Author Topic: Re-added PICS of my rats' dog cage (As previous were deleted)  (Read 14736 times)

Offline Fleur.Cirocco

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It might sound weird for those of you who don't...But I was just wondering...Has anyone ever used a dog cage for their ratties?
One of my friends had it, and it gave me the idea...So now I am getting a dog cage!  :yelcutelaugh:
Because rat cages (for me) are so expensive, even the second-hand ones. But the dog cages are a hell of a lot cheaper, and often, a lot bigger.  :P
I was just curious if anyone had done it/heard of it and to suggest it to those looking for a new cage.  :thumbsup2:
Sophie.  :D


*Dearpie edited the title for more information, rather than a guessing game.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2006, 10:49:21 AM by Fleur.Cirocco »
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Offline Dearpie

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Re: Just wondering...ever used a dog cage?
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2006, 12:08:49 PM »
How big is the spacing on the wire?  All the large dog kennels have HUGE spacing which wouldn't keep the largest rat in!

Offline kreestole

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Re: Just wondering...ever used a dog cage?
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2006, 12:26:09 PM »
Like a metal crate or a carrier? I really don't see how either would work for rats. A carrier is dark and enclosed and a wire crate has about 1 1/2 inch spacing doesn't it? Even the smallest crates have huge gaps. I had the second smallest one for a rat terrier and the spacing was about 1 1/4 inches. I can't see even the largest of boys staying in there.  ???
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Offline Ligeia

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Re: Just wondering...ever used a dog cage?
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2006, 01:23:21 PM »
That's something I've considered myself, but, like the two posts above, I worry about the wire spacing on dog cages.  I've never seen one that would hold a rat in.  I guess if you cover it with hardware cloth, that wouldn't be a problem though.

Then you have to add plenty of levels for climbing.  Otherwise any space above the ratties heads is pretty much wasted.  If it were mine, I would want at least one full level besides the floor.

One other concern is, is the base deep enough to keep bedding in the cage, or will your ratties be kicking it out all the time?  It's enough work for me trying to keep the inside of the rats' cage clean.  I don't want them to mess up the outside too, if I can help it.

That's why I've never bought a dog kennel.  I'm just not handy enough to make all of the modifications necessary to make it suitable for rats.  But if you don't mind the work, I don't see why you couldn't make a decent rat cage out of a dog cage.
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Offline sakori1

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Re: Just wondering...ever used a dog cage?
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2006, 01:30:07 PM »
Hmmm... I dunno.  I've seen crates on display in the local pet store with 1/2 - 3/4" sacing and they were huge crates.  I've thought it over a bit too since they are very inexpensive, but don't like that you have to open the large doors to get tray a the bottom out.   :)

Offline nancycccslp

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Re: Just wondering...ever used a dog cage?
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2006, 09:57:23 PM »
Dog crates are heavy.  And in general, the spacing is 1"X4"; my rats can stuff their heads thru (these are big chunky guys I have) and get their fool heads stuck!

I wouldn't risk it.  I'm sitting here, looking at my dog crate, and figuring all the adaptations I would have to do to make it work for rats............I would just go with a Martins' cage.
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Offline kim

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Re: Just wondering...ever used a dog cage?
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2006, 10:44:14 PM »
i agree nancy (though my dog crates have even bigger spacing - rah's crate right now is 1.5" x 6-8", so thats big enough for an entire ratbody to get out!

with all the modifications you would need, you would still be looking at the cost of a cage.

my dogs crate cost me 90-100 bucks. a similar sized martins, already set up for a rat, is 90 bucks. i dont see a point in changing :)
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Offline nek0nyu

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Re: Just wondering...ever used a dog cage?
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2006, 01:54:48 AM »
I used a used dog medium to large cage for my rabbit (RIP Bunbun). We have it sitting it the backyard now..
I looked at it when I was interested in getting rats as a possible cage. But the bar spacing was way too large.
It has a pull out tray and a wire floor. The wire floor's bar was pvc coated which rats can chew up. The cage itself isnt powdercoated.. only galvanized. It has a flip top lid and a latching door on the smaller end (as it is a rectangular shape). Its heavy as crap too. Not fun to clean at all.     

I think Bunbun would have liked a Martin's better, had I known of them. :(

Offline mishymoo37

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Re: Just wondering...ever used a dog cage?
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2006, 03:16:06 AM »
we're all talking about the squishy  boys being able to fit through..but if you have girls...!  the girls might as well have free roam of the house!  my girls can fit through 1/2 bar space!  that's how one got preggers!  :doh:
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Offline Fleur.Cirocco

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Re: Just wondering...ever used a dog cage?
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2006, 05:22:55 AM »
The one I am getting has small bar spaces. I've checked that out already.
But what my friend did...(Who I got the idea from)...Was got a dog cage (With big gaps) and then just wrapped some chicken-wire around it.
It might be a bit too much effort...But it's good for me when it's SOOOO much cheaper than most rat cages!  :P
Sophie.
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Offline Kimmiekins

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Re: Just wondering...ever used a dog cage?
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2006, 05:25:39 AM »
It's an interesting idea.

