Normally we tell you what we picked as the best product right away. Sadly this is not so easy in the case of the best rat toys as will usually need more than one. We will give you a small selection in the introduction below.
Rats need several things for cage enrichment and one toy is not enough. There are different types of areas where toys make sense. We will describe these in the following article. If you want to, you can jump directly to the ones that you are interested in by using the table of contents.
If you are really in a hurry and want to know what your rats need in a short sentence, these products might be a good choice:
- Niteangel Tunnel Hammock
- ZALALOVA 10 Rat Chew Toys
- Niteangel Small Animal Activity Toy, Rat Cotton Rope Nets
- Creative Foraging System Wheel
Why should you buy toys for your rats?
Living in a cage all day without things that entertain can be very boring. But that is not the only reason you need to buy some toys for your rats. Toys provide possibilities for exercising and mental stimulation. Both are important for the well being of your little friends. Keep in mind, that rats are very intelligent what is often underestimated.
As boredom can occur quickly, we suggest having several toys, that you can be rotated and rearranged. Your rats will thank you if you do it on a regular basis.
Types of rat toys
Different kinds of toys ensure that your rats will be physically and mentally stimulated. You don’t have to buy every type of toy you can find, but variety is definitely king.
- Tunnels are used with pleasure as they are a part of the natural habitat of rats. Depending on the character of the rats, some use them for playing while others like to sleep in them. To cover both styles of usage, there are tunnels with soft and cozy fabrics and others that are from pure PVC. The later is very easy to clean. Apart from that you just have to ensure that the diameter is large enough for your little critters.
- Chewing toys are very necessary for the dental health of your rats. As teeth of rats are always growing, they need something to abrade them. Rawhide chews, wood and cardboards are very fine for this function. Even empty rolls of toilet paper will work as a cheap option, but be prepared to replace them frequently.
- Climbing toys can be attached to the cage in an easy way. To bring some variety in play, just rearrange them every now and then. If you choose options made of wood, climbing toys can serve for chewing too.
- Foraging toys are very good at providing mental stimulation. They also mimic the search for food in the wild. As rats tend to like their treads very well, this kind of toy also prevents them from getting fat.
- Exercise wheels are not necessary for rats. But of course, they can be a good way for the critters to dissipate excess energy. When deciding for an exercise wheel it should have a solid surface and 11 inches in diameter.
Rat toys reviews
The Tunnel Hammock by Niteangel is a combination between tunnel, hammock and climbing toy. Most rats love to hide and even sleep in this tunnel as it offers a cozy feeling due to the fleece inside it. As it is quite large, it will fit 2 adult rats.
With the clips, the tunnel can be attached to every rat cage easily. For cleaning, you can put it into the washing machine. Just use the gentle cycle and let it dry on the fresh air as a dryer may damage the product.
Even if this product is very good and seems sturdy it is not indestructible. Many rats will have chewed through it after a couple of months.
Dimensions: length 15-inch, diameter 4.4 inches
- Fits 2 adult rats
- Tunnel, climbing and sleeping place
- Easy cleaning
- Good quality for the money
- Most rats will destroy it within a couple of months
This Tunnel expands up to 39 inches, but due to the accordion-design it still fits in every cage. The flexible setup will satisfy their natural tunneling instinct. While the plastic is durable most rats will chew on it. Apart from that, we find it easy to clean.
Dimensions: length 39-inch, diameter 4 inches
- Expandable to 39 inches
- Easy to clean
- Rats will chew it in the long game
The RYPET actually consists of 2 tunnels. A long one and a short one as well. The outside is made of quality blend cotton fabric and the inside of polyester filament fabric. It is smooth and easily washable. You can just put it in the washing machine and let it dry in the fresh air.
A plastic ring in the inside ensures that it keeps its shape and isn’t deformed by your pets. Due to the foldable design, it can be transported without needing to much space.
As most tunnels, this will be chewed too. But most buyers make the experience, that it lasts quite long nonetheless.
Dimensions: Long tunnel: 11.42 inches x 3.94 inches
Short tunnel: 3.94 inches x 3.94 inches
- Stable and from good quality
- Keeps in shape
- Easy cleaning
- Will be chewed over time
Here you won’t get just a chewing toy but a whole bunch of them. All are made from bite-resistant wood, that ensures the healthy growth of the teeth of your rat. The polished surface is safe and leaves no risk for any injuries.
Even if these toys are made from pine, they are kiln-dried and not treated with chemicals. To guarantee that everything is non-toxic, it is fully MSDS-approved (Material Safety Data Sheet).
Bite-resistant wood ensures the healthy growth of teeth
The design of all contained toys is very nice and the products itself are durable. The only thing you could complain about is the swing. It is actually hard to use and has to be fixed with a paperclip.
