at The Rat Sanctuary


As a salute to our beloved Ouzle, our first Striped Roan, we choose to identify the rats we breed by putting 'Ouzle' in front of their names. 


We are a member of the NFRS, and the Rattery name Ouzle's is Registered and on the NFRS Breeder's List.






































Welcome to OUZLES at The Rat Sanctuary!

Rats are misunderstood.

I think they need A NEW NAME.

If people could get past the word 

RAT it would be so much easier.

Let's talk Rat Cages.

Rats need more room than you think. What is good enough for a hamster or a mouse is completely unsuitable for rats. Rats need 2 cubic feet of cage space each - minimum.

Use the Rat Cage Calculator to work out if the cage you're going to get is big enough.



*We always recommend that rats are kept in social groups of 3 or more, in number.

  • If you currently have a pair of rats living on their own together we strongly encourage you to either add another adult to their cage or two babies.

  • Rats are always happier and healthier in a group environment and of course do not then suffer the sort of crisis bereavement that can end in death-by-heart-break when one half of a long-standing pair dies.

Enter the dimensions of your cage, in the boxes, in centimetres, and the table will update to tell you the MAXIMUM CAPACITY of that cage for both does and bucks.  (Girls love being in larger groups.)

Remember rats need room to run around, to stretch out to sleep and to stand up straight on their hind legs. If you currently have baby rats you should bear in mind that female rats will grow to about 7-10 inches (18-25cm) long (not counting the tail!) and males to around 10-12 inches (25-30cm) long (and that's not counting the tail, either!)
They also require a decent amount of living space so if you've only got a pair of rats their cage should still be suitable for at least 4 rats or they're going to feel cramped as well as deprived of company*.

What cages do we like and recommend?

Well, there's a myriad out there to choose and try - and we've tried most of them! Some we hate, some we love, some we dislike, some we're indifferent to.
  • There are pros and cons with different cages. LOTS OF NIGGLES with some of them. Often, they don't seem to have been designed by anybody who's ever kept rats...
  • If you have a question about a specific cage, just ask and we'll gladly share with you
    our experience of it, good or bad.

The Furplast Furet Plus is a nice little cage.  


At 70 x 48 x 78 cm - but with most of that in the height not the floor - this well-built cage is right for up to 4 bucks or 6 does. But you need to make more horizontal space with either more hammocks &/or sputnicks and tunnels as the small hammock provided is inadequate. 

Also needs a wheel* and other cage toys, etc.


Pros: Ceiling door is massively useful when it comes to cleaning out the cage. Nice deep base for lots of cage litter.
Cons: front door is hard to open and close securely.

The Jenny. Where do I begin with my reasons for disliking this cage? 


At 79.5 x 50 x 80 cm it's almost being big enough to take 6 bucks or 8 does - but I wouldn't put them in it. Why? Because if a fight kicked off in there then your chances of separating them before injury are practically zero as access to this cage is .... ugh. There is a hatch on the top that is almost 'ratsized' but that's it, apart from two tiny cd sized port holes on the front for feeding access.
If you need to get hold of a rat in this cage, good luck to you; you'll either need to be a contortionist or wait til it comes to you.


Pros:  It has a tunnel?
Cons: Appalling access, shoddy build, dents easily.

But, there's more than what's on offer at your local pet superstore. Look at what you can get elsewhere - and can have delivered to your door by a man in a van, too!

The Savic Freddy 2.
The Rolls Royce of Rat Starter Cages.


If you're just atarting out, you can't go wrong with a Freddy 2. If you're a fan of yellow you'll need to get one secondhand though as the bases come in a tasteful grey these days. They can be picked up 2nd hand for about £40 in perfect condition or brought brand new for the same price as a Furet Plus if you shop around.

They're very well built. they have an escape-proof large front door with a safety-lock on it and their shelves are better than the Furplast ones. They measure 80 x 50 x 63 and they're great for 4  bucks or 6 does! 


Pros:  Everything including carry handles!
Cons: None. 

If you want to push the ceiling out and/or up, there are also the Freddy 2 Max (taller) and the Freddy 3 (taller and wider) too. We have no hesitation in recommending these.
Or the cage we have moved over to for our larger groups:

That's five big male rats you can see in there, on the left. These are big, beautiful, roomy cages.  We bought a lot of these last time they were available. At the moment we have two left. If you'd like one of them, just ask. They're beautiful, well-made, roomy, and affordable and are our favourite cage. Hard to get hold of though. That's why we bought some to sell on at cost price when the opportunity arose last year. 

When someone's going 'out there' to buy a cage the chances are that the two they will encounter first down their pet store are the Furplast Furet Plus and the Jenny Rat Cage.