A rat or rodent, like any other pet, is a beloved part of your family that you want to keep safe from household threats while you’re away. Finding the right rat cage will help ensure that your pets are safely contained and entertained, as you can add as many fun features, like climbing rope bridges, swings, cushioned bedding, and interconnected tubes, as you’d like.
The best rat cage for you will depend on the number of rats that will be living in the cage, the age of the rats, whether you need the cage to be portable or stationary, and how many levels you want for your cage. The more levels there are, the more space your rat has to run, climb, and play, but a single rat isn’t likely to need a triple- or quadruple-level unit. To help you choose, we’ve rounded up some of the best rat cage products below.
- BEST OVERALL: Midwest Deluxe Critter Nation
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Mcage 3 Levels Small Animal Cage
- BEST FOR MULTIPLE ADULTS: MidWest Homes for Pets Deluxe Ferret Nation
- BEST FOR TWO ADULT RATS: Prevue Hendryx Black Feisty Ferret Cage
- BEST FOR ONE RAT OR BABIES: Little Friends Grosvenor Rat and Hamster Cage
- EASIEST TO CLEAN: You & Me Rat Manor Habitat
- MOST FUN: Ferplast Ferret Tower Two-Story Ferret Cage
- BEST PORTABLE: PawHut 32” 4-Level Indoor Small Animal Cage
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Rat Cage
For many people, a rat cage may be just that: a rat cage. But for conscientious rodent owners, a rat cage is so much more—it’s a safe space, a home, and a miniature gym. Before choosing a rat cage for your family pet, take a few minutes to educate yourself on what it takes to create a pet-friendly home.
Rat cages can be constructed from a number of different materials, including but not limited to metal wire, plastic, and wood. Given that your rat will be living, eating, and drinking inside the cage, consider opting for a material that’s odor resistant and strong enough to withstand damage—just in case your furry companion decides to gnaw on the cage.
Metal wiring is the best material for a rat cage because it’s generally inexpensive, durable, and resistant to chewing or gnawing. If you choose a metal cage, however, make sure to purchase one that’s coated so that it won’t rust or corrode over time. Plastic and wood can be good options for ramps or to line the bottom of the cage, but keep in mind that both of these materials can be chewed up. To help prevent this from happening, make sure that your rats are kept happy and entertained with innovative climbing structures, chew toys, and daily playtime outside the cage.
Space and Number of Rats
The space you require can be determined by the number of rats you have and their planned living arrangements (i.e., one cage versus two or more cages). A single rat or a litter of babies need a minimum of 2 cubic feet to be able to properly move around and exercise. With two adult rats, you should increase the space of the cage by 2 cubic feet for a minimum of 4 cubic feet, though it’s suggested that the cage be larger to help prevent the risk of fighting. If you add a third rat to your family, the size recommendations jump to 8 cubic feet to ensure that each pet has its own space for rest, food, exercise, and play.
Levels in rat cages are a great way to expand the space available to your rats without taking up additional space on your table, dresser, or desk.
- One level rat cages must have a large layout to ensure that your rats have the space they need to get the appropriate amount of exercise. One-level cages are best for new litters of baby rats, as they’re too small to use ramps or elevated platforms.
- Two-level rat cages are great for one or two rats. The levels can be connected via tubes, ramps, or climbing ropes, giving your pets a range of options in their home.
- Three or more levels are good options for pet owners with multiple rats. These multitiered cages can be completely customized with climbing devices, hammocks, chews, and other toys.
Accessibility and Entertainment
Your rat cage should include functions and features that make it easier for you to take care of your pet while also keeping it happy. For example, some cages are built with removable food and water containers that can be refilled and replaced without taking your rodent out of the cage or dealing with large, inaccessible compartments.
Just like your home has a variety of items designed for your entertainment, your rat’s home should also have features to help it exercise, rest, and have fun. Consider a rat cage that comes with a hammock for rest and relaxation, a variety of tubes or ropes to climb for exercise, and rat toys to keep your pet entertained.
