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Rats are very intelligent, so it's important to give them things to do during the many hours they are confined to their cage. It doesn't cost a lot of money to turn an empty cage into something exciting! In fact,  most of the items on this page are things you can find around your house...for free!

With a little creativity, most items can become fun toys for your rats.

Household Items

These are things you'll find around your house that rats will love to play with! 

Empty toilet or paper towel rolls

Rats love to chew these and may carry them around. 

Tip: If your rat tries to go inside of the tubes, make a cut along one side to ensure they won't get stuck.

Plastic Storage Baskets

Fill with shredded paper to create a dig box for your rats. Hide treats inside and watch them dig! You can also zip tie a basket to the side of their cage for an extra level or bed. You can find these at dollar stores for $1.


Create a tunnel for your rats out of pipes used for plumbing. You can create a network of tunnels by using different fittings. This also enables you to create a different shape each time your rats play! Available at most hardware or home improvement 


Empty or full Kleenex boxes

You can purchase a box of tissues at most dollar stores for $1. Your rats will love removing the tissues and using them in their nests! Once the tissue is gone, they'll have fun going into the empty box. Use regular, original tissue (avoid tissue that includes lotion or scents).

Cardboard Boxes

Boxes are fun for rats because they can climb on them, in them, and chew them up! Cut a hole in a box to create

a special hiding place for your rat.

Dryer Vent Hose

Easily create fun tunnels for your rats with dryer vent hoses. They are flexible and great for wrapping around furniture during playtime. Available at most hardware or home improvement 


Toilet Paper

Toss a full roll (or half) of toilet paper into their cage and watch them unroll it! You can also place a roll on top of their cage with a bit dangling between the bars and they'll have fun ripping pieces off to bring into their nests!

Plastic Bowls

Turn a plastic bowl upside down to create a fun hiding spot for your rats. Simply cut a hole for an entrance.

You can find these at dollar stores

for $1.

Shredded Paper

Rats love to nest - and they'll bring all sorts of things into their beds! Shredded paper is a favorite option. You can also buy shredded crinkle paper in the gift wrapping section of the dollar store.

Free Easy to Make Hammocks

Rats love sleeping in hammocks - and there's no excuse not to have one! Making a simple

hammock for your rats can cost as little as $1 (or free!) and takes under 10 minutes to make.

Have unwanted clothes or blankets?

Cut a square out of a t-shirt and cut 1 hole in each corner. Hang with ribbon or with shower curtain rings that can be found at the dollar store.

Other options:

Beanies, Winter Hats, Baby Bibs, Baby Fleece Blankets, Scarves, Bandanas, Dish Towels, ETC! 

(All Available From the Dollar Store)


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