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Mice/Huge list of rat cage ideas


Dear Natasha,
I'm just returning to say no I didn't get the link to your webpage.


This is from a document on my website. We collected people's ideas for cheap and free cage accessories. At the end are links to learn to make other items.

Here are comments people have made about finding or making accessories for their cages:

First of all, NO TOWELS. In discussions of this in the several groups in the last few months I have heard first hand stories of rats severing tail tips, toes, a foot, and even several hanging themselves from the threads they had exposed in the towels when you thought the towels were safe. There was an example of a paralyzed rat who, during less than 8 hours I think, managed to chew the threads and wiggle and almost cut himself in half; if he hadn't been discovered quickly he would have died. PLEASE, not only use no towels yourself, but also make it your mission to let others know and never let a towel suggestion go uncorrected. We can save many rats this way.

Clair Todd: "You can make shelves very easily. You need to get a piece of safe wood the size you want the shelf to be. You then cut some linoleum the same size as the wood and stick it on the wood surface. This will make an easy to clean surface. You then need a way to attach it to the cage. Drill a hole at each corner of the wood. You don't need to use a giant power drill- just a small hand Dremel would work great. Then you place the shelf inside the cage and zip tie the shelf into place by threading the zip tie through the holes and around the cage bars Easy peasy"

Joanne Erbacher: "I crochet hammocks, houses and tunnels for my toys are great for rats too and you can get them cheap from op shops"

Sue Gerber: "You can get wood toys and accessories (dyed & natural) at many pet stores. Parrot toys are especially good for rats I think."

Misha Noneyobusiness: "Here is our cage... I love it but it has some pretty big drops, so I make hammocks to break up the drops. As well as tying mailing tubes to the side of the cage and some store bought toys.. I also use various small cardboard boxes to create houses. They love chewing them up and I can just toss them out when they get too chewed up, or stinky.."

Sariah Lily Jones: "...another option: cheap "tupperware" (again from the dollar store). I had to poke holes in this one for the twisty ties, and it's pretty flimsy. Because it doesn't match the width of the cage, I can only attach two sides, so it bounces. lol The rats seem to enjoy that, but it always made me nervous so I don't use it anymore once I discovered the stackable bin--which is also easier to clean.... annnnd dog frisbees can also work (again from the dollar store). My mouse LOVES his and sometimes sleeps on it. :) For rats, they're generally good for a single-rat "perch", but, as you can see, three can all fit on at the same time if they really want to. ♥....They do have a tendency to tilt it sometimes, but they still enjoy hanging out on it even when it's tilted. This is another one I like to have two of, so that I can really wash them and give them plenty of time to dry. Actually, with the rats, I tend to alternate weekly what's in their cage to give them variety, so frisbee one week, dog rope the next, etc. Especially as I have more cage items than can all fit in the cage at once! :D"

Miriam Banash: "We need a lot more hammocks and hiding places. Of course cereal boxes and old tissue boxes make great hiding places so we have a few of those. We also have a ferrettrail (like the habittrail you get for hamsters). We just have two pieces but I expect we'll get more of those. They can be hung as well.... I have a lot of anxiety about what is safe and what isn't. LOL. We have this plastic bin that Cookie Rat gave us at some point and it's wonderful. They love hiding in it, digging in it, hiding under it, eating in it. I wish I could figure out what to call it so I could get more of them."

Clair Todd: "I like to think I am resourceful when it comes to ratty hiding spots lol. As you can see from the pics, I have used Halloween pumpkins, plastic doll houses, plastic potato chip bowls, X-Mas stockings and more. You would be amazed as to how many things are fun for ratties that you can buy at Walmart or the dollar store... Plastic storage bins are wonderful. I also use plastic baskets and hang them for some fun places to sleep and play"

Sariah Lily Jones (talking about combining a double level cage on what is basically a rabbit cage) "You probably want to tie the top one down so they don't slide it. Twisty ties or zip ties should work. An alternate idea which is similar to what I did before...Is your single level cage collapsible? If it is, see if you an flip one of the sides up. Then you can open a door on the taller cage and push that side against the open side of the single level. That gives them more horizontal space. Depending on just how high that bottom door is, you may need to put the single-level on something to raise it a bit. I didn't even need to tie my cages together when I did this, though I had a brick in one of them which probably helped keep it in place. the flipped up side also made a fun "spring-board" during playtime."

Sarah Elisabeth Licht: "Nothing that will have lose threads they can get caught in; softer = better according to my babies."

