Rats need a spacious, multi-level metal cage or a glass or plastic tank. Cages should have a deep plastic base rather than a wire base which could damage feet. Tanks need a wire mesh lid with small holes for ventilation. Remember that rats have very strong incisor teeth and can chew their way through wood. Rats need lots of space and the more that you can provide for them the better.
The cage or tank should be placed in a well-ventilated warm room away from draughts and direct sunlight or heat. Keep your rats away from constant noise (e.g. the hum of a fridge freezer) or loud noise (e.g. TVs or music systems).
Use your imagination to make the cage or tank more interesting for your rats. It should look like a cross between a crèche and an assault course! Rats like to climb, so it is a good idea to provide different levels with shelves. Untreated apple wood branches and natural ropes are great for climbing and gnawing. Cardboard tubes and egg boxes can be used for hiding, climbing and gnawing.
Activity wheels should be solid and wide. Wheels with spokes can trap limbs and cause injury. The wheel should be big enough that your rat’s back doesn’t bend.