Pet Rats – Getting Started

In Critterized Pet Supplies, Pet Rats, Rats - Care & Info by NUG - SoulLeave a Comment

Getting Started

Bellow I have put together information about what in my opinion is needed to get you started on your Fur Baby journey, I have put in different ideas/options to give you a better idea of what is out their and what will suit your needs. Once again this is just my opinion based on what i have learnt/seen in my years of owning rats, Im more then happy to hear your opinions on any/all of it and if you know of anything that I missed or if you know of a great items/products that should be added to the list please feel free to contact me and let me know 🙂 I’m always happy to learn something new and love being able to share great ideas with others to help them learn also 🙂

Picking Their Cage…

First you need to pick your cage, depending on how many you have or are getting and the space you have will determine what type of cage you can get. There are lots of different types of rat cages out there, in a range of different shapes and sizes. You can also make your own cage which is called a Grotto, to find out how, check out my “How to make a Grotto” page. Bellow I have listed the most commonly used cages and where to find them, I have also made up a picture slid to show you how they look:

Tub Cage: Tub Cages are easy and cheap to make, for a step by step guide click – HERE

Pet One: Great for around 3 rats, they can be found in most pet shops and on line.
Dimensions: 60cm Wide x 61cm tall x 41cm deep,Bar gap: 11mm

Ferret Kingdom: Great cage! can be split into 2 cages or used as one big one.
Overall Size (including stand) 93.5 x 63.5 x 159.5cm
Overall Living Space (excluding stand) 93.5 x 63.5 x 121cm
Stand Size (including wheels) 97 x 67 x 38.5cm

Kmate: This is a bird that can be easily converted into a rat cage, bar spacing is a little big for young pups.
Overall: 176h x 79 x 48 cm Cage: 120 x 79 x 48 cm, 15mm wire spacing

Picking Their Food…

There are a few different types of good Lab Blocks out there, if you cant get them in your area you can do as I do and make your own mix (check out “About Rats and Care Info” for recipe).
List of Lab Blocks:
(photos are from a google search to give you an idea on what they look like)

Picking Their Water Bottle…

I prefer a water bottle over a water dish as water dishes get soild in or get tiped over. you can find water bottles at your local pet shop. Water needs to get changed daily and make sure you get a size that will last all day as you dont want them running out of water while you are a work or sleep etc.

Picking Their Litter…

When it comes to litter avoid sawdust and wood shaving types, they are known for causing respiratory issues. I use and most of the other rat owners I know use Breeders Choice, Dr Harrys is also suppost to be good. Most recycled paper litters you will find are good. You can also litter train your rats 🙂 for more info on that check out “About Rats and Care Info”

Picking Their Toys…

One of the good things about rats is you can turn almost anything into a toy! Baby toys are great. You can also turn things like ice-cream containers, cardboard boxes, peg baskets etc. and dont for get about a wheel! Wodent Wheels, Slilent Spinners are the 2 best brands I have heard of so far. You can get the large wire ones from some pet shops, just make sure you cover the wire with fleece or cardboard. and always pick the biggest wheel even if it looks HUGE lol they will grow into it real fast.
(Images are of the wheels are gathered from google, the other images are taken from our old free range play times, or are from my old range of Critterized Comforts, that I used to hand make)

Picking Their Travel Cage…

Make sure you have at lest one of these, you will need them to pick up your rats, go to the vet, moving, going to rat picnics etc. You can buy one or make one. To buy one, you can pick them up at most pet shops or on line. to make one, things like plastic picnic baskets, small bird cages, 15l plastic tubs make great travel cages. Check out my “How to Make a Breeding/ Travel Cage” page for tips and ideas.

Picking Out Your Rat Vitamins…

I find that rats usually get sick on a public holiday lol so you then have 2 choices, go to the vet and pay a fortune or wait and hope your fur baby doesnt get to sick in the mean time……. Then I found another way to give my fur babies a helping hand when they get sick and to prevent them from getting sick. Tetracycline Antibiotic and Daily Vitamins


Have Scales On Hand…

I think it is a great idea to have scales on hand to be able to keep an eye on your fur familys growth and keep an eye on weight lost when sick.

Keep a Folder/Diary…

I think that it is a very wise idea to keep records and information on your fur family, anything and everything about your rats should go into it. DOB, parents, food that you use, if you change their food are there any changes? etc. Its always handy to have 🙂