Leslie Glod Barnes: "Mine love jingle balls (plastic cat toys with bells in them) and the golf ball sized whiffle balls. They are inexpensive and fun to play with!"

Syd Green: "I think after 20 years I'm permanently stuck in 'through ratty eyes' mode. I scour thrift stores for wooden boxes, wicker baskets, things to be used as ladders, hide outs etc. My local thrift store gives me the stained/ripped clothes and jeans they can't sell and I sew them into hammocks, lounges, and snuggle tubes. I pick up boxes from behind the dollar and liquor store (you'd think I was an alcoholic looking in my rat cages! lol) and wire them to the sides of the cages with bread ties after stuffing them with tissues, the rats chew their way in. Cheap lounge spots can be made by cutting off the leg of jeans, putting two wooden dowels on either side and sticking the dowels through the cage bars to hold it up. Try shoving treats inside those wicker balls they sell for decor (make sure there is no varnish) and hang them from the top of the cage. Take a stack of safe junk mail, punch a hole through the middle, run string through and tie it up, quick shredding toy."

Syd Green: "Also, if you dont want to sew, just fold a tshirt to fit the cage space you want, cut small holes in the corners, and hang with bread ties. Can you tell I like bread ties? lol"

John Bates: "Thrift store near me sells a big bag of t-shirts for a couple of dollars...that and safety hammocks that the rats love."

Lauren Smith: "My new fav is plastic dollar store baskets. I hang them in the cage with zip ties so there's no chance it can fall. One pair likes litter in it and uses it as a hanging potty. It's just a pain to cut the zip ties to take it down to clean and then rehang."

Carrie Dunn: "I use metal binder rings to hang baskets and hammocks- they're secure and easy to open/close." " Slipping a lanyard hook onto the binder ring makes it even easier - you can get them by the bag at craft stores in the jewelry supply section."

Amanda Dutro: "I always save boxes that are good hidey boxes, like saltine boxes. We also use dog ropes- I untie the center knots and leave the ones at the ends... toddler/baby toys, bird toys, and other random things that look fun..."

Carole Merando Littlefield: "Pretty much any cat dog or 2 yo child's toys"

Sariah Lily Jones. "A great cage accessory for mouse cages: empty toilet paper roll! Great for hanging out in, climbing through, and walking on top of. Raincloud will often choose a longer path from point A to point B if he can manage to work passage through his TP tube on the way... I poke a tiny hole near each end and then stick twisty ties through, though it occurred to me just now you could wrap the wire (provided you have long enough) around the outside or loop it through the tube."

Lisa Plume Harvey. " Some ideas of things you could add: tissue boxes, hammocks, pvc pipe, little bed, wheel, wood chew toys"

Sue Gerber. "Maybe you could put a hammock in there. You can make one easily from a rectangular or square piece of cloth (such as fleece) and fasten it to the top bars of the cage with 4 twist ties, safety pins, or thin metal wire shower rings if you have some, etc."

Carole Merando Littlefield: "You can just give her an old Tshirt to shred mine love that, or a towel(hand) any empty boxes, tissue boxes take out the plastic , an even let her have the tissues, oatmeal boxes, old socks re even a hit. one even likes to play on a large rock keeps her nails filed too!" "Also sounds odd, old slippers the fluffy kind go over very well! Most everyone has an old slipper lying around"

Rachel Mattern Seiwell: "Mine love tissue boxes. (We like cheap toys). Paper towel rolls and toilet paper rolls work great. Small boxes with holes cut in them. If you put a brick in there she will climb on it and it will help keep her nails trimmed down."

Bev Jo: " You could use a saucer for her toilet, which is very easy to clean and they usually toilet train themselves. Yes, boxes, fleece to hide in, paper to work with, organic pasta to store and play with."

Sarah LeBoeuf: "For hammocks I get the plastic shower curtain hoops, make a small hole in each corner and slid the hoop through and it clicks shut. They don't chew them and you can easily remove them. My rats LOVE my kids' fleece winter hats that have the velcro chin strap, I hang it on the cage ceiling with the chin strap and they use is as a deep hammock. I also use old clothes and t-shirts for hammocks. I never buy special cloth. They are naughty and ruin everything so I recycle. I save boxes and old towels, clothes etc.

