Is there a way to heat a wire cage? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 11 Old 10-03-2010, 12:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So my roommate has decided that heat costs too much so it's just going to have to stay off till the temp's below freezing. I have a little space heater for the bedroom and can pile on blankets in the living room, but I'm afraid my rat is going to freeze! The bottom of the cage is plastic, so I don't think I can get one of those heating pads like for snakes. I think a space heater blowing on her would be too much. Is there something that I might be able to clip on the wires or something that would keep her warm (and she couldn't electrocute herself by trying to chew on it). Does this exist?

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#2 of 11 Old 10-03-2010, 01:46 PM
 
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I'd think that just having warm materials for your rat to make a cozy bed out of would be adequate.

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#3 of 11 Old 10-03-2010, 03:28 PM
 
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What about an electric heating pad under 1/2 the cage? Like, the kind that humans use to relieve pain? I'm not sure how they compare to the ones used for snakes... We've done that in the past when we have rescued VERY young kittens. You only put it under 1/2 though, so that the animal can move off the heat if it gets too hot.

You could also try a basking/ heat lamp above the cage.

But really, this is a short term fix. It sounds like you have a bigger problem in the form of a room mate that has unreasonable expectations about heating the house.

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#4 of 11 Old 10-03-2010, 10:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Breathless Wonder View Post
But really, this is a short term fix. It sounds like you have a bigger problem in the form of a room mate that has unreasonable expectations about heating the house.
It's not as bad as it sounds. The house is heated with oil, which costs a FORTUNE. The cost is pretty much all us, because RM rarely if ever uses the heat (the guy sleeps with a window open and a fan pointed at him in the dead of winter!) and our rent doesn't cover it. The space heaters work fine and the electricity to run them costs a lot less than oil would. So we're fine with not using it, I just worry about the rat at nighttime when no one is in the living room so there's no space heater going in there.

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#5 of 11 Old 10-03-2010, 10:45 PM
 
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Could you move her into the bedroom at night, somewhere a bit away from the heater?

Otherwise I'd just give her cozy bedding (polar fleece, anyone?) and toss a blanket over most of the cage. It's obviously not going to get TOO cold out there or you'd start having to worry about your pipes freezing. In addition to the bedding, you could try a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel.
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#6 of 11 Old 10-03-2010, 11:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Definitely can't toss a blanket over the cage - she'd eat it up in a heartbeat. She's a BIG chewer. She has a little house, so that will help keep her body heat in and I will make sure to give her some fluffy bedding. If it gets to the point where it seems like she'd be in danger, the heat will definitely be going on. I just want to make sure she's comfortable and not chilly.

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#7 of 11 Old 10-03-2010, 11:27 PM
 
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You can use a blanket to cut down on drafts - cut a square or wood or cardboard (or other harder material) to fit on the top of the cage, but with 3-4" of overlap on each side, then drape with a blanket. The overlap will keep the blanket out of reach but still provide draft protection.

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#8 of 11 Old 10-04-2010, 12:51 PM
 
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Glad to hear the situation is not as bad as I was imagining, though as a person who also has oil heat, and having friends with electric heat, the oil is actually usually cheaper. YMMV.

What kind of window coverings do you have in the room where your rat is? We have taken to buying polar fleece (less than $4 a yard this time of year at Wal-Mart), and drapery rings with clips.
(Like these: http://www.target.com/s?keywords=dra...t_adv_XS000000 )

We hang 1-2 layers of fleece on the drapery ring clips, put them on curtain rods, and as the sun sets, we cover the windows to keep the heat from the day in. We also mounted rods over some doors. It DRASTICALLY reduced our heating bill last year. You could increase the ambient warmth by warming that room with a space heater for a few hours before bedtime.

Good luck!

He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.  ~Albert Einstein
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#9 of 11 Old 10-04-2010, 02:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yeah, this room sucks for window coverings. There's a picture window with nothing but gauze drapes. We are putting plastic over the bedroom windows and I just talked to DH about getting insulated drapes to put in here. We have to get heavier rods too, all we have is those flimsy things that slip onto those tiny little brackets.

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#10 of 11 Old 10-08-2010, 03:38 AM
 
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Rats can handle cold, they live all over the world and don't hibernate. A little house and a good chunk of fleece will be plenty warm, even if you let it get below freezing in there. I tend to keep temps between 50 and 60 in the winter and the rats don't even sleep in their house most of the time. But then, I have two, they snuggle.

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#11 of 11 Old 10-08-2010, 10:43 AM
 
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When I had a rat, I cut the top off a half-gallon milk carton for her to use as a bed. I'd put a rag or a piece of an old towel in there for her to snuggle. She usually slept there. I'd replace the milk carton with a clean one when I cleaned her cage.

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