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How to Get Cheap Cages for Your Pet Rat

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I am an avid animal lover and expert in rat husbandry. I love to write about animals.

Finding cheap pet rat cages can be daunting for beginners, but it does get easier!

Finding cheap pet rat cages can be daunting for beginners, but it does get easier!

How to Obtain a Cheap Rat Cage

Our rats deserve only the best housing, and it is our responsibility to find enclosures that offer them plenty of room to play, sleep, and exercise. A cage should be able to sustain a rat's exercise needs while also being easy to maintain and clean. If you need to find rat cages for cheap, then you have definitely come to the proper place for some assistance and guidance. Your rats should have only the best living space, but that can be challenging on a budget.

While sticking to our budget, we must not sacrifice the health of our beloved pets. For instance, rats should not have wire grate flooring in their enclosures. This type of flooring can hurt their feet severely, potentially resulting in "bumblefoot."

Keep the following things in mind when shopping:

  • The cage should offer at least 1.5 square feet of space per rat, with great airflow.
  • It should be easy to disassemble, clean, and maintain.
  • It should be free of wire grate flooring.
Courtesy of Tina Phillips

Courtesy of Tina Phillips

Shopping at Pet Stores and Department Stores

Sometimes, these stores can have very high prices or deeply discounted prices. It all depends on the store chain and who they order their products from. Your area's location may be a factor in the price of the cage as well.

You are going to want a cage that is sturdy and healthy for your pet rat, so ensure that you research the brand name before purchasing the cheapest cage available. You must also remember that smaller cages will have smaller prices; you cannot just choose a smaller cage, though. There must be at least 1.5 square feet of cage space, and the cage should be properly ventilated.

Tips on Finding a Deal

Don't forget that you can always cross-check prices to make sure you are getting the best deal. You can also hit big clearance events or sales to get a very decent cage for an incredibly low price. This is the best option if you are seeking out a new cage. Online retailers tend to have much lower prices as well, due to having fewer overhead costs than physical stores. It may not be a bad idea to check out the options on sites such as eBay or Amazon.

Getting pet rat cages cheap can be as easy as DIY rat cages!

Getting pet rat cages cheap can be as easy as DIY rat cages!

Finding Cheap Rat Cages Through Yard Sales, Consignment, and More

If you are okay with purchasing a pre-owned cage, then you could save anywhere from 25% to over 90% on habitat for your pet rat. Previously used cages are generally pretty cheap, simply because they come from people who potentially owned a pet in the past but were forced to rehome it, or it could have even passed away. These are ideal people to purchase cages from if you are currently on a budget. If you own or plan to own several pet rats, you may need several cages. This method of purchasing cages could save you several hundreds of dollars over time.

Check for Cracks and Breakage

As long as you evaluate the quality of the cage and it has no cracks or broken pieces, you can rest assured that you are investing in a good cage. Cracks can lead to the leaking of the animals' waste, which could be potentially hazardous to your family and other pets, and it can also damage furniture if not cleaned soon after the leak occurs.

A broken cage can also severely injure the animals, as they can get cut, limbs could get hung and could possibly break, and the animals could be exposed to hazards such as rust. If the cage you are interested in is damaged, you should ensure that you can make decent repairs to the cage before investing in it.

Making Your Own Pet Rat Cage

Perhaps one of the cheapest ways to house your pet rats is to build your own cages. There are many websites online that feature blueprints for pet rat homes. If you have been slightly discouraged by the current prices on premade rat homes and cages, this could be the best option for you.

What Are DIY Cages Made From?

Generally, homemade cages are made out of items such as chicken wire or specifically cut shelving and closet racks for the upper part of the cage, with the base being made out of a variety of liquid-resistant and stain-resistant materials such as plastic storage containers. These can be very effective rat cages, and they can be custom-made to fit in a certain area in your home.

If you have a large rat colony, you could even transform large wooden furniture into a rat cage, such as an old dresser. These pieces of furniture are usually obtained at yard sales, to lessen the cost.

How Do I Learn to Build a Cage?

If you are unsure of how to build your own rat cage by hand, there are thousands of tutorials online! You can purchase cage building ebooks so that you can have step-by-step written instructions on cage building. This is advisable if you are truly unsure of how or where to start. If you are a pretty avid do-it-yourself'er, then you can most definitely utilize the many different YouTube how-to videos that will teach you how to build a rat cage. The video below is a really good start for inspiration!

Which Option Will You Choose?

Now that you are aware of the many ways to obtain rat cages cheaply, you can use your knowledge to avoid the high retail prices. You could even begin your own cage-building business as well! There are so many different ways to find housing for your pet rats; now, it is up to you to choose which option is best for you and your rat family.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

© 2013 angryelf


Him on June 22, 2020:

I want a ratty

Max on February 06, 2020:


Rats need well ventilated cages, even if you do clean it daily!

Joyce on July 16, 2017:

I have 6 boys and 6 girls. When i got my 2 they were in an aquarium a male and a female and before I could get them rehomed in separate cages they bred and had 11 babies. I have them in separate cages that I bought used online but they have plastic bottoms and they keep chewing through them the top of the cages are fine the bottom are ruined and I'm trying to find a solution that they can't chew through

mal on May 28, 2014:

I need a big cheap cage for my rat btu i can't find one