I am an avid animal lover and expert in rat husbandry. I love to write about animals.
Shopping for Your Rat's Cage
Our rats deserve only the best housing, and it is our responsibility to find enclosures that offer them plenty of room to play, sleep, and exercise. A cage should be able to sustain a rat's exercise needs while also being easy to maintain and clean. If you need to find rat cages for cheap, then you have definitely come to the proper place for some assistance and guidance. Your rats should have only the best living space, but that can be challenging on a budget.
While sticking to our budget, we must not sacrifice the health of our beloved pets. For instance, rats should not have wire grate flooring in their enclosures. This type of flooring can hurt their feet severely, potentially resulting in "bumblefoot."
Keep the following things in mind when shopping:
- The cage should offer at least 1.5 square feet of space per rat, with great airflow.
- It should be easy to disassemble, clean, and maintain.
- It should be free of wire grate flooring.
Shopping at Pet Stores and Department Stores
Sometimes, these stores can have very high prices or deeply discounted prices. It all depends on the store chain and who they order their products from. Your area's location may be a factor in the price of the cage as well.
You are going to want a cage that is sturdy and healthy for your pet rat, so ensure that you research the brand name before purchasing the cheapest cage available. You must also remember that smaller cages will have smaller prices; you cannot just choose a smaller cage, though. There must be at least 1.5 square feet of cage space, and the cage should be properly ventilated.
Tips on Finding a Deal
Don't forget that you can always cross-check prices to make sure you are getting the best deal. You can also hit big clearance events or sales to get a very decent cage for an incredibly low price. This is the best option if you are seeking out a new cage. Online retailers tend to have much lower prices as well, due to having fewer overhead costs than physical stores. It may not be a bad idea to check out the options on sites such as eBay or Amazon.
Finding Cheap Rat Cages Through Yard Sales, Consignment, and More
If you are okay with purchasing a pre-owned cage, then you could save anywhere from 25% to over 90% on a habitat for your pet rat. Previously used cages are generally pretty cheap, simply because they come from people who potentially owned a pet in the past but were forced to rehome it, or it could have even passed away. These are ideal people to purchase cages from if you are currently on a budget. If you own or plan to own several pet rats, you may need several cages. This method of purchasing cages could save you several hundreds of dollars throughout time.
Check for Cracks and Breakage
As long as you evaluate the quality of the cage and it has no cracks or broken pieces, you can rest assured that you are investing in a good cage. Cracks can lead to leaking of the animals' waste, which could be potentially hazardous to your family, other pets, and it can also damage furniture if not cleaned soon after the leak occurs.
A broken cage can also severely injure the animals, as they can get cut, limbs could get hung and could possibly break, and the animals could be exposed to hazards such as rust. If the cage you are interested in is damaged, you should ensure that you can make decent repairs to the cage before investing in it.
Making Your Own Pet Rat Cage
Perhaps one of the cheapest ways to house your pet rats is to build your own cages. There are many websites online that feature blueprints for pet rat homes. If you have been slightly discouraged by the current prices on premade rat homes and cages, this could be the best option for you.
What Are DIY Cages Made From?
Generally, homemade cages are made out of items such as chicken wire or specifically cut shelving and closet racks for the upper part of the cage, with the base being made out of a variety of liquid-resistant and stain-resistant materials such as plastic storage containers. These can be very effective rat cages, and they can be custom made to fit in a certain area in your home.
If you have a large rat colony, you could even transform large wooden furniture into a rat cage, such as an old dresser. These pieces of furniture are usually obtained at yard sales, to lessen the cost.
How Do I Learn to Build a Cage?
If you are unsure of how to build your own rat cage by hand, there are thousands of tutorials online! You can purchase cage building ebooks so that you can have step by step written instructions on cage building. This is advisable if you are truly unsure of how or where to start. If you are a pretty avid do-it-yourself'er, then you can most definitely utilize the many different YouTube how-to videos that will teach you how to build a rat cage. The video below is a really good start for inspiration!
Which Option Will You Choose?
Now that you are aware of the many ways to obtain rat cages cheaply, you can use your knowledge to avoid the high retail prices. You could even begin your own cage building business as well! There are so many different ways to find housing for your pet rats; now, it is up to you to choose which option is best for you and your rat family.
