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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys! I got two ratties back in November and they're 5 months old now. I've learnt a lot since getting them about what to do with their cage and moved things around and even upgraded to a bigger one, so I'm learning all the time. But I don't know if I'm doing okay so I thought I'd get some advice from the experts haha :) So a few questions: Is this cage appropriate for their size? Do I have enough enrichment for them? Would you recommend moving anything around? Do i need more hammocks?
The litter tray kinda has to stay where it is because thats the corner they do their business in the most. Also the fleece over the top is to shield them from the bright lamp next to them (I leave it on at night for them). Should I be using something else on the floor instead of newspaper? I tried fleece but it really stunk and they ripped it to pieces. They also don't really play with any of their toys or chew on any of their chew toys which is disappointing.
Please let me know if you have any advice :D I want to make sure my ratties are happy. Thanks!



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It looks okay for the most part but I suggest changing the bedding type since newspaper/cardboard will just get extremely soggy and tear apart easily.
Size is good compared to the fluffy ball I am seeing in one of the pictures, I think there's enough toys and you don't need more hammocks since you only have 2. Maybe put a second water bottle though? I remember hearing something that it's good to have 2 water bottles in a cage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yeah I'll have to think about some different bedding I think, I'm sure I heard somewhere that the ink was poisonous! Glad you think the size is okay, was worried about them not having enough room. What do you suggest I put on the ramps?
 

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I know some cages come with plastic sleeves to go over mesh ramps but I have no clue where you'd buy those. You could also just put fleece down, make a sleeve out of fleece to slip over them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yeah I'll have a think, don't want them to get bumble foot or anything. Thanks for your help :)
 

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If you do go back to fleece for bedding, try changing it out twice a week. Mine doesn't seem to smell and that's how often I do it.
For ramp covers, you can use tube socks.
Or if you make your own, you can use velcro, so it stays in place. Here's an example how-to video (obviously you'd have different dimensions, but just to show you what I mean) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vaxvqGeMBVY
You might need a piece of cardboard or something for stability depending on what you cover it with... the holes in the ramp are just quite big, so you don't want little feets falling in them.

I'm no good at guessing sizes. What are the dimensions of the cage? You want 5 cubic feet for your rats. (2.5 each) So you can measure and double check that if you are concerned. (Length X Width X Height)

2 water bottles are a necessity, those things break/clog all the time, so you always want to have a back up.
Looks like plenty of toys. Some rats like certain chew things more than others, so you can try swapping toys out and find out what they like best.
Maybe another hammock or hidey house? c:

They don't need a light on at night either. Let them ave sunlight during the daytime hours and darkness at night. ^_^
 

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It's a bit cluttered. Enriching and fun toys are great, but there's just too many in there for how small the cage is IMO. I would take some of those toys and ladders out and try to give them a bit more floor space. I would also move the litter box to the other side if you can. The mesh ramps and platforms are fine uncovered, and mesh doesn't cause bumble foot, but if you need to cover them, a stretchy sock will work & is easy to wash.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for your advice guys, I'll look into covering the ramps and move stuff around a bit and take a few things out of the cage :)
 

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I don't believe newspaper ink is toxic - if it were then millions of newspaper-readers would be sickened daily :p I switched to newspaper from fleece because fleece gets very smelly very quickly. If you want to experiment with newspaper as a substrate, try laying it on thicker. I have a rat who loves to tear it up and use it to build nests, so a many-layered floor is necessary :)
 

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Newspaper ink isn’t toxic here in the UK, though it is rubbish at keeping smell down. You’ve got a Critter 2 style cage there, I will say its one of my least faveriot cages (to put it mildly lol, I had one as a holiday cage for a while). It’s a bit on the small side for long term use (you can get a much better bigger cage for around £40-50 new if your interested just let me know) but you can definitely set it up to offer them more space to do things in. I would recommend doing the following

1, Take out the mesh shelves both large and small (keep them to one side as they could be useful if you need to shrink or separate the cage for any reason). This gives you a big open space to work with

2, Get a large cheap cat litter tray from wilkos, these fit perfectly across the width of the cage, add a couple of holes and some garden wire or cable ties to fix and your sorted. This gives you a second shelf that’s deep enough to put substrate / litter in

3, Get some corregated plastic/lino offcuts/Perspex and make some kick guards to go on the inside. Make these about 10-15cm deep (stops them kicking everything out)

4, Using a pair of pliers unattach the front door hinges (if it still opens inwards). Move it to the outside and attach the hinge loop again. The door will now open outwards, add a bit of chain and you make a ratty drawbridge out the front and it is much easier to use.

5, Get a proper substrate rather than newspaper. I would recommend something like back to nature or paperlit for any litter trays (you can get back to nature in pet shops and paperlit online from rat rations or finacard) and some shredded card bedding for the floor (cheapest from horse bedding places if you can find it or greenmile/finacard from rat rations, or finacard direct) this is pretty absorbant (miles better than paper) and works out pretty cheap with a large bale as it lasts months. This also gives them places to dig.

6, If you think there’s room and your rats are young or female I would get a silent spinner wheel to give them somewhere to stretch their legs. Failing that kit out the cage with what you’ve got, leaving space for them to climb up the bars, maybe add in a couple of ropes etc for them to balance on

Where abouts in the UK are you? Id recommend coming along to a rat show or two to any new owner, its a great place to make ratty friends and learn the tips and tricks of the trade so to speak
 

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2 water bottles are good for 2 things mainly,
no fighting over water,
and in case one malfunctions and they can no longer drink from it.
 
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