This tutorial is all about using whatever you have around the house to provide a fun toy for your pet rats. My rats love cardboard boxes – they’re fun to hide in, and fun to shred. I like the cardboard boxes because they are inexpensive (in fact, the boxes pictured here were free from the grocery store) and disposable.
Supplies and tools
In this example, I’m using two cardboard boxes, a handful of zip ties, and a shapeable PVC pipe. Tools include a pair of scissors and a craft knife.
Step one: cut top access hole. I’m cutting one hole in the top of the cardboard box; this is where I’ll push the PVC pipe through and will serve as an entry point in the top of the box. Make the hole just big enough for the pipe to fit, but not too big.
Step two: insert the pipe.
Step three: using your utility knife, poke a few sets holes around the perimeter of the boxes. Poke symmetrical holes in the upper and lower boxes – this is where you will insert zip ties in the next step.
Step four: Using zip ties, secure the upper and lower boxes to each other. In this example, I’ve secured the boxes with two ties (one on the left side, and one on the right). You want the boxes to stay together sturdily.
Tada! Here’s the finished box. Of course, you could complete this type of hideout in a lot of ways, and the black pipe isn’t really necessary – just a little more fun for them to climb in and over.
Here is Huey, my biggest rat, exploring the new den.