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Is it better to have too small a cage for two rats? Or only one rat?

  • Two rats in a smaller cage

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I have a big dilemma. I've been dreaming to own a rat for some time now. I've read up all about them and such, but I'm still fairly new to the whole pet rat idea.

I've looked all around my city to find a suitable sized rat cage.
I found that I am unable to build my own, and there are simply no large rat cages in the city to buy suitable for 2 adult rats without requiring a lot of on add ons that I simply don't have the money for.

So I've wound up with a decent sized cage: 24.5' by 12.5' by 14.5'. Suitable for a single rat.
But to my dismay, every single thing I've found concerning pet rats says it is not recommendable to keep them alone, and that same sex pairs are preferred.
But I don't have the money to buy or adapt a cage to fit two rats!
So here is the question. Is it better to keep my pet rat alone? or to get two babies and raise them together in a small cage?

Please help me! Thanks.
 

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Get a ferret cage with 1"x1" sides, and adapt it to fit your needs. Once the rats are grown they will not be able to get through a 1x1 cage. You can make your own shelves and such. Or just build your own cage.... there's lots of suitable materials besides wire. Plywood is easy to work with, and cheap.

I really want to build a cage from Plexiglas with a solid front for viewing, and sides with drilled ventilation holes..... think of an oddly shaped acrylic aquarium with lots of perforations for ventilation.

You can staple wire to a wooden frame, etc. Lots of ways to build stuff - you just have to sit down and start drawing pictures or cutting pieces.

Also check out craigslist - there's often good deals on used animal cages. You could find another small cage and hook them together with a tunnel or something....

Get your imagination working.

Rick
 

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I suggest keeping 1 baby rat in the small cage you have, while you get a big ferret cage. Your 1 baby will grow fast and won't beable to escape from the ferret cage when you move her to it(1" bar spacing) . By the time your one rat is big enough, you can get another baby rat for the small cage, wait for her to grow and put her in with your other girl in the ferret cage :)
 

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Well, I've always heard its better to give a rat a friend. You have to be willing to put in the effort though. Two babies are ok in a small cage for a while, but they'll need more room eventually. Perhaps you should consider holding off your rat adoption or purchase until you can meet their needs for space and toys (I made a post about "do-it-yourself" rat toys that you can make for little to nothing). Check out eBay and such for cages on sale perhaps.
 

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i agree with pixie, its better to get the rats together, especailly since this will be your first pet rat experience and introductions don't always go smoothly while still getting them to trust humans after the pet store experience they've had. on that note, if you can try to get a rat from a breeder, rescue or even accidental litter in your area (and you're area can be large. i've had rats cross provinces to get to their new forever homes). they will have been better handled as a general rule and will be less timid and more trusting then a typical pet store rat (that's not to say that pet store rats never BECOME trusting or adorbale and loving pets but normally it'll take time and patience to get them to that level). there is no rush to get the pets and it would be better for them to be in a larger cage. a chincilla cage is a good one to start with at about 100. they can fit up 10 3males or 4 females. and its expandable. its very easy to attach another one to the top. as for toys and such they are very cheap to make if you have a litte ingenuity. a hammock can be made from a pant leg safety pinned to the side of the cage and good wheel can run you about 20 or less. huts are about the same or you could go to a thrift shop and pick up some kid toys or old hamster balls (one tied to the side with zip ties makes a great hidy-hole) and use them. some things at the dolllar store can also be used. the shower corner things makes great platforms and the plastic baskets great swings.

basically, wait until you can give them plenty of room and safe place to play. it is always better to have 2 then 1.
 

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i know this is an old post but i wanted to check in. Have you gotten a larger cage??
 
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