What Kind Of Cage To Keep An African Furred Rat

The African soft-coated rat is indigenous to the Natal area of ​​South Africa and is beginning to gain popularity in the pet market. They are generally gentle, sociable and good parents. The African soft-coated rat is also largely odorless, making them a traditional choice for rats or mice kept in small houses. It can be easily located in many of the same housings used for regular rats.

Rodent cages

Hamster, gerbil, rat, or rabbit cages are the most obvious choices for your soft-coated rat. They often come with lots of included accessories, such as water bottles and exercise wheels, and are available in a wide range of colors and sizes. Unfortunately, many commercially available cages for small rodents are too small even for pets as they are designed, much less a larger species of rodents like the African rat. Rabbit cages in general should be avoided, as most have wire floors and spacing too large for your rat. When considering other rodent cages, look for models with plenty of open space and few places where the rat could get its teeth on the plastic bottom.


Aquariums make good utility cages as they are easy to clean and disinfect and prevent your rat from chewing its way out. Aquariums should be at least 20 gallons in size provided with a reptile metal mesh lid and cage clips to keep rats away. Aquariums can be filled with an extra deep layer of bedding for your rat to dig and burrow through, but because they don’t offer the ventilation of a wire cage, more frequent cleaning is necessary.

Bird cages

Bird cages are available in much larger than rodent cages and allow for ventilation. Wire racks and ramps can be added to create multi-level rat mansions, and bird-safe wire is often easy to hose down as needed. Bird cages more inherently lend themselves to the rat’s bedding, although some models are available with extra deep trays or plexiglass sheets that can be placed alongside. Alternatively, you could provide a sleeping area or inside a cat litter container within the cage, which would reduce excavation cleanup efforts.

Custom cages

Since all commercial cages come with drawbacks and advantages, practical rat owners may also consider a DIY custom rat cage to take advantage of the best options. Many websites offer personalized cage advice and plans, but keep in mind that the cage should be difficult for your rats to escape, sanitary, and easy to clean. Custom cages can be built from scratch or restored from old rodent or bird cage pieces. Make sure any material used in a custom rat cage is sanitized and rinsed well before introducing your African soft-coated rat to its new home.

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