Pet rats are very active, so it’s more than natural that their home needs lots of accessories and supplies. Beds, hammocks, bridges, toys and many others are a must to keep their surroundings entertaining and interesting.
When we first started researching about owning pet rats we realized there are quite a lot of things we could get. So now that we tested a bunch of toys and accessories, we made out a list of our favorites and what we recommend!
But first, remember to have your pet rat cage ready, so check this article if you’re still deciding on what cage to get!
Here you’ll even find the best pet rat accessories that you can make at home, so without further ado, let’s start!
Hammocks (Must Have!)
I really cannot recommend this one enough! Our girls will choose their hammock above anything else. And believe me, they have lots of places to sleep in, including 2 sofas! Whenever I look through pictures or videos of other people’s pet rats, I notice they also tend to be using their hammocks.
I’m not sure if it’s because it’s really comfy or, since it’s hanging, the hammock will move slightly making it perfect for a good nap. All I know is that they love it!
Either if you own just 2 pet rats or have more than that, I recommend trying to get a big one right away. That way not only your rodent friends will fit comfortably, but if you decide to have more pet rats, you don’t need to upgrade their hammock.
I really like the ones with a pocket, like this Niteangel Luxury Double Bunkbed Hammock on Amazon. As you can see this hammock is big enough for ferrets, so it’s perfect if you have a big family of pet rats!
There are different colors that you can choose from and, as I said, it acts as a double bunk bed. Our rodent friends can choose to stand on the top layer or enter the pocket underneath.
From personal experience, our girls prefer to go into the pocket, especially if they want to nap. Other times they go into the top layers to groom or even to eat some treats!
These hammocks are, in general, quite cheap and you can hang them anywhere in the cage. However, if you prefer, you can make your own hammock!
The first hammock our girls had was made by us. We had this old fleece sweater. From it, we cut two rectangles. Now, all we needed was to sew these pieces together! It was pretty much done, but we were missing something to hang the hammock.
For these hangings, you can use anything you want! You can try these hanging chains for bird feeders (link to Amazon) for example. They’re pretty sturdy and all you need is to make some holes on the hammock and fix them there.
This is an 8 pack, so you can even use it for 2 hammocks! They might be a bit too long, but you can easily take some links out to make it shorter. Lastly, when hanging the hammock, make sure the hooks are well closed, so the hammock won’t fall when balancing.
Alternatively, you can use shower curtain hooks! Really, they’re very cheap and you can easily form a string from them and hook it to the hammock. We used these Qulable Hooks that we found on Amazon and they did the job amazingly!
Even though later we ended up buying a hammock, the one we did is still very much used and it’s still in a perfect state! So I really recommend doing your own hammock as well, it feels a bit more personal of a gift to your rodent friends.
I’d also like to note that it’s good to have at least 2 hammocks, even if there’s only one in the cage. This way, when you need to wash one of them, you can replace it with a clean one, while the other dries!
Wooden bridges are great to have on a pet rat’s cage because they can have multiple purposes. They can serve as a toy and an exercise tool or as a hiding spot for them to go to!
These, usually, tend to look quite small, since they’re made mostly for hamsters. But they can still serve their purpose and your rodent friends can use these wooden bridges as a hiding spot!
Better yet, the Niteangel Wooden Ladder Bridge on Amazon has a 2 pack option. With these, you can actually group the two bridges and create a bigger wooden bridge that can house more than one pet rat!
Simple use some hooks or safe wire to attach them both and put it inside the cage. You can even try and make it look wavy. This way your pet rats have one more toy to exercise with!
There are two types of ladders to go with and it’s totally up to your own taste or even what your pet rats prefer. I won’t even put behind the idea of getting both!
This way you’ll know better what they prefer and there are different ways for them to climb their cage.
Wooden ladders are not only good for them to practice their balance and exercise a bit, but they’re very practical to move from one point to another in the cage!
You can buy a hanging wooden ladder for example. This one is great for them to exercise and you can hook it any way you want. I really like this Prevue Hendryx rope ladder (link to Amazon). It’s targeted mostly for birds but it works for pet rats as well!
It has some hooks on both ends of it, so you can either hang in from one side of the cage to the other or create some elevation with it. So they can go from one level of the cage to the other by climbing the ladder!
These ones can seem a bit scary, but pet rats are very good climbers! On the other hand, if you prefer something a bit sturdier, that won’t balance as much, there’s these Niteangel Suspension Bridge on Amazon.
