Author Topic: First time owner... which Martins cage?  (Read 933 times)

Offline Blackmoons

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First time owner... which Martins cage?
« on: December 01, 2008, 11:12:34 AM »
I am a first time owner of rats. I have two little boys (Mac and Ringo) that just came to live with me yesterday.  Currently they are living in a ten gallon tank but I've been doing my research and I really want to step up to a Martin's cage as soon as I can afford to do so (I'm a poor college student, what can I say).

Anyway I don't have a ton of room in my dorm or in my room at home.  So I've pretty much narrowed it down to the Rat Cabin or the Rat Tower because both have the same 24" x 14" base which will do nicely in both locations. 

For a first cage, I just want to know if the Rat Tower is worth the extra cost.  I've already asked the people at Martin's if they could put a larger front door on the Rat Cabin (so that is the larger door from the Rat Lodge which many other reviews have said is MUCH nicer) and they said they could.  I just want to know if those of you with lots of experience would push for one cage over the other.  Clearly the tower has more space but will it be worth it for just two rats? (keep in mind I'm going to have to transport it from school to home...)

And what do you recommend I put in either cage -- I want to get a wheel and a hammock but is there any other "must-haves" you can suggest?

Offline DorseyClairebelle

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Re: First time owner... which Martins cage?
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2008, 11:33:08 AM »
Definitely go for the 690 (the tower). The cabin is nearly too small for two rats, and really they love having all the room they can get-- they run around like crazy and love climbing, which you'll see as soon as they're out of the tank. Once you get addicted to buying lovely hammocks from people off this forum, you'll like it so you can have room to hang them! Transport may be difficult, but you can use the tank you have now to bring them back and forth (I'm assuming a car ride of not more than a few hours?). Martins cages are easily enough deconstructed if you use zip ties to put them together instead of the c rings they provide (I'm a dorm room resident as well, so I've been doing theback and forth for a while  :yelcutelaugh:
If you get a wheel, be sure it's a silent spinner or wodent wheel of at least 11". Anything smaller, if used regularly, can cause spine and hip problems in rats. Wire wheels can be dangerous.
In terms of hammocks, check out the "Pack rat swap meet" section of this forum. A lot of very talented people make beautiful hammocks and cubes of many varieties, and you can choose you own fabric!
See: http://www.dearpiehammocks.com/index.htm
http://wonderrodent.com/
and http://www.chelseyscozies.com/
for some of the best! Those three are where I get all of my hammocks. There are also plenty of hidey houses and things that rats love, generally marketed for chinchillas and things like that. Go on any major pet store's website to browse. Make sure they always have at least one hiding place, as rats can get really stressed out if they don't have a place to retreat.
So congrats on your new boys, and show us pictures!
Owned by Astrid  :duckie: Ro(a)ry :happy7:  Nolan :toothy11:  LuLu :binkybaby: and Scallion :snorting:  and Alba :director:.
                                                RIP darlings Clairebelle :love10: Guin :cat:  Dorsey :book1:  Alba :director: and Abdi :icon_cat:

Offline Blackmoons

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Re: First time owner... which Martins cage?
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2008, 02:28:46 PM »
I live about 20 minutes from school which is why I'd much rather be able to just put the cage in my car assembled since otherwise it would take longer to take apart and put back together the cage than the trip itself!! The only other trouble is that I'm not technically aloud to have rats at school... so I need to be able to cover it and make it less obvious that it is what it is...  Think the rat tower could pass as a microwave box, haha.

But if you really recommend the extra height, I'll have to more seriously consider that option. Thank you for your help :-)


Offline JTO_

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Re: First time owner... which Martins cage?
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2008, 05:52:18 PM »
I also recommend the 690 (Tower) although its not the best, it is certainly better than a tank.  You can save up after you get it and get the other to transport too.   :)

Offline Lena

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Re: First time owner... which Martins cage?
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2009, 03:27:59 AM »
If you think you can come up with a bit more base space, then I would recommend to go for the Rat Lodge or the Rat Retreat. You can always put it on the floor somewhere. I had it on my dresser. I had two boys in the Rat Retreat and it worked nicely. That way, they'll have the extra room they need, and you will be able to put the cage in the car. It just fit in my small two door, that I drove back then. Keep in mind, it's not that safe to transport your rats in a big cage though, it would be worth getting either a small cheap hamster cage (without all the tubes and stuff) or a pet carrier. Most trips, I took the main cage with me though, cause even for two days, I felt guilty not giving them the space to roam around. As for what to put in the cage, there is lots of great ideas in other threads, like CNs and Martins with pictures of set-ups. Bowl is nice so the food is not all over the place. You can get one in the dollar store. Also, even though it's nice to have nice decorations and all, but rats can be amused with the simplest things, and it's nice to switch things up in there. Things like toilet tubes, plain boxes, tissue boxes (make nice nests), and plastic tubes are inexpensive and provide enrichment. Toys, specifically marketed to small animals tend to be expensive, but you can find nice items in the dollar store and in the used children's stores. Good luck and happy rat ownership.