Lynn Stanton: "Ours have a seesaw and a wooden climbing frame you put it together however you want; and its chewable. Also I save the tubs you get off gravy granules: I cut bottom out and give quick wipe with dry cloth so they can still smell the gravy smell. Mine love the toilet roll tubes, especialy the ones from when had a scented toilet roll. Small plastic cat balls with the bell inside. I often leave music on for them xx"

Joyce Cooper: "You can get a yard of decent fleece from Walmart. It's around $5 a yard. From a yard of fleece you can make 12 12" x 12" hammocks. It doesn't have to be sewn because it doesn't fray. So just cut it up cut holes in the corners put in the eyelets if you want. Then you have a safe alternative."

Kendra Clark-Erickson. “Any wooden toys, esp. the old ones that werent treated with any thing. Certain cat and dog and ferret toys that will kinds stand up to a rat chewing it. Or completely destroy it but take it out ASAP u notice it. ALL kinds of things can have rope or chain put to it and make a hut, swing, something to climb, etc.. Make sure that ANYthing you get is big enuff that NO rat will get stuck in any way.”

to make chew-resistant hammocks:

*Frances Takacs. "I found for hammocks, a thick fleece with a denim backing. Then cross stitch throughput the hammock

Makes it less prone to get chewed as fast. They still work on it, but it lasts longer. You can skip the denim, it does fray fast, so keep the ends hemmed. Also put lots of small remnants in the cage to keep them busy. Hang strips from the sides for the to destroy."

*Jess Edwards. "It will all get chewed eventually but I have good luck with the higher quality fleece. Just seems to last longer and it's more absorbent."

*Emily Cundiff. "Unless my girls take an extreme liking to a hammock, it gets chewed in a matter of days, It SOMETIMES lasts a week, So far the one I sewed for them of fleece & flannel hasn't been even nibbled at as far as I can tell, Which I'm very happy about."

*Heather Crain. "So when you use fleece, how do you layer it? When I use the receiving blankets I use the whole blanket, just layer, fold and stitch."

*Emily Cundiff. "For the fleece I just use a single layer of fleece and a single layer of flannel, sew it inside out then flip it back around and sew up the edge, stick holes in it and hang it."

*Eleanor Berryman. “My hammocks are a layer of fleece on one side and a strong layer of canvas material on the other. This strengthens the hammock. Also, when they chew them, they only chew up the fleece and (generally) leave the canvas intact thereby extending the lifetime of the hammock because I can always add more fleece. I also put pieces of loose fleece in the hammock for them to chew and 'design' and give them lots of empty tissue boxes for them to chew up willy nilly. A chew block is also a great thing because rats NEED to chew and so I try to give them more convenient options”

*Jennifer Schreck. "Tear up small chunks of newspaper. Dip them in "glue" mixture, which is a 50/50 flour and water mixture. Squeegee of excess glue than apply a single layer to a blown up small balloon, like a water balloon, leaving room at the nozzle. Let dry for a day. Then add another layer. Let dry another day. Cut a slice in the balloon to release air and remove the balloon and add treats."

Making of a hanging sleeping tube:

How to make a no-sew rat hammock

The Dapper Rat: Rat Toys Ideas (helpful collection of rat toys with instructions! )

Ratropolis: Rat Hammock Tutorials Making a treat box toy

Fancy Rats Forum: Furnishing a cage- a rat’s eye view

Pocket Fleece Hammock Tutorial:

Instructables Rat Hammock Instructions:

eHow Rat Clothes Instructions:

How to Make a Cuddle Cup:

How to Make a Snuggle Sack:

Shawna Laufer:  Rat Swing Toy

Suz’ Sugar Gliders: DIY Hammocks, Accessories


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I can answer questions about raising mice and caring for them as pets, with knowledge from my 38 years of having fancy mice as pets. I have NO MEDICAL TRAINING and you should take a sick mouse to the vet; but if you simply can't, I will try to help you. I LOVE PHOTOS!!! I ALSO LOVE UPDATES! Let me know how the little tyke is doing later on, for better or worse, especially orphans. It also helps me to help the next person. Please first search first: use 'Natasha Mice Mouse' with whatever else your question includes. Or check out these links: **** YOUR FIRST MOUSE (my video; rough draft): **** TEN VIDEOS ON RAISING ORPHANS: **** SEXING MICE: **** And some GREAT MOUSE INFO SITES:


I have had mice for 40 years (since I was 5!). I raised them when I was a child but now I keep all females, and never fewer than three so that if one dies the others are not devastated, because they have each other.

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B.A., M.A., M.A. in Linguistics: Yale University and University of Connecticut

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