Him on June 22, 2020:
I want a ratty
Max on February 06, 2020:
DO NOT USE TANKS!!
Rats need well ventilated cages, even if you do clean it daily!
Joyce on July 16, 2017:
I have 6 boys and 6 girls. When i got my 2 they were in an aquarium a male and a female and before I could get them rehomed in separate cages they bred and had 11 babies. I have them in separate cages that I bought used online but they have plastic bottoms and they keep chewing through them the top of the cages are fine the bottom are ruined and I'm trying to find a solution that they can't chew through
mal on May 28, 2014:
I need a big cheap cage for my rat btu i can't find one
Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of cage is best for a rat?
When housing your pet rats, a metal cage would be the best option. Not only will your whiskery friends enjoy climbing and peeping through the wires, metal cages provide maximum ventilation and are much easier to maintain.
However, not all metal cages are created equal and hence, choose a metal cage that won’t bend and exhibits rust-resistant features.
What kind of cage does a rat need?
A rat needs a spacious, well-ventilated enclosure that can store basic items, toys, and other paraphernalia. The rat cage must be chew-proof and escape-proof.
How big should a rat cage be?
When it comes to purchasing a rat cage, a rule of thumb is to purchase one that is as big as your budget. Unless you have limited space or budget, then choose a cage that can provide at least 2 cubic feet of space for each pet rat.
How to clean a rat cage?
- Move your pets to a temporary enclosure.
- Empty your pet’s cage.
- Discard beddings and litter.
- You can either dismantle your cage or transfer it to a suitable area for washing.
- Immerse all rat toys and accessories in a tub of warm sudsy water for a few minutes before scrubbing.
- Scrub the rat cage using a non-abrasive sponge drenched in dishwashing liquid.
- Disinfect the entire rat cage using rat-friendly cleaning products or natural disinfectants found in your kitchen.
- Rinse the cage thoroughly using hot water.
- Allow your cage to dry. You may use a hair blower to dry your pet’s toys much faster.
- Once everything is dry, put them back together inside the cage. Don’t forget to add fresh bedding and new covers.
How to disinfect a rat cage?
As easy as spritzing apple cider vinegar can effectively disinfect any rat cage. Spray after every wash and wipe the cage daily with wet tissues drenched in vinegar. This is the safest and most economical way of keeping your pet’s cage fresh as well as minimizing the load of harmful microorganisms that could make your pet sick. A rat-friendly and veterinarian-approved disinfectant is also preferable.
How often should you clean a rat cage?
The frequency depends on how many pet rats you have living inside each cage. Regardless, you need to perform a few tasks daily. This includes:
- Removing soggy floor coverings
- Eliminating solid waste
- Replacing beddings
- Throwing out spilled food, and
- Wiping the bars using wet tissues
Moreover, you must thoroughly clean and disinfect your rat cage at least once every week without regard to the number of critters you have.
How to keep a rat cage from smelling?
- Observe daily cleaning practices. Apple cider vinegar, which is a humble kitchen staple, can neutralize ammonia and serve as a natural deodorizer. Wipe the cage daily using wet tissues soaked in vinegar.
- In addition, make sure your pet rats are fed a proper diet consisting of high-quality lab blocks and a mix of fresh fruits and vegetables. A poor diet leads to oily skin and foul-smelling stools.
- Dispose visible waste and dampened beddings as soon as possible.
- Likewise, take away uneaten produce at the end of the day.
How to make a rat cage smell better?
There are many high-absorbent and odor-control rat beddings sold in the market today. The best rat beddings are recycled wood pulp. Unlike chip beddings, these beddings are dust-free and exhibit a paper-like absorbency.
What to put in a rat cage?
Before you take a rat home, make sure you have the following awaiting in his fur-ever home: warm beddings, a water bottle, a ceramic food bowl (filled alternately with dry rat food and fresh produce), a hammock, and lots of physically and mentally stimulating toys.
What does a rat need in its cage?
Apart from cool water and good quality food, rats need plenty of toys to par with their high energy levels.