Rats are able to fit through very small spaces. So if the gap between the bars in your cage, or the gap in the door closure, is wide enough for your rat’s head, then it’ll be able to escape. To ensure your pets stay safe while you’re away, look for a rat cage with a door that’s equipped with a secure locking mechanism.
For litters of newborn or infant rats, you’ll need a cage that has a maximum of 1/2-inch spacing between the bars of the cage. While adult rats can be kept in cages with wider spacing between the bars, it’s not advised to rely on cages with bar spacing that’s greater than 1 inch.
Ease of Cleaning
Rat cages should be cleaned two times per week, so it’s important to find a cage that makes cleanup a breeze. Rat cages that can lift away from the base or cages that have a slide-out tray are easy to access and clean. Wooden platforms and even some plastic platforms, however, can quickly absorb odors and stains if they’re not properly cleaned with a rat cage cleaner like Nature’s Miracle Cage Cleaner. This cleaner has a bio-enzymatic formula that breaks down odors. Plus, it’s safe for small animals with sensitive respiratory systems.
Once the cage is cleaned out, you’ll be able to replace the bedding so that your rat has a fresh floor to use again. To help reduce odors before the next cleaning day, use bedding that’s designed to absorb odor and moisture. Carefresh Small Pet Bedding has a natural odor control formula that suppresses ammonia odors for up to 10 days.
If portability is your goal, then you should look for a cage that’s designed to be small enough to take with you. It should also have built-in handles so that you can grip the cage securely. Portable cages, though convenient, shouldn’t be used as permanent homes for your rats, as they’re not large enough to provide a comfortable living space.
If you have more than one rat, placing them in an enclosed space and moving them to a new location can be a stressful event that may cause them to fight. To prevent this from happening, look for a larger cage that comes with features like wheels and a handle for easy transport.
Our Top Picks
The products below were chosen based on quality and price to help you find the best rat cage for your family pet.
This two-level rat cage has a sturdy metal tube frame and wire exterior with 1/2-inch spacing between the bars of the cage so that you can house baby rats or adult rats without fear of them escaping. The front of the cage is split into two wide doors that close and lock in the center, making it easy to clean and maintain.
The tray at the bottom of the cage and the tray on the second level are both removable, and the plastic ramp that extends up to the second level from the first level has soft padding to keep your rat’s feet safe. The entire 19.5-cubic-foot cage sits on a stand with four wheels that can lock in place or roll freely so you can move the cage around your home.
This cage is affordable and easy to set up, so your rodent friends can enjoy it as soon as you get home. The bars of the cage have 3/8-inch spacing that is appropriate for full-size rats or even rat babies. The rat cage is 7.5 cubic feet and has three levels, giving your pets more than enough space to have fun and exercise.
In addition, it has a slide-out bottom pan for easy cleaning and two handles on the top that make it easy to carry. This rat cage has two doors on the front so that you can reach your pets, their toys, and their food or water dish.
If you have three or more rats, then you’ll need to ensure that they have plenty of space to exercise, play, and rest so that your rats can live happily together instead of fighting for territory. This rat cage has a massive capacity of 32.8 cubic feet that includes two full floors and two adjustable platforms that are joined by plastic ramps with protective coverings to keep your rats’ feet safe.
Thanks to the locking ramp feature, you can keep two unruly males separated or house the females away from the males. The cage has a pair of full-width double doors for easy access and removable shelves for simple cleaning. It also sits on four locking wheels so you can move it around your home or lock it in place. Quick note: This cage is made specifically for adult rodents, as the 1-inch gap between the wire is nothing but an escape route for baby rats.
Designed for large adult rats and other rodents, this cage offers space, accessibility, and portability. Made with 7/8-inch wire bar spacing and a 19.4-cubic-foot capacity for your furry pals to explore, this cage is perfect for multiple rodents. The rat cage has two full floors and two adjustable platforms for four levels of activity. If you’re concerned that your rats will be aggressive when you’re away, you can fold up and lock the ramp, dividing the cage in two.
This large cage also comes with a miniature hammock and is made of powder-coated metal wire that’s moisture-, damage-, and rust-resistant. The cage has two large locking doors that allow easy access to four levels and a removable bottom tray for quick, efficient cleaning. Tip: avoid drying the tray in the sun, as it may warp the plastic.
