Humane Rat Traps and Best Rat Cage Ideas
You may not want rats in the house. They can destroy a lot. But getting rid of them can prove a real challenge. The usual means available are far too cruel. Poison or a snap trap or a glue trap … Maybe you feel fidgety about using any of those? Wanting to get rid of them does not mean you want to kill the little fellows or leave them to die painfully, right?
Thankfully, more humane rat traps are also available. This is a guide to help you choose kinder ways to drive them out of your home.
Cages and Funnels with One Way Doors
Ideally, you would like to drive rats out of your home without much ado. You could try these enclosures and funnels with one way doors.
Rats usually use the same route to enter and exit every day. If by careful observation you can identify that route, you could use an enclosure with a one-way exclusion door. That is a live rat cage that will allow the creature to push its way out, but not back in.
Some rats could prove too timorous to push their way out of these live rat cages, though. A steel mesh funnel works better. The principle is the same. These are funnels with one exclusion door that will allow a rodent to push its way out, but not back in.
Even these funnels are a little problematic simply because the size of rodents vary with age. Some of them could be too faint-hearted to try pushing out of a funnel also. But try it anyway – it just might work. If it does, you would successfully drive rats out of your home.
Live Rat Traps
It is technically possible to trap a rat in an enclosure that will not kill it. You can then simply carry the cage and let it out somewhere outside. But it is not as simple as it sounds. How do you set a rat trap cage right?
Firstly, a cage may be too big to fit in the corner that these rodents in your house have chosen to build their nest in.
They live in families and groups. If you have them at home, you probably have quite a few of them. You need to set up several traps together. Experts say about a dozen is a good idea.
Otherwise, some of the little fellows will be in traps. The other nervous ones with no trap to go to will gnaw at anything they can. Make a complete nuisance of themselves, that is. But it is not easy to access a dozen traps and set them up.
Traps don’t always work well for rats. They are very suspicious animals. A snap trap or a glue trap works because they catch the creature as it uses its usual route. It is not easy to entice a rat to enter a live cage trap with bait.
Suppose you manage to get a dozen or so such traps and set them up where the rats are. Suppose they decide to walk into them also.
What to do with the rats caught live?
You’ll have to check the enclosure every seven/eight hours if you actually mean not to kill the little animals. They can die quickly of heat stroke or dehydration when trapped in a cage.
Take care to release them some distance away from your home. They will simply find their way back in otherwise. Rats can actually return to your home unless they are really far away.
Even if you release the rats’ miles away, sealing your house properly is still important. New rats will gnaw their way in otherwise.
The Best Bait to Entice a Rat
Are you wondering what food is irresistible to rats? It really doesn’t matter. They are omnivorous scavengers. They’ll eat just about anything you offer. Some people say that sweets are their special favorite. Some say, not really.
The trick is in setting the trap right. You need to figure out their movement route and set your trap there.
One easy way of doing that is to spread some flour in the spaces you think they visit. We suggest flour assuming that you don’t want to kill these little inhabitants of your home with the powder you spread. If you have guessed their route right, you’ll see the flour dislodged by their little scurrying feet marks.
If you have set a rat trap cage, keep an eye. You would not want a trapped rat lying around to die in your house.
Difficult, But Probably the Most Practical
Now, be ready for a little bit of shock. After all your efforts to catch them live and release them, those rats will most likely die anyway. It could be out of starvation.
They might be unable to source food in a new place. Especially if there are other rodents living there already. These released ones are more likely to lose out in the competition.
They are also easy prey to predators, of course. But you will have the conscience salve of releasing them live, of course!
There are people who argue that snap traps that kill rats instantly offer the most humane way. Of course, that does not allow you the conscience balm that you have if you release them live. But think of it the other way. If you dislodge them from the corner of your home they had found to nest, they will most likely die anyway. Why not give them the freedom of instant death? They are not really an endangered species!
Best Rat Cages
That last bit was difficult to digest, right? Let’s make you feel better. Let’s talk about rats as pets. You’d want an enclosure for them to live in, right? Here are some of the best options. We’ve selected these cages carefully on the basis of available ratings and reviews.
Some Tips to Help You Choose
There are a wide variety of rat cages for sale in the market in both brick-and-mortar stores and the online marketplace. These cages are available in metal, plastic, and glass. Some cages are single storied while others have two or more levels.
Next, let’s understand how to choose a rat cage.
Here are a few things that you need to remember when you choose a cage for the furry rodent members of your family:
- Make sure that you buy a large enough enclosure. The thumb rule is that each cat needs at least 2 cubic feet. A good rat cage for 2 rats must be a minimum of 72 x 36 x 44 in centimeters. That would translate to 29 x 15 x 18 in inches.