How to line a rat cage with fleece?
Fleece may cost a pretty penny at the start however, they are economical in the long run since you may simply wash and reuse them.
Simply remove the pans and make a square or rectangular cut out for each one of them. Each fleece should be an inch bigger so you can tuck the excess under the shelf using a binder.
How to get your rat to stay in its cage?
Rats love to constantly move around, nibble, and play. As a result, it is crucial that you provide your pampered rat a large cage to accommodate various toys and accessories. If your tiny pet is living in the lap of luxury where he can enjoy doing various things and has an array of delicious treats nearby, he will love to spend more time in its cage rather than squeeze his way out of the cage.
How to make a rat cage escape-proof?
Choosing a cage designed particularly for rats is the best way to ensure it is escape-proof. If you have the misfortune of choosing the wrong cage, head to the home depot, buy a hardware cloth, and use it surround the cage. A rat cage should have ½” of bar spacing to be considered escape-proof.
How much space does a rat need?
A rat needs 2 cubic feet of space to be comfortable.
What cage size is suitable for 2 rats?
For starters, a rat cage measuring 72 cm x 36 cm x 44 cm will suffice for two rats. Then again, you will be needing more space if you plan to add more toys and other items to keep them happily busy.
Prevue Pet Products Rat & Chinchilla Critter Cage, 31-in
$139.99 FREE 1-3 day Shipping on this item
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Prevue Pet Products Rat & Chinchilla Critter Cage is the perfect space for your pet rat, chinchilla or other small animal. The wrought iron construction with all-metal dusty rose, Hammertone finish features chew-proof ramps and platforms with lots of room for movement and exercise. The pull-out bottom grille (3/4 inch wire spacing) and debris tray allow for quick cleaning. There’s also a bottom shelf for storing extra food, treats and supplies. Plus, the large front door makes for easy access to your furry friend.
- The small wire spacing and solid metal ramps and platforms make this an ideal cage for rats and chinchillas as well as baby ferrets.
- The large front door allow for easy access to your furry friends while a pull-out bottom grill and tray make cleaning quick and easy.
- Features a wind-bell lock on the bottom of the cage that prevents pets from pushing out the tray if the cage is used without the grill.
- This practical design also includes a bottom shelf for storing extra food, treats, and supplies.
- This cage features chew-proof ramps and platforms with lots of room for movement. Its sturdy design is built for years of use with wrought iron construction and all-metal dusty rose, Hammertone finish.
(2) Metal Platforms, (2) Metal Ramps, Grille.
Watch our Prevue Pet Products video
Wash cage regularly with a mild soap, warm water and Prevues non-abrasive #109 Cage Scrubber. Dry thoroughly. Do not dry tray in the sun, as it can warp. Inspect the product periodically and remove from use if it becomes worn or damaged.
Your rat is your best friend so why not give him the best cage. If you don’t know what makes the best cage for your critter friend, then we have all the information that you need.
Metal not plastic:
It’s important to choose the cage that is powder coated wire and not galvanized wire. This is because the powder-coated wire is stronger, low maintenance, and easy to clean. The cage looks aesthetically more appealing and is often very sturdy. That means the rats will not be able to chew through it and escape. Plus, it’s important to make sure that the spacing is right that way your rat does not get stuck between the cage.
It’s best to get a cage that is 2.5 ft.³ per rat. Keep in mind that rats are bigger than hamsters and mice, and they love to stay active. This is why the proper size is important for your friend to thrive. You want to ensure that you have big doors on your cage so you can place your hand inside and clean.
One of the most important things is to get a cage with a removable tray. That way, it’s so much easier to clean. All you have to do is to remove the tray and dump all the bedding and feces in a plastic bag, then put the tray back in. If the cage does not have a removable tray, do not buy it. That means you would have to take the cage apart to clean the rat droppings this can be very troublesome.
It’s important for rats to have the proper ventilation. That means you should not place a rat in an aquarium. Another thing is that a multilevel cage can provide more room and ventilation for the rat roam and thrive.
With the right cage for your rat, he or she will be forever thankful and love you for life.