If you have a new litter of baby rats or one pet rat that needs a new cage, then the Little Friends Grosvenor Rat and Hamster Cage might work for you. It has one full floor and two adjustable platforms that form a multifloor system. The two platforms and the two ladders that join them are made of softwood, which is easy on your pet’s feet and looks great in the cage.
This rat cage also comes with two houses, two exercise wheels, and two bowls that can be used for food and water, giving your rat a variety of choices for entertainment and comfort. The rat cage has a 7.4-cubic-foot capacity and a narrow bar spacing of just 0.4 inches to keep your rats from escaping or getting hurt.
With the 6.9-cubic-foot You & Me Rat Manor Habitat, cleaning is simple. This cage is easily collapsible and made with heavy-duty, powder-coated wire that’s designed to be chew-proof and stain-resistant. With wiring spacing of just 3/8 inch, you can rest assured knowing your rats won’t be able to escape.
This rat cage detaches from the deep metal base so that you can dump and replace the bedding, wash the base, and reattach the cage in just a few minutes. In addition to having two lockable doors, this cage has four levels and three wire ladders for your rats to climb.
Rats of almost any size can enjoy this huge 34.1-cubic-foot activity cage that has a narrow bar spacing of 1/2 inch. Made with two plastic pans that separate the cage into two stories and three adjustable platforms, the cage offers your pets plenty of room to explore. It also has two flexible play tubes and two ramps to join the platforms together, giving your rats an exciting route to climb.
This rat cage detaches at both of the plastic pans, so you can access the cage without issue, making it easy to keep clean. If you don’t want to just remove the cage from the base, then you can also use one of the three doors, including a rooftop door. This snazzy setup also comes with a hanging hammock, a large water bottle, and a food dish.
If you need a rat cage that’s easy to transport from room to room, then this four-wheel, compact rat cage is a great option. Two wheels can lock in place to keep the cage from moving, and the bottom tray can be removed for easy cleaning. The cage also has four levels that are joined by three ramps with an anti-slip grip to make sure your rats don’t fall off while they’re climbing.
You can access the inside of the cage by removing the bottom or by using one of the three doors in the cage. The wires of the rat cage are made of powder-coated metal with a bar spacing of 0.95 inches and a total capacity of 16.6 cubic feet, making it a good choice for large adult rats but not a great option for baby rats that could escape through the bars.
FAQs About Rat Cages
Before investing in a new rat cage, here are a few frequently asked questions to consider.
Q. Can rats be kept together?
Rats can live on their own, be housed in pairs, or they can be kept with several other rats. This is because rats are social creatures that thrive in large communities. However, a pair of rats can become aggressive when attempting to prove their dominance. This can be mitigated by taking them out of the cage for shared playtime and training.
Q. What do I need to put inside a rat cage?
You should have comfy spots for your pets to hide out and sleep as well as sources of food and water. You’ll also want to ensure that you have toys for them to play with and chew on, like wooden blocks and chew sticks. Even DIY toys like toilet paper tubes, tissue boxes, or other repurposed items will work.
Q. Where should I put my rat cage?
You can put your rat cage anywhere around your home, though you should avoid areas that are prone to rapid changes in temperature, such as near windows or doors, because this can cause your pets to get sick. You should also consider placing the cage in a medium-traffic area so that they receive ample attention and stimulation.
Q. How often should I let my rats out?
You should let your rats out for a minimum of 15 to 30 minutes per day, though it’s best if they have a full hour daily.
Q. How do I prevent a rat cage from smelling?
Regular cleaning and using an appropriate cage cleaner like Nature’s Miracle Cage Cleaner will keep your cage odor-free. Once it’s clean, add bedding with odor control and absorption features, such as Carefresh Small Pet Bedding, which helps to reduce the smell of rat waste until the next rat cage cleaning.
Q. How often do I need to clean a rat cage?
It’s recommended that you clean a rat cage twice per week by removing the old bedding; scrubbing the inside of the cage with warm, soapy water; drying the cage; and adding new bedding.