Hi! In this post, I’m listing seven accessory ideas for your pet rats to enjoy. If you are limited in crafting skills or time, these will be great for you, as there is minimal input needed to make them comfortable and interesting for your pets.
This plastic bag holder from Ikea can be mounted to your cage using plastic zip ties, although it is sturdy enough to sit comfortably without being attached.
I like to line it with a scrap of fleece to make it a little more snuggly.
These plastic bins are inexpensive, easy to clean, and come in a variety of bright colors (blue, green, yellow, red). While the bins snap together securely, they are very lightweight and can be easily moved or tipped over.
My rats love to hide in or under these bins; I normally add a mini fleece blanket for warmth.
While there are a ton of PVC pipe options for your rats to play with, I like this one because the ridged surface provides traction and gives the rats an easier time when climbing on or through the pipe. The Y shape is fun because it allows two-way traffic.
In the picture above, I’ve lined one side of the pipe with a fleece “rug” (braided strips of fleece tied together). This is a favorite lounging spot for my rats.
4. Clear Plastic Bin – Dollar Tree, $1.00
This little basket came from my local thrift store for $0.45, but you can get it new at the Dollar Tree stores. I cut two access holes in the plastic to make a small tunnel. This tunnel is mostly for fun, as it is cheaply made and I do not expect it will last long once the ratties start chewing on it. I like to wedge veggies between the wire frame and the plastic wrap so the boys have to work at getting the snacks free.
5. Plastic Baskets – Thrift Store, Target, Walmart, etc. – $1.00-$3.00
Small plastic baskets make a great accessory for your rat cage. They’re inexpensive, sold everywhere, easily attach to your cage with hooks or plastic zip ties, and easily cleaned. Pictured here are a few shapes and sizes. I’ve seen people fill the baskets with fleece scraps, toys, treats, or lined with a blanket for a snuggle spot.
6. Digging Bin – Thrift Store, Dollar Store, Walmart, Target, etc. – >$5.00
I’ve found that my pet rats love to dig and root around, so this digging bin was created to fulfill that instinct. Supplies needed: a plastic bin or basket, rounded glass pebbles or clean natural rocks, and interesting things to eat or chew. I purchased a small bag of rounded glass stones and marbles from the thrift store. After thoroughly washing and drying these stones, I tossed them in a plastic basket along with an assortment of things to chew on: seagrass twists, apple wood sticks, dry pasta, kibble, and a wine cork.
My ratties love to dig in this bin; often I find them stashing the glass pebbles in secret hiding places around their cage.
These wire coated racks are sold at all kinds of department stores, but I find them at thrift stores for about $1 each. The link above will take you to one on Amazon.com for reference. These come in a variety of shapes and sizes – use your imagination to envision how they can be used in your cage for climbing, hiding, and so on!
I’ve lined these two examples with fleece. The ratty boys like to crawl under and on the larger rack on the left, and use the rack on the right as a stepping-stone to higher levels in the cage or to get into a hard-to-reach hammock.
Well, there you go! Seven of my easiest and most inexpensive cage accessories that require little to no crafting expertise.