Rat cage advice

Discussion in 'Habitat' started by Emily Yelton, Nov 21, 2018.

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  1. Nov 21, 2018 #1

    Emily Yelton

    Emily Yelton

    Emily Yelton

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    I hope the images appeared! Anyways, my girls are currently in the black cage. It has a plastic slide out pan. I did cover the levels so no toes get caught. I also don’t use the bar that went above the tray. A couple of months ago I did upgrade them to a you and me rat manor figuring it’s the only bigger cage i could afford. But they actually did not like that cage and neither did I. So back in the black one they went. They didn’t come out much in the rat manor and refused to go to the bottom to drink. Now that they’re back in the black one, they’re happy little potatoes again.

    The only one i’m lening towards is the kaytee my first home multi level for exotics.... i’m leery of the plastic pan because i am afraid one of them will chew it though they don’t disturb the tray in their current cage. I do not have the money for a critter nation and i am aware that a lot of rat owners have it but i am on a budget and sadly cannot afford it. Any advice? If someone has experience with the kaytee one, it would be most helpful. Their current cage is really easy to clean and take apart. My rats are just inherently lazy haha 89995E80-2A38-4852-8936-C0D8727AF01E.jpeg A1C4DB78-D3F8-452C-8D84-1AE54017A7FA.jpeg
     
  2. Nov 22, 2018 #2

    WillowBean

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    How many rats do you have?

    I wouldn't recommend the Kaytee for the very reason you gave, it's better to cntinue saving and get a lasting cage than stretching your budget for a short-term cage. As long as those bars on ths levels and bottom are covered, it should be fine for a bit. I've also seen people put a metal pan or 2-4 layers of fleece to make the floors soft and safe =)
     
  3. Nov 22, 2018 #3

    SQ

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    wire floors can also be covered with a thick piece of linoleum cut to fit (small levels can be covered with a dollar store dish drain tray cut to fit and attached with cable ties.

    First Homes or starter cages are temporary cages that soon need to be replaced with a more appropriate cage, thus they are a waste of money.

    The base of the kaytee cage meets min requirements for a rat cage but the levels are small and have pee rivers, the door is small, the ramps do not look like they will last long. It looks hard to clean with just the one small door. I have a similar cage that came with 3 rescued boys - the shelves look like they fasten onto the cage in the same way - recently I have been using it as a temporary cage and have found the places where the shelves fasten onto the cage break when the shelves need to be removed for cleaning. The kaytee cage is not a very good cage imo

    The martins 695, powder coated (paint is baked on to prevent rusting) from martinscages.com is a good cage, although the wire levels will need to be covered. It is $140.
    Martins cages also makes a large rat playpen (measures 44" x 44" x 24") with flip top lid that would make a temp cage until you saved up enough for a good cage. It is $85 (see playpens in the Reference Thread)

    Petsmart has a one section critter nation for sale at $147.
    If you keep an eye out you may be able to find a second hand cage in good condition.

    So hopefully you can save up for a good cage that you and your rats will be happy with
     
  4. Nov 22, 2018 #4

    Emily Yelton

    Emily Yelton

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    I have three girls and they’re not on the big side (well one is fat haha). I did try the you and me rat manor like i said but they literally became inactive once they had been in it for awhile and they would not make their way to the bottom to drink. I don’t know why they were like that. When they went back into the cage they”re in now, they’re much more active. My rats are content with their current quarters and i know a bigger cage is always best but why get one if they didn’t like the one they were previously in? I don’t know, my girls are just weird. They’re content with what they have
     
  5. Nov 22, 2018 #5

    Emily Yelton

    Emily Yelton

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    I just feel like a bad rat owner because anytime i say what cage they’re in, everyone wants to say get a bigger cage..... i’m just gonna stick with what i have. Thanks for the advice
     
  6. Nov 22, 2018 #6

    MinisterPumpkin

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    You're by no means a bad rat owner! I'd say the fact that you're coming here and trying to collect all of this information is a testament to that! As awful as it sounds, there are plenty of people out there who take in animals (especially little guys like rats) on a whim and then never bother trying to learn anything about them and essentially treating these living creatures as little accessories. That's a bad owner.

