top of page


Most things in pet stores are low quality and or over priced when it comes to cages and their accessories. Lucky for rat owners, almost all rat accessories can be made yourself with a little bit of crafting! Things such as hammocks and chew toys are superior when made yourself or bought from an independent seller!


When people think of bin cages, they think of small, poorly ventilated hell holes. But this is not the case! When made properly, bin cages can be absolutely fantastic!

Why is a bin cage a great investment for all rat owners?

  • They make transport way more comfortable than traditional carriers. Bin cages fit hides, hammocks and you can easily attach a water bottle to them

  • They make great hospital cages. As bin cages can be made in various sizes, they can easily be customized to fit a purpose. A cage with a lower ceiling is ideal as an after surgery cage as they will limit the animals ability to go on climbing adventures. A bin cage is easy to keep clean and allows you to easily monitor your rat.

  • They make amazing emergency cages. Bins fit a lot more rats comfortably than traditional carriers. Many of us do not want to think of the bad things, but if there is a house fire, natural disaster or other reasons for evacuation,  a bin cage is a life saver as they can also be set up as temporary housing very easily.



  • A bin of your choice. Make sure your bin doesn't have any inner ridges or textures that may encourage chewing. I would highly recommend using a bin with a lid that locks down.

  • Mesh; Do NOT get chicken wire, rats can chew through it. Instead, you want to get rodent wire, welded metal mesh or Hardware cloth.

  • Nuts, bolts & washers; I recommend getting 8mm nuts, bolts and washers. For nuts, I use ones that are 16mm in length. You want to use pretty wide washers as they will be used to pin down the mesh.



  • Wire cutters; These are a must! You don't need fancy ones, as long as they cut, that's all you need.

  • Sand paper

  • Something to cut with: If you are making a bin just once and aren't big on DIY anyway. You can get circular saw blade extension for a normal household drill for just a few £. Other good options are; a dremel, heat knife and jigsaw. ( If you are using big power tools such as a jigsaw, please wear eye protection.)

  • Something to make holes with: A common household drill works perfectly

  • Mask: Use something to cover your nose and mouth as you'll be breathing in small plastic particles. Your throat will be mildly irritated the rest of the day if you aren't covering your face.

  • Optional: Gloves for handling the sharp wire.



Draw the cut out on the lid of your bin and one of the long sides. Make sure you don't cut the sides super close to the bottom/floor. You want to leave some depth for bedding.

NOTE: ( if you are making a bin for permanent housing, open both long sides, and the upper half of short sides)



Use your cutting tool to cut out the lid and side(s). This bit can take a little bit of time depending on what tool you are using. Patience is your best friend, just take it slow. Rushing and being impatient will just result in you chipping and ruining the bin.



After you have cut out the bin, use sandpaper to sand the edges of the cut outs



Now you should have something like this. If your bin is looking very different, go back and double check that you did each step.



Measure and cut out your mesh for all the cut outs. Use your wire cutter to ”hammer” the edges of the mesh flat so no sharp bits are pointing out.



Mark down where to drill holes. Best way to do this is to take the mesh that belongs to that cut out, press it down and use a marker to make a small circle through a section you want your nut/bolt/washer to go through



Step six: Drill the holes. If your drill doesn't have a size setting, make sure to drill a little at a time so you don't make the hole too big. It's easy to make the hole bigger, but once it's too big, you can't really go back.

NOTE: I find that 6 holes works best on the lid, 4-6 works best on the long sides and 4 on the short sides.



Place the mesh ON THE INSIDE of the bin. By having the mesh on the inside, you will prevent the rats from chewing an escape hole to your cut out.



Take your nuts, bolts and washers. Place a washer through the bolt, and then place the bolt through the mesh and the hole. Make sure the washer is against the mesh and the head of the bolt is on the inside. Screw on the nut on the outside of the cage to secure everything in place. Repeat this step for each hole for each cut out.



Your first wall, or lid ( i always do the lid first) should look something like this. If your bin is looking very different, go back and double check that you did each step.

Make absolutely sure your mesh is on the inside and that the head of the bolt is on the inside, and the threaded end is on the outside. rats can hurt their eyes on the ends of bolts.



And we are done! Your bin should look something like this. Now just for the final clean up. Your bin most likely has some fine plastic shredding inside of it from all the cutting. Tip the plastic shavings into the trash and give the bin a good wipe down and let it dry before you put in your bedding.

Don't be afraid to decorate the outside of your bin with stickers and other fun harmless things!

DIY: Available Pets


Pet store hides tend to be unreasonably expensive and many are made of materials such as wood which absorbs pee like there is no tomorrow. By making a quick, cheap and reusable hide, you save both money and time!



  1. Cheap plastic mixing bowls, buckets or flower pots

  2. Scissors



  • Cut a door to your bowl, you can make multiple doors if you want

  • If there are any sharp edges, trim.



Now that your hide is done your rats can enjoy a fun cheap hide! Hides like these can be washed with regular dish soap!

DIY: Available Pets


Foraging bag are a fun way to add some extra enrichment to your cage or free roam area. These are really easy to make and don't require any fancy materials.




  • Paper bags

  • selection of treats

  • Bedding, crinkle paper or other fun and safe stuffings

  • twine (optional)



Start layering your bag with stuffing, some treats, stuffing, treats and so on. You can use different treats and different stuffing for each layer if you want.



To make it more challenging, tie the bag shut with some twine. You can also poke some small holes into the bag to encourage your rats to investigate. Now you can hang up the bag inside a cage or place it into a free roam area!

DIY: Available Pets
bottom of page