Rat Cages - Canada - Where do I find an appropriate cage?

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SQ

Senior Member - Vegan for the animals
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I'm curious about how you built this cage. Are the Critter Nation cages able to be taken apart and then reattached to each other, or did this involve cutting and reattaching them somehow? It's hard to tell from the pictures, but they seem pretty solidly built. I'd love to eventually have a cage like this!
The critter nation cage (CN) has side panels, a front panel and a back panel that fit together. The side panels are not put in and the two cages are attached together using zip ties. Removing the side panels means the two CN cage is not quite as sturdy as each world be as a stand alone cage. It makes a really great cage that is 6 feet long, giving rattes the important horizontal space they need
 
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JesusFreeman

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I'm looking for a cage about 100-150 CAD, and no matter where I look there's cages being sold hundreds of dollars past what they're being sold in America (the same cages). Where can I find a decent cage that meets the requirements for say, about 4 rats but that isn't selling for 400+?

I've felt really frustrated by continuously finding great cages online but then finding out they don't ship to me.
I built my cage myself out of wooden planks and chicken wire, that way I could build it exactly to fit in my apartment, to give my fluffies the largest living area possible, I had to build it like a high rise almost, with alternating levels so they couldn't fall down and hurt themselves. but also gives them the ability to climb and stuff, in the end I think I spent under 100 bucks for all the materials and if I wanted to buy a cage this size just based on surface area and complexity it definitely would have costed me 6 or 7 times what I spent. I also still have chicken wire left over to do other stuff with which was the most expensive, I think the whole roll cost me like 40 bucks or something and I still have most of it left over. The wooden frame is good since they like to chew on it and their wooden houses
 

mwp051699

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I built my cage myself out of wooden planks and chicken wire, that way I could build it exactly to fit in my apartment, to give my fluffies the largest living area possible, I had to build it like a high rise almost, with alternating levels so they couldn't fall down and hurt themselves. but also gives them the ability to climb and stuff, in the end I think I spent under 100 bucks for all the materials and if I wanted to buy a cage this size just based on surface area and complexity it definitely would have costed me 6 or 7 times what I spent. I also still have chicken wire left over to do other stuff with which was the most expensive, I think the whole roll cost me like 40 bucks or something and I still have most of it left over. The wooden frame is good since they like to chew on it and their wooden houses
For that money you can get a single critter Nation! And then if you ever need another one you can get the top cage and have the DCN!
 

Morrigan

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@mwp051699
You are severely underestimating the cost of Critter Nation cages outside of the USA. It costs a lot of money for a non-USA resident to buy a Critter Nation cage, probably double whatever the initial USA cost is.

@JesusFreeman
Honestly, I think it's admirable whenever someone can build a cage for themselves like that. Unfortunately, I don't have that level of technical skill. But it is a good idea for people who can. I once wrapped a ferret cage in chicken wire with some help though, and that was a great cage for a time....

@SQ
Thank you for the links! I've ordered some of the space pods and tubes to hopefully give them something interesting. The drainage pipe is really interesting, I'm going to keep that in mind for when we all get out of quarantine and it's easier to ask for specific requests. Your cage is so beautiful!
 

mwp051699

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@mwp051699
You are severely underestimating the cost of Critter Nation cages outside of the USA. It costs a lot of money for a non-USA resident to buy a Critter Nation cage, probably double whatever the initial USA cost is.

@JesusFreeman
Honestly, I think it's admirable whenever someone can build a cage for themselves like that. Unfortunately, I don't have that level of technical skill. But it is a good idea for people who can. I once wrapped a ferret cage in chicken wire with some help though, and that was a great cage for a time....

@SQ
Thank you for the links! I've ordered some of the space pods and tubes to hopefully give them something interesting. The drainage pipe is really interesting, I'm going to keep that in mind for when we all get out of quarantine and it's easier to ask for specific requests. Your cage is so beautiful!
Morrigan ... Just order the DCN from a US company or Amazon or something, and have it shipped to Canada.
 

Morrigan

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Morrigan ... Just order the DCN from a US company or Amazon or something, and have it shipped to Canada.
Most places do not ship cages to Canada (including Amazon), and in cases where they do its it's a huge cost. It is literally impossible for people outside of the US to get this cage for even roughly the same price. Trust me, I've done a lot of cage hunting. It is not a cheap alternative
 
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Morrigan

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I meant American amazon doesn't sell it, but yeah it is available on Amazon.ca. Just not at a cheap price, or one cheaper than making your own cage/some alternatives. I do think CN is a good cage, just way less cost efficient for people outside of America
 

heatherton

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Gosh, some people are being incredibly unhelpful.

