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New Rat Checklist

A checklist of things to buy before you bring a new rat home.

By Audrey Pavia

1. Wire cage with bar spacing no larger than ½ inch apart, or large aquarium with screen cover.

2. Aspen or pelleted recycled paper bedding

3. Small boxes or flower pots

4. Tree branch for climbing (hardwood such as oak or aspen, or dried apple or cherry branches)

5. A solid-floored exercise wheel

6. Tubes for tunneling

7. Rodent chow in block or pellet form; fresh vegetables; grain or hamster seed mix

8. Attachable water bottle

9. Unpainted/untreated piece of wood/dog biscuits/safe chew toys for dental health

10. Safe and rodent-appropriate toys, including swings, ropes or toys made for parrots

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New Rat Checklist

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Reader Comments
rats should not be kept long term in a tank. they are only suitable in an emergency, or as a maternity cage (as small babies can fall out through some bars)
tanks lack adequate ventilation for rats, who have very fragile respiratory systems. they also lack climbing opportunities, and ways to attach further enrichment.
an adequate rat habitat is a barred cage that provides a minimum of 2 cubic feet per rat.
keeping rats in tanks is very damaging for their health.
Sheena, International
Posted: 5/20/2015 3:17:38 AM
I just got a rat have him in a large aqarium with plenty of things to clime he likes his wheel I clean it weekly he seems happy I want to get him a friend but I hope I am not hurting him with shavings I use for my ginepig
sylvia, el paso, TX
Posted: 11/21/2014 11:04:32 AM
I have a glass tank with a topper as well and I believe this is best because and all wore cage can cause bubble foot which no one wants.
Cassandra, Westlinn, OR
Posted: 9/27/2014 1:06:50 PM
Pretty good but add raw nuts and seeds, holding container for when cleaning cage, yogurt treats for bonding with them, liquid vitamins to put in water.
Posted: 11/29/2013 8:11:08 PM
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