While most families opt for dogs or cats as pets, others prefer those that are considered exotic, such as rats. Not only are they adorable, they are also intelligent and easy to care for. But just like any other pets, these creatures also need some things in order to survive. These include food, frequent vet visits, and proper shelter.
Though there are plenty of rat cages for sale, there are things you need to consider when buying one. Let’s review each of them below.
For every rat, it is recommended to provide at least two cubic feet of space, which means if you have four of them, you need to have an area of 8 cubic feet. Although this is the general rule, there are rare instances when you will need more space, especially for the larger breed of rats and those that are very sensitive.
Always remember that these small creatures spend most of their life inside their cages, so it is necessary that you provide them a spacious area to keep them happy and healthy at all times.
Once you have chosen the right rat cage size, you will be able to enjoy various perks. For instance, if you buy a large-sized cage, you can keep your rodents healthy because they can exercise whenever they want and there are lesser chances of ammonia build up.
Even if you can create a cage from scratch, it will save you time, money, and effort if you get one that is ready-made. But still, this doesn’t mean you forget about their safety and buy one just because you liked its design.
Ideally, the cage should be made with metal or plastic. It should have wire bars as well, so as to keep the rats from escaping. If you are thinking about using glass aquariums, you might want to change your mind because this material is prone to keeping in ammonia and dust, which may only irritate the already sensitive respiratory system of a rat.
Aside from opting for a cage that is made using metal or plastic, its base must also be made using a solid surface. Though having an enclosure with wire floors seem like a good idea because your pet’s droppings will just fall through, it can still cause damage to your rat’s feet. To prevent them from suffering from the serious condition called bumblefoot, you really need to get a cage that has a solid surface floor.
In case you already have a cage that has wire ramps, you can simply cover it with another solid surface. If possible, use plastic laminate and cut it out depending on the cage’s size. And then, layer it with a soft cloth so that you can wash it whenever needed.
An excellent quality cage doesn’t give you the assurance that your pets will live longer. You still have to think about its cleanliness.
If you’ve picked up a plastic cage, you can easily clean it by scrubbing or bleaching. On the other hand, if your cage is made of metal, make sure it is coated with PVC before you brush it or wash it with soap. You need to double check it so that it won’t rust quickly.
However, you need to keep in mind that PVC-coated cages are more susceptible to cracking and wearing out. Thus, you have to be observant for any possible signs of cracks.
Ease of Access
When buying a rat cage, you need to check whether the doors and the shelves are properly organized. As much as possible, its doors should fit the size of the hand of an adult so that it will be easier to take out the rats when cleaning.
Also, the ramps must be properly set up in a way that there are no areas where your pet can feel isolated from the rest.
You also have to make sure that the door is secured. In order to check this, you can close and open it for several times. If the door pops open even in a very slight push, you can assume that your pet will eventually learn to open it on its own.
If you don’t want that to happen, you can opt for a cage that has an opening at the top. Basically, this kind of design provides an easy access point to pet owners as they can just reach into any part of the cage without having to bend their wrists.
Way of Living
For families with children, you need to get a cage that has a very small bar spacing so that they will not be tempted to poke the rodents with their fingers. But as a responsible pet owner, it is your job to educate them about the proper ways of handling and training pet rats. You should discourage them from poking the animals with their fingers or any pointed objects.
If you are the type of person who travels a lot, you need to look or a cage that is portable and can be easily assembled and disassembled.
No matter how much you want to have all rat cages, at the end of the day, you will have to choose one. Hopefully, with these factors, you will be able to make a wise decision so that you will be able to live happily and harmoniously with your pet rats.