Critter Nation cages are not the be all, end all of rat cages. They have their pros and cons like any other cage, one of the cons being it’s (extremely understandably) outside OP’s budget. Most people aren’t made of money, and the cages are very expensive (honestly even if I had the money I wouldn’t buy one as they just seem overpriced, and I’ve seen them in-person too).
Despite giving their reason, that they either can not afford the cage or simply it’s availability to their area is so poor that it isn’t a viable option, people just keep plugging Critter Nations.

can people please be more considerate and recognise OPs statements and reasons. I don’t see the point of backing someone into a corner with ‘just get a CN’ comments until they cave or just throws their hands up and give up on keeping rats.
 

LMH

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Morrigan ... Just order the DCN from a US company or Amazon or something, and have it shipped to Canada.
Keep in mind that out of the gate, we Canadians pay 35% more with the current exchange rate, plus then delivery (probably a lot), tax, and then duty fees as well. I've looked into this solution for other items that were more expensive in Canada, from various sources (not just Amazon) and there was never a cost-effective solution to get around the higher price in Canada.
 

Lilah

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In Canada:

I regret not having gotten the Double Critter Nation sooner for the ratties. It made all the difference in their quality of life. It was also easier to clean and set up their stuff.

I found a used one on kijiji for 175$ I think. I cleaned it very well. I got second hand fleece blankets from Value Village to make coverings for the shelves (which can be conveniently secured to the levels by tucking the edges between the plastic pans and the metal) and cozy hammocks. I made a few sets, it was cheap and easy to clean. I put a couple litter boxes in the corners and outside in their play/roam space (the living room was barricaded for them and covered in fleece blankets also).

A DNC is the minimum for rats I feel. I don't care what other authorities recommend other minimums. Rats have short precious lives and it's important for them to have as large comfortable and fun a living space as possible when it's not possible for them to be out. Especially as they get older, the DNC has adjustable levels that can be set up so the ramps are more shallow and the large surfaces make it nicer for elderly and disabled ratties who can't climb any more and end up limited to the bottom level.

One of the best things about it are the adjustable levels. Getting extra levels (I got a couple extra from https://www.chinchilla.ca) expands the living space a lot and allows for shallower ramps as they get older.

You can check kijiji and craigslist, could even try a wanted post on freecycle.org. Good luck :)

For those who feel it's unhelpful, well that's too bad, but my first concern is the well being of the rats. I didn't have much money either (and now I don't have enough to keep rats any more, so I don't) but still found a way to scrape together for their vet visits, surgeries and meds which often came out to much more than the DCN. It's not cheap to care for animals.
 
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Morrigan

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I honestly don't think the CN is the only viable cage. I do think I've been patient but getting told CN is my only option, or the only option for people even when outside America is just plugging a company at this point.

Honestly I don't think 'CN or you're a terrible owner' is a great message. It wouldn't drive me off but to be honest: the vast majority of people who seek out advice on a forum are better already than 90% of people who buy a rat at a store and stick it in a hamster cage or tank. Why drive off people who make an effort when there's hundreds of rats in need of homes and usually ending up somewhere worse?

Anyway I did mention earlier I did buy a replacement cage for my rats for 99 dollars CAD on sale. No it's not a CN. After this thread I may never get a CN because I'm starting to hate them with a passion

The cage is alright, despite issues I've mentioned in thread, though I'm waiting on an order of space pods. Pic attached. At this point I dont care what people think of my cage layout. I bought another tunnel I need hooks for.
 

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Morrigan

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Honestly, yeah, I do have limited funds and still want to own pets. That's why I'm economical. I saved 600 dollars here that I can spend in a vet emergency later. I really absolutely hate the sentiment of 'if you love your pet you'll always go for the most expensive option'. It spits on people who are trying to manage loving their pets within their budget and who genuinely pour a lot of their funds into their pets but are still constricted by their finances.

Yeah, I'm ''poor''. I'm not going to strip out any joy out of my life because I'm not 'rich' enough to own my pet rats.

Which means I don't allocate my funds to a 700 dollar cage that some lucky people can find completely by chance through a secondhand ad online.
 

heatherton

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@Morrigan there is absolutely something to be said for people who give no or little thought to pet care: buying the ‘pretty’ leash, the cheapest food, the cage that suits your home decor best. But you’re 100% right that people who have bothered to search for, read, register for, and/or post on a forum are proving they have that much more commitment to their pets.
Pets don’t care what they have: they want to be safe, comfortable and happy.

