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Keeping Rats

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We have a selection of just about everything you could want for your pet rat! Whether you are just getting your first rats (remember they are social animals and need to be kept in groups of two or more!) or you already have a huge family of ratties we have a big selection of toys and accessories that your pets will love. Rats are (contrary to common misconceptions) incredibly clean, intelligent and sociable animals. They are ideal pets and can be trained to walk on a lead and perform tricks just like a dog!


Thinking of getting a pair (or more) of rats? Here are some things to consider:

How many rats should I get and should I buy male or female rats?

Rats are social animals and really must be kept in pairs or groups. A lone rat purchased on their own is not ideal. Nothing beats seeing two rats snuggling and grooming each other (or a huge pile of rats cuddling up together!).

The key thing to remember is always to keep rats in single sex groups. Never mix male and female rats together - they can breed from an incredibly young age and you will end up overrun with huge litters of unwanted rats. Breeding rats is a big committment which takes considerable time and effort. It is also not ideal to breed rats without knowing their family history and background to ensure healthy, disease free kittens - most fancy rat breeders will have a detailed and extensive family tree available for each of their kittens and be on hand to offer advice and support where needed.

Male rats tend to be more docile, laid back and larger. Females are smaller and more active. If you are looking for a 'lap rat' who likes to watch TV with you in the evening then go for a male. If you want an active lively rat who you can watch dancing round the cage then go for a female.

We would always advocate buying your rats from a proper breeder or getting some of the numerous unwanted rats dumped in rescues each year. Buying rats from pet shops is not ideal as the animals are often not in the best of health and have come from large scale commercial breeders churning out huge numbers of animals with profit being the bottom line rather than the welfare of the animals. Rats bought from smaller scale ratteries are usually much larger, healthier and friendlier as they are more likely to have received love, nurture and attention from their earliest days.

Have a look at some of the UK rat breeders on our link page as a place to get started and find some rats near you.

What do I need to keep my rat?

Firstly, and most importantly you need a suitable rat cage. Many cages advertised in pet shops as 'rat cages' are actually hamster cages and are FAR too small. The best rule of thumb is the bigger the better. The more room your rats have to run around and play the better it is for them. Ferret and rabbit cages are often ideal for rats.

Next, you need toys to keep your rat entertained. All rats love toys, and some of the most popular ones are the things not even really intended for them in the first place (we have found that rope perches intended for birds and parrot play stands have been a hit with a lot of our customers!) You can even adapt things you already have at home for your rats (try planting a tray of grass for your pet rats to dig in, or providing a saucer of water for your rat to splash around in!) The simplest of things amuse rats for hours - ramps, boxes, places to hide... the list goes on and on!

Rats love to cuddle and snuggle up together. One of the most lovely sight is of a huge bundle of rats all cosied up together inside a rat hammock or toy really only meant for one or two of them (sort of like rat 'sardines')! Have a look at our rat igloos which are perfect for this and can be suspended from the roof of the cage. We also have a large selection of rat hammocks, rat accessories, rat cages and other rat related items.

You then need to provide a suitable cage litter (we recommend 100% paper cat litter or shredded cardboard - there is evidence to suggest that woodshavings can actually be harmful to rats) and bedding material (shredded newspaper is ideal).

There are a whole host of rat forums online which provide fantastic support and advice on everything from choosing your cage to selecting which food to give to your rat. Before you get your rat, we recommend taking time to read some of the superb advice given on these forums, much of it from very experienced rat owners who can advise on everything from rat introductions to litter training!

Once you have your order and you are as delighted as we hope you will be, please feel free to review your purchase and share your thoughts with other likeminded animal lovers!

Rat Hammocks
Rat Hammocks are a Little Pet Warehouse speciality - we stock many exclusive UK lines. The height of fashion for your small friend. Rats LOVE our snugly hammocks and toys. The most popular fabric toys are our rat igloos

We specialise in rat hammocks - all our hammocks are machine washable at 30 degrees. They clip securely to your rat's cage and provide a warm, cosy, comfortable place for your rat to sleep. Our hammocks and soft toys are suitable for rats, chinchillas, ferrets and other small furry pets who like to snuggles up in warm comfy hideaways! All our rat hammocks are made from high quality materials, edged to perfection and carefully sewn - we take great pride in our products and get a lot of compliments about the high quality of our rat toys.

Try our rat 'slipper' toys which are ideal for elderly or frail pets and are SO comfy, you will find yourself wishing we made human sized ones too (we don't!). Don't be put off by our cheap prices " we try very hard to bring our customers the highest quality toys, hammocks and accessories for their pet rats without having to pay extortionate prices!

Rat Igloos / Hives

Rat Toys
All sorts of fun and exciting rat toys - you name it, we stock it! We have one of the most comprehensive and unusual selections available on the internet. You can't get a lot of our products elsewhere, so grab a bargain for your rats and stock up on fantastically priced rat toys.

We also stock a huge range of hammocks and soft beds for rats, in fact we have one of the largest rat specific toy and bed ranges in the whole of the UK!

Rat Cages
We have one of the biggest range of specialist rat cages in the UK. We have everything from easy flatpack holiday rat cages, to cages for rats who like luxury with two or three floors! Lots of our cages come packed with free accessories. Unlike many online stores, these products are not drop shipped or ordered in, we hold everyhing you see below in stock for same day despatch so your pet rat could be settling in sooner than you think!

Lots of cages designed for larger animals such as ferrets and chinchillas can also be used successfully for rats. If you look at the rat cages below, there are lots of reviews from customers who have bought the same cages with their thoughs and recommendations which may help you to make up your mind. Whichever cage you choose, it needs lots of climbing opportunities, good ventilation and space to hang plenty of toys and hammocks. It is also a good idea to add extra shelving to your cage. We recommend a maximum bar spacing of 19mm if you have very young rats. Go for the biggest cage you can afford - rats love to have room to play and should only be kept in groups so it makes sense to give them plenty of space.

Rat Tubes
Tubing systems for rats - bubblewave, ferplast tubes, superpet, chewbular - you name it, we stock it. If you have any questions about the tubing systems please get in touch.

Bowls & Bottles
Feeding accessories for your rat - food bowls, bottles and extra items to alleviate boredom!

Carriers & Harnesses
Transporting your pet? We have a range of carriers to suit all sizes and budgets! All with our 100% satisfaction guarantee. We also stock harnesses suitable for rats so you can take your pet wherever you go! If you are transporting several rats, you may be better going for a small cat carrier - see our cat section for details of the carriers we hold in stock.

Rat Accessories
Rat litter trays, cage locks, cage litter, bedding, hammock clips, extras and accessories for rats!

Health & Grooming
A brand new selection of products, specially chosen for their benefits to your rat. Rat grooming products are available in our shop - bond with your pet by grooming them daily.

Rat Houses
Rat houses and rat hideaways perfect for rats - snug places to cuddle up on a night in with a friend. We have wooden houses, plastic igloos, rat nests and much more!

Little Friends Cage assembly videos

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