Here at Rattie Ratbags, we love watching cage tour videos. We found though, that there aren’t many UK rat owners sharing their cages, and cage set-ups are quite different between countries. Affiliate links in this post are marked with an asterisk.
Here’s our rat cage tour for February, just after we added a new base box. In our cage, we have eight does, ranging from 6 to 18 months. One of our girls has the beginnings of hind leg degeneration, so we’ve had to make some adaptions for her.
Our cage is the three-tier Popamazing*, with perspex added to the bottom to create a deep base for digging. The perspex base, stuck together with clear Gorilla tape, is filled with Aubiose, which we’ve been using for a while, and really like.
Buried in the substrate, we’ve tried adding a tunnel, which we’ve pinched from inside our spare cage.
For our HLD girl, we like to make sure she always has access to a cosy bed and water bottles (we like the glass ones by Living World) at the bottom of the cage. We have a Sputnik flipped upside down and a little wooden house that’s actually meant for chinchillas. They like to drag bedding into the house and dig underneath it to make a snug nest.
Attached to the door, we have a hanging food bowl, which we use either for wet meals or as a water dish. The girls have three water bottles spread throughout the cage, but we’ve been experimenting with offering a dish as an enrichment toy. Since filming the tour, we’ve decided to keep offering water like this, as the rats like splashing and washing in it.
We’re about to upgrade the girls’ wheel, but we currently have this one*, which is a cheap option for small does to check they will actually use a wheel before you buy a more expensive one.
Hanging across the bottom of the cage, we have a wooden rope bridge designed for parrots and a hanging ladder with toys hanging from it. We also have one of the litter boxes here; there’s another one at the top. We like litter trays we can hang.
Above that, we begin the more challenging section of the cage. We make sure to offer plenty of flat resting places for our old girl, so she can stop and catch her breath if she needs to. First, we have a cheapo flat hammock from Pets at Home, which leads to a scarf hanger, which acts like a scramble net. Under the hanger, we have a small corner hammock and a parrot toy.
As a step to the top door, we have a rope perch. To continue the theme of using bird toys, we then have a fantastic, brightly coloured parrot ladder stretched across the cage. We’ve then got a giant dog rope for the girls to climb on.
For daytime lounging, the girls love the bunk hammock from Cosy Beds and Burrows, and we love it because of the fabric. They’ve ‘customised’ it inside, but so far, it’s holding up well.
And then finally, at the top, we have a second litter tray and the girls’ main beds. For a bit of space from the others, there’s a second Sputnik, but they mainly all pile in together in the Double Hammock. For lounging about, they love the Cosy Corner.
For access around the cage, we use a mix of lava ledges, wooden ledges, pumice perches and branch perches.