    Someone going online, being honest about what they're doing and seeking the input of others who also care about the well-being and care of pets with the intent of giving their animals the best life possible is not a bad owner. You definitely fall into that second category! It's what we're all trying to do on here -- share our experiences and grow from reading about the experiences of others! I haven't been here long but I can assure you that this is a very nice and very open community from my experience! No one is judging. Everyone is just focused on sharing experiences, learning, and trying to give these great pets great lives!

    I think what everyone here means to say is that it's possible to essentially get "more bang for your buck" considering some other options! If I had known earlier to look at things like Craigslist or about some of the types of sales on cages, I could have saved a lot of money. If you're in the U.S., there's also a possibility that there might be some Black Friday steals if you prefer something new and that you can easily return if your rats don't like it!

    All that is to say, don't get down!
     
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  7. Nov 22, 2018 #7

    Emily Yelton

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    Thank you. I’ve had bad experiences from other rat and pet groups.... i am just wary that i’ll get bashed again for something. Inwould gladly buy a new cage but money is a little tight right now for me. I do plan to find one eventually

     
  8. Nov 22, 2018 #8

    Emily Yelton

    Emily Yelton

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    * i would
     
  9. Nov 22, 2018 #9

    Emily Yelton

    Emily Yelton

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    So with the martins, they do have a plastic base. I am just scared that one of the girls will develop a taste for plastic and chew through
     
  10. Nov 22, 2018 #10

    MinisterPumpkin

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    I totally understand that! Honestly, I'm not active in too many online communities because a lot of them in general (not just pet groups) can get a little intimidating to say the least.

    With regard to money being tight, I totally get that, too. I wonder if you might find some inspiration on the modified cage thread if you're feeling crafty and looking into doing something soon? Another option might be to look into cages marketed toward ferrets and birds. In my experience, there are generally just more bird cage options to go with and they seem to go on sale a little more often. I think there are some pretty cheap cages marketed toward cats as well but then there's definitely the problem of bar spacing so there would definitely need to be some modification needed!

    I don't have any experience with this so you might want to do some more research but I have a friend who used cleanly cut and filed hardware cloth to modify a cage for a mouse. With regard to adding levels, there are plenty of things at the dollar store available. I like to add extra levels and climbing space with long, flat baskets that they sell -- my boys have always liked them so we have a few.

    Otherwise, I definitely recommend keeping an eye on the classifieds. I recently moved across the country but just before I did, someone had a CN ad up and, because they were moving too, were giving it away for free as long as someone went to pick it up. I would have jumped on that if I wasn't on my way across the country already weighed down by my DCN. Definitely make sure you take a friend though! Cages are heavy so there's that practical side and there's also the trying to stay safe side!

    Complete aside, but I picked up two of my boys from a classified ad -- they were from an accidental litter and the only two males left so they needed to be gone ASAP before the person had more accidental litters on their hands. The guy was really nice -- he'd advertised a rehoming fee to make sure they weren't just used as food but waived it after confirming that I already had rats and wouldn't be using them as feeders -- but it was still a little scary going into a stranger's basement.

    Regarding the Martin's cage and its plastic base: I personally don't have a Martin's and I've never seen one in person, but my understanding is that they're designed in such a way that the cage part sits inside the plastic part so even if the rats are able to get to the plastic bit, they shouldn't be able to chew their way out. One word of caution though -- the reason I didn't opt for a Martin's cage when I was cage shopping is because the shipping was very expensive to my area! My first cage was a single CN. Without shipping, it's a little more expensive but, considering my area and factoring in shipping, it was nearly $60 less to get a CN off of Amazon than the R-695. I eventually got a DCN (not just the add-on, but the full DCN in addition to the single) and paid about the same price that I would have for the R-695+shipping!

