Updated: Feb 5, 2021
While I’m working on updating the website, I decided to add some blog posts about my favorite cages, bedding, toys and some of my rat’s favorite things.
I get a lot of messages asking for recommendations so these blog posts will be great for future reference.
Critter Nation ($130 to $240)
My favorite cage is the Critter Nation from Midwest. This is the cage that I use in my Rattery. Both the Single level and the Double Critter Nation are great cages for rats. It offers a lot of space for hanging toys, hammocks, ladders, ropes and the double doors make it a breeze to clean.
Rats are fossorial and love to dig so I highly recommend using a large cement mixing tub as the base of the Critter Nation. You just have to remove the bottom wire grid and place the cement mixing tub in its place. You can a deep layer of bedding that will provide lots of digging and enrichment for the rats and it’s super easy to clean meaning less mess to clean outside of the cage. Here’s an example of a Single Critter Nation with the cement mixing tub. Large cement mixing tubs can be found at Home depot for only $14.
Another great tip is to remove the plastic bottom of the mid level of the cage and add a plastic container as an extra litter box. I use a 28qt sterilite storage container from Target ($5). It’s super easy to clean! if you leave the plastic shelf on the rats will just pee all over it and it will be a huge mess for you to clean daily....trust me on this one lol Here’s an example of one of my cages with the plastic containers added as litter boxes.
I also don’t support the use of fleece as a cage liner. As I mentioned above, rats are fossorial and love to dig. They will just chew the fleece into pieces and try to dig under it. Also fleece is a water repellent type of fabric and it is horrible at keeping ammonia levels down so it’s really detrimental to the rats. Unless you replace the fleece and wash it daily the rats will prone to respiratory issues by using fleece. Of course hammocks are ok but make sure you change and wash their hammocks every couple of days 😊
Prevue 528 ($80)
This is what I use as maternity cages in my Rattery. If you are on a budget and looking for a smaller cage this cage is great!
It provides a deep base and it’s easy to clean. I like to remove the shelf so it gives extra space for hanging hammocks, toys and ladders. It’s suitable for 2-3 females and 2 males.
Grosvenor Rat Cage ($90)
Taller than the Prevue listed above. This cage provides a bit more height than the Prevue 528. I would also recommend removing the shelves so you will have more space for hammocks, toys and ladders.
Paw Hut 6 Tier ($200)
Honestly for the price of this cage I would just purchase the Double Critter Nation instead but if you can find a good quality used one it’s a nice cage for rats.
Again I would remove levels as they are hard to clean and take away space but in general this cage has good bar spacing and deep base for bedding.
CAGES I DO NOT RECOMMEND
Any cages that are made for ferrets, chinchillas and rabbits are not recommended. The bar spacing on those cages are just too big for rats. Babies will be able to escape through the bars.
Wooden cages are also not recommended. Rats will not only be able to chew the wood but they will pee and mark their cage and you will have a really stinky cage in no time. Yes you could “treat” the whole cage and use a waterproof sealant for wood but why go through all that work if there are plenty of other cages that are more suitable for rats available out there? 😉
Another type of cage I don’t like are cages with wire shelves and wire ladders. The wire will just become very dirty with rats liking to mark their cage everywhere and those cages are very hard to clean on a weekly basis.
Wire bottoms and ladders that are not cleaned often can also case bumble foot in rats.