The rakish rats' posh pad
Homemade cage to house my pet rats. Most cages on the market are either way too small, or way too expensive, so I figured I could probably build something sufficient that would house them comfortably at a modest price.
The framework is made out of 1/4" PVC tubing and joints, press fit together. The bottom tray is a cement mixing tub, and the cage is formed out of hardware cloth with 1/4" spacing. Price for the bulk of the materials came out to less than $50. The inside cage is 18"x28"x26", or over 7.5 ft3.
Here are some cages available on the market:
Equivalent sized cages are pushing $100, so the DIY method ended up being cheaper and, in my opinion, better.
The bottom tray is removable, allowing for easy cleaning. One entire wall forms the door, making it easy to get into the cage and move stuff around. The hardware mesh is easy for the rats to climb and although it is galvanized, they have shown no desire to chew on it. They have also not shown any desire to chew through the mixing tub to freedom.
- The tubing is not glued/epoxied into place and this makes the structure less sturdy than it could be. I would like to epoxy sections together for stability, but still allow the framework to be broken down.
- The legs were too spindly as originally designed, so crosspieces were added (front-to-back) and that helped a lot. I want to add side-to-side crosspieces to further strengthen the base.
- I've been adding extra platforms, hammocks, and other features pretty constantly and will likely continue to do this in the future.