Housing your rat

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Housing your rat

Large, Strong and Spacious Cosy and comfortable Playtime Cleaning Rats love to explore and are very active so they need lots of space to exercise in.  The bigger the rat cage is, the better! Large, Strong and Spacious Rats enjoy climbing so rat cages need to be large with several levels or shelves for your rat to investigate and play on.  As rat cages are quite tall and roomy you need to consider if you have the available space to house one in your home. Rats are sensitive to extremes of hot and cold temperatures and can develop heat stroke as they can not sweat like humans.  Ideally your rat cage should be kept in a draught free place away from direct sunlight and at a room temperature between 19 – 23ºC.   Rats are highly intelligent and make good escape artists so your rat cage needs to be secure. Your rat cage needs to be made from strong metal wire as rats like to gnaw and chew. Your rat cage should have a solid base rather than mesh as rats can develop sore feet (a condition called bumblefoot) from treading on mesh floors. View our Rat Products section for a selection of rat housing Visit our Rat Health advice to learn more BackTo Top Cosy and Comfortable Your rat cage should contain a large nesting house for them to hide and sleep in.  You will need to provide some nesting material for your rat to shred up and use to line their house with - shredded paper is ideal. Never use wool or any other type of fabric for nesting material as the fibres can be ingested and become lodged in your rats gut. Provide some paper-based bedding as a substrate (flooring material) as this will be kinder to your rats feet rather than a solid, bare floor and is also absorbent.  Dusty bedding such as wood shavings or hay should be avoided.  Straw should not be used either as it has sharp ends and could damage your rats eyes and mouth. If it gets hot during the summer months place a granite cooling tile in your rat cage for them to rest on.  Granite naturally maintains a temperature below that of the room and will help your rat feel nice and cool. Visit our Rat Products section for a wide range of nest boxes, bedding litter and accessories BackTo Top Playtime Rats need to exercise a lot and a rat exercise wheel is a great idea to help them stay fit and trim.  The rat wheel must be a solid wheel with no spokes as these can cause injuries to your rats tail and toes.  It should also be large with plenty of room for your rat to stretch out whilst running. Adding extra shelves, ladders, ropes and ramps to your rat cage will keep them happily climbing and scampering about.  Clean, safe branches from non-toxic trees are available in our stores.  You can also add suspension bridges, hanging platforms, ladders, tubes and hammocks for your rat to play with. Wooden chewing toys and gnaw stones will keep your rat contented and they will also help to keep your rats teeth trim. A good tip is to change your rats toys regularly and alter their position in the cage to prevent boredom. Rats need regular exercise outside their cage,  Time spent outside their cage should always be supervised and you should rat-proof any room they are let loose in:  do not allow them in the kitchen as it is too dangerous, keep all trailing electrical cables and breakable ornaments out of reach, remove all house plants and shut all doors and windows.  Rats can fit through tiny holes, so you should check for cracks along skirting boards or between floor-boards.  You might find that a small play pen or rabbit / guinea pig run is useful.   Visit our Rat Products section for a wide range of rat exercise wheels, boredom breakers and toys BackTo Top Cleaning Rats are very clean creatures and their cage should be cleaned with pet-safe disinfectant once a week.  Soiled nesting material and substrate should be removed daily. View our Rat Products section for a range of rat hygiene and cleaning products BackTo Top