Small bar spacing, you say? How small? Small enough, I assume? I'm curious.  :BlueDumboSmileTongue:
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Offline nancycccslp

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Re: Just wondering...ever used a dog cage?
« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2006, 09:01:43 AM »
I still say, by the time you do all of the modifications, you have still spent as much/more than you would on a Martin's.

And cleaning a crate?  PLUS the chicken wire??????

Oh, I think hardware cloth is much safer than chicken wire, which can have very sharp points on the ends.  And chicken wire is gonna stink really, really quickly as the rats manage to pee outwards on it.

Now just try to clean that..............................
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Offline mandycoot

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Re: Just wondering...ever used a dog cage?
« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2006, 09:11:55 AM »
Not to mention that chicken wire is such a small gauge that a rat can be easily cut on it. Modifying with hardware cloth, the only safe alternative, is going to be expensive... I know you're trying to save money, but honestly, the time and money it's going to end up costing you might not be worth it.

Offline kreestole

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Re: Just wondering...ever used a dog cage?
« Reply #13 on: July 09, 2006, 11:29:00 AM »
I'd like to see a picture of a wire dog crate that has 1/2" wire spacing.  ::)
Sorry, I doubt it. And even if you got the smallest crate they make, say for a teacup chihuaha or something, the dimensions would probably be too small for rats. And if you're going to wrap it in hardware cloth anyway, why not just build it from hardware cloth? You'll have to spend a good $6-10 a roll of hardware cloth, probably would need at least 2 rolls. Then you'll have to make levels out of something. By the time you fix the problems, you could have built a huge cage for less money. I can understand not wanting to get a Martins, they are a bit pricey, especially shipping.

I did a little search for dog crates and I mostly found Midwest brand, and I know they are common and even the small ones have at least 1" spacing, if not 1 1/2". Even the Midwest ferret/cat cages have 1" bar spacing, so there's no way they make a dog crate with smaller spacing than their ferret cage. I guess there could be a less common brand that does, but I don't believe it.
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Offline kim

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Re: Just wondering...ever used a dog cage?
« Reply #14 on: July 09, 2006, 03:00:48 PM »
i agree. like i said, im staring at a midwest brand crate right here that is about the size of a 695 overall - and its not suitable for rats at all. and it cost me just 5 bucks less than a 695 - and that doesnt include modificatoins (like it has no levels).

so where is the savings? and we wont even discuss how heavy the damn thing is to move - to do it esaily, you need two people. and it BARELY fits through most doorways.


so the only way you save money is if you have a very small dog crate - and if thats the case, its not suitable for rats most likely anyway.
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Offline Fleur.Cirocco

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Re: Just wondering...ever used a dog cage?
« Reply #15 on: July 11, 2006, 03:44:00 PM »
Well it's nice to know that you think I don't take these things into consideration anyway... ;) Lol.
I started this topic as a suggestion for those who either can't afford big cages, or for some other reason, would prefer something different...It seems as though none of you think it's worth it, but I have a different view.
The dog cage that I had in mind and that I was gonna get WAS 1/2" bar spacing, whether you believe it or not(Apparently not).
I have now got a dog cage and OBVIOUSLY, I wouldn't have got it if it wasn't suitable for my girls...
According to the cage calculators, it's suitable for 7-9 rats, and I only have two in it...Girls at that... :BlueDumboSmileTongue:
The bar-spacing on my new cage IS too big for them, but I have used wires. The wires are *designed* to secure pet closures, so I'm pretty sure it's suitable.
I got the cage second hand, had been used just twice, on Ebay. I'm English, and I bought the cage for 18.00 which as far as I am aware, is approximately $33.00 - Which is pretty good? It is good for cages here anyway...
Yes, the cage is VERY heavy. However, I have no need to move it. It's in a perminant place and I am keeping the old cage that they are in at the moment for when we are cleaning out or travelling.
It might've took longer to get it set up, with the wire and all, but over-all, *I* think it's worth it.
Considering it's much bigger and cheaper, I don't mind putting a bit of effort in.
Thanks for all your concern, however for me, it's worker pretty well.
I shall be sending pictures once I have got the girlies and all their toys etc in it.
Hopefully, then you'll agree that it's worth it.  :BlueDumboSmile:
Thanks again. Sophie.
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Offline Dearpie

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Re: Just wondering...ever used a dog cage?
« Reply #16 on: July 11, 2006, 09:09:07 PM »
How can you never need to move the cage? I don't quite understand how it would ever get completely cleaned/rinsed down if it's not moved to either a shower/tub or outside to be thoroughly hosed off ... just being wiped down doesn't usually cut it as completely clean.  :icon_scratch:

And evidently we asked all the questions because the information wasn't given in the first post about wire spacing.  I've never seen a dog crate with 1/2" wire spacing.

