As a rat lover, there’s a good chance that you let your rats play and roam about in their play room for a good portion of the day. Rats are energetic, curious, and fun in general, so it makes sense that they should have this freedom!
However, no matter how much you let your rats out to play, they’ll still be spending a good amount of time in their cage.
With you rat sleeping, eating, or even playing in their cage for a healthy portion of the day, you need to provide them with a good cage that meets all of their needs.
Many new rat owners don’t put a lot of thought into their cage selection, but there are defining features of the best rat cages that you need to make sure that your cage has. To make this selection process easier, we’ve created this guide to finding the best rat cage for your rat family.
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OUR #1 RATED
An excellent cage with a mid-level separator, simple yet effective debris tray, and an added sturdy hammock.
MidWestCritter Nation Double Unit
Compact in design yet large enough for a single rat, featuring full-width doors and an easy-to-clean design.
Prevue484 Deluxe Critter Cage
A cage that’s very easy to assemble and is made from sturdy plastic and metal that keeps your rat safe and secure.
MidWestFerret Nation Deluxe Cage
Very spacious in design with a leak-proof pan, added ramp covers for comfort, and large doors for easy access.
Strong plastic makes up the landings that are connected by ramps and tubes. It features a nice deep floor tray and an added hammock.
Does My Rat Need A Cage?
While it may be tempting to safe the money and go without a cage for your rat, it’s simply not something that you can do. Rats should have the ability to run around a secure room and play, but they will always need a “home base” no matter how much freedom they get. This doesn’t mean that the doors need to close and the rats need to be locked away, but the option to get into and use their cage should always be there.
A rat’s cage should provide it with a safe and secure place to eat, drink, sleep, and simply hang around. While rats do love to play and be social, they also like to be secure when they’re taking a rest. If they can’t get that security from a cage, they’ll find another place to get it, often to the detriment of furniture or anything soft.
So while every rat needs a cage, the size and features needed can vary slightly depending on your rat’s playtime and ability to be out of the cage.
Can Rats Live In Other Animal Cages?
Simply put, yes, rats, can live in cages meant for other animals. However, it isn’t enough to find a cage that has bars and is decently sized – you need to consider how your rat would live within that cage. If a cage was constructed for another animal, there’s a chance that the manufacturer didn’t consider the physical needs and wants of rats when building it.
You must first look at sizing. The sizing of your rat cage is discussed more in detail below, but you must make sure that your rat or rats could live comfortably within the cage while leaving room for several different activities. If a cage is too cramped, such as a hamster cage or bird cage, then your rat can get stressed out.
Additionally, check if it’s safe for the mischievous creatures that are rats. Rats are escape artists, meaning that they can easily slip out of bars that are too wide. Check that the cage can’t be easily chewed through and that the bars are close enough together to prevent small rats from slipping through.
Why Are Bigger Rat Cages Better?
As a general rule of thumb, if you can afford to get your rats a bigger cage, you should. Rats like to be in snug places when sleeping or relaxing, but in general, they aren’t animals designed to be confined to a single tight place. Their exploratory nature and overall intelligence means that their cages should be more than a small, single-story cage meant for hamsters.
Rats are extremely intelligent and active creatures. Providing your rat with a cage that allows them to comfortably and freely play and explore with each other is a great way to increase your rat’s happiness. It gives them a place to entertain themselves when you’re not around! Bi-level or tri-level cages will provide your rat with a diverse and exciting environment to keep them happy.
When cages are multi-leveled, it allows for separation of their essential items like litter boxes, beds, water, and toys. Of course, the longer you own your pet rat, the more obvious it becomes that they need plenty of room and stimulation to live the best life that they possibly can.
What Defines The Best Rat Cages?
Rats can live in a diverse range of cages, which makes the process of selecting the best rat cage slightly easier. However, there are some key characteristics that every rat cage must have (or can be altered to have) to provide your rat with the best living experience.
We’ve compiled a list of the main traits that the best rat cages have:
- At least 2.5 cubic feet of cage per rat
- Solid floor (no wire), or wire floor that can be covered easily
- Easy to clean thoroughly
- Easy to access all parts of the cage
- Nothing sharp or consumable
- A strong, durable material – primarily metal
What Are The Best Rat Cages?
While it can be a bit overwhelming to learn about the needs of your rat and then try and find a cage that meets those needs, it’s not a very complicated process when making sure that a cage aligns with the checklist given above. By going off of that checklist, we’ve found give of the best rat cages available that would provide your rat with a fantastic home.
Remember, a higher quantity of rats would require a larger cage (2.5 cubic feet per rat), so take that into account when choosing a cage.
our #1 rated
OUR TOP PICK
Black Feisty Ferret Cage
This cage by Prevue may have been originally constructed as a ferret cage, but it does an amazing job providing a great home to rats as well. The solid construction makes this cage feel very high quality, with a very spacious interior and several ramps and landings giving your rat plenty of room to roam and play. Giant doors provide you with great access to the cage, which is a feature that some cages struggle with. Finally, the middle landing platform has a feature where you can either keep it open, or close it off to separate the cage into a top and bottom portion.Owners of this cage have great things to say about it, and we struggled to find many downsides. Because it’s constructed out of metal, rats can’t chew through it or damage it in any way. It’s also frequently praised for being easy to put together and is extremely secure with its high quality doors. Also, of course, families of several rats love how spacious it is.This rat cage has one flaw, though, that we had to take off 1/2 a star for, and that’s the fact that the bottom floor is wire instead of a solid floor. Rats are not meant to walk on wired floors as it can damage their feet, so this is a problem that will have to be dealt with by the owner. Fortunately, this is a very simple fix with either adequate blankets or a solid board. If you can’t make this fix, though, we would recommend going with another cage for your rat.