Here are some highly recommended cages that you can check out
1. Midwest Deluxe Critter Nation
Multi Level Rat Cage
The Midwest deluxe critter nation provides an amazing habitat for your rat. It creates a spacious living area that your rat would love to explore. It has a half inch horizontal wire space for your pet to climb and explore. It also comes with ramps, resting shelves, and easy to remove pans. The double door feature will make it easy for you to assess your rat, clean, and feed. The environment is safe along with a double locking door for security and easy to handle.
- Two pans and two adjustable shelves with
- three ramps and four locking wheel casters
- Double doors and removable shelf
- Wide shelves with leakproof pan
- Half inch horizontal wiring space
- 36 inch length by 24 inch width by 63 inches height
2. Prevue Hendryx Black Rat Cage
Large Rat Cage
This is an impressive and spacious cage that provides a wonderful living space for your active pet rat. The cage comes with ramps, hammock, and shelves to keep your pet rat entertain and relaxed. It also has two large doors, so you can play with your rat. The bottom tray can be easily removed for efficient cleaning. The great part is that the cage is also portable and can be moved from one room to another without using a lot of manpower.
- Four levels living in playing space
- Two large doors with locks to prevent the rat from escaping.
- A mid-level floor that separates the cage into the half.
- Easy to remove the tray for cleaning purposes.
- Storage shelf and rolling Castor
3. Ferret Nation Cage 182
Extra Large Rat Cage
This spacious cage contains a double unit with the ultimate and exciting habitat for your rat to dwell in. It is equipped with three ramps and two shelves with two removable pants. The double door makes it easy for you to play with your pets as well as feeding, cleaning, and decorating. The wide shelf and wide plastic pan provide general playing space for your pet. A dual lock door makes the environment safe, so you’re pet does not get hurt or scared.
- Double door and white shelves with a plastic pan
- Swing up blocking ramp.
- Door locking door latch.
- Removable shelves
- Quartz Hammerton
- Square tube frame construction.
- Angled ramp for security purposes.
4. Prevue Rat Cage, 31 x 20.5 x 40 IN
Ideal cage for rats and other small animals
The Prevue has small wiring space, so your rat will not get stuck. Plus the solid metal ramp makes a wonderful platform for your pet to have fun in. It comes with a large front door and a small rooftop door for easy access.
It also has a tray that you can remove for easy cleaning purposes. The lock occurs on the bottom of the cage to prevent the pad from kicking the tray or escaping. The design has a bottom shelf to store extra treats for your pets.
- Solid metal ramp and platform.
- Wire lock for extra protection
- Space-saving shelf so you can store toys and treats.
- Large front door and small rooftop
5. Kaytee Multi-Level Habitat | 24″ x 24″ x 41.5″
Best cage for a ferret
This elegant multilevel spacious cage is perfect for a rambunctious pet rat. The cage is very colorful, fun, and have plenty of accessories for your pets. The cage is made of high-quality and durable material, so it’s chew proof. That means the rat will not be able to chew through any wires.
It has a base that can be easily removed for efficient cleaning. It also has a safety ramp, spiral slide, hammock, trails and funnels, and comfort shelves. It also has a caster wheel, so it’s very it’s portable. You can move it from one place to another with ease.
- Multilevel environment
- A Scatterless base that can be easily removed for cleaning purposes.
- Safety ramp, Hammock, spiral slide, funnel, and comfort shelves.
- Bar spacing is about 1 inch.
6. Kaytee Multi-Level Habitat for Exotics | 30.5” x 18” x 30”
Chew Proof Rat Cage
This is easy to set up the cage that does not require any fancy tools. It contains a deep base to prevent the litter and bedding from spilling. It also has multiple levels to promote an active lifestyle for your pet.
The plastic shelves along with the ramp provide a safe and comfortable environment. It has a half inch spacing between the wires for security purposes and to prevent your pet from escaping. It’s a small cage that fits a small rat, however, if you are going to get two rats or a bigger animal, then it might not fit very well.
- Multiple levels.
- Deep base.
- Chew proof wires and lock.
- Half inch wire spacing.
- Z lock access gate, wire latches, and wire base locking.
7. AmazonBasics Pet Habitat | 48″ x 24″ x 21″
Small Animal Habitat
You can keep your furry little friends safe in this high-quality small animal cage. It’s durable, rectangular, and have a strong iron wire frame. The plastic bottom and base provide a comfortable and cozy space with maximum ventilation and viewing purposes.
This cage is also easy to install and put together for beginners. This is highly recommended for smaller rats to live and thrive. This might not work very well for larger rats or two animals in the same cage.
- Iron wire upper frame
- Plastic bottom base
- Balcony with a ramp and food dish
- Hideaway space beneath the balcony for comfort and security
- Non-drip water bottle
- Limited one-year warranty.
8. Yaheetech Small Animals Cage | 37’’/52”
Best cage for 2 rats
This fancy indoor cage can make your pet feel happy, safe, and healthy. The multilevel cage is very spacious, so it gives your rat plenty of space to exercise. It’s very suitable for larger rats, ferrets, rabbits, and guinea pig.
Because of its large area, it can provide these little critters with plenty of physical activities and mental stimulation. The cage is also designed for safety purposes to protect your pet and to prevent them from escaping.
It comes with various shelves, trays, water bottle, and feeders. The cage is also foldable so you can hide it in the storage if no one is occupying it. Overall, it’s a very simple, fun, and convenient cage to have for your friend.
- Four layer structure with steel wire.
- Four levels with ramps and plenty of space for your critter to run around. It also has a water bottle and plastic food bowl.
- Two front opening on the top and bottom.
- Foldable cage that is easy to store.
9. Go2buy Metal 3 Doors Playpen | 25.2 x 16.9 x 51.6 Inches Cage
Best rat playpen
If you have an active pet rat that can spend hours running around, then this is the cage to get him. There’s a five-level structure that will give your rambunctious little critter plenty of space to play. It has a slide out grid with a handle and cleaning tray.
It contains about five shelves, ramps, tray, and water bottle with plastic food bowl. It has all the necessary equipment to keep your pet safe and happy. Because of the ample amount of space, you can purchase separate accessories such as a hammock, basket, or little tunnels for your pet to play around in.
- Five shelves, one sliding tray, plastic food bowl, and 250 mL water bottle.
- Five level structure that provides a spacious environment for your path.
- Three oversize front door for easy access.
- 1-inch bar spacing to prevent your pet from getting stuck.
- Four caster wheels for portability.
- One slide out the grid.
10. Living World Rat Carrier
Best rat carrier
If you need to find a small carrier to bring your pet to the vet or moving to a new house, then this is the perfect product to provide comfort and security for your little critter. It has an innovative design for convenience and durability. It has two twin handles so you can carry your pet with comfort and ease.
The large opening makes it easy to access your pet. It also comes with ventilation slides to provide optimal airflow. The base provides your pets with secure footing. The locking system will prevent them from escaping. It is, therefore, an ideal environment for a temporary home while you are cleaning the cage.
- Well ventilated slides for maximum air circulation.
- Non-slippery floors on the base
- Two comfortable leveraging handle
- Durable case that won’t break.
- Excellent locking system so your pet will not escape.
Frequently Asked Rat Cage Questions
Q: Who should buy a rat cage?
A: If you just adopted a rat, then you should consider getting a rat cage.
Q: How often to clean the rat cage?
A: You should clean your rat’s cage at least once a week. If you start noticing any strange ammonia smell, then that means it has been too long. It is essential to set up a schedule on your calendar to clean the cage, that way the ammonia smell will not appear. Keep in mind that ammonia can be very dangerous to your rat.
Q: Where should you put a rat cage?
A: It’s best to put your rat’s cage somewhere safe from other animals and in an environment that is not too hot or not too cold. It’s best to keep the cage away from the kitchen or dinner table. Consider putting it on the shelf, table, desk, or anywhere that is safe and secure.
Q: How to clean a rat cage?
A: Cleaning the cage is very easy. The first thing to do is to empty the tray and clean it with water and soap, then put it back in. You can bring the cage outside and spray it with a garden hose and then scrape it down with soap. After that, wash it thoroughly with water and let it dry before putting your rat back in.
Q: How big does a rat cage need to be?
A: The rat’s cage should be around 2 ft.³ per rat.
Q: How to disinfect a rat cage?
A: You can disinfect with soap, Lysol spray, or vinegar water. However, you should make sure that you thoroughly wash the soap or disinfect during the cleaning process. This is mainly because soap or any disinfectant can be toxic for the rat.
Q: How to make fleece liners for rat cages?
A: You can grab a fleece and shredded it into pieces with the shredder or you can cut it into multiple pieces and lined them up on the tray. Then push the tray in the cage, and you have a nice piece bedding for them.
Q: How to keep rat cage from smelling?
A: The best way to keep your rat’s cage from smelling is to make sure that you change it at least once a week. It’s also important to change the bedding, take out feces on a daily basis, remove uneaten food, and change the water.
Q: What to put in a rat cage?
A: The most important thing to put in your rat’s cage is food and water. You can also add other accessories like an exercise wheel, chew toys, balls, or other little toys for them. You can also place a hammock, basket, and tunnels for them to hide and play.
Q: How to make a rat cage escape proof?
A: You want to make sure that the spacing around the cage are appropriately spaced so the rat doesn’t squeeze his body through and escape. Make sure there are no holes in the cage or ways for them to dig out. You also want to make sure that the cage is very sturdy and that the rat is not able to get through the wires.
Q: How to hang baskets in rat cages?
A: You can purchase a basket accessory in the pet store and it comes with all the necessary tools to hang it on the cage. They usually have the proper wiring to connect the basket to the cage. All you would have to do is follow the instructions that they have.
Q: What cage size is suitable for 2 Rats?
A: The minimum size for two rats is 29“ x 15“ x 18“ or 72 cm x 36 cm x 44 cm.
Q: What kind of Cage does a rat need?
A: Your rat needs a cage that has an ample amount of space for him or her to roam around. Plus the case should be made out of high-quality and strong material around the wire, so they don’t chew through it. The spacings have to be proper, so the rat’s head doesn’t get stuck. It’s best to have a multilevel cage so the rat can explore.
Your rat is your best friend, so you know that he or she deserves the best. Why not give him a cage with all the fun accessory and safety features. If you are curious about what to give your best friend, then we have all the products listed above. All you have to do is read, absorb the material, and think about what would make your rat happy. You can bring your rat with you while you go cage shopping. That way, you can test out the features with your little critter friend.
A large wire cage is best, especially one with horizontal bars that allow the rat to climb on the sides. A tall cage with ramps and platforms is ideal for providing room for multiple rats. At a minimum, a cage with 12 by 24 inches (2 square feet) of floor space is okay for two smaller rats as long as the cage is tall and you provide shelves and/or hammocks for extra living space. However, larger cages are always better. Large aquariums are insufficient as they do not provide good ventilation.
Avoid cages with wire flooring spending time on wire flooring has been linked to small cuts that can lead to bumblefoot in rats. If needed, you can modify wire balconies by covering them with a thin sheet of wood, melamine, or other easy-to-clean solid material (fixed to the cage with wire ties).
Ideally, the cage should be placed in a relatively quiet place but still near the social activity in the home. Avoid direct sunlight or drafty zones. Rats are nocturnal so keep their space fairly quiet during the day. Limit access to the cage by other household pets a rat will feel threatened by a hovering cat or dog. Placing the cage on a table or stand will help pet rats feel more secure.
Provide some nesting material such as inkless paper, tissues, or paper towels, which the rats can use as bedding. Avoid the toxic cedar and pine wood shavings, but aspen or other hardwood shavings are fine. There are many good pet bedding and litter options available that are very absorbent, not dusty, and safe for small pets consider using pelleted products (typically very absorbent) under a layer of softer loose bedding. Usually, rats will choose a designated bathroom area in one part of the cage. Scoop out heavily soiled litter daily, and add more litter when needed. Clean the whole cage and provide all new litter and bedding once a week.
Provide your pet rat with a nest box. A cardboard box will need to be replaced often. Other possibilities include a flowerpot or jar turned on its side. Store-bought boxes are fine, but wooden ones can be hard to clean when they get urine-stained, and plastic boxes get chewed up fairly quickly.