Whether you’re just getting a pet rat cage to replace the one you already have, or you’re buying a new cage for some new pet rats, it’s important to ask yourself some questions and know why you’re looking. It’s also crucial to consider a few things as well to ensure you are getting what you need to keep your pets happy and healthy.

a pet rat in its cage

A New Cage for Your Pet Rats

What if you already have a cage? Why would you need a new cage if you already have one? There are many reasons you might want to buy a new cage.

  • Your rats have grown, and now they need a bigger home.
  • You added another rat to your family, and you need to make more room for them to live in.
  • You just love them so much; you feel they should get a new cage…besides, who doesn’t love a cool new cage?

Consider Your Pet Rats First

Anytime you buy a cage you should consider your pet rats first. Take a look at their needs. Ask yourself these questions.

  • How many rats do you have?
  • Are they males? Females? Or do you have both males and females?

Considering the number of rats you have will help you choose a cage size that is big enough for the number rats you have. The general guideline to follow is two cubic feet per rat. That number is the minimum. You can choose a bigger cage if you want. The only limiting factor would be your budget and the room you have to work with.

Male and female rats have different preferences. Male rats prefer the ground floor. Females like to climb, so age with multiple floors is great for them. If you don’t get a cage with multiple levels, it needs to be high to allow you to add climbing toys or a rope.

What’s Your Budget?

Before you look any further, you will want to think about what your budget is. Knowing how much you have to spend on a pet rat cage will help you narrow down the number of choices. It will also help you refrain from spending too much on a cage that you don’t need (unless you have a big budget and that doesn’t matter to you).

What Are You Looking For?

You should think about what you would like as well. Do you want something that is cool looking? Maybe you’d like something that is bigger and has multiple levels? If you have the money for it, it’s ok to spend a little for something you will like. Spending a little more something you’ll be happy with will save you more in the long run because you won’t keep trying to buy something that is better; you already have “the best pet rat cage.”

What to Look for in a Cage

Aside price, you should look at:

  • The quality of the cage.
  • The materials it’s made from.
  • What the floor is made of.
  • Ease of access.
  • Ease of cleaning.

If the cage feels or looks cheap, it probably is. You get what you pay for, so don’t cheap out and buy something that is too cheap. It won’t last very long, and it might even be unsafe for your pet rats.

Pet rat cages are often made from either metal, wood, plastic, or glass. Wood cages look nice, but they’re not good choices. Wood will soak up urine. It’s also soft, and being a natural material, are easy to chew on.

Plastic cages are prone to ammonia staining. They’re also easy to chew on.

Glass tanks are even worse because they don’t provide much ventilation. Keeping pet rats in glass tanks will greatly increase the risks of respiratory illnesses. Rats are already known to be highly susceptible to respiratory illnesses.

Metal cages are the best because they are sturdy and they do not have the same problems that the other materials have. They don’t get chewed up easily, and they do not soak up urine. They might be a little more expensive, but they’re worth the money.

Another thing to look for is the floor. Make sure the cage you’re buying does not have mesh floors. Mesh floors can be harmful to your rats. They can slip through the mesh and hurt their feet.

Also, make sure to look at the cage and see if it’s easy to access it. Are there plenty of doors in various locations that would make it easy to access the inside of the cage? Can you easily take it apart to clean? A cage that is difficult to clean means it’ll get cleaned less often; that’s something you don’t want to do.

Best Rat Cage for 2 Rats

a pair of pet rats living together

What if you have 2 pet rats? What is the best cage for rat cage for 2 rats? Rat cages for 2 rats should meet the minimum size guideline above of 2 cubic feet per rat. So in the case of 2 rats, the cage needs to be at at least 4 cubic feet. If your budget allows for it, a multi-level cage is preferable.

Homemade Rat Cage

If you’re considering a homemade rat cage, it might only be worthwhile if you have time on your hand, and you truly enjoy makings things yourself. So it’s not worth it? Yep, you’ve got that right.

Why isn’t it worth it to make your cage? Because after buying all the supplies you’ll need to build one, the cost isn’t that much cheaper than a pre-made cage. It also takes a lot of time to make one. Your homemade rat cage might not look as nice as a pre-made cage too. This might be an exception if you have a lot of experience and knowledge making this kind of stuff, but chances are you don’t.

What if you want to make your cage despite the recommendations above? There are plenty of instructions online as well as videos explaining how to make one.

Now you know what to look for when buying pet rat cages. So then, where to buy rat cages? I’d recommend looking at your local pet stores first. It’s always nice to see them in person and get a general idea of how they look like in real life. After that, you can support your local pet shop, or if you want a better deal, you can shop online for one that is similar but is much more affordable.