Pet rat cages are the standard type of housing that is available for pet rats. While there isn’t much in terms of choice of interiors, pet rat cages come in a number of shapes and sizes and of course, the material from which they are made. To the right pet rat cage, you need to consider a number of factors and that is exactly what you will find out below.

Firstly, you need to clearly understand your own purpose for keeping pet rats. You need to know whether the pet rat cage that you buy will be home to your pet rats or be a breeding home. In each case, the type of pet rat cage you need for the hobby will vary.

Primarily pet rat cages are distinguished based on their material as well as their shape. Mostly all shapes are cubes or cuboids and almost all are wonderfully well crafted without any sharp edges. Most pet rat cages have balconies while some, the larger ones, have complete floors with ramps leading up to them and to the balconies. There are enough places for food bowls to be placed in these cages and the placement of the food & water can either be as drop-in plates or in particular holders made for them.

To begin with, you should know exactly what not to do in terms of pet rat cages. Never place your pet rat in a hamster’s setup. Although they may be near about the same size, but remember that there is a huge amount of difference in the space that a rat needs. Never pick a solid plastic cage, ventilated storage bins or just 10 gallon aquariums for keeping rats.

If you want rats to stay healthy, then the cage needs to be well ventilated, first and foremost. Then we can start looking at the different types based on their material. The first type is the aquarium which is basically a glass or synthetic box which houses the rats. While they are great in terms of the visibility of the mouse, they have absolutely no ventilation, which means that the cage needs to be cleaned quite often. The best part about this type of cage is that in case you are breeding rats, then the litter cannot be thrown out onto the floor below the cage.

Wire cages are the second type of pet rat cage that is available in the market. Rats love this kind as they can scamper up walls. The cages are well ventilated and also have a lot of provisions for hanging toys and other equipment off the walls. The drawback of a wire cage comes only if you are planning to breed. All those kittens (rat babies) can be kicked right out of the cage by their mother as they are small enough to pass through the gaps between the mesh.

Similar to wire cages, in terms of structure, plastic pet rat cages are also in mesh-like structure but whether you are breeding mice or just rearing them, these are probably the last option to get and for a very good reason. While the plastic is extremely comfortable for their tiny, rats tend to have this urge to chew through things and plastic happens to be an easy prey. So when getting a plastic pet rat cage, it is advisable to think twice because not only do the little ones have a tendency of falling through the gaps, the big ones tend to create gaps of their own in the wire-mesh and escape.

So unless you want to starve your pet rat of fresh air or are willing to let them escape, you should go in for a wire cage which is the best kind of pet rat cage available out there.

Veterinary Surgeon, London at Blue Cross UK | + posts

A London based Veterinary surgeon, Sanja is also an avid writer and pet advocate.