats are extremely social and therefore if left to live a life alone can suffer. For this reason, a pairing of same-sex rats is ideal. Both males – bucks and does – females are fantastic pets, yet offspring from the same litter make superior pairs. Still, if this is not possible, unreeled rats will do fine.
After a few weeks a hierarchy structure will begin to develop and as a result, you will start to notice some aggression as they negotiate who is boss, but don’t worry this is normal behavior.
What to Look for in the Best Pet Rat Cages
To ensure your rat has a great and happy home, here are the most important things to consider when choosing and comparing the many types of pet rat cages out there:
Cage Floor – Metal cages are the best types of cages for rats as they allow them to climb are tough enough to withstand biting and knowing. However, mesh on the cage floors is not ideal since rats feet can easily become trapped, which can lead to injury. Therefore, the best type of cage is one with solid floor surfaces that your rat will be able to navigate more easily and won’t be at risk of getting trapped.
Portability – Rats are extremely sensitive to the heat and cold, therefore when the temperatures fluctuate you may need to relocate their cage. In these circumstances, a cage with wheels is far easier to move and won’t mean disturbing your rats as much, as would be the case if you needed to carry the cage to a different room.
Ease of Cleaning – A rat cage needs cleaning at least once a week, in which case you will need to remove and replace lining material and bedding. This process is going to be much easier if the cage is designed to be easy to clean. These cages will typically have large double doors, meaning you will avoid getting your hands stick, as well as removable trays where food and waste have been dispersed.
Cage Material – If you did not know already know – rats chew and bite anything they can get their mouths on. This is why it’s essential to choose a cage made from a tough and durable material that can withstand attacks from their teeth. The best material is metal; this will last longer than plastic and wood and won’t be destroyed by your rat!
Check out this great video that explains everything you need to know about setting up a rat cage for your new pet: