Do you have a pet rat?
Then you must know these are mischievous guys and gals, with an acute intelligence and a high need for exploration. The best rat cage creates the right environment for all their endeavours and games, providing a home that helps them thrive and stay happy.
After a short, yet comprehensive buying guide, we’re taking you through the best pet rat cages on the market. Then we’re moving on to answering some of the most frequently asked questions for rat parents.
If you’re in a rush, scroll down to get straight to the rat cage reviews.
Things to Consider Before Buying
There are various factors that should tell you if a certain rat cage is right for your rats and for you. So if you’re a rat mummy or daddy, here’s what you should take into account:
The right cage size is a thoroughly discussed matter, with various legislation practices in different countries. It’s important to choose the right size for your rat cage, but we’ll detail that in the FAQ section below.
Similarly, bar spacing is an essential matter that gets less attention. The rule of thumb is you need a maximum of 1.7 cm of bar space, or otherwise, your rats can escape. Conversely, many rat cages on the market offer to little bar space, so much so you can’t even poke your finger inside.
The materials used will tell you a lot about how sturdy and safe the cage is for your rats. For instance, metal cages are the most reliable, while plastic cages are considered flimsy. On the other hand, a plastic litter tray is easy to clean.
Plastic accessories might not be a good idea either, especially if your rat tries to chew on them. Uncovered metal or plastic stairs are slippery, so make sure you use something to cover them with.
Regarding the safety of your cage, you can consider its stability and locking mechanism. Make sure the base is well secured to the cage, and that your pet critters can’t open the locks.
If the cage sits on a stand with wheels, ensure the wheels are blocked so the rats can’t roll the cage around your house every time they run inside the cage. But the most important safety aspect is arguably the cleanliness, which is why we’ll discuss this in the FAQ section below.
Everybody is looking for a low-maintenance rat cage, but how do you know it when you see one? A cage that’s easy to clean provides quick access inside, through wide doors or top openings. Cleaning stations that are easy to reach are a good idea too, considering this prevents spills.
Some accessories might make maintenance more difficult. For instance, a cloth hammock for sleeping can retain urine, so it needs to be washed quite frequently. That said, let’s make a swift transition to:
To buy a cage with included accessories or not to buy a cage with included accessories, that is the question.
On the one hand, a completely equipped cage spares you the troubles of finding all the accessories yourself and your rats can use it right out of the box. On the other hand, one with no accessories allows you the freedom to personalize it however you want and might even be cheaper.
So choose according to your needs. Don’t get blindsided by some extras your rat won’t like, and make sure that all the accessories included are high-quality, like the rest of the cage.
The Best Pet Rat Cages on the UK Market
If you want to get the perfect home for your babies, check the rat cage reviews below. The cages range from small to large, with various accessories and design features to make sure you get exactly what you need.
Specific features: 78 x 48 x 70 cm; 1 cm bar spacing; plastic base; easy to clean; knock-down construction; included accessories
The Ferplast Rat Cage can definitely is considered one of the best house for your rats because it comes with delightful accessories that encourage interactive or independent play. This is considered a small rat cage, but it can easily accommodate two grown rats.
Your pet rats can enjoy a little bouncing time in the hammock, they have a plastic ledge that gives them quick access to food, as well as a ramp to get to the ground floor of their mansion. A litter tray is also included in the package but might make things to crammed.
Construction-wise, this rat cage has a number of advantages, like the plastic base that’s quite deep which prevents most messes. The whole design makes this cage easy to clean, particularly thanks to the top opening. You can also use this opening to pet your rats, as well as the 1 cm bar spacing that’s quite enough to get your finger through to rub your rat’s noses.
The knock-down construction is another plus in terms of portability and storage, but the cage is easy to set up if you follow the instructions. On the other hand, the front doors are a bit difficult to open and close.
- Good value for money
- Easy to clean
- Big litter tray
- Difficult to open/ close the front doors
Specific features: 78 x 48 x 80 cm; 3 shelves; 3 ladders; 1 cm bar spacing; collapsible design; included accessories
This Little Friends Rat Cage is the best cage for up to four pet rats considering its dimensions, but it can easily accommodate other small-sized pets. With a 1 cm bar spacing, this cage doesn’t let your rats get out and you can easily pet them through the bars. Another advantage design-wise is the collapsible structure which makes this cage easy to store and transport.
With three shelves and three ladders inside, your rats will have plenty of activities and never a dull moment, roaming through this multi-floor system. They can sleep in the tiny wood house or chill in their hideaway. They can get exercise on the wood see-saw or on the wheel, especially when they’re young. Bigger-sized pets or male rats can find the wheel too small for their liking.
You can easily get another bigger wheel, though, as your babies grow. There are three bowls included too, one on each level so your rats don’t have to bicker over sharing their food. Besides, the whole cage is quite roomy.
On the other hand you might find it lacks stability, considering the plastic part and the cage are secured with just two clips. If your rats are the boisterous kind, a little DIY is in order to fix it better.
Another possible downside is your rats chewing through the wooden shelves. In this case, consider covering the shelves with acrylic or galvanised tin sheets or simply adding other toys they can munch on.
- Easy to store
- Small wheel
- Requires a bit of DIY
LITTLE FRIENDS Triple Metal: best for 9-10 rats
Specific features: 82 x 54 x 158 cm; 3 floors; ladder-joining levels; metal; on-stand; wheels; pull-out plastic tray; 4 swing-around feeding stations; 3 doors; wire floor
Another quality product from Little Friends, this is a pretty cheap rat cage if you consider it can fit up to 9 or 10 rats. It has plenty of room for the rats and any accessories you want to get them but, unfortunately, there are none included in the package.
