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Discussion Starter #1
If you had $150 to $200 to spend on a cage, what would you get? Optimally it would house 4-7 rats very comfortably. Specifically, what are pros and cons of each cage? Observations that you've made in your experiences? Other very large cages you like?

The most popular choices I've seen appear to be:

Martin's RUUD R-695 - Powder-Coated $195


Ferret Nation 2-story 421 - ~$160-200 online


Additionally, I noticed some alternatives on eBay, some for only $100:
A *gigantic* J&M exotics cage 31.5 x 19.5 x 52", powder coated - $180


Another very large J&M exotics cage 30 x 18 x 55", powder coated - $100



5-level, 30"x18"x55" cage
, powder-coated, looks similar to previous - $100
 

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Makes grabby hands for ferret Nation >_> <_< I want two two stories, one for my rats and another for my ferrets. **** if money were no option, a whole room for my ferrets to free range at all times and a ferretnation for my rats with another rat proofed room for them to freerange with supervision XD
 

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Everything. It's huge, tons of floor space, the ability to make a two level into two separate cages if needed, it's on wheels, there's the storage shelf under it, the doors open fully and can be removed for easy cleaning, et cetera. When it comes to cleaning, it's the absolute easiest.
 

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I'd go for the ferret nation as well.

Just looking at it, you can see why it's the best option. It's made of quality metal, the bars are thick and the frame is sturdy. Like Night said, it has storage space and wheels.

Some of the other cages are bigger and cheaper, but just look how they are made. Thin, small spaced bars, flimsy plastic pans for a base, and not too attractive. The Ferret Nation is really good-looking, and just glancing at it you can see how sturdy it is.

If I had the money to spend, and if it was available, I would go with the Ferret Nation.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
But what about non-litter trained rats? And what happens if you have an especially chewy rat who will eat a 2" hole in plastic in a single night? I've googled to find replacement trays, but haven't found any.

It seems like FN cages - while extremely nice - are only for well-behaved, well-trained rats.

Also, are the ladders long enough to use them as shelves? It's really hard to tell from the photos. (My rats could care less about ladders.)
 

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I'm not sure what you mean about non-litter trained rats and chewers.

What would be the problem with a rat that is not litter trained? I don't see the difference between a Ferret Nation and other cages for that problem. What's the difference?

I don't understand why the plastic chewing would be a worse problem in a Ferret Nation either.

I don't own one so I don't know, I'm probably missing something.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well, like poppyseed said, the surface is flat. So if your rats aren't litter-trained, you're limited to fabric bedding?

And even though the surface is flat, there are still edges. For a monster chewer & escape artist extraordinare, an edge in a cage corner is an irresistible chew-magnet. I give the bottom pan about 1 week of life before it has massive portions missing around the edges. I'm hoping someone knows where to buy replacements? (My current cage has a metal pan, and the one time they hung out in a plastic-bottomed cage it was destroyed very quickly. Replacements are important.)

On a sidenote, someone made a very nice post on Goosemoose about how to pricematch @ Petsmart to get a FN for under $140. What a deal! (expires 4/17/07, so hurry if you're interested) http://www.goosemoose.com/component/option,com_smf/Itemid,118/forum,rat/topic,4020244.0

Despite my reservations, I think I'm going to go ahead and get one. My rats will just have to learn to be litter-trained, and some tabasco in the corners under towels will hopefully deter the monster from destruction.
 

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It has enough edge for bedding, I was saying it was flat and therefor you can't bite it. I suppose they could bite the edge but my rats have never been interested in chewing plastic. Bert likes the gnaw on the occasional pen on my desk but I think it's just cause he sees mommy do that all the time >_>
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Woah, there's actually enough edge for a bedding like Carefresh or wood pellets? That's awesome! I've had a really hard time telling from the photos.

You're lucky your rats don't like plastic - some of mine seem to think that their life depends on the immediate destruction of all plastic they come in contact with. But then the one monster is balanced out with another girl who has no interest in chewing, except paper for elaborate nests. And the monster has never had any interest in making a nest, ever. Rats sure are quirky little animals!
 

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You can see the edge of the pan in the photographs. I imagine that is enough for a chip bedding, but you will probably get some kicked all over your floor. Why not simply go with a fabric bedding? It's easier to spot-clean and it's a sure-fire way to ensure your rat's health.

I switched to fabric just this week and I've never been happier with a decision. It's so easy to clean and there's no more chips kicked all over my floor from ratties wanting out.
 

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Poppy, there really isn't enough edge at all for bedding. Some people DO try to use bedding on the floors, but quickly switch to fabric bedding once they realize there's more bedding being flung outside of the cage than being kept in.

My rats aren't litter trained by any means. I just spot clean daily. Not a big issue at all.

But, if you have incessant chewers, maybe the FN isn't such a good choice. I have seen FN pans completely demolished by rats, so keep that in mind when deciding which to purchase. Here's what happened to Lilspaz68's FN pan with her Horde:

 

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Enough to break any FN lover's heart, right there *tear*.


But I say (if you don't have persistant chewers) FN is the BEST option for your money. I LOVE mine, and my girl Willow who chews anything (we're talking litter pans) has left the bottom alone. I think she's satisfied with being able to pull the liners everywhere. If you have tiny girls you can do what I did, and cover it with aluminum screen.




 

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Very nicely done by the way! I would think black zip ties would be less of an eyesore but the cutting and grommeting are awesomely utilised!

I want one so bad, have I mentioned that as of yet?
 
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