Bird cage Converted into Rat cage? [Archive] - Rat Forum

: Bird cage Converted into Rat cage?

09-05-2013, 10:30 PM
Hi. I would like to have a cheap, big(the minimum requirements) cage for rats, but I just cant seem to find any! So I looked online and figured out you can convert bird cages into rat cages. Is this true? If so, i'd like to convert this bird cage. Does this work if I get tiles and get rid of the perches? And could you give me some cheap rat cages? I don't know. Haha

09-05-2013, 10:39 PM
try martincages. If you decide for a bird cage, it would be best to go for vertical space...however, as a bird owner that can be expensive. And, with materials you could easily spend $30 more...
I would get the Petco Rat Manor.

09-05-2013, 11:11 PM
That cage is a bit flimsy, in my opinion... you'd need something to give structure to the edges. It can be done, for sure, I'm just not certain what the safest way would be. Same with the slide-up doors, I know it can be done fine, I just don't know what the easiest way is and if it is cost effective. And, like Nanashi said, vertical space is always better, but that does get costly. I'd check out the cage in person, see if it's flimsy (if it's designed for finches, it is not up to chewing or any weight on the bars, like a wheel or maybe even a well-loved hammock). Take it from there. :) Converting cages can be fun, but make sure you're working with something worth the effort!

09-05-2013, 11:43 PM
Be careful, as sometimes the bars on bird cages are made of a thinner construction. I had one I was using for my rats that I recently threw out and if my boys had been chewers they may have been able to escape.

09-06-2013, 07:17 AM
I have that bird cage. It's not particularly "flimsy" but it isn't one I would ever convert. I have it for four budgies. There are not enough tie-on points, or anything. And this is coming from a bird-lover's perspective, I doubt I could even partially fill it enough to be good for a rat. I've seen it used once for an elderly lazy male rat (who got tons of time out to free range).

I used a cockatiel cage, that retails for $90, in a pinch and can discuss that with you.

09-08-2013, 11:16 AM
I have that white bird cage you linked to in the first post. It's a bit too small for two adult rats. Would make a good temp cage. I have mine stacked on top of a slightly larger Super Pet cage. I keep the doors open and my 3 rats can climb to the top or bottom level as they please (except at night when they're locked inside the bigger one).

Those finch cages are really cheap. I got mine off Craigslist for $15, I zip-tied all the doors shut (except for the main door of course.) I like the large main door because it's large enough to accommodate the large boxes that I decorate the cage with. However, the long bar under the door has a tendency to rust. Mine was completely rusted within a year or so. I just picked up an identical cage yesterday (also from CL) for $10 - but it's still a temp solution - I'm still looking for a larger, sturdier cage with more vertical space.

So the bottom line is, that finch cage can be good in a pinch, for temporary use, or combined with a larger cage to make a grand palace. (Also, they are plentiful and cheap on CL) But you'd be much better off spending a little bit more for a larger cage with more vertical space.

EDITING this post to add that the door can be a hazard because it slides down like a guillotine! Baby had a scare last night when I accidentally let go of it. For this reason alone I would suggest looking for a cage designed especially for rats.

09-09-2013, 11:41 PM
I have a cage just like that that I am thinking of converting. I am going to use wire to tie the little windows closed, reinforce some of the corners with wire, and take the metal part from the bottom and just use the bottom plastic part instead, also using wire to secure it. I got the cage for free and am low on cash for awhile.

09-10-2013, 01:17 AM
When i first got my rats i used a bird cage. I added shelves and used wire to close all the sliding doors and removed the wire floor and just used the tray. This turned into a nightmare though. I had figured out to fasten the tray shut too but hadnt planned on them to actually be able to chew threw the side of the tray and escape. The plastic, unlike actual rodent cages, is not thick enough to be able to prevent them from gnawing an escape route. I wouldnt recommend a bird cage. I ended up spending way more in the end, trying to fix the bird cage before eventually buying them a new rat cage.

09-10-2013, 04:06 AM
A few points I have about that cage:

It has a pull out pan with a grid covering it. You will have to remove that grid. You could probably keep the pan in it, but it may not be deep enough to hold litter, and they may be able to push it out and escape.

The door is quite small and positioned in the center. You may have trouble arranging things in the cage or reaching your rats to get them out. The feeding doors look hardly big enough to fit a hand in.

The bars are thin and may break off, allowing your rats to escape, or become injured. It also doesn't look super sturdy, and the joints may rust.

I would avoid it unless you REALLY need a temporary cage to put them in. Of all the things that you should splurge on in your rat ownership... it should be the cage. Your cage is the one thing you are going to have throughout your ownership of them. You will be dealing with it every day, cleaning it every week, and your rats will spend many many hours in there. Don't cheap out on a cage. Don't try to convert something into a mediocre frankencage to save a few bucks. Save your time and money and purchase a cage designed for rats (such as a Martin's or a Critter Nation) instead of spending a little less just to end up with a flimsy, cumbersome cages that you will likely get frustrated with and toss out in the end or decide to upgrade out of anyway. ;D

09-10-2013, 08:14 AM
You can't remove the grid without compromising the integrity of the cage. it comes all hooked together. The slid out pan has no means of being stuck in and is very flimsy. My birds have put chew marks in it so...imagine a bored rat... It's an awkward cage with few tie-on points.

09-11-2013, 06:28 PM
I have kept the grid in mine. I use cardboard box flats for the cage bottom, which I fill with Carefresh. Some of the grid is still exposed, and they use that as a toilet area. Makes it pretty convenient to clean! But I still wouldn't recommend this cage for anything other than temporary use. It's too flimsy and too small.