Offline kreestole

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Re: Just wondering...ever used a dog cage?
« Reply #17 on: July 11, 2006, 09:35:56 PM »
:poke: I'm really wanting to see pictures of this.
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Offline kim

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Re: Just wondering...ever used a dog cage?
« Reply #18 on: July 12, 2006, 12:03:27 AM »
i agree pie -
and since the poster is in the UK apparently, i dont even know what crates and rat cages cost over there. if we had information in the first post, it would have been different.

personally, i still remain steadfast- you cannot buy a quality dog crate and turn it into a suitable rat cage, for less than what a martins cage costs.
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Offline CassF

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Re: Just wondering...ever used a dog cage?
« Reply #19 on: July 12, 2006, 12:07:15 AM »
You could put powder coated chicken wire around the outside, thus making them unable to squeeze through the bars.

Offline kreestole

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Re: Just wondering...ever used a dog cage?
« Reply #20 on: July 12, 2006, 01:23:38 AM »
You could put powder coated chicken wire around the outside, thus making them unable to squeeze through the bars.

You could also skip the dog crate and just make a cage out of mesh wire. Seems like the crate is a waste of money to em if you have to add wire to it and levels anyway.
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Offline BaraLahatiel

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Re: Just wondering...ever used a dog cage?
« Reply #21 on: July 12, 2006, 04:04:21 AM »
Sounds like you've got it pretty figured out :) I have seen some dog crates that I would have loved to turn into a rat cage. One was nearly big enough that I could have gotten in to sleep with them, if I curled up lol

They are, unfortunately, heavy, but as long as you have a good place to put them and a cleaning scheme to use I think it could work out. My fiancee's dad has a workroom that would work great. It has a slightly slanted space in the center with a drain for when he rinses different things. And it is attached to the house so it is headed and air conditioned. It's be the perfect place for a cage you can't move.

I've seen some cages that are pretty heavy when you use the suggested materials. Frankly that cage Subee posted about that can go to the ceiling looks damn difficult to move to me. But it's posted. The Grotto style isn't for taking outside and spraying down. You'd ruin it eventually with water damage unless it were sealed. The Camelot cage looks like a pain in the ass, and probably heavy too.  The bookshelf style isn't made for taking to a shower and rinsing either. Yet all of those are posted. So I can't really complain about you making a cage that can't be sprayed clean very often if at all. At least it can be sprayed off unlike many cage plans I have seen.

In fact I made one from the cage plans that were posted and it was so heavy and difficult to move that we put wheels on the bottom. And then handles, yet it is still so heavy that I don't use it. And it isn't for rinsing out either.

Needless to say, if the bar spacing is ok, or can be made ok, and you are comfortable with the fact that it might be a pain in the butt to clean then go for it. It's entirely up to you and you know how much you want to deal with. It's a cheaper way of doing it that in the long run might just be worth it. I'd love to see a picture.

The biggest rat cage I have ever seen was probably 7-8ftx3ftx6ft with two rats in it. Unfortunately they weren't people oriented. I could never clean it, but I still thought it was awesome.
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Offline Fleur.Cirocco

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Re: Just wondering...ever used a dog cage?
« Reply #22 on: July 12, 2006, 12:26:06 PM »
Thanks a lot for being positive about the idea BaraLahatiel!  ;D
It is heavy, and when I say I won't need to move it, I mean I wont need to move in o another place.
I will be able to table it outside to clean it.
Obviously it's not too heavy to pick up, as how would I get it inside the house?  :-\
It would be a pain to have to move is frequently and for a long time, but it will only be when cleaning and that wont need to be carried very far anyway.
Thanks again Bara.  :)
Sophie.
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Offline trubandloki

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Re: Just wondering...ever used a dog cage?
« Reply #23 on: July 12, 2006, 02:10:05 PM »
It does sound like an interesting idea.  I look forward to seeing photos.

Offline Fleur.Cirocco

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Re: Just wondering...ever used a dog cage?
« Reply #24 on: July 12, 2006, 02:11:18 PM »
Thankyou!  :BlueDumboSmile:
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