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January 7, 2008
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Homemade Pet Rat Cage by sarahlovesrats Homemade Pet Rat Cage by sarahlovesrats
This is a rat cage made by my dad. I designed it for the most part. This is mostly just to show other rat fans the cage and to share ideas about homemade rat cages.

The cage was made using a lot of expensive tools which my dad already had as he is a woodworker. If you're interested in making one like this, let me know and I'll actually figure out what he used hehe.

The pros of this cage:
~Tall and takes up little space
~Lots of levels and climbing for the rats
~Wire allows good ventilation
~Light weight
~Plastic-like material used (which can be removed and replaced) that can be cleaned with ease
~Holes for pegs drilled at different levels for shelf adjustment
~Very strong wire that is difficult for rats to chew (the girls are chewers and haven't been able to chew it yet!)

The cons of this cage:
~Not enough different doors
~Door opens and all levels are open, making it easy for rats to escape on any level
~Door can shut on rats heads, feet, tails, ect. easilly (requires extra attention)
~Bedding and messes can fall through the wires onto the floor (can happen with most cages anyway)
~Hard to clean on certain levels when standing at certain height (have to bend to clean it)
~Bottom shelf is hard to clean from the corners and underneath where the wire touches the bottom
~Possible for rats to chew wood (wire is inside to prevent this)
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:iconlosteleganceadopts:
LostEleganceAdopts Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2012  Student Digital Artist
how hard is it to clean?
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:iconlosteleganceadopts:
LostEleganceAdopts Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2012  Student Digital Artist
ooh this is awesome! is it okay if i ask my grandpa to make some thing like this?
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:iconsarahlovesrats:
sarahlovesrats Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2012
Of course, it's not like it's copyrighted or anything lol. Do read my above comment to ChloeyLovesLlamas. It isn't that great for domestic rats (and it was actually pretty small). Rats should have a lot of horizontal space. The lack of ladders was annoying and not ideal for rats either. I think it would have been better if the holes were cut out right along the wire instead of a circle in the middle that way they could use the wire as a ladder to climb from level to level.

This cage would have been good for a smaller species that requires more vertical space, such as African Soft Furred rats. Shame, I have those now but I don't have the cage!

And for cleaning, I hated it. It was messy because everything fell out the sides. If you do make something like this, you'll want to create something for each level to hold in the bedding and waste. ChloeyLovesLlamas suggestion of fleece is great, though I personally don't like fleece as bedding (many many many rat owners do, though). Also, the shelves are wood but they have this weird plasticy-stuff on it that made it wipe-off-able. It still stained, though. I think pieces of vinyl or linoleum flooring would be great to put on the shelves.
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:iconlosteleganceadopts:
LostEleganceAdopts Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2012  Student Digital Artist
okay thanks
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:iconlosteleganceadopts:
LostEleganceAdopts Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2012  Student Digital Artist
btw my grandpa is a half woodworker lol
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:iconchloeylovesllamas:
ChloeyLovesLlamas Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2012
To fix the bedding probalem, use fleece lining. It helps a TON! Fleece is always on sale at fabric stores for $2-3 dollars a yard.


And I was wodering how much is that wire he used for the door? And how much was it? O: This cage looks amazing. Let him know he did an amazing jod, and I'm super jealouse. Lol. XD
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:iconsarahlovesrats:
sarahlovesrats Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2012
Oh, thanks for your comments. I actually don't have this cage anymore because I didn't have rats for a long while. The design was nice in theory, but not so nice in practice. Rats really need a lot more horizontal space rather than vertical space.

The wire is fairly cheap. It is called hardware cloth and you should be able to find it at most any major hardware store. I can't quite remember how much it was, but I'm sure the amount used for that cage cost under $10.

He made another but I don't think I have pictures of it. It was just a huge thing that sat on the floor with tall plexiglass walls. It was pretty great for the most part (just hard to clean and not great ventilation because it was just like a HUGE acquarium/tank in the way that all sides were solid). I really wish I still had it, I don't remember what happened to it. It looked pretty nice and gave them a lot of room. It was annoying to clean because it was so tall/deep.

I think there are better options for making your own cage. Wire is better than wood as it doesn't absorb waste or get chewed as easy. I think my favorite way to make a small pet (not really rat, as it's too small) cage is to buy a plastic tote (Rubbermaid, Sterilite, etc) and cut out a hole in the lid, then replace it will hardware cloth cut to size (use tinsnips) fastened with holes in the lid and zipties. Works great for me, I have several and have never had a problem. They're cheap and very easy to make.
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