Decorating your cage
The only limit to what you can use to decorate your cage is your imagination. On this page i hope to share some ideas.
There are people out there with beautiful themed cages where everything matches. I am not however one of those people.
In addition to hammocks its important you offer a wide variety of other toys, hides and climbing apparatus to your rats home. This can be as simple as a cardboard box.
You don't have to spend a fortune and a little creativity goes a long way.
There is lots of expensive rope bridges on the market which are expensive but sturdy. I find a cheaper alternative is the long chunky dog rope toys from B&M or jute rope sold by the meter at B&Q.
My rats love buckets and i have some suspended as well as overturned ones on the cage floor. I pick these up at Halloween or Easter and they are about £1 each.
IKEA scarf hangers these make great cargo nets for climbing on and carrier bag dispensers make great shelves.
Another thing to look out for are toys designed for parrots. my rats love things like perches, wooden ladders and hanging branches. These are often cheaper then similar toys made for small animals. you can also collect wood as long as you know exactly what you are collecting and that it is a rat safe tree as many can be toxic. Check out lists of wood safe for rabbits and these are also safe for rats after drying out.
for attaching all my toys through the cage i use pear clips or plastic rings sold as shower curtain clips. People have success with zip ties but i find these fiddly and you have to cut them every time you clean out your cage. so i don't recommend them.
Unlike Hamsters rats don't "need" a wheel however there is now wheels sold large enough for rats. These are made by Tic Tac and both my girls and boys have 16" wheels. Girls appreciate them a lot more though in my experience. Size wise i recommend 16" but you can use 14" for does.
some independent makers of rat toys to support.
Probably the most popular cage accessory for rats are hammocks. These can come in all shapes and sizes and are a great way to add colour and different levels to your cage.
I have a variety of hammocks from different places. If you have a sewing machine they are easy to make yourself however it can be time consuming. some people just simply use cut fabric or fleece and poke holes in the corners. this works but get destroyed quickly. I think it is worthwhile getting nice hammocks unless you have a rat that particularly likes to chew them.
There are lots of makers of lovely hammocks on the web and o have linked to a few of my favourites bellow.