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Out of curiosity, if you could have any cage for your rats - well, within some kind of reason, for the sake of simplicity - what cage would you buy or make? :)

My girl Alice is in a fifteen gallon tank with a three-floor wire topper right now, and yes, she lives alone.. but she's actually very happy that way, strangely. I got her alone and it was one of my main concerns, but the only time she got sick for any amount of time was because her mycoplasma flared up; she got onto a particularly dusty shelf of mine. We thankfully took care of it at home and she bounced right back to her energetic, curious self. In any case, she's a fiery independent little thing, so it makes sense. Not that she minds an occasional visit from her "nieces" Zap and Zizzle.. but if I ever have the expenses and room for a bigger cage so I can get her a cage mate, I'll surely consider it. As of right now, though, I'm lacking in that and she seems well off with just human attention on a regular basis.

The boys are in what was previously a chinchilla cage. The bottom is seven inches deep. The cage itself is 30 inches long, 17 inches wide, and 21 inches tall including the bottom. It's got two floors, but they're relatively small. So it's a bit small for the both of them, but it's got a lot more running room and space than their prior temporary living conditions, and it's much easier to clean. I'd love to get them an even larger cage, but it's a matter of expense and room, too. I do keep the cage door open when I can be in here with them, though, and I usually am since I'm nearly always in my room.

If I COULD get them any cage I liked, http://cgi.ebay.com/Ferret-Nation-T...yZ116396QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
That one would be it. I would give Alice the one they're in now and probably build on it so she's got plenty of entertainment. But I've heard great things about it, save for the shallowness of the bottom pan, an that'd be easy to fix. It's so big I'd probably be tempted to get more to fill it!
Another thing I've always wanted to try is converting a shelf or a dresser into a cage. :) It sounds like a lot of fun, and I'm tempted to clean my room out and get rid of some junk so I can do that.. it'd be cheaper than a Ferret Nation cage, and probably quite effective too.

Since none of that is happening in the near future, though, there are plenty of projects I'm eager to do with the cages they have now. For Alice, I want to make a tunnel system inside her cage, or even around it- she loves her exercise, and I'm sure she'd find it tons of fun. Some hammocks are going to be made soon, and I'd love to get creative with some hanging bed ideas. I'm thinking I'll hang a flower pot or something in there for at least a temporary amount of time, and I'm waiting for my makeshift hammock to get cleaned so I can install it in her cage for now, until she has a nice one. :)
I'd also love to get her some toys. I think rope and whatnot would be fun for her. She's got a bell ball, but obviously it's not as fun as a treat ball, so I might try making one of those sometime.. I like to put a makeshift pinata in there for her every now and then, too. I read something about feather boas that was neat. I'd like to try something with branches and ladders, too. Any other suggestions would be great.

And as for the boys.. theirs is a lot easier to figure in terms of where to put things, because there's a lot more space. Right now they've got a Cheez-It box hammock that I whipped up today, but most of all I'm really intent on making some more floors. It'd be easy to do, especially with my dad being a crafty man, so that'll be fun when I can do it. I want to get more hammocks and hanging things, but unlike Alice, they're not so coordinated with climbing.. so things like ropes and chains would be pointless, but ladders would probably do. A tunnel system for them sounds neat, too. And again, any other suggestions are great. c:

Digging boxes are a neat idea I'd like to try for both cages, and I have to make floor covers soon for all of them, too. Right now towels work, but I'd like to try something with linoleum so it'd be easier to clean.


Long post.. sorry. But for the sake of conversation, what do you like to do with your rats for roaming? My rats can't do as much in the winter as the summer, since Alice is a wire-chewer and we have other animals and whatnot (and my mom isn't quite keen on mysterious rat droppings appearing on the couch).. but I've got plenty of things planned for the summer. My parents made an amazing cage last summer for outside time, so there's that I can use when I'm not there. For when I am, I'm going to refurbish an old dog pen that hasn't been used in years and make somethings for them to play on, and proof it so they can't get out quickly enough for Emily and I not to notice. It'll give them lots of running room and, for some of what I have planned, lots of things to play on. :D
There's another thing that was a small "club house" for a while that I'd like to turn into a rat room for the summer, too. It's a little house-type-shed thing, and right now burnable garbage is stored in it, so I'll probably ask my mother if I can clean it out and touch it up so it can be used for the rats.


So those are my plans. I like finding cheap, easy ways to improve my rats' living quarters.. especially if you can do it yourself. :D It's more fun that way.
And I'm tempted to beg my parents to let me use an old dresser for a cage... hmm...


So, what about all of you - what're your dream homes, project plans, and things you hope to do for your rats? :D
 

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if money wasn't an issue LoL . . . I would get six or eight double FN's and turn and entire room in my house into a rat room!!!!adn live there while the hubby and the kids lived in the rest of the house lmao!
 

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I like the cage I have (the FN 142 you linked to), but maybe a couple hooked together and with smaller bar spacing... cause then I could have spayed femmes too! :lol:
 

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Totally a suggestion, but you may think about spaying your little girl and she can live with the boys. :D Mixed-cages with at least one gender sputered makes for a GREAT mischief.

As far as dreaming... I'm hoping to make this a reality in the not-to-distant future, by buying one at a time, but...

We have one FN for our crew (our pet rats, that is, that aren't in the rescue). We're going, eventually, replace all the rescue cages with FN's - some modified, some not. We'd have a few boys cages, a few girls. We're finding that having larger groups in the rescue works well for everyone, and gets them nice and rat-socialized. It's also much easier on me. :) We'll probably get some of the newer Superpet exotic cages as well, for those who are intro-ing into groups, or for babies (who ALWAYS get adopted out like hotcakes :p).

Ahh. I can't wait, though it'll probably be a such a slow-going project. :p It will be coming out of our pockets, and we're nowhere close to being able to afford it at once!
 

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I'm a do-it-yourself kind of gal, so I have plans for making my own cage. If money allows -and my daddy can lend a hand- my dream ratty castle might actually come true.

I figure that if I can get my hands on a big cheap old wardrobe (I actually checked out a couple today while hunting through thrift stores) preferably one with a drawer in the bottom, I could renovate it into a very nice home for rats. Basically, I'd take out the shelving or cut some holes in it for ramps and line it in chicken wire or Plexiglas to discourage chewing and scratching. Then I'd cut some nice, big windows in the doors (and the sides, to help with air circulation and light) and fit them with some larger bars. I'd also cut a second hole in the floor to give the rats access to the drawer which would act as a sort of 'basement' and give them a small dark place to hide away in during the day when they're feeling nocturnal.

I was actually discussing my various ideas for cages today with my dad, and despite him being absolutely terrified and repulsed by rats, he seems very gung-ho about helping me out if I decide to take on this project. He even suggested installing a fan in the ceiling to help with air circulation, and a lighting system if it turns out to be too dark (sadly, my room doesn't get a lot of light, and the cage would have it's back to the window.).

I really like the idea of having a cage with some solid walls that I could paint to match the rest of my design scheme. I'm finally giving my poor little bedroom a total and complete makeover, and for once I'd like things to match and look nice.
 
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