It can be a bit overwhelming to find a suitable playpen for your rat. There are literally dozens of different types of rat playpens out there and it can be tricky to know which one to choose. That’s why we did some research to find the best rat playpens on the market, so you don’t have to.
After going through this guide, choosing a playpen for your rat should be a lot easier.
In a hurry? Here’s our topp 3 rat playpens of 2023:
Best Rat Playpens 2023
Below are some recommended rat playpens. They all have unique features with pros and cons depending on what you need for your rat.
Tespo Pet Playpen
Tespo Pet Playpen is a flexible 12 panel playpen made of plastic. The panels can be placed in different shapes to better fit the room. The smooth surface makes it hard for the rats to escape the playpen. One thing to consider is that you might need to strengthen the panels to make the playpen a bit more sturdy.
MidWest Small Animal Playpen
MidWest Small Animal Playpen is a sturdy playpen made of metal. The bars makes it hard for the rats to climb out of the playpen and the metal prevents the rat from chewing through the pen. The panels are foldable and easy to setup.
Amakunft Portable Small Animals Playpen
The Amakunft Portable Small Animals Playpen is a colorful playpen made of polyester fabric with a metal frame. It’s lightweight and easy to fold, which makes it a perfect portable playpen. This playpen is not suitable to have as a permanent playpen for rats, but rather as a play area together with it’s ower.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Rat Playpen
The Material of the Playpen
There are different materials used in rat playpens and you need to find the best option for your pet. Not only is it important to choose a material that prevent the rats from chewing through the playpen and escape it. But you also need to consider the surface of the panels so the rat wont be able to climb out of the playpen.
Some rat playpens are made from durable polyester fabric and are not suitable to leave the rats alone, but rather used as a play area together with it’s owner. Other playpens are made of more robust materials like metal and plastic. They are more commonly used as a permanent playground for the rats where the rats can be left unattended for a while. For those of you that have a very active rat, a playpen with a roof might be the best option.
The Size of the Playpen
Even though rats are small they still need plenty of room to explore. Extra space means different zone areas for play, feeding, and sleeping during the day. Really big rat playpens may also be large enough for you to sit in so you can play with your rat in a more secure environment. At the same time you need to find a suitable playpen for the room you’re going to place it in so it wont take up to much space. That’s why it’s a good idea to choose a playpen that is foldable so you can put it away if you need to.
The Height of the Playpen.
The height of the playpen is another important thing to consider, so the rats wont be able to escape the playpen. Not only is it important to choose a material that prevent the rats from chewing through but you also need to think about the surface of the panels. It’s also important to consider the placement of different items inside the playpen, so it’s easy for you to reach over the sides and interact with your rat.
Escape proof rat playpens
There are some rat playpens that have a fully enclosed structure with a roof to stop pets escaping. These are more commonly used for small animals such as rats that tends to try and escape the playpen. There are pros and cons here as an enclosed pen will make it harder to interact with the rat.
If you do go for one of these enclosed rat playpens, you need to think about visibility. It’s important that you can you see through the mesh panels to keep an eye on your rat.
Foldable rat playpen
If you decide to go for a foldable rat playpen, it has to be easy to use. Those octagons with hinged sides should collapse down in seconds for easy storage. The same is true for any pop up canvas model like a pop-up tent. Any item you have to wrestle with isn’t worth the hassle.
The Safety of the Playpen
Similarly, you need to be sure that you can build any permanent cage-based rat playpen with ease. If not, you may have an unstable construction that puts the safety of your pet at risk. You should also check if the product comes with enough tools and fixtures, and if any other buyers had issues with rough edges or misaligned parts.
What to include in a rat playpen?
It isn’t enough for your pet rat to have a large enclosure. They are smart creatures and will get bored pretty quickly. Besides, it isn’t much of a “play”pen if there is nothing to play with. That’s why you should add some toys and other enrichment items that they can exercise with, investigate, and chew on to make the play area more interesting. It is also important that you can provide for their basic needs of food, shelter, and water.
There should be access to food and water, especially the latter where rats could become dehydrated if kept in the pen for long period. They will also appreciate somewhere to hide away instead of permanently being exposed in the pen.
Food and water.
A small water bowl and food bowl should be fine to ensure that you have covered the the basic need of the rat. You may not need the food bowl if you have a set routine of feeding your rats in their cage and take them back there at the right time. But, it is better to be safe than sorry if your rat will staying in the playpen for long periods.
Shelter and places to hide.
There are different ways to provide shelter and the more places to hide, the better. It is a good idea to have somewhere fully enclosed and cosy, like a little house, where they can go and rest. There may periods of the day where they don’t want to be social with the kids and just want their own space. This allows them that. Make sure there is also plenty of clean bedding so they can really snuggle up, especially on colder days. Another option for shelter is a tunnel or tube. This structures are great for exercise and exploration, but the double up as nice hiding places too.
Toys to play with.
There are the different toys that you can add to your rat playpen to keep the rats happy and occupied. You probably have lots of these already in different styles when playing with your pet outside of the cage. Loose floor rat toys provide a different experience to any toys or climbing apparatus attached to the bars of the cage. So, whether it is a ball, chew, or something else, it is something different to interact with.
Whatever you decide to add to the pen in terms of toys and enrichment, it helps to mix things up a little bit so your rat doesn’t get bored. Give them some new challenges by hiding food and treats in new places. Rearrange the set up to encourage exploration. Add new items now and then with different shapes and textures.
The playpen should always be engaging and interesting and small tweaks make a difference. You don’t have to buy something new each week as this is where those home-made cardboard items play a great role. Get creative and spend some time playing with your pet as they explore the new pieces.
There is no reason why you can’t create a secure and engaging playpen for your rat. Start off by finding the best enclosure – either a collapsible pen with mesh sides or one of those pop-up contraptions with the wipe-clean base. Once you have something that is rat-friendly and the right size, you can make home improvements with the best rat playpen accessories and toys. Have fun with it and enjoy the time spent with your rat in this space.