When choosing a home for your rats you should think carefully about how big it needs to be. You should allow at least 2 cubic feet (approximately 0.06 cubic metres) per rat. However, this approximate guide only works well for larger colonies. If you are keeping only a pair of rats they will need more space than is given by a cage that measures as suitable for two rats. Look for a cage suitable for at least 3-4 rats. For reviews of a wide selection of cages please look here.
Please remember that this is only a guideline. The number of rats your cage can house also depends on other factors such as the number and size of the levels, how the available space is used and the size and activity level of your rats. Floor space should also be considered. A cage with a small floor area and lots of levels might suit a group of younger rats but is not suitable housing for older rats, who might find themselves living only on the bottom of the cage. With a little thought you should be able to choose a cage that will suit your rats throughout their lives.
The main rule is, the bigger the better. If you have room for a larger cage then your rats will certainly appreciate the extra space. The main exception, when it is inappropriate to house rats in a very large cage is when settling down young babies. In these circumstances it may be better to use a smaller cage initially, if you have chosen a very large cage for their normal living accommodation.
You can use the Fancy Rats cage calculator as a guide to the number of rats that a cage is suitable for. The calculator works in both centimetres and inches - click here.
Author: Fancy Rats Team
Articles relating to cages and habitat enrichment
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