- Bark Watermelon Balls 2.8 x 2.8 inches
- Bell Roller 2.8 x 2 inches
- Dumbbell 3 x 1.6 inches
- Unicycle 3.1 inches length
- Squared molar block with rope 5.1 x 1.2 inches
- Bell Swing 5 x 3.4 x 2.8 inches
- Rattan Ball 2.4 x 2.4 inches
- Climbing Ladder 6.3 x 2.6 inches
- Seesaw 7.5 x 2.8 inches
- Molar String 10.6 inches length
- 10 different toys for max variety
- Polished surfaces
- Non-toxic and MSDS-approved
- Swing turns over when not fixed with a paperclip
This not product is not a real toy, but it will ensure the healthy growth of rats’ teeth very well. The bamboo sticks are 100 % natural and taste sweet. There are many small pets known as picky eaters who just love the sticks. The only thing you can complain about is, that your rats will chew them quickly because bamboo is a relatively soft wood.
- 100 % natural
- Liked even by picky eaters
- Softwood is chewed fast
The rope net is our recommendation when it comes to climbing toys. This product by Niteangel is sturdy and of very good quality. One net is large enough to offer 2 rats enough space at the same time.
Most rats really love it and through combining two or more of these you can set up a real adventurous climbing ground. This toy is not only good for exercising, the material also prevents overgrown nails. Apart from that, there is no way your rats can chew through the ropes.
6 hooks make it very easy to attach the net to cage or one to another. For cleaning, you can just put them in the washing machine in a gentle cycle. Let it try in a warm room or direct sun.
Dimensions: 13.4 x 8.3 inches
- Sturdy & durable
- Can be combined with more nets
- Prevents overgrown nails
- No way to chew it through
- Smaller than it looks on the pictures
Most rats love to climb over bridges like this one. It is handmade and 100 % natural. Attaching it to the cage is quick and easy. However, some buyers complain about the length, which was shortened in the last years. Anyway, we think for the price it might be a good choice.
Dimensions: 13 x 3 inches
- 100 % natural
- Easy & quick attachment
- Relatively short
Originally designed for birds, we found, that many rats love the ladder and of course the coconut hideaway. Like the other climbing toy by Prevue Hendryx it is natural and can be attached to the cage easily.
Dimensions: 12 x 4.5 inches
- Climbing toy & hideaway
- Natural materials
- Easy to attach
- Too small for some rats
Setting up this foraging wheel is really simple but refilling it needs some calm fingers. Just fill the different containers with treats and attach the wheel to the cage. Of course is it not difficult, but rats love to position the wholes to their favorite treats. Actually this can completely replace a feeding bowl.
Diameter: 5.11 inches
- Replaces food bowl
- Tricky to refill
This toy is made for satisfying the foraging instinct in your rats. However, there are 3 different difficulty levels. You just fill the container with your rats’ favorite treats and set it up. Even if the product in general is from very good quality, most rats will start with the third level and solve it quite fast. Nonetheless, we think it can be a good fit as most other foraging toys are even easier to solve.
- 3 different levels
- Good quality
- Easy for some rats
This toy was originally designed for birds. But as is very hard to find foraging toys for rats we think this one can be a good option too. The ball has the size of a baseball and is made of hard plastic. The sturdiness even prevents your rats from chewing the plastic.
The difficulty depends mainly on the treats you put inside it. Some will fall out easily and others might get stuck in it at all. Anyhow for the price, it might be a good choice.
- Difficulty depends on treats
- Some treats may fall out directly
As we already wrote, exercise wheels are no must-haves in a rat cage. However, they can be a great way for exercising and playing. If you want to give your rat a wheel you can orientate yourself on our hedgehog wheel review as you will have to keep an eye on the same things.
The ball bearing is our top pick for hedgehogs. It is 12 inches wide and large enough for adult rats. Ball bearings ensure quite spinning, but therefore you have to attach the wheel properly.
Security is always guaranteed, as there is no crossing axle. This has the advantage, that your rats can jump from one side to the other without obstacles in their way.
- Silent through ball bearings
- Freestanding and attachable
- No crossing axle
- Textured running track
- Easy to clean
- On stand it might slip over the bottom if not additional fixed
Sadly there is no one best rat toy. This depends mainly on the activities your rat enjoys. Apart from that rats need stimulation and enrichment in every category we introduced.
As most toys are cheap, we recommend trying different ones from several categories. All our reviewed toys are of good quality and suit your rats’ needs. When you watch your pet while playing, you will figure out quickly what it really likes and can rearrange the setup.
A good first choice might be:
- The Niteangel Tunnel Hammock
- The ZALALOVA 10 Rat Chew Toys
- And the Niteangel Small Animal Activity Toy, Rat Cotton Rope Nets
Later on, you can decide if you want a foraging toy as well (what we highly recommend as it improves the life of your rats in multiple ways) we recommend the Creative Foraging System Wheel as it is suitable for everyday feeding.