Sadly, these ladders are mostly made for hamsters, so they’re not very wide. A pet rat might be able to climb and walk through it very easily though! As I said, they are very good at balancing and climbing.
However, if you find these are too narrow, you can then buy another and attach them side by side!
These ladders also come with some hooks, so you can attach it to any point inside the cage. These can also serve as a bridge between our rodent friend’s cage and their playground outside!
There are many ways to use both the ladders and bridges, so feel free to be creative with them!
Of course, your pet rats will need places to sleep among their cage. They like to have several hiding places, so feel free to have more than one bed or house! There are many types that you can go with.
For example, a hammock is a good place for them to sleep and stay as long as they wish. Inside the cage, we usually set up at least 3 houses or beds. We have the hammock, then a cardboard box with some bedding inside (they love these) and finally a plastic one!
One thing to take into account when choosing a house or bed is that these should look like a hidden spot. Pet rats like to sleep in the dark, so it’s more than natural that they look for burrow looking houses.
Not only is it dark to sleep, but it also feels very safe!
So, for that, as I mentioned, cardboard boxes work very well. Just add some bedding and they’ll spend lots of time in it.
Alternatively, there are these pods. I personally really like the Lixit Critter Space Pod! You can both use it on the floor or hang it.
The large one is the best, especially since pet rats like to sleep all bundled up together. This way they can all enter the pod and sleep comfortably.
Another good thing about these pods is that they’re made out of plastic. This means it’s very easy to wash! Once a week, you can wash it thoroughly, dry and put it in the cage again.
With cardboard boxes, you need to have some replacements to change every week. The cardboard starts to get smelly very easily and so I recommend to change it with another once every week!
Then, finally, there are fleece beds. These are especially perfect for winter! Not only that, but they’re usually so cute and colorful. I really like the JanYoo Fleece Beds (link to Amazon) because they have many different styles and they’re so comfortable for pet rats!
Pet Rat Harness
Did you know you can actually teach your pet rats to walk around with you? It’s true you can! For this, I recommend starting very early, so they’re not too nervous about it.
It is no wonder at this point that I really like Trixie products. I’ve mentioned their products on other articles and they’re a favorite here at home. The Trixie Harness involves your rodent friend’s body very comfortably and you don’t need to fear they’ll manage to get out of it.
Start with making them wear the harness at home, so they get used to the feeling. Once they feel comfortable, you can start walking around with them on your shoulder and later on the floor.
These harnesses are great if you want to bring your pet rat outside for a bit. If you have a personal garden at home, it’s a good place to bring them to. Pet rats also love to dig, so just put the harness and let them play around with the dirt for some minutes!
I usually don’t recommend taking them right into the street, where there are lots of people. Unless they’re very used and comfortable with lots of people and noise. Pet rats are very nervous and prefer quieter places.
Nevertheless, a pet rat harness is perfect to walk around the house, balcony or even garden with them, so they can move around different places of the house with you!
Travel And Snuggle Sack / Pocket
So they can feel safe while hanging near you. These are actually very helpful for bonding with your rodent friends. These travel pouches will be hanging on your chest, this way they feel safe since they have a hiding spot. But they’ll also get used to your warmth and smell.
Once they feel more comfortable, they can leave the pouch and climb all over you. While always having the option of going back to a safe place.
I really recommend Pevor Backpack Carrier since it’s very comfortable and can fit more than one pet rat!
Start using it daily, for about 10 to 15 minutes are first, so they start getting used to being close to you. As they get comfortable, you can take them everywhere.
For example, when we first got our girls, we started by bringing the pouch with us to the desk. This way they could stay inside it if they wished to. But they could also walk around the desk to explore and even climb onto us!
Once they got more used to the idea, we started bringing the pouch to other places of the house, so they can accompany us anywhere.
Alternatively, you can make your own Bonding Pouch! I actually found this very simple tutorial, by Erin’s Animals. Her videos are mostly about hamsters, but a lot of things, like the bonding pouch, can be used for pet rats!
Remember that if you’re short on money, both Youtube and Pinterest have always lots of DIY tutorials for accessories and toys for pet rats! I always look up for these places to find new ideas to bring to our girls!
I’ve already mentioned the mineral stone in other articles, namely in this Pet Rat Teeth Overgrowth post. Mineral stones are not only a good toy for them to play with, but it’s essential so they can wear their teeth!
Pet rat’s teeth will never stop growing. Of course, the food, helps them keep their teeth at a good size. But having other toys they can chew on is very important.
Firstly, they really like to chew on things. So it’s a good way of entertainment for them. Secondly, these are extra ways to keep their teeth healthy!