- Large, accessible doors
- Added hammock
- Very large size
- Easy, solid construction
- Wire bottom of cage
- Bedding spills out the sides
our #2 rated
Critter Nation Double Unit
In terms of rat cages, this cage checks all of the boxes. This Critter Nation Double Unit is incredibly well-built, making it safe from damage and escape of even the most clever rats. The cage also boasts solid floors, a large and secure door, and is quite easily movable. Designed with rats in mind, you won’t have to make any modifications to this cage to keep your rat happy and healthy.Owners of this cage are largely pleased with their investment. Due to its smaller size, the cage is easy to put together in very little time. Additionally, it’s very easy to clean due to the accessibility of the door and the design of the floor panels. Most of the owners of this cage do not own more than two rats, though.The only reason why this cage isn’t our highest rated is because of its size. Even though it can easily house up to two rats comfortably, bigger cages are generally always a better investment in the long-run for your rat. The price of this cage is on-par with the bigger cages in this list, making us take points off of value. Despite this, this cage is excellent for families with one or two rats that get a lot of free-roam time during the day.
- Great quality
- Compact but big enough for 1-2 rats
- Easy to clean
- Easy to accessorize
- Shallow floor tray
- Similar price to larger cages
our #3 rated
484 Deluxe Critter Cage
Another solid contender in the roomy, quality cages competition, this 484 Deluxe Critter Cage has provided a good home to many happy rats so far. The construction is very solid, with the added bonus of the wires being very close together to prevent even baby rats from being able to escape. A variety of platforms and even a hammock allow for a massive amount of customization abilities while still keeping the cage safe and secure.The big focus of a lot of reviewers is the quality of the cage. It’s very easy to put together and there are no glaring problems with the construction, providing peace of mind to the owners that their rats won’t escape. The size is also massive for the price, and despite the big size, owners find it a very easy cage to clean due to the platform design and large doors.Sadly, this cage is plagued by the wire-bottom floor problem, which can’t be present if you want your rat’s feet to be okay. Fortunately, as stated above, this problem is very easy to fix, as towels or sheets can be placed down, as well as custom-made boards. Despite this one problem, this cage is a great option for your rats if you can customize it slightly.
- Five shelves and a hammock
- Easy assembly
- Solid construction
- Wire bottom of cage
- Bedding spills easily
our #4 rated
Ferret Nation Deluxe Cage
Another cage designed with ferrets in mind that very easily acts as a rat cage. The spaciousness of this cage, along with the very solid construction, makes it an excellent option for families of up to five rats. The doors are very secure, flooring is easy to clean, and is designed to prevent your clumsy rats from falling far distances from higher platforms.Rat owners with this cage are big fans of the size, saying how it provides their rats with plenty of space to run around. Additionally, the size and movable platforms allow for customization and addition of several toys and accessories for your rats. The convenience of the wheels and bottom shelf is enjoyed as well, although this feature is present in most of the other cages listed here. The large doors also allow for easy cleaning and feeding abilities, which of course makes things a lot easier.There are two main downsides to this cage that require a bit of extra work to deal with. First, some customers reported that their cage was difficult to put together in some places, requiring a rubber mallet to get pieces to fit. Additionally, the bottom plate is shallow and plastic, meaning that it can be chewed by some rats, and rats can knock their bedding over the side. This problem is frequently fixed by covering the base plate and adding some barriers to the side.
- Very sturdy construction
- Easy to clean
- Very large size
- Easy to navigate for rats
- Difficult to put together
- Plastic base isn’t great for rats
- A little pricey
our #5 rated
The more budget-friendly cage in this list, this Multi-Level Habitat cage by Kaytee is a great option for single-rat homes or two rats that aren’t very large. It’s a very simple-to-construct cage that’s secure and very customizable. The platforms are made of a solid plastic, and a great feature is the very deep pan that easily contains all of your rat’s bedding and, if they’re messy, food.Owners of this cage note that it’s a hardy cage that’s great for small families. It’s lightweight and movable, making it easy to move about the house from room to room. Additionally, the deep base pan is a feature that doesn’t go unnoticed, with no owners complaining about spilled bedding or food.The main downside to this cage is the spacing in the bars. This cage was designed for ferrets, so some of the bars have space between them that a smaller rat can fit through. If your rat is larger, then this shouldn’t be much of a problem, but the other cages above may be a better choice if you’re concerned about your rat escaping.
- Nice accessories
- Solid rat-friendly platforms
- Good size at lower price
- Very deep floor tray
- Not optimal for escape-prone rats
- Can be difficult to clean
Every rat cage that we reviewed would provide a rat with a safe, healthy, and secure living space. Rats are some of the largest rodents available as pets, so they have very different needs for their cages from a lot of other smaller rodents.
After analyzing each cage carefully, we have determined that the best rat cage is the Prevue Black Feisty Ferret Cage.
Despite the fact that the cage was initially manufactured for ferrets, it meets all of the needs of even the most crafty rats aside from the easily-fixable wired floor pan. This spacious, high-quality, affordable cage makes it a safe and smart investment for families of one or several rats.