Providing a suitable living habitat for pet animals is very important as their living space will influence their growth and health. Many people are allergic to rats, but the fact is that they make excellent pets. There is a quote that says, ‘‘a rat is neither good nor evil. It does what a rat has to do.” If the rat is well bred and is vaccinated, there will be no threat of diseases either. A large rat cage provides enough space and ventilation for the rats. Doubtful whether you can pull off this act? In that case, referring www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/pets site is advantageous.
General Requirements for a cage:
The size of the enclosure must be double the number of rats. Some breeds of rats require more space, and they do not like being cramped up with other rats. A large cage will offer more room to the rats allowing them to spend both social and private time. The health-related issues like obesity will be lesser in large cages. Large cages do not become dirty soon, and the buildup of Ammonia will be lower when compared to small cages.
Precautions to be taken for safety:
1) The cages should be made of metal or plastic. The cage must have grills or wired mesh. The base should be made of solid metal or plastic used for making pans. The bedding material should be soft and non-allergic. Glass and plastic bins are not recommended as they build up dust and ammonia.
2) Even though it is convenient for people to clean the cages that have wired base, it is to be strictly avoided. Even though this model keeps the rats away from their poop, they will develop a condition called bumblefoot if they stand on mesh continuously. Laminated plastic or cardboard can be used as the base.
3) PVC coated and plastic cages will last a lifetime and are easy to clean as they do not rust.
4) The shelves and doors of the cage must be well organized. The entries must be large enough that will not squeeze the rats. Flip top lids are also good. The door system must be secure. The rats should not be able to pop them open by applying force.
5) Bar spacing is a significant aspect. It should be according to the size, number and species of the rats chosen.
6) Starter cage will only be sufficient for rats up to 4-5 months. Go for a starter cage only if you are prepared to change them to a cage to grow into. Otherwise, there will be differences in the behavior of the rats.
7) If the living space is small, then make sure that the cage fits into the shower.
8) If there are babies in the house, the bar spacing must be minimal.
9) If you keep traveling a lot, look for a cage that can be assembled and dismantled quickly with convenience.
10) Deep cage pan is the best for houses with carpeted floors. Large cages with wheels are better.
11) Cages with multiple levels are not recommended for rats growing old.