Pet Rats/wheels?


I have been told by a few people that rats should not use wheels because it can cause stress on the rats spine. Im wondering if this is a legitimate concern, and are there any alternative options (aside from climbing) to make sure they get lots of excersize. I have a female rat who is super energetic and if she had her way id be playing with her one hundred percent of the time

I actually have never heard that but I imagine it may be a concern if a rat runs on a wheel an awful lot OR if the wheel is too small.  The second is more likely.

If you get the right wheel, one that is safe for their size and for their feet, and as long as you monitor the amount of time your rats run on it, wheels are a wonderful way for rats to get exercise while in their cage.  If you notice your rats running in their wheel almost all night long, then you may want to alternate nights with the wheel (one night with the wheel, one night without, and so on).

One of the best and safest wheels on the market, and my absolute favorite is the Wodent Wheel by Transoniq.  It's fairly quiet and has a solid surface to protect little feet.  It comes in 3 versions (sizes)...The Wodent Wheel Junior (for young rats or mice), the Wodent Wheel Senior (for medium sized female rats), or the Wobust Wodent Wheel (for males and large females).  The entrance holes in the last one are the largest.  I have both the Senior and the Wobust because my girls are different sizes.  If you consider buying one of these, I'd suggest the Senior size unless your girls are very large.  I have never seen this in any local pet stores.  It can be found on various websites including, but shop around for the best prices.  I have ordered once from this website:

Of course, nothing can replace the exercise they should get during free-play time in a large space (like a rat-safe closed room or area) for at least an hour every day where they can run freely and interact with their humans.

Please let me know if you have any other questions.  

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Irene Murphy


I can answer a variety of questions regarding adoption and care of pet rats throughout their lifetimes, including questions about their health and well being, temperment, diet, bedding, cages, toys, etc. I will try to answer your questions to the best of my ability in a timely manner and I have an abundant amount of resources to help me to help you with your pet rats. I love rattie pictures, so include pics with your question if you can. You may ask me medical questions, but please be advised that I am not a vet. I may use my resources to answer some medical questions, however, I will need to refer you to your local vet with medical questions that I feel I am not qualified to address.


I have been a huge rat enthusiast for many years. Since becoming a rat owner, I have educated myself in all areas of pet rats from every resource I could find including the internet, books, conversations with local exotic vets, as well as several local rat breeders.

I have a college degree but not in the area of animals. I have obtained my extensive experience and knowlege of pet rats all on my own because in my eyes, pet rats are the most interesting and fascinating creatures you can ever imagine to have as pets. I also am saddened by how mislabeled and misunderstood these amazing and extremely smart animals are by the majority, and my mission in life has become to educate and change as many people's perceptions of rats as I possibly can.

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