Author Topic: Cage Confusion Driving Me Crazy.  (Read 1205 times)

Offline Zoomzy

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Cage Confusion Driving Me Crazy.
« on: July 04, 2010, 09:07:10 AM »
Hello all. I'm new around here, but I've been lurking for several months.

I've had my three boys for a while now - my first two for a year, and I introduced my newest boy Ike six months ago. At this present time, I have the three of them living in a home made cage, constructed of mesh storage cube panels and a pan from an old rabbit cage. I HATE it, and I doubt that they're particularly crazy about it themselves. It's horrid to decorate, nearly impossible to clean. Currently I am looking to spend about $130 on a new cage. I have been looking at lots of cages with 1" bar spacing - my boys are robust and shouldn't be able to squeeze through the bars. Unfortunately, my boys aren't litter trained and have been kicking crap out all over the floor. I had PLANNED on buying a single level CN, but have since changed my mind for that very reason. Sadly, I also have to be careful with the amount that I spend, meaning buying an additional BASS pan and Rustoleum to keep the cage clean and fully usable isn't entirely feasible for me right now. I then considered the Martin's R685, but I'm nervous about the cage providing adequate space for all three rats (I'm familiar with cage calculators, but they don't account for the size of large male rats, space used by toys and hammocks, etc). To top it all off, shipping to my location is a bit expensive. Regardless, my rats absolutely need a better, cleaner, spacious cage. I've looked at so many cages and sifted through heaps of mixed reviews on each one that I feel totally bewildered. I'm back to considering Super Pet cages.. I was wondering if anyone had any input on alternative ways to make the CN cleaner/usable by rats who have yet to be litter trained, or know anything about the durability/level of difficulty to clean the following cages. Most of all, I wanted to know if any of the below cages would fit three males comfortably..?

Cage 1
http://www.amazon.com/Super-Pet-First-Multi-Floor-Large/dp/B0002DJ29A/ref=pd_sbs_k_1

Cage 2
http://www.amazon.com/Super-Pet-First-Exotics-Large/dp/B000TZ5BRI/ref=pd_sbs_k_4

Cage 3
http://www.amazon.com/Super-Pet-First-Deluxe-Multi-Level/dp/B000CMHWZC/ref=pd_sbs_k_2

Cage 4
http://www.petblvd.com/cgi-bin/pb/SPI60368.html?mv_pc=froogle

Cage 5
http://cgi.ebay.com/Marchioro-USA-Rat-Cage-Kit-Tom-62Q-Bge-Green-/180526549764?cmd=ViewItem&pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2a08388b04

..I've also been looking at the Cage World "flight cages" on eBay.
http://cgi.ebay.com/Bird-Ferret-Sugar-Glider-Chinchilla-Rat-cage-cages-/140421503858?cmd=ViewItem&pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item20b1c61b72
The only thing keeping me from going with this one would be the fact that it looks too heavy to clean off in the shower (although I suppose I could wipe it down with baby wipes during cleaning), and I've heard about good and bad experiences in buying through Cage World online.

So sorry if I sounded like a broken record. I'm sure this exact question has been asked a million times.. I could just use some suggestions.  :puppy_dog_eyes:

**Edit: While I'm anxious to get my rats out of their crappy, homemade beast, I can handle saving up a little longer for a quality cage like a Martin's. I would just like to know what people's opinions on the R680 or R685 are.
 
« Last Edit: July 04, 2010, 09:12:53 AM by Zoomzy »

Offline Whiskey on a Sunday

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Re: Cage Confusion Driving Me Crazy.
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2010, 09:47:04 AM »
The super pets exotic was (in my opinion) terrible to try and decorate. It was an okay size, but the shelves collect pee and get really gross really fast. All super pet cages have shelves with little grooves in them, which make "pee rivers" A 685 will work perfectly for 3 males. But it's a pain to decorate because of the "exrta level" they put in. The 680 uses the space much better. I just ordered one for my crew of 4. 2 small females and 2 even smaller males.