    All that is to say, there are a lot of options out there! Sorry I couldn't be more help but these are a few of the things I know of!
     
  11. Nov 22, 2018 #11

    SQ

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    Probably because the cage they are in is way too tiny - despite what they are calling it in the ad

    As previously mentioned you need a cage that is at least 6 cubic feet in size and has a base at least 30 inches by 18 inches, and height with levels
    ...... save your money and keep an eye out for sales at this time of year, because people often sell their cages on craigslist or kijiji as often those cages are in good condition

    the critter nation (double or single)
    the martins R695 powder coated - as someone mentioned the plastic pan can not be chewed

    and 39 inch or 40 inch long (or longer) rabbit cages make good rat cages if you add a couple of homemade shelves - they are often sold used .... the only problem is large bar spacing .... but could be covered on the outside with hardware cloth
    - rabbit cages are within your budget, but you may need to cover the outside because of the large bar spacing ... I can give suggestions re adding large levels, and powder coated ladders are pretty inexpensive to order from martinscages.com - they are a family business in the USA and will make things for you ......... for ideas see Rabbit Cages in the Reference Thread https://www.ratshackforum.com/threads/reference-thread-read-only.35894/

    girls in cage.jpg

    I know the prices sound like a lot but they sound good to me because here in Canada those cages cost a lot more then what they cost in the USA :(
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2018
  12. Nov 23, 2018 #12

    Emily Yelton

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    What about this one?
    24B9365C-3B9C-4E0E-A14D-C744BD16032B.jpeg
     
  13. Nov 23, 2018 #13

    Emily Yelton

    Emily Yelton

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    It’s dimensions are 31"; L X 20.5"; W X 40"; H

    The wire bottom can be removed
     
  14. Nov 23, 2018 #14

    SQ

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    Sorry, I have never had experience with that cage or seen one other then in a picture.
    It is big enough.
    I don't know how easy it will be to clean - given the size of the door
    If you remove the wire floor, then I assume you can put large items such as a 12 inch diameter solid wheel, in the cage up through the floor

    The pan worries me because I wonder if they will be able to chew their way out where it is hanging there ...... but I have no idea if that is a concern because I don't know the cage
     
  15. Nov 23, 2018 #15

    SQ

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    Last edited: Nov 23, 2018
  16. Nov 23, 2018 #16

    jorats

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    That black cage is way too small for 3 rats, I wouldn't have even 2 rats in it. But the Prevue one is nice.
    Your girls became more active when they went back in the small one because it's familial to them. Rats don't always like changes but they need time to adjust and turn their new cage into their home.
     
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  17. Nov 23, 2018 #17

    Emily Yelton

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    I called the stores that had them and sadly they’re out of them..... it cannot be directly shipped to me either
     
  18. Nov 23, 2018 #18

    Emily Yelton

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    I’m thinking of getting the prevue one
     
  19. Nov 23, 2018 #19

    SQ

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    will petsmart give you a rain check or can you order online so that it is sent to the store for you? Assuming that you can pick one up at their store

    The one section critter nation is $134 on amazon.com right now https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001NJ0DAE/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20 but that may be too expensive for you

    anyway, good luck
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2018
  20. Nov 24, 2018 #20

    nenn

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    also there are the savic royal suite cages, ferret cages that can be wired to be bigger. Some dog cages are amazing, if you put a wire sheet thing over all of it cause the bar spacing is huge(sorry im not american). Also, you can check bird cages, they are usually big enough, and easy to clean, and ive seen some cheap on some american websites when ive been drooling over cages that I cant have here :) also, you can try searching chinchilla cages too. If you cant find a big enough, and nice enough cage right now, just save up :) I can say that even the critter nation single is AMAZING, and easy to clean :)
     

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