Pet Rats – 5 Ways to Make Their Cage a Home

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Pet rats spend a good deal of time in their cages. Make their cage a real home using these five tips.

1. Which Cage?

There are a range of different sized rat cages on the market. You should get a cage that is a minimum of 2.5 'long, 1.5' wide and 1.5 'high. However, go for the largest size you have room for. Rats love to run around exploring, so giving them a larger cage gives the opportunity to stretch their legs. Try to get a cage with more than one level. Make sure the cage has a plastic base. Wire bases can lead to foot sores, and wooden bases will hold smells.

2. Provide a Safe Place

Give your pet rat a space within their cage where they know they will not be disturbed. A small box, such as an old tissue box, is ideal. Fill it with shredded paper for them to make a nest. When they are in their house, do not disturb them. It is a place for them to go to sleep and have some peace. Change the box when you clean their cage out.

3. Keep the Cage Clean

Rats are very clean creatures. They will spend hours grooming themselves. If your pet rat smells, it's the fault of the cage, not her. Cleaning the cage regularly will prevent smells. Clean the cage out at least once a week, preferably twice. Wipe out the bottom of the cage with a kitchen towel before adding new sawdust. Never put new sawdust on top of old sawdust; throw all sawdust and bedding out. Disinfecting with a pet friendly product will minimize odors; try to do this every few weeks.

4. Toys to play with

Do not bother with a wheel for your pet rat to run around in; rats very rarely use them. Instead, give them lots of things to run up and down on such as ladders, routes, and places for them to sit and watch what's going on. Vary the height of the cage by hanging platforms from the roof of the cage, and giving them boxes to sit on. There are also a range of rat toys on the market, such as balls that drop trees as they are pushed.

5. Things to Gnaw

Rats are rodents, and as such their teeth are constantly growing. This is not a problem as long as they have something to gnaw on. Some toys which you buy are suitable for this, and you can give them a small block of wood to gnaw as well. Ensure the wood is a type that will not splinter, such as a soft fruit wood.

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Source by Julia Wildman

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