Offline Zoomzy

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Re: Cage Confusion Driving Me Crazy.
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2010, 09:59:12 AM »
That alone was extremely helpful. Thank you! I think another problem I've had in choosing a new cage would be the fact that I have no concept of cage size. There have been times when I would see two or more pictures of the same cage, and it would either look very spacious or a bit small in comparison to the rats (if they were visible in the photos). I like the full floor in the R-685, but looking at the two now, I can definitely see why someone would choose the R-680 instead. I seen a picture of a powder coated, R-680 decorated a few minutes ago. Far more space for toys, hangy cubes and all that fun stuff. The R-680 is also cheaper with shipping included.. putting it exactly in my price range. Thanks again!  ;D

Offline OldsGal

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Re: Cage Confusion Driving Me Crazy.
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2010, 11:48:37 AM »
I would totally go with a super pet if that is what you want to lean toward.  I originally used to hate them due to the pee river shelves.  I never had any issues with decorating them so much as I just hated the pee river shelves.  Well I solved that problem.  I just threw them all out.  Now I use hammocks, baskets, balls, etc to create levels in the cage.  It works so much better and I can create more or less levels depending on what each rats needs are. 

The SP exotics cage is just fine for three males size wise and as I said above you can create or remove space depending on what your rats needs are. 

I would personally go with the exotics model so that in the future when your current rats pass on you are not limited to getting just adult rats.  The bar spacing will be right to get any size rat available to you at that time.

Personally my opinion on Martins cages is that decorating them is a huge pain in the butt.  As well as cleaning them.  You have to be a contortionist to get into some spots in the cages to hang clips or to scrub the corner.  I just don't like Martin's cages.  They are well made quality wise but the design just isn't good.  I always wrench my neck whenever I decorate them.

Staci
« Last Edit: July 04, 2010, 11:52:24 AM by OldsGal »
Treat everyday like a dog would.  If you can't eat it or chew on it then pee on it and walk away!

Offline Stacy M

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Re: Cage Confusion Driving Me Crazy.
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2010, 01:32:19 PM »
Oldsgal, have you used the new martins with the bigger doors?!  They are sooo easy to get in there for me ???

Anyway, I have the same thing as the super pet exotics except with larger bar spacing as a temporary cage.  The pee grooves (which IMO are better than there not being a groove, as it keeps the amount of stepping in the pee to a minimum) can be simply solved by making liners!!

Here's what I did:





That said, Martins cages are much sturdier built and just in general better.  They last a lot longer, the pan and shelves can't get chewed like the superpets, etc.

Offline Zoomzy

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Re: Cage Confusion Driving Me Crazy.
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2010, 05:11:05 PM »
Thank you everyone for your input!

At this point, it's between the SP Exotics cage, the Cage World flight cage, or the Martin's R-680. The flight cage is an attractive option with free shipping and dimensions similar to the R-695, but I'm pretty sure that the cage has a wire grate above the dropping pan that slides out. That would have to be covered, and shelves would have to be added. As far as Super Pet cages are concerned, I own two smaller SP cages (too small for my boys. I only use these cages as temp and travel cages), so I'm familiar with the pee rivers. It is... really gross, but I can always make liners. The down side is the plastic plan.. It looks a little thin, so if my three (or any future rats) were to decide to start chewing, that would obviously be an issue. There really isn't much of a downside to the R-680 that I can think of, except for the fact that the Cage World flight cage is larger and would cost me about the same amount of money.

Anyway, sorry to rattle on about it. The suggestions/input have really helped me narrow down my options. Smesyna, I love the fabric used in your cage.. So whimsical and color coordinated! lol

Offline OldsGal

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Re: Cage Confusion Driving Me Crazy.
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2010, 06:23:52 PM »
I have had a Martin's with the wider doors and still have issues with getting to certain parts of the cage.  For instance trying to get in the bottom door and reaching into the back corner of a cage to wipe/scrub down the under side of a shelf or to hange a hammock hook back in a corner is pretty much impossible to do so that one back corner is always a tad nasty and never really gets "clean" to my liking. 

In all of my years of owning rats and running the rescue I have never ever had a rat chew through a super pet cage base.  Seriously...Never....I know that it can happen as I have seen it happen to a friend of mine but I have never had it happen.

That being said my bRats WILL destroy fabric so liners are absolutely out of the question for the SP shelves.  They are typically ripped off the shelf in less than 12 hours.  So again another reason I just get rid of the shelves all together.  The rats do respect hammocks with grommets and won't shred those nearly as fast but fabric liners they evidentaly have some huge vendetta against or something.

Treat everyday like a dog would.  If you can't eat it or chew on it then pee on it and walk away!

Offline windy1365

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Re: Cage Confusion Driving Me Crazy.
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2010, 11:02:03 PM »
What about the Martin's 695?  It cost me $145 with shipping and tax to NC.  You can sometimes find them on Craigslist.  I have five females in it and they love it.  I also have two R-680's with three females in each.  I think the cages are super easy to clean in the shower.  I love my Martin's.  I also have a single level CN that ended up costing a fortune after getting a Bass pan and an extra shelf.  I don't like it at all, and I took it down the other day.  It won't fit in my shower, and I hate the solid shelves. 