Offline tysetsu

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Re: First time owner... which Martins cage?
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2009, 05:10:09 AM »
To be honest, getting the 670 is like getting the bare minimun for two rat boys, especially if they grow to be larger manrats Step up from the aquarium, but not by much imo. Because of hte small floor space they'll barely have room to run and play and you'll barely have room to hang anything. I'd say 690 if you had to choose between the two. If you could find the couple extra inches I'd stongly say get the 680/685, but between those two, get the 690 without a doubt. The 680 or 685 would be more suited to your boys because of the bigger floor plan. It might be more convenient for you to get the 670, but it'll be much more comfortable and enjoyable for them to have something bigger.  ;)
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Offline JuliesZoo74

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Re: First time owner... which Martins cage?
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2009, 07:21:40 AM »
I would go for the 680 over the 690.  It is a little shorter but a little wider also.  It will hold 3 boys and is a really nice cage.  Look around on the Martin's cages pictures and you can see some.  It is about the same cost or maybe even cheaper than the 690 also.

Offline javakittie

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Re: First time owner... which Martins cage?
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2009, 08:37:59 AM »
Not to rain on the parade or anything, but do you have a plan for when they are found? There have been many college students on here in similar circumstances who, when caught, had no one to take the rats to. Many of them eventually had to rehome when they found out none of their off campus friends or parents would allow the rats in. Some, after being threatened with expulsion from their respective colleges, had to go with less than good homes for their rats.

If you do go ahead with it, get the 680. It's about the same cost as the 690 and it's a much better cage overall.

Offline PureMuttz

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Re: First time owner... which Martins cage?
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2009, 01:27:50 PM »
Not to rain on the parade or anything, but do you have a plan for when they are found? There have been many college students on here in similar circumstances who, when caught, had no one to take the rats to. Many of them eventually had to rehome when they found out none of their off campus friends or parents would allow the rats in. Some, after being threatened with expulsion from their respective colleges, had to go with less than good homes for their rats.

A point worth bringing up. I'm glad someone did, as I was about to do it. :P
Steppin' back into the rat world - Proud mommy of 2 (rat)boys: Buddy & Reggie. <3

Offline javakittie

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Re: First time owner... which Martins cage?
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2009, 09:49:56 AM »
Well... I just happened to reread the original post and saw that this was from December. I'd say that Blackmoons has probably already made their decision by now.

This is why one should *always* check the date of the posts before responding!  :P

Offline Eugooglizer

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Re: First time owner... which Martins cage?
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2009, 09:55:03 AM »
Well... I just happened to reread the original post and saw that this was from December. I'd say that Blackmoons has probably already made their decision by now.

This is why one should *always* check the date of the posts before responding!  :P

LOL totally never noticed that

Offline Lauren_22

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Re: First time owner... which Martins cage?
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2009, 09:31:48 PM »
Yep, Blackmoons ending up getting the 690 (newer version; bigger doors, less steep ramps) you can see her cage post
here >>>http://www.goosemoose.com/component/option,com_smf/Itemid,118/forum,rat/topic,4050766.msg4521027/,#msg4521027

Lauren

Offline Lena

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Re: First time owner... which Martins cage?
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2009, 09:41:38 PM »
Oops, sorry! Seems like I brought it up somehow. Don't know how I did that  :confused: I'll be more careful to check the dates.

Offline Blackmoons

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Re: First time owner... which Martins cage?
« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2009, 09:29:19 PM »
HAHAHAHA

I was scrolling through the posts and was a little shocked to see this near the front of the list!!

As someone pointed out I got the 690 and LOVE IT.  Also I'm only one semester from graduating, living a suite on campus where I can hide the boys easily and, should I be caught, I do have a backup plan.  Thank you for being so concerned though!! I often worry about other college students I know who have pets because they are often not careful at all and have no backup plans...

I got it covered though!  I'm not one of those people who bring animals in without thinking it through.  I also have two fish tanks (though I am allowed to have those) and it took me forever to figure out exactly what I wanted to get, which fish, food, supplies, etc. Rats were just my next research adventure.