We can’t stop idiots getting pets, but we also shouldn’t deter the good people who are doing their best. If you can’t meet the minimum requirements for a certain pet, then yes, you should do without the pet. But a single-brand, overpriced, limited-availability cage isn’t the minimum, be all end all of keeping rats.

you clearly care about doing right by your animals and I commend you for that.
Make the most of whatever cage you have and your rats will love you for it.
 

Morrigan

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@heatherton
Thank you, I really appreciate hearing that right now because I'm so frustrated. I care deeply about my rats, and I'm always working hard to give them a better environment, place to live and new things to explore so it gets... it kind of smarts to be told their well being all comes down to whether I got them a certain cage. I know there's some horrible pet owners out there, especially for small pets since they're seen as so expendable, but hearing that not getting a certain cage means you're hurting your pets is frustrating to me. Not just on a personal level (though definitely on a personal level), but it also frustrates me for all the owners out there who are doing their best and might find this thread as reference and be told they're ruining their rat's lives because they can't afford a cage which is incredibly overpriced in Canada, and in most non-USA zones.

I'm happy with the cage I got. It's a big cage - (what I really need to do now, is to utilize its space properly, which I'm trying to do via orders). I think if people search, they can find cages with big dimensions that are cheaper than CNs. If people can find a discount CN, go for it. But I think there's a lot of alternatives, especially UNKNOWN cages locally, and I was kind of hoping to hear about those more.

The cage I have now is one you can't even find listings for (All Living Things Chew-Proof Loft), which shows to me it's really helpful to visit all your local shops - (though it does suck when you can't review other people's opinions online, something to be careful with).
 

heatherton

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Canada
@Morrigan you make a very good point about small suppliers.

I think it’d be much more useful to state healthy minimum spaces; cages must be secure and safe, but suitability of design will vary by rat. Mine are all, coincidentally, climbers: they wouldn’t care for a large floor or base. They like having levels, but they LOVE scaling the walls and just climbing up, down and around, as such I went for an upright birdcage this time so they could have lots of climbing space (and enough levels to limit bad falls).

Just for kicks, I searched what a CN and DCN would cost me when I moved back home overseas: the equivalent of $700 (That’s minus shipping). I guess pet rats should just cease existing over there? Only reserved for Americans with deep pockets? Doesn’t sound right..
I’d rather save my money for essentials, treats and an unexpected vet bill.
 

SQ

Senior Member - Vegan for the animals
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Jul 21, 2007
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Location
central New Brunswick Canada
The critter nation is certainly not the only good cage and it is far from perfect.
Options for a good cage with sufficient horizontal space vary depending upon the country people live in. Europe, for example, has several good cages that do not seem to be available in North America.

Many members of this forum used other cages, especially prior to the development of the FN and then the CN (designed by Midwest in consultation with experienced rat owners). We wasted a lot of money buying cages that we thought would be good enough or making cages that either did not meet the needs of our rats, our needs, or both. For several years Living World sold a less expensive cage in North America that was a knock off of the CN but unfortunately that is no longer an option. Do not assume that people who have a more expensive cage such as the CN have a lot of money - some may but many have bought cages second hand, on sale, bought a Living World knock off when they were available, or have made sacrifices in order to purchase a cage that was not in their budget.

There are other suitable cages but in Canada they may not be quite as easy to clean etc. If these cages are large enough then in many cases they can be modified to be good cages for rats - although they may be a pain for the pet owner. The Reference Thread has examples of rabbit cages made into rat cages.
The min. standard for a rat cage is 4 cubic feet in size with an additional 2 cubic feet for every rat more then 2 rats (online cage calculators help with calculations). The min size for the base/horizontal space is 30 inches by 18 inches, and rats also need cages with vertical space and large levels. Cages larger then this min standard are better. Rats need cages with small bar spacing so cages with one inch bar spacing need to be covered on the outside with metal hardware cloth. Rats also require solid floors so any wire floors need to be covered with a thick solid covering such as coroplast, thick linoleum, dollar store dish drain tray, a large enough pan, etc. Large doors are also important for ease of cleaning and so that items such as a 12 inch solid diameter wheel, houses, hammocks etc can be put into the cage and removed for cleaning. Horizontal space is essential for rats and becomes more important as rats age.

A good cage is an investment. I have found that rats are expensive pets to care for properly and cages are the least expensive part of that care.
 
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