Pet rat cages are sold in most pet stores and online. Unfortunately, many cages marketed for pet rats are wholly inadequate for the needs of even one rat. Take into account the fact that one should always keep at least two rats, and you can see why so many “rat cages” should in fact never be used to keep rats. Fortunately, there are also many excellent rat cages available. Let’s take a look at some of my favorites.
Critter Nation by Midwest
Pros: The Critter Nation is large enough to hold up to 12 rats, though I would recommend sticking to a maximum of 8 rats for compatibility and ease of clearning. This cage is appropriate for all ages and both genders. The large amount of horizontal space allows the rats to run and play freely, while the sides are made of a mesh appropriate for climbing. The large doors allow for easy cleaning.
Cons: This cage is less durable than the Ferret Nation made by the same company. Damage during shipping is not uncommon. The plastic trays can be chewed and are difficult to use with litter. Replacing the stock trays with metal trays (use Rustoleum or powder coat them) is recommended if you wish to use litter
Pros: Martins makes a variety of cages. No matter how many rats you have and what cage type you prefer, you can probably find a Martins cage that you like. Cleaning is relatively simple, especially if you choose one of the models with extra-large doors and/or a top hatch. Powdercoated models can last for many years, much longer than the average rat lifespan. Wire mesh makes climbing easy and allows the hanging of hammocks anywhere in the cage.
Cons: Some Martins cages are too small to really be adequate for rats. Wire mesh may be uncomfortable for older rats and should be covered with shelf liners in most cases. Models with small doors make cleaning the wire levels and changing hammocks difficult. Galvanized models rust rapidly.
Super Pet My First Home for Exotics
Pros: The only cage on this list that’s readily available in chain stores. Adequate for two rats or possibly as many as three older, less active rats. Deep tray accomodates most litter types. Bar spacing is small enough for even very young rats to be confined safely. Hanging hammocks is easy.
Cons: Difficult to clean, especially the plastic shelves, which collect urine in the grooves at their edges. Small doors and difficulty of lifting top portion of the cage without collapsing it make it hard to clean the litter tray, too. Shelves are too narrow to provide much running space and should be supplemented by plenty of hammocks and cubes to keep rats happy and active.