Thanks! Yeah I read the reviews for it saying the bottom pan can be slid into place instead of the grate and bought it on that fact since I wanted to avoid bumble foot and use loose bedding in the pan, but it isn’t as snug and leaves some gaps between itself and the back wall, so my second thought was to make thick liners to lay on top of the grate to avoid the bumble foot issue but that corrugated plastic and linoleum tile liner sounds like a great idea! I’ve been reading as much as I can to make sure I give them a good life, and I’ve watched every video on YT I can get my hands on😅. I’ll make sure to make a hammock for across the top for them. Thank you for your advice!😊❤I'm not sure I understand what you're saying about the bottom of the cage, but it absolutely needs to be a solid surface. Rats shouldn't be kept on wire, their feet are too delicate- babies will probably have their feet slip through the grates and can break a leg, older rats will be stepping with more weight and can create sores or bumblefoot. Some mesh used for platforms is (debatably) okay, but they should have the entire bottom of the cage solid as a resting spot.
Plus, it help keeps the mess inside the cage and makes cleaning easier if you don't have to worry about spills onto the area under the cage.
If the pan that comes with the cage can't fit inside snugly, you can make your own base out of corrugated plastic (coroplast), people use it for guinea pig cages all the time. It cuts as easily as cardboard but because it's plastic, lasts much longer. Sign stores will have it, but I also saw poster-sized chunks at the craft store recently which I was very excited by!
A more permanent option is self-stick linoleum tiles, which you can stick right to the bars on bottom. Very temporary would be cardboard, which will get soiled and probably chewed on, and will need to be replaced often. You can sometimes find storage totes or cement mixing pans, etc, that fit snugly inside a cage. (Whichever option you choose, make sure you put hardware mesh on the bottom as well! Even with a cover/pan, baby rats are very small & adventurous- better safe than sorry)
As for the rest, looks good! I would string a hammock on the right side of the cage to break any potential falls, right now if they slip they would fall the entire height of the cage which can be potentially dangerous. But it's a good start, and I'm very glad to see you putting so much effort into your first rats, I am sure they will really appreciate the care.
View attachment 302129 First time rat mom here! I pick up my girls in a week and I’m working on their cage getting everything ready for them and wanted to know your opinions on where I should place certain things, tips, ect. It isn’t fully set up, I still have the back panel to cover with hardware fabric so I just popped some of the items in really quick to get an idea of placement, how things will attach with the hardware cloth in place, ect. The girls will be 7 weeks when I get them so some of the items like the hide, banana hammock, wire shelf are on the smaller side, but i have plans to upgrade once they get bigger (making them hammocks atm). The cage is a Prevue Frisky Ferret with dimensions 17”deep, 24 wide 36 high. I also have 2 more bendy ropes, a second bigger glass water bottle, 2 more wire baskets, a black plastic tub for a dark hide, 2 lava ledges, 2 dig rope things I want to combine and hang across the cage, and another wooden ladder. I’m not sure how much more I can put in there or if it’s advisable to cram the cage full of stuff. They have TONS of nesting material and toilet paper tube treat balls and stuff to keep them occupied til I figure out how to make more toys. I also made them a ball pit, training obstacles, and a bendy tube for their free roam area. I don’t want to use the grate at the bottom of the cage just yet as I want to try them on bedding instead of fleece first, but the pan seems kind of flimsy if you swap it out for the grate. There’s no way to slide it in the cage to make it fit more snugly aside from the casters at the bottom of the cage. Anyone have any experience with this cage and can give me some pointers? Thanks so much! (Please excuse the mess, I’ve been slaving away over this thing for like 4 hours 😂)
I think it is beautiful! Your girls will love it! I agree with the comments below too but it is a good start and I can see you are going to be a great Rat Mom!
For Hammocks, I go to yard sales and fabric clearance sections and purchase inexpensive cloth that feels soft and breathable. I use scissors and pipe cleaners to make hammocks out of the fabric scraps. I delight in noting where the rats like to have them best and what fabrics they prefer. I even change out the colors of the pipe cleaners and fabrics to match the seasons and holidays!
I cut the fabric into appropriate-sized strips, cut holes in the 4 corners, and insert pipe cleaners. Always tie the pipe cleaners OUTSIDE the cage! they will chew them if they can reach them and leave exposed wires that can injure them. Be careful cutting hardware cloth too -- the cut edges can scratch you as well as the rat people.
Cotton T-shirts are my rats' favorite fabric. I avoid bright colors because I worry the clothing dye may be harmful but I do use light colored fabric. White is always best. I even throw in extra pieces of small fabric for nesting material every few days.
One of my rats actually mad a tent out of a torn hammock over a platform! It was the cutest thing!