Tag Archives: rat toys

Cardboard rat castle

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Our new ratties arrived today! Whoop whoop! I’ll share all about that in a moment, but first I want to brag about the super rat castle that my creative husband made 🙂

It’s finally done, so here are all the levels and how they fit together:

Level 1

Level 1

The rats enter through a classic ‘mouse-hole’-shaped doorway and have to navigate a maze (it even has a wrong turn with a dead end built in).

Level 2

Level 2

The second storey has a viewing window (covered with clear plastic) and a fenced-in area that can be filled with stones through which the rats can snuffle for treats 🙂

Levels 1 and 2 set up

Levels 1 and 2 set up

The whole contraption is made from nothing but strong cardboard and plastic packaging tape.

Level 3

Level 3

The third level can also be filled with interesting items for the rats to crawl through – I’m thinking of using scraps of old material. As you can see, each level is covered with tape so that any pee spots or food messes can be wiped up with ease.

Levels 1, 2 and 3 set up

Levels 1, 2 and 3 set up

Levels 2 and 3 both have cute viewing windows and staircases with steps for easy grip when the rats ascend or descend.

Level 4

Level 4

Finally, the rats will emerge into the open space on Level 4. It has a small shaded area on the one side though, because we know how much ratties like scurrying straight to dark, safe places :mrgreen:

The complete castle

The complete castle

What a labour of love! I’m so impressed with my husband’s ideas and hard work. In my mind’s eye I picture this as the ratty version of a gorgeous fancy hotel, and if I had time I’d paint it Mediterranean white with palm trees and cute details all over… but I know the ratties don’t need that – they’ll love it exactly as is 🙂

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Rat cages (part two)

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While we wait for the new rats to arrive (it seems to be taking forever… not that I’m all that patient 😉 ), let’s take a closer look at their new cage.

Top floor

The top floor

I placed the rats’ gardens (one with grass and lettuce, the other with flourishing lentil sprouts) on top of the cage just for the photo. Naturally, these will be placed on the floor when we let the rats roam free. (You can see the small wooden log ladder there too, which we’ll use to connect the gardens.)

At the top of the cage we have a black plastic Sputnik, a plastic ferret tunnel and a makeshift hammock (an old PJ pants leg held up and open by two dowel rods). We’ve also found our best-yet solution to the question of cage levels. This time around we’ve laid thin sheets of white perspex across wooden dowel sticks. These are all removable and should be a cinch to clean each week – much better than either the metal trays or the cloth levels.

The middle levels

The middle levels

Most of the rat toys and accessories are on the two middle levels. This cage setup is an improvement over our previous layouts because we’ve squeezed in an extra level. Here you can see cardboard and plastic boxes lined with shredded unprinted newspaper, a rope walkway, metal ladders, a mini dome (part of a Sputnik) and an egg carton.

It’s so exciting to picture four little ‘scurries’ (as Ninja has dubbed them) exploring this cage!

And finally, the ground floor:

The ground floor

The ground floor

This is where the mealtime action will be. On the left we have two water bottles and a water bowl, strategically placed over the tile so they have to wear down their nails a bit. In the back left corner we’ve left space for their toilet (did you know rats can be toilet trained? Yay!). And on the right is their food bowl under another piece of grey Sputnik (rats like places to hide). Not visible in this pic but hanging from the front right side of the cage is a metal stick used to skewer fruit and veg for the rats. They love the challenge of that kind of treat 🙂

And what about Flea, I hear you ask?

She has her retirement home right below the mansion:

Hello Flea!

Hello Flea!

Since the old lass can’t climb anymore, we’ve limited her quarters to food, water, toilet and sleeping dome. By God’s grace we found the perfect-sized cage for her, which fits on the bottom of the main cage’s stand. This way Flea is kept off the cold floor. All through winter she’s also had her pink blankie to block out draughts and a hot-water bottle under her bed to keep her snug. So though her nose may be out of joint with the newcomers, at least she can’t complain that we love her any less 😉

Spoilt (b)rats get a castle with a garden and a pool!

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Ninja and I have had lots of fun lately as we prepare to welcome home our new ratties. And if you thought our fussing over them was outrageous before, just wait till you see what we’ve done now! :mrgreen:

Cardboard castle maze

Cardboard castle maze

Firstly, Ninja began building and designing this cardboard castle with a maze of tunnels and multiple levels. It’s quite a labour of love, with each level stacking neatly on top of the previous one. Ninja made it out of strong cardboard and packing tape. I must admit I was greatly tempted to paint it with cute details all over… but first we’ll have to see how long it withstands ratty teeth and piddle puddles, hehehe! 😉 It’s not finished yet so I’ll try post more pics when it is.

Then comes the garden. This is something I’ve wanted to do for each new set of ratties we’ve brought home, but only now did I finally get around to making a little natural scratch patch for our pets.

Ratty Eden

Ratty Eden

After making drainage holes in the bottom of a large shallow plastic container, I filled it with rich potting soil and planted some pet-safe grass and lettuce for the rats. Some pebbles, glass stones and wooden flower signs finished off the effect.

Flea was our guinea pig (no species slur intended, dear ratty!) for the garden. Even with her wobbly old legs and lack of coordination, she showed her enthusiasm by climbing right in.

'A garden for me?'

‘A garden for me?’

Flea seemed very curious about the interesting new smells and textures. In her short/long life she’s never experienced soil or plants, so I was glad to bless her with this little adventure before she leaves us.

A ratty scratch patch

A ratty scratch patch

With her in the pic you can also see that it’s not such a big garden, but I do intend to make another one in which to grow edible sprouts for the ratties to dig up. Nevertheless, since we don’t even have a garden for the humans in this place, I don’t think the rats have a right to complain!

Then, as if all these wonderful spots to explore weren’t enough, we also found the perfect pool for our pets:

Pool for pet rats

Pool for pet rats

I can’t take credit for the idea, since I saw a fellow rat club member do this first, but I’m sooooo glad we also found the right tub for the job 🙂 It’s a cheap and simple plastic washing tub with a washboard moulded into it. But of course when you look at it from a rodent’s perspective, those make ideal steps leading down into the water.

Complete with a rubber ducky

Complete with a rubber ducky

Hope you enjoyed that peek into the fanatical world of pet rat owning 😀

And to think those are just the fun items for the rats’ free-range time… We still have a lot of work to do upgrading their main living quarters in the cage. Will keep you posted!