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Due glass tanks being out of the question, since I wouldn't have enough time to clean one as necessary, I've been looking into other options. I have a bird cage that is 18x14x24. If I added two level would this be big enough for two rats? After I added the levels it would be a similar size/design to the "Rat Highrise" on this page http://www.martinscages.com/products/cages/rat/ .
 

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I'm no expert, but I use the cage calculator to let me know how many rats can fit into a cage: http://www.rattycorner.com/odds/calc.shtml

(If you're in the states, be sure to change measurement from imperial to inches. I made that mistake the first couple of times and when it kept saying that huge cages were too small for one rat, I finally figured it out).

Also, if you use a bird cage, make sure the rats can't get out. Most bird cages have guillotine-style doors which open easily, so you might want to clamp it shut with something.
 

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yeah, I got a bird cage that is perfect for my rat and her babies, and the only thing i had to modify was the doors. there are 4 doors--the 2 on each side that slide up and down i just tied down with twisty ties and it's perfect!
 

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my rats live in a birdcage with guillotine-style doors and they have never figured out how to open them. it's like they *know* that this part of the cage opens, that food goes in and out, hands come and go, sometimes whole ratties pass through! but they just shake the doors and then they give up. i had zip ties on them for a while, but after they chewed those off i gave up and have never had a problem.
 
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