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Old 03-08-2014, 02:01 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Rat Cage Question-Need reply ASAP please

I'm going to be getting two male rats very soon (around 8 weeks old), but I need to find the right cage. I'm getting something very large, maybe 5 levels. How far apart should the bars be spaced for an 8 week old rat? I've been looking at ferret cages, but I'm afraid that the bars may be spaced too far apart.
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Old 03-08-2014, 08:59 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I don't think anything with wire would be escape proof. I will eventually use a 55 gallon tank with screen top on it
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Old 03-08-2014, 10:29 AM   #3 (permalink)
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It is very difficult to get a large cage with small enough wire spacing. 1/2" maximum is require for babies to not escape. You might want to start with a small cage and when they are bigger, move to a larger cage. Male rats get big enough to usually be housed in a ferret cage.
A Guide to Pet Rat Cages - North Star Rescue - Pet Rodent Rescue & Adoptions
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Old 03-08-2014, 12:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Tanks are NOT good for rats and shouldn't be used for them. There is no ventilation to get rid of the ammonia fumes from their urine and will cause upper respiratory conditions which all American pet rats are prone to.
The best cage is Critter Nation from Mid West. They are awesome. You can get them cheaper when you shop online. If your cage bar are spaced wider than 1/2 inch you have to cover it with 1 X 1 cm hard ware cloth to keep them in. Adult males may be contained in a ferret cage with wider bars but I wouldn't count on it. But two males are the max for this cage. Before the Critter Nation came out I had a Ferret Nation, covered in hardware cloth to keep the smaller ones in. Currently I have my rats in a Petco Rat Manor and it serves me and them well.
For more details go to :Rat Forum
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Old 03-08-2014, 01:22 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I second the Critter Nation!! I have the double height one, and it was expensive but well worth it. There's lots of floor space with ample room to hang things too. There's room for an exercise wheel (a solid one, so they don't hurt themselves) on the top floor, and room for a litter box on the lower level (they're so clean!). It's really the only way to go, IMO. Check out how cool some of these awesome cages are set up by using google images - some of them are amazing!

The ferret cages have too large of a gap between the bars, unless it's a large full-grown male being housed in it. The other issue is that they're not very safe (hurting themselves by falling off the shelves) and having inadequate floor space.

Glass aquariums are horrible for them, as wolfy dog mentioned. That rat forum link that was provided will help you tons
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Old 03-08-2014, 01:30 PM   #6 (permalink)
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* But two males are the max for this cage. Petco Manor
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Old 03-08-2014, 02:30 PM   #7 (permalink)
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That's interesting about the glass aquarium, I've never had any problems with them, well the rats didn't. I did clean it quite frequently.
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Old 03-08-2014, 02:38 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I have an aquarium that I use as an isolation area for very young babies I'm going to introduce or if one is sick, but they're really not very good at all. Not if you're going to give them any kind of meaningful existence. They won't die in one, but that's not the best measure, lol.

ETA: I shouldn't say they won't die in one, since they're prone to mycoplasmosis anyways, and the ventilation is an issue.

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Old 03-08-2014, 02:52 PM   #9 (permalink)
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We ended up with the ferret cage--not critter nation but another brand and it is secure--so far. The rats are pretty big and full grown. We have three hooded females.

Havoc is fascinated with them but the pit bull won't even go into the room where they are kept. Which is great as I think that she has less impulse control than Havoc.
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Old 03-10-2014, 12:15 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Is it possible for a cage to be too big? I'm getting a cage tomorrow that's 5 feet tall, bottom is 30x30 inches. Has 6 shelves The bars are 1 inch apart, so I'll have to get some hardware cloth to cover it, correct?
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