Creating the perfect home for rats - what we are looking for when you apply to adopt
Rats are very active and agile small pets and need plenty of space to climb and play. The minimum cage size for a pair of rats should be around 500,000 cubic cm. To work out whether a cage is suitable you simply need to multiply the height, width and length of the cage.
Adapting the cage for Rats
Sadly may suitable sized cages come with a wire base. Wire is very uncomfortable for rats to walk on, and can lead to feet getting trapped. It can also cause a very painful condition known as Bumble Foot. Therefore, it is important to cover the base with something solid.
Here at Nibbles we ordered cut to size sheets of aluminium which sit over the bars. You could use a sheet of cardboard cut to size and replace this once chewed or soiled. Some owners use an off cut of vinyl flooring, a padded cage liner or hemp mats.
Positioning the Cage
The cage should not be positioned in direct sunlight. They will also need to be kept away from drafts.
Climbing - rats love to climb and enjoy items which enable them to do this, and plenty of shelves to sit on.
Hammocks - rats love to snooze in a comfy hammock, you can either buy these or make your own from the legs of old trousers
Wheel - not all rats enjoy wheels, however, if you do decide to add a wheel to the cage it will need to be at least 14" in diameter to allow them to run comfortably
Litter Trays - many rats will use litter trays and to encourage their use, using a different substrate such as a paper based cat litter is recommended.
Enrichment- rats are very busy animals, especially the girls. They enjoy having lots of things to do and interact with. They will also enjoy spending time outside of the cage for free range time.