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Getting Your New Pet Rat's Cage Ready to Move In

Updated on July 7, 2011

An example of a well prepared cage

Critterchic's cage. See all the beautiful hammocks?
Critterchic's cage. See all the beautiful hammocks? | Source

Adopting pet rats will probably be one of the best decisions you make as a pet owner. But before you adopt, you need to know what you will need. Many people ask for a list of items they need before adopting which is a really great idea! So I have decided to compile a list of items so that you no longer have to ask! I will work from the floor up to help you make the best decisions for your rats, cage, and self! I will also be including links along the way to help you find exactly what I am talking about!

1.) Bedding
Allowed: Aspen, Carefresh, Wood pellets,
No allowed: Anything scented or pine/cedar shavings. Cause URI’s.

2.) Water bottle and food bowl.
It is wise to keep a spare water bottle, as water they do sometimes mess up or break, in which case you will need a back up.

3.) Hidey Hut
Most people use the standard igloo but there are MANY different types of rat houses on the market!

4.) Litter Box
If you plan to potty train your rats, which is always a good idea, you will need a litter box. Any small cat litter box or shallow pan will do. You will also need a litter DIFFERENT from the kind you use in the rest of the cage.

5.) Chew Toys
Plenty of hard items for your rats to chew on. Their teeth grow constantly and over grown teeth can cause major physical problems. Be sure they have plenty of hard objects to chew on. Bird toys are awesome!

6.) Running Wheel
Not all rats enjoy a running wheel but chances are, your new buddy will! And even if they don't enjoy the wheel, it may be a good idea to train them to use it. Wheels provide an excellent source of exercise and keeps those little rats strong and healthy!

FINALLY you need Hammocks
Rat’s love to sleep; almost as much as cats, which is ironic enough! Even more, they love to sleep in a big comfortable hammock with their cage mates! Hammocks can make an awesome DIY project, but if you don’t have the skills and tools to do it, you will need to do a little search. Luckily for you, I have taken the time to find some amazing reputable hammock designers that can get your cage looking great and your rats feeling comfortable in no time! From liners on the floor, to cubes in the air, your rats will have plenty to shred up! Oh yeah… keep in mind that rats are typically avid chewers with the occasional exception. So all the pretty hammocks and your hard work will probably be in shreds with-in a couple of months! Don’t let that stop you though. They really do love these hammocks and it just comes with the cost of having the pet!

Where to Buy Hammocks and Liners

So now you know where to get everything you will need except for one thing... Hammocks. However,I took the liberty of conducting a short interview with two fantastic hammock designers with some insane creativity and was given the opportunity to feature their testimonies and web pages in my article! You can access their website by clicking on the links. Before you go though, read their testimonies and get a sense of who they are and how they have contributed to the Rat Community!


Melissa, Owner and Creator of "The Rat Stash"

Melissa’s business started in a single thread on a message board by the title of, a social network of animal lovers, especially rat lovers. You can access Melissa’s website by clicking on the link above. This will grant you access to her wide variety of products as well as her contact information. She has personally helped me out in a desperate situation and is warm hearted all the way around! Enjoy her Testimony!

“Like most of us, my love affair with rats began young & misinformed, with a single wonderful man named Spazz. As an adult, the flame rekindled with Kailee & Chaila, and this time I was making an effort to learn how to best provide for their needs. Years later, after staring at pages of well decorated cages on, the rats shamed me into trying to sew hammocks. Having never sewn before, I'm not exactly sure how it progressed as far as it has, but it's wonderful to enjoy something that can also give back to the rescues who are able to do what I cannot.”

Aileen from Neelia's Nook with hew best friends!
Aileen from Neelia's Nook with hew best friends! | Source

Aileen, Owner and Creator of "Neelia's Nook"

Neelia's Nook's Aileen is dedicated to providing homemade hammocks and cage liners for Rats and other small animals. Neelia's Nook provides a variety of cozy designs for rats and other small animals, all while supporting rescues. In the beginning of 2011, Neelia's Nook donated 50 hammocks to North Star Rescue for a rescue of over 1000 rats from a hoarding case and has always donated a percentage of sales to pets in need.

"My love for rats started when I was 10 years old and my dad took me to adopt my first pair of rats. Though I had rats during my childhood when I became an adult rat owner I did research on how to care for them properly. During my research I saw a lot of cozy, fun cages and wanted my rats to have bright and exciting cages as well. In 2009, Neelia's Nook was born. I taught myself to sew through creating hammocks for my own rats and have been running Neelia's Nook ever since."

To access Aileen's web site, just click the link to the right.


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    • profile image

      Boberto 6 years ago

      Degu deguuuuuu

    • Eternal Evolution profile image

      Eternal Evolution 6 years ago from kentucky

      Nice hub. Rats really make such wonderful pets. I currently have 2 dumbo males.

    • StephenSMcmillan profile image

      StephenSMcmillan 6 years ago

      NIce article.

    • Crobin28 profile image

      Crobin28 6 years ago from Pelham, Alabama

      Thank you Melissa! I may just have to add that information in. I'm stupid for not suggesting stores in the first place! I guess I was focused on the Amazon ads which isn't exactly healthy for generating a good fan base! Thanks!

    • profile image

      melissa 6 years ago

      Great article! I also wanted to mention diet, as most pet store foods are simply not adequate for rats. A good brand of lab blocks (HT, Regal Rat), Suebee's Mix, fresh veggies & healthy snacks should be considered instead. :)

      Also, for those who don't have a lot of funds but still want to spruce up their cage, thrift stores, yard sales & (my fave) the local Dollar Tree are all great places to find cheap/fun baskets, toys & hideys!

    • Crobin28 profile image

      Crobin28 6 years ago from Pelham, Alabama

      You are welcome Aileen!! Thank you for allowing me to use your web site!!

    • profile image

      Aileen 6 years ago

      Great & informative article. You provided a lot of great information that any responsible rat owner needs to know. Thank you for featuring Neelia's Nook!