Now, as for a mineral stone, I really recommend this to be one of those things that are already inside the cage before bringing your new pet rats home. The reason for this is that sometimes, once they get older, they won’t find a mineral stone very interesting.
If they get in contact with it right away, they’ll be more prone to play with it. I really like the Trixie Mineral Stone on Amazon. As I said I really like their products and this one is quite big.
This means it will last for a very long time! Not only that but its texture and color makes it more alluring for your rodent friends to play with!
Food dishes are definitely a must inside the cage. Sometimes even outside, when they go play! If you have a very big cage I recommend getting more than one.
But generally speaking, food dishes are quite cheap and not hard to find at all. Personally, I recommend ceramic dishes since these are quite heavy and very easy to clean. The reason for them to be heavy is mostly so your rodent friends can’t overturn it.
While eating or even playing, pet rats might turn their food dishes upside down. There’s gonna be food everywhere and it will be a mess. To avoid that, I really like this Living World Ergonomic Dish on Amazon!
It has such cute colors, it’s ceramic and very cheap! So you can buy 2 or 3 right away, in case you have more than 2 pet rats or a very big cage.
Remember that if you have a big cage, it’s good to have more than one food dish, so they can have access to food at different levels of the cage.
As I said before, pet rats love digging! So this is a very good way to keep them entertained and to keep their brains working. Simply grab a plastic container. It doesn’t need to be too big, but big enough so they can dig and walk around freely.
Storage plastic containers work very well! Now, all you need is to fill it with something. If you don’t want them making a mess of the room, shredded paper is the best way to go.
Just be sure the paper has nothing printed on it. Pet rats will end up chewing on it and the ink can be toxic for them.
Alternatively, if you have a balcony or even a garden, you can fill the box with some dirt and let them play inside of it!
To make things even more interesting, hide some treats inside the digging box! Seeds or dried fruit will work wonders. This way, they can have a prize for digging around and will feel even more motivated to dig and play!
Depending on how big the cage is, I’d recommend getting more than one water bottle. This way your pet rats can drink water on different places of the cage! These are usually not very expensive and you can find them at any pet store.
On Amazon, there’s this Choco Nose Water Bottle that seems to be a favorite. I personally never used it, since we bought ours on a pet store. But all these water bottles are quite similar so it’s also a matter of taste and how big you want them to be.
Pet rats are bigger rodents, so they’ll be drinking more water than a hamster for example, so I always recommend getting a bigger water bottle.
Not quite an accessory but this is very important to have around and to give your pet rats! This will make it easier to bond with your pet rats as well.
Be sure to supplement their diet with fresh fruit and veggies along with other sweeter treats. Not only is it healthy for them, but it will also help you bond or even teach them new tricks!
Here at home apples, pasta and broccoli are a favorite, along with some dried fruits. If you find yourself with no more ideas for treats to give your pet rats, I wrote this list 13 best and healthy treats for you rodent friend!
All of these are very easy to get and prepare, and some you might even have regularly at home.
As I mentioned, these treats can also be used as a prize for accomplishing a trick you through them. Pet rats like to keep themselves occupied and their brains need challenges and new puzzles everyday.
If you’re interested in teaching new tricks to your pet rats but don’t know where to start, I listed 9 simple tricks to teach your pet rat! From teaching them to come when called, training your pet rat to stand, to jumping through hoops and others!
These are very good activities to keep your rodent friends entertained and it will also help you bond with them.
You might’ve noticed that when looking for pet rats accessories on Amazon or even pet stores, their toys and decorations are very colorful.
This is because even though pet rats have a lower spectrum of color saturation, they enjoy bright colors! Also, it looks pretty in your cage, so why not?
A colorful cage will motivate and stimulate their curiosity so don’t shy away from colors on the cage. Be it on their toys, beds or even food dishes!
Colorful toys are especially important so they feel more interested in playing with them. The same goes for food! Food of all colors and shapes will pique their interest in trying new things.
Lot’s of Love, Pets, and Affection
Even though this isn’t exactly an accessory, it’s the most important of all! Pet rats might be able to entertain themselves by playing with each other and with their toys. But nothing will replace playing or spending time with their owners!
Remember that pet rats are very social and once bonded with the owner, they’ll want to share their experiences with you. Be part of their plays, walk around the house with them and teach them tricks.
When they’re tired of playing, let them nap on your lap, while getting some well-deserved pets. True, they might have all they need inside their cage, but they love companionship and they will see you as part of the litter.
So it’s more than natural that they’ll want to spend time with you!
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