Rat Housing Guide

Don’t hem your rats into a hamster home or jam them in a gerbil cage. Your rats need lots of room.

Housing your rat

Your rats’ housing should be as big as possible as they love to run around and play! It should never be any less that 3 cubic feet per rat. So with more than one, you’ll need a good amount of space as they can become stressed if they’re too confined. Your rats’ housing should contain lots of levels connected by tunnels so they can climb. Nesting boxes should be provided for each rat, as well as a larger enclosed space so they can sleep together.
rat housing

Rats love to climb on things and explore new smells, so give them plenty of toys, things like plastic drainpipes and cardboard boxes work well. Small boxes or toilet roll middles are great to hide their food in, while if you hang ropes up your rats will love to climb up and walk across them. Give them lots of places to hide away throughout their enclosure.

Make sure your rats’ home is not made from glass! Rats need proper ventilation to avoid breathing difficulties or getting lung infections. This is why you should cover their floor with absorbent material, such as paper-based rat bedding. Never use wood shavings, sawdust or fine litter. The dust may irritate and cause an allergic reaction. Also steer clear of straw – it’s too sharp and may damage your pets’ mouths.

rat play

Quick tip

Rats should be allowed out of their housing in a secure space once a day for at least an hour.
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Excel Rat Nuggets

from £9.49

Did you know?

Rats are very sociable so love to be around all the action! Keep their housing at eye-level so they can see what’s going on around them.

Housing Checklist

Indoor beats outdoor hands down – rats hate being cold. Keep their house away from draughts and direct sunlight and at about 20 degrees. Rats can become stressed by the vibrations made by sounds, so keep your rats away from loud noises. Make sure they’re not close to TVs, loudspeakers or household appliances. Place them at the heart of the home, somewhere where you spend a lot of time as they enjoy company.

Your rats’ housing should be made of a material that is gnaw-proof and secure so that your rats can’t escape and nothing else can get in! Make sure their enclosure has a solid floor to avoid problems with their feet. You should give each of your rats a nest box to sleep in which is kept in the dark as rats are very sensitive to light. Rats love to shred their own bedding, so pop in a few sheets of kitchen roll for them to build their own little nest!

The essentials you will need to make the perfect set up for your rats:

  • Large enclosure 
  • Food bowl 
  • Sipping water bottle 
  • Nest boxes 
  • Platforms 
  • Toys 
  • Drainpipes 
  • Cardboard boxes 
  • Hammocks 
  • Paper-based rat bedding 
  • Excel Nuggets

Cleaning rats' housing

Your rats’ enclosure should be checked a couple of times a week to check and then remove any material that has been soiled. Make sure you clean it while your rats are awake as any disturbance while they’re sleeping can be stressful.

Every week give your rats’ housing a deep clean. It’s good to leave a small amount of unsoiled bedding in there to make sure your rats’ housing still has familiar scents.

Every month you should give your rats housing a ‘deep clean’ where you take
everything out, scrub and disinfect the housing with a animal-safe cleaner.

Do you need more advice?

To help you find the right food for your pet have a look at our product range.

Alternatively you can call our free consumer care line on +44 1405 862241 between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. Our dedicated team of pet experts will help you make the right choice.

If you should have any concerns about the health of your pet, always consult a vet.