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I know zip ties are one way, but I'm pretty sure I've seen cages with wire mesh attached without zip ties and would like to know any and all ways! Pictures, as always, are greatly appreciated! Thank you!

Also, to prevent rats from escaping, is it best to put the mesh on the inside or the outside?
 

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I've actually never heard of anything but zip ties. However, I've had some success with wire that I found in the "hardware" section of Target. It was only like $2 and I think it's for hanging pictures or something, but I've been using it to replace cable ties wherever they chew them off and it works.
 

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You must have used something made of plastic then because the hardware cloth that is most often used won't be chewed through.

Place the wire on the inside of the cage because if you put it on the outside there is a chance that they could squeeze in between the bars & the wire you add. This could result in their becoming trapped which could result in injury.
 

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I have mine on the outside, and there's no way they'd be able to squeeze through. The hardware cloth is right up against the bars of the cage. I prefer it on the outside because I'm far more worried about the sharp edges of the wire hurting the rats than them squeezing through. Even I can't push the hardware cloth out far enough for space for a rat to get through from the inside.

I also used wire meant for hanging pictures (I think). Zip ties are plastic, so I knew they'd be chewed through right away. Every few bars, I'd twist a piece of the wire around the bar and hardware cloth, like a twist tie, with the twisted part on the outside (again so the rats can't hurt themselves on it). They can't or don't chew on that, so it's holding up nicely ^_^

I could get some pictures if I ever find the charger for my camera battery >.<
 
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