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My son and i are going to be bringing a pair of rats into our home soon, they are a brother and sister, about 5 weeks old now, and will be coming to stay with us as soon as the male of the pair is old enough to be separated from his boy parts (inbred baby rats being something we really dont want). the vet said 8 weeks or so for that. however, i am still waffling on the whole cage issue. i have owned a rat previously, but it was a very long time ago and he was an only rat, so i wanted to know what would be the best cage for us and our new babies. so i thought if i outlined what we need, perhaps you guys could advise me on a good cage

1. the cage will need to fit on a dresser or desk as floor space is at a premium in my son's room. we have up to approximately 24" l 18"d of surface, it can be up to 4 ft high, but must have access within the bottom 18" of the cage since my son is only 12 and still a bit short.

2. it also must be very sturdy, stable and heavy if possible as i do have 2 fairly large cats in the house. (normally the room will be kept cat free, but...stuff happens)

3. it must have room for two active rats and plenty of enrichment activities, we're not likely to have more than 30 minutes to an hour or so a day to take them out and play with them except on the weekends, and my rat (the female) has a marked aversion to inactivity of any sort, my son's rat is a bit calmer, but still has his hyper moments, so the cage must have room for them to run and play. judging by the parents' size, they will probably end up somewhere between 7-11" body length.

4. the mesh must be close enough so they cant escape (especially while theyre still so little) and far enough apart so they dont get stuck and hurt themselves

i'm not sure if drafts are going to be a factor or not, the room is usually kept at about 75f or so, but when it's very cold out, there may be a draft, if a little nest or hammock to share wont be enough, then the cage will have to be able to be made draft free with a little effort if it isnt already.
price is somewhat of a factor, i'd say that we can go up to about 100 usd for the cage and shipping (if applicable).

thank you guys so much for reading this and for any advice you can give me, Kuro and Paint (our ratties) are also very grateful and send chitters and kisses :D
 

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i think a hagen chinchilla cage would be a good start. if they are knocked over they don't come apart. they can fit up to 3 rats so your 2 will be fine. and its easily expandable if you get more room (expands easiest up). it will fit nicely on the dresser and should have easy enough access for your son. the levels are made of pine wood so you'll have to chuck them but i found hammocks so much easier to use for that cage anyway. and you can make hamocks very cheap with safety pins and retired clothing. or you can buy them but rats have a tedancy to chew and hammocks are going to be loved well by the rats. dryer hose can also be pinned up with safety pins and is very cheap for the ammount that you can get. when it gets too grungy you just through it out and cut a bit more off to go in again. hamster balls zip-tied to the side makes excellent hidy-holes and cuddly spots. corner ferret litter pans (the triangle kind) fit nicely inside and makes for extra levels. i found that my rats also really enjoy the wheel (mine's 11") and the mesh kind can attach right to the side of the cage leaving more floor space for your rats and other toys like igloos. also the wheel can detach easily from the base if it bothers you while you're trying to sleep. organizing trays from the dollar store also seem to be a favorite. if you line all the trays and toys with a bit of scrap fabric it makes it easier to clean too. just pull out the fabric and wash it the laundry then give the plastic a quick wipe with a baby wipe.

i currently have 3 hagen chinchilla cages zip-tied together so now, according to cage caculators i can fit 8 rats comfortably. i got the first cage for free and saved up the second cage (new it costs $100 CDN) and i was able to find the third cage in a classified add for $75 and i'm getting another one that way for $40. they seem fairly popular so you can probably find it for less in classifieds and ebay and yard sales etc.

here's a picture of the two cages together shortly after i attached them but before i made the floor. when i get the pictures from reachthestars that we took of the 3 cage set up i'll post those as well.


it actually looks really sparse compared to what i have set up now. but there are a ton of different ways you can set it up. as you can one of those cages can be quite the little space for your rats and there's ton of potential. and though if it does get knocked over it will stay together it's going to take some effort on the cats' part to knock it over in the first place.

for the price range you're looking in and what you want to do with it and its ease to expand i'd say this would be your best bet to start out with. and like i said when i get the 3-cage pictures i'll post those too.
 

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is there a place online where one can find those? they have no dealers nearer than 70 miles from here according to their website. also, the (human) daughter of my new pets grandparents of the human variety has suggested a "rat mansion", which looks like a decent cage to me and according to the fellow i spoke to at coast cages can be modified to change what i dont like at little or no cost. does anyone have any experience with this cage?
 

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i've heard a lot of less then appreicate reviews of coast cages. they seem to be much smaller then what theya re advertised for and i've heard that they can a pain to clean. i've never had one but i haven't heard many good things over them either.

i'm sure you could find a dealer for the chin cage if you google hagen chinchilla cage
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0002ARCNQ/ref=nosim/?tag=dealtime-kitchen-20&creative=380333&creativeASIN=B0002ARCNQ&linkCode=asn i found it for sale on amazon
http://www.shop.com/op/sprod-0-~Hagen+Cages-k24-g1-~cage-nover-~chinchilla?search_form=1 this is a list of other places you may be able to find the cage or toys.
http://www.yourenclosures.com/search.php?dmxargs=03u3hs9yoakG1OsTDEhgyFX4yF0lVtK2Q6lyghFsAx9ylRAEHxaXQlEqVOPb44qcAWJYv_29v3rl5yKFYiSpdmVEEBYPdurDpHZshJHBBOPo-MO5ibWTX9QeGaYgdqT-wTKYb13uVEtjDznFH2jPZ9ERi5NSthav3CdkHFTVtohrGMVcT3Fr69OYfJjRlqd1ALa4h1gT5UbtDrrJ2pTmoSewf0CEhZ-EwG6PK8A4hloju67LnCaHw585uCT62nJWr936LFs1jJKITbtI5-UX7RYt0pUC2o3iYdIRKI-NFP8OfnH3p8tv7b-wL7c9RwcA..&q=Pet Enclosure here's another list
 

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I have two rat mansions. My son has one and I have one. I cut the wheel out of both of them because my rats didn't seem to care for them and you couldn't take them off to give it a really good cleaning. I personally like them but really want a Ferret Nation because it looks much easier to clean. For cleaning the rat mansion I take the top of the cage (wire part) and put it into the tub and run the shower for about 10 minutes on hot then towel dry it off. It's been working so far. I do that about once a month and every week I just wipe it down with some baby wipes.

I think it would go good on top of a dresser or even in a small space on the floor. Don't exactly remember the dimension. My rats seem to really enjoy it. I really like that I can open the top and they know its time to play and run around on the couch and desk. After a couple of hours of that they just wonder back into the cage and I close the top. There is also plenty of space to put up hammocks, toys, etc.

I hope this helps.
 

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ok, i finally picked one! what is it? ah ha it's a surprise! *grins evilly* when i get it all set up for them i will snap a few pictures. it wasnt my first choice for a cage, which was really neat and had climbing tubes and slides and all sorts of neat fun stuff, but was also for ferrets and had 1" bar spacing... which kuro neatly proved to me on her first shopping trip (to the pet store, yesterday) wouldnt hold her (look mom, i can get out of this without even messing up my fur) she and paint really loved the little spiral slide, too *sigh* oh well, new cage has plenty of room, maybe i can find a slide to attach to it.
 

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Martin's cages have small enough bar spaces... Try that, maybe?
 
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