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KDonohue
08-04-10, 06:48 pm
I'm considering adopting a pair of rats. I've been looking for a forum that is specific for rats but I haven't' found anything that is as good as this site. What i want to know is what is the best type of cage/cheapest? Can I make one? How?

sarahspins
08-04-10, 08:12 pm
I used to be a rat person.. for YEARS. They are still my favorite small animal.. I just can't keep them any more :( The biggest rat forum I know of is Rats Rule! (http://www.goosemoose.com/component/option,com_smf/Itemid,118/forum,rat/) It's not anti-breeding though.. just to give you fair warning.

At one point I was a very frequent poster.. I haven't really been there in a few years now though.. because I haven't had rats in almost 4 years (I made the choice 6 years ago not to get any more due to escalating allergies.. it took a while until I didn't have any more though.. but the difference from just having one last rat, to not having any after he passed, was shocking.. I didn't realize how bad I really felt until I wasn't exposed to those allergens any more).

The "gold standard" for rat cages was Martin's Cages.. I don't know if it still is... I know there are other "suitable" options out there than there used to be, but as with pigs, bigger is better - you really can't go TOO big. My preferred cage is an R-695 (powdercoated) with a flip top (the flip top is handy more for cleaning than accessing rats - the doors are plenty big)... that gives you lots of room for "stuff" for them, and plenty of room for up to 6 girls or 4-5 boys. I wouldn't recommend anything smaller than an R-680 for two.

About 10 years ago "GROTTO (http://www.dapper.com.au/cagebuild.htm)" style cages were popular.. they are basically converted cabinets or bookshelves, I suppose the rat equivalent of the C&C cage, but they're very high maintenance. Rats pee on everything (it's just what they do), and in a cage with solid shelving, you have to be diligent about keeping things clean (multiple times a day) or you increase their risk of bumblefoot (which they can also get on wire flooring, however with enough soft options like hammocks and baskets and such, the risk is low). Rats will chew up and eventually destroy almost everything you keep in their cage - so covering surfaces with fleece or other soft bedding usually doesn't do more but give your rats something to entertain themselves with, though some rats are the exception to that rule - don't expect yours will be, just be pleasantly surprised if they are.

Good luck, if you decide to adopt them.. they are truly charming, I'm sure it won't take you too long to fall for them :D

KDonohue
08-04-10, 08:17 pm
I was looking at the R-695 for two males or for four females. It depends on which group i decide to adopt. I'm spoiled with how cheaply i've made my guinea pigs cage so i'm struggling with spending so much on the martin cages... any chance you still have yours laying around? haha I'm looking at a few other options but will most likely end up splurging on the martin. thank you for your input!

sarahspins
08-04-10, 08:29 pm
Haha.. nope.. I sold them all as my rat population dwindled.. it would have been too tempting to get rats and make myself suffer through the allergies all over again :)

Martin's rat cages are good cages though - I had several that were very old and they were still in great shape when I let them go - you really couldn't tell them apart from the newer ones I had. If you take care of one of their cages, clean and wash regularly, they can pretty much last "forever"... and obviously you can sell it when you're done with it.

medusa_stew
08-04-10, 08:38 pm
My sister uses the ferret nation cages, she has 3 of them put together for one big cage!

But she has 11 females. :eek:

my only advice is keep them busy and don't keep them in your room:D


Hope all goes well.

Silverbeat
08-04-10, 08:44 pm
You can make a cage from just wood and 1/2 or 1/4" galvenized or power-coated hardware cloth. That is probably the cheapest option, just be sure that you cover any wire flooring with towels and/or fleece.

Ly&Pigs
08-04-10, 09:35 pm
I've had a homemade cage that was made with wood and hardware cloth, a grotto type cage that was made out of a couple of bookshelves but my favorite is the Ferret Nation. For young rats/small rats it needs modified with hardware cloth but they are great cages and easy to clean.

medusa_stew
08-04-10, 09:43 pm
I've had a homemade cage that was made with wood and hardware cloth, a grotto type cage that was made out of a couple of bookshelves but my favorite is the Ferret Nation. For young rats/small rats it needs modified with hardware cloth but they are great cages and easy to clean.

Ly, Have you ever heard of feeding rats chocolate?

My sisters mother in law said the lady at petsmart said they could.

I said probably not because someone from petsmart said they could.

But correct me if I'm wrong.:rolleyes:

CavyCrazyLady
08-05-10, 06:37 am
I think that dark chocolate, in small amounts, helps them when they are not breathing well.

Aertyn
08-05-10, 07:04 am
My friend used to give her rats Chocolate, they had severe Myco though and only got it when their breathing was really bad (on top of medication of course).