Rat Forum banner
1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've had my boys for about 6 months now, and I was really stressed taking care of them at first because so many people said that they needed hours and hours of free roaming time and I had a hard time giving them that, but they honestly seem perfectly fine chilling in their cage for the majority of their time. Every now and then I'll put towels out on my couch and let them sit with me while I play video games, but they get bored after a half hour or so and I can tell they just want to go back in their cage. Sometimes I bring them into the bathroom with all their toys to hang out, but again, they just seem uninterested in doing anything. So from what I can tell they're fine being in their cage.

I'd like to give them a better option though to hang out outside of their cage and have some fun. I can't just let them loose in my apartment because it would be too much work to rat-proof as there are a lot of places they could get into, like my baseboard heaters and sofa bed. I've been considering a pen but I know they can just climb out of the wire ones no problem, and that seems to be what most are made out of. Does anyone know of any good pens or even easy DIY ideas?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,261 Posts
Your idea of using the bathroom as a play area is great. That is how I start off with any new ratties I get. Eventually I let them roam my apartment. It wasn't hard to block off any place I did not want them in, like under the sink and so forth. A half hour to an hour a day is all they need to run around out of the cage so it sounds like you are on the right track.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
581 Posts
I made a free-range pen out of cardboard taped together with packing tape and a wire support. It worked very well for mine but I should've made it higher. I'd say it should be 3 1/2 feet- 4 feet tall to enclose them and feel secure in that they can't jump out. Also keep toys that give them height more towards the middle of the pen. Mine loved their pen and came to enjoy climbing on me and seeing me as a toy so that they could try to leap out. XD Of course, I have a pair of active females. (I can find a picture of the pen if you need it)

The wire support I used was this:
http://m.target.com/p/wire-cube-she..._MCTAInKubR0NunSIV7FeGrQCSp_OXnSxyxoCTE7w_wcB
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
335 Posts
I have a very non rat friendly apartment and can't let them roam so I got some of those cardboard tri-fold boards at the dollar store. Used some duct tape to tape them together accordion style so they fold up for storage. Now I just set it up somewhere and use binder clips to keep the ends together. As Sabatea siad you'll want something tall...my girls jump from the floor to the top edge of the cardboard easily.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
171 Posts
I think my apartment is too full of hazards to let them free-range and I don't want them causing damage because one of them is a power chewer, so I got some science fair project boards from an office supply store and taped them together with packing tape. I also place fleece underneath in case they pee or poop. Seconded on making sure the barrier is tall. My rats can look like they have springs in them; they can jump a good few feet and can already jump almost to the top of the cardboard (to the top if a toy is near the edge--keep in mind that they will use toys as springboards if they decide to jump).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
I use 4' tall x 8' long pieces of Coroplast (the plastic version of corrugated cardboard) to make a pen around the cage. I scored a line on one side about a foot from each end so that the ends overlap and I use binder clips to hold it together. Because my two boys are not tame yet, I set this up not only for free range time with toys but this way they also get unofficial free range time when I clean their cage. By putting it around their cage, they have free access to food and water in the cage whenever they need it and can climb back in the cage when they get bored or tired. I store the Coroplast along my bedroom wall. Given the durability of the plastic, I might consider scoring lines on opposite sides to make them easier to fold up for storing like jlhummul mentioned. Because the pen is so big, my boys get plenty of space for running around and playing with toys and I can sit inside to be with them when I want to. The Coroplast is heavy enough that my boys can't get under it and tall enough that my boys can't go over it so I feel comfortable letting them do their thing while I have a shower or do chores. However, because their cage is about 3.5' tall, I keep it about half a foot away from the pen wall so they can't jump onto the edge...I learned this the hard way. Good luck finding what works for you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
425 Posts
I had a cardboard pen for a while, but eventually I just dedicated a couple of low tables to their play space, they are just high enough that the ratties won't jump down! I put an old sheet over them to give the rats a better grip on the surface because they don't seem to like walking on cold surfaces.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top