The construction itself is sturdy and promotes active play. The cage is made of metal so you know it’s resistant and chew-proof, even though the wire floor might get noisy with so many little paws hitting on the bars. However, you can easily move it to a different room at night thanks to the 4-wheeled stand which can be easily removed otherwise.
There are three different floors connected with ladders so your pet rats can explore and spend time apart or together. Besides, the pull-out plastic tray makes maintenance and cleaning a breeze. The four swing-around feeding stations are another user-friendly feature considering their easy use, while the three doors are particularly secure.
- Removable stand
- Value for money
- No included accessories
MidWest Critter Nation Animal Habitat with Stand: best large rat cage for 12-15 buddies
Specific features: 91.4 x 61 x 160 cm; double unit; full-width double doors; 1.25 cm wire spacing; square-tube frame; wide expanse shelf; plastic pan floor; height-adjustable shelves; ramp cover; critter-proof door latches
If you’re after a large rat habitat, this cage is definitely one of the top contenders, although it’s a bit pricey. The wide dimensions that make it suitable for up to 15 rats or other small critters, along with its quality design features definitely make it worth every penny.
This double unit offers a lot of space for your rats to play or rest. Even if there aren’t any included accessories in the package, you can choose a personalised package to offer your little ones the best activities.
The full-width double doors are arguably the best feature of this cage, considering they’re easy to use for maximum accessibility and quick cleaning. The height-adjustable shelves are another highlight because they’re less messy and easy to remove. There’s a removable plastic tray that makes cleaning easy too but it doesn’t have ridges which can cause it to overspill.
That said, your rats can be very happy here. The 1.25 cm wire spacing allows them to climb at will while the wide shelves with plastic floors maximise the play area and decrease the risk of accidental falls. With a ramp cover included in the package, your rats’ feet will benefit from a good traction between the levels.
This rat cage is resistant and safe too. The square-tube frame is sturdy, the transport wheels make the cage easy to move while the dual-locking laches are as critter-proof as possible.
- Easy to clean
- No accessories
- Litter tray can overspill
Frequently Asked Questions
You’re here to get the best cage for your pet rat and hopefully, the reviews above will get you there. But if you want to provide a good home for your rats, you might also want to know the answer to these questions:
How big should a Rat Cage Be?
In terms of rat cage size requirements, the rule of thumb is that a rat needs about 0.05 – 0.07 m3 for a comfortable stay. Knowing that, you can easily calculate if the cage you want to get is accommodating for the number of rats you have.
Take the MidWest Critter Cage above, for instance. Its dimensions are 91.4 x 61 x 160 cm. Multiplying width by height by length, you get its total volume, which is 892,064 cm3. Divide that by 1,000,000 and you get the volume in cubic metres, which is 0.892064 m3.
Now divide this volume by the number of rats you have. If you have 12 rats, the space for one rat will be 0.07 m3. If you have 15 rats, the space for one rat will be 0.059 m3, well above the inferior limit.
With all these calculations, you can now appreciate we’ve done the math for you and listed the number of rats each reviewed cage is appropriate for.
How often do You Clean a Rat Cage?
Needless to say, your rat cage should be cleaned on a regular basis to provide a healthy environment for your rats and to prevent foul odours. The clean soiled spots should be cleaned every day and your cage should be cleaned entirely about once a week.
You will know that your cage needs a clean if you sense an ammonia smell which comes from the faeces build-up. This is not just unpleasant but can also be dangerous for the rats so you need to redraft your cleaning schedule.
What do You Clean a Rat Cage with?
After you’ve removed the rats and taken them to a safe place, you can spray the cage inside with water to soften the residue. Meanwhile, you can use dish soap to wash the accessories and let them air dry.
Afterwards, you can use regular dish soap to scrub inside the cage too. You can also use a pressure nozzle or a scrubbing sponge if you can’t remove all the residue. Lastly, rinse everything thoroughly so the rats don’t eat any leftover dish soap.
You can also disinfect the cage in case you have a sick rat either with bleach or another disinfectant such as Lysol. Dilute the bleach with water in a proportion of 1:15 and use it to cover the cage. Leave it on for 20 minutes then rinse the cage carefully.
How do You Keep a Rat Cage from Smelling?
There are a lot of strategies to prevent bad odours which start with the type of rat cage you buy. For instance, steer clear of uncoated metal cages or mesh floor ones that retain smells.
Pullout cages also need cleaning more often because the littler sits under the cage. Otherwise, if the litter tray is placed inside the cage, rats will trample on their own faeces which reduces smell although it may seem gross.
Other tips and tricks for getting rid of the smell are:
- Add apple cider vinegar to your rats’ water to make their pee less smelly.
- Change their bedding frequently because rats urinate during their sleep.
- Train your rats to defecate in just one area.
- Cloth or cardboard accessories can get soaked with pee so you need to change these every other day.
- Add a few drops of vinegar to the water you clean the cage with.
This article began with a short buying guide to help you decipher the best qualities to look for before purchasing a rat cage. After that, we’ve taken you through some of the best rat cages on the market, so you can find the best product for your needs. And we’ve also hopefully provided an answer to your most important questions about rate cage maintenance.
So now it’s your turn to tell us what you think. What rat cage do you like best and how many pet rats do you have?