- Do remember that this is the minimum size of a cage good for two rats. You can buy bigger ones, but certainly nothing smaller. Rats love space. Be stingy with space, and you’ll make your pet rodents unhappy.
- Even if you have baby rats, it is still best to buy a full size cage. There are some smaller options. But those babies will outgrow them in 3 – 4 months.
If you don’t want your pet rodents to escape, make sure that the bar spacing is close enough. A maximum of 1” bar space if all your pet rats are adult. But we’d recommend ½” spacing, since they are good for babies also.
Ease of Cleaning
Rats create a lot of mess. You’ll have to clean that up. So, don’t forget to check the ease of cleaning when you buy a rat cage. Cages that have multiple large doors and detachable flooring are the easiest to clean.
Setting Up a Rat Cage
Whether you are buying at a brick-and-mortar retailer or online, do check for easy setup. You’ll have to set it up yourself. Half the fun is gone if you get frustrated figuring out how to set it up. Go for pet rat cages that come with clear setup directions and are easy to assemble.
Some Do’s and Don’ts
Metal rat cages are the best option as they are airy and easy to clean. Definitely avoid a wooden enclosure. Some homemade rat cages are made of wood. But such a product will start stinking as wood soaks up rat urine. Glass aquariums are not good habitats for rats. They retain dust and ammonia. Both are bad for your rodent’s respiratory system. The same goes for plastic bins.
Rat cages with wire mesh flooring are not good for your rat’s feet. Avoid them. Also, remember that rat cages can be expensive.
So, Which Rat Cage to Buy?
Let us start with some well rated items in the metal category. We present the key features here, with the advantages and disadvantages of each. Make your choice.
The Midwest Deluxe Critter Nation rat cage has two stories and great dimensions. With 36 x 25 x 62.5 inches of room, your rodents will love the room this cage can offer them to live in and play around. Its ½ inch bar spacing makes it suitable for both adult and baby rats. It comes with three ramps and their covers and two resting shelves. There is plenty of space to add other accessories. Its floors are solid, which means your rats’ feet won’t get hurt. It is a modern enclosure with wheels for easy transfer from one room to another.
Below is a quick checklist of the pros and cons:
- Large and spacious
- It is a two story enclosure
- ½ inch bar spacing makes it safe for baby rats and adult ones
- Solid flooring, so safe for rats’ feet
- Ease of cleaning as it has full width double doors
- Easy mobility because it comes with wheels
- It comes with a year’s warranty from the manufacturers
- Is suitable for other small animals also
- Some people have faced difficulty in setting it up
The Midwest Deluxe Ferret Nation double unit ferret cage is a two story rat enclosure with 36 x 25 x 62.5 inch dimensions. It has comparable advantages. It comes with two pans as rat cage accessories, three ramps, and two shelves.
- Large rat cage with two stories and lots of space
- Solid flooring, so no harm for rats’ feet
- Ease of cleaning due to full width double doors and removable shelves
- Easy mobility
- It comes with a year’s warranty from the manufacturers
- Some people got metal plates that were bent, making the setup difficult.
- 1 inch bar spacing makes it unsafe for baby rats
The Prevue Hendryx Black Feisty Ferret rat cage is large and spacious, though marginally smaller than the other two with 31 x 20 x 54 inch dimensions. It also offers ease of cleaning But its one big disadvantage is that it has wire mesh floors, which are tough on rat feet. It’s a cheap rat cage in comparison to the other two. You may choose this if you’re on a budget. But please cover the floors with something solid. Also, do not keep baby rats in this one. They might escape through the 0.875 inch bar space.
The multi-level, interactive Kaytee rat cage looks colorful and fancy. It has safety ramps, spiral slides, funnels that the company terms “Ferre Trail Fun-nels”, three shelves and a hammock. It is considerably smaller with 24 x 24 x 41.5 inch dimensions, but still offers enough room for your rats to have fun. It offers ease of cleaning and has replaceable parts on offer. But it is made of low quality plastic and the hammock material is not of good quality either. With 1 inch bar spacing, it is definitely not suitable for baby rats.
Why These Four
There are plenty of other rat enclosures that you can choose from. We have presented here four rat cages that feature on different review pages. More important, the Pet Supplies Journal also recommends these four.
The Midwest Deluxe Critter Nation rat cage is a top scorer on that journal with 4.8 stars.
The Ferret Nation double unit ferret cage comes second with 4.6 stars.
The Prevue Hendryx Black Feisty Ferret rat cage is third with 4.5 stars.
The Kaytee multi-level rat cage comes next with 4.4 stars.
All of these rat cages are available on popular online stores. So are others.
This article is a ready reckoner that you can use as a buying guide. So, go ahead and buy a rat cage to give a happy home to the rodent members of your family.