Offline RatAttack59

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Re: Cage Confusion Driving Me Crazy.
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2010, 02:08:27 PM »
I have a number of the Martin's cages, and while I much prefer the full access doors of the FN/CN cages, I never had difficulty cleaning them.  However, it CAN be time intensive to clean, as I use a tooth brush for the tighter areas.

The full floor in the 685 is a good thing if you have rat that tend to fall or walk off shelves  :doh:  Decorating CAN be difficult, but the binder ring and lanyard hook combination I use makes it fairly easy (that said, I do have a Martin's with several abandoned binder rings, that I used before I figured out the two piece system.  I can't get them off).

As far as the CN/FN shelves, I cover them with flannel. I have an extra shelf but only use it when I have an elderly that appreciates the less steep ramps. I do use Bass pans, however.  I just started using hardwood stove pellets and I LOVE them!

edit:  my CNs get walked out onto the deck for deep cleaning and power washed...)
Jackson~George~Theo
Simon~Truffle
Romeo~ Othello~Sam
Wilbur~Moe~Captain~Felix
Mini Moe~Maisy~Midge

Missing our babies at the bridge
http://www.ratchickratrescue.com/

Offline OldsGal

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Re: Cage Confusion Driving Me Crazy.
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2010, 04:54:55 PM »
Yep like RatAttack my CN shelves are covered with fabric as well.  When I do use my Martin's cages it takes me about 45 min to an hour to clean and decorate them and as I said earlier by the time I am done I need icy hot for my neck. 

My CNs take me less than 20 min from start to finish to clean and redecorate them.  They only need wiped down in place to clean  and occasionally if a crack gets crusty I use a toothbrush to get it out.  I take the CNs outside about once or twice a year typically once in the spring and once in the fall to power wash them to sterilize them. 

But everone has their own opinions and cages that they like.  There is no such thing as a bad cage so long as it is big enough and the bar spacing is small enough.  I personally only use my Martin's cages when I am out of all other options.  I will actually use my super pet cages before I pull out my martins.  And obiously CNs are my absolute fav.

Staci
Treat everyday like a dog would.  If you can't eat it or chew on it then pee on it and walk away!

Offline Zoomzy

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Re: Cage Confusion Driving Me Crazy.
« Reply #10 on: July 08, 2010, 04:23:33 AM »
I've read a lot about Martin's cages having the large 12 x 12 doors and the flip-top lids (excellent addition to any rat cage in my opinion).. The more time I spent reading about Martin's cages in this thread, the more I wanted one.. but I still can't help but consider other cage possibilities as well. what I would REALLY like is a single level CN or even a FN, but.. aaah. I need to work on litter training my boys. It would make cleaning ANY cage so much easier. And I imagine cleaning the outer parts and cage bars of a CN/FN could be done with a spray bottle and some baby wipes.. I don't know! So confusing, lol. I've been spending a lot of time looking at the Super Pet ferret cage with the purple base/green ramps, and even this cage, which seems to be a little larger than a single level CN..

http://www.ferret.com/item/marshall-collapsible-ferret-mini-mansion/650716/

I'd still be limiting myself to older/larger rats by buying a cage with 1" bar spacing though. Anyway, so sorry to ramble on. Thanks again for the opinions!

Offline Zoomzy

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Re: Cage Confusion Driving Me Crazy.
« Reply #11 on: July 08, 2010, 04:33:40 AM »
I also forgot to ask.. Again, I know about cage calculators and all, but I feel like a person's actual experience with a cage is a lot more helpful. For anyone who owns, or has used the Super Pet ferret cage with the purple base (or the Super Pet Deluxe Multi Level cage), about how many rats could it hold comfortably?

Offline Jest

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Re: Cage Confusion Driving Me Crazy.
« Reply #12 on: July 08, 2010, 10:59:53 AM »
I also forgot to ask.. Again, I know about cage calculators and all, but I feel like a person's actual experience with a cage is a lot more helpful. For anyone who owns, or has used the Super Pet ferret cage with the purple base (or the Super Pet Deluxe Multi Level cage), about how many rats could it hold comfortably?

I had three females in there, and there was more than enough space for them. The biggest issue with the super pet ferret cage was cleaning the levels because of the grooves gathering the pee. I may have gotten a less than stellar cage, too, because the levels were a pain in the butt to snap onto the wire and then take off. The shelves also start to sage after a while, too. I used mine for maybe 8 months, and in that time span all the shelves had begun to sag considerably.