* Prices may differ from that shown
I bought this as a holiday cage for two female rats, and ideally I would give this 3.5/5. This is a decent cage, but not one I would class as ideal for rats. The Mary is usually advertised as a cage for two rats, and this is true based on the volume. However, it is a very low cage, and rats appreciate the ability to climb and have multiple levels. Pros: The base is lovely and deep which allows you to fill it with bedding, and is a good area for running and playing in. The bars are reasonable quality, the tube that comes with it is a good size and quality, and having a food bowl and water bottle included is very convenient. The top section can be taken off completely which makes it easy to clean out the base and easy to set up. Cons: This really is too short to be a full time cage for multiple rats. There''s a door on the top and one on the side which are fairly small - fine if you have rats that are easy to handle but not so good for rats that are tricky to pick up in the cage. The small doors also make it difficult to attach toys, hammocks etc inside the cage. It doesn''t come with any platforms which would improve the cage. Best uses: For me, this cage is best used as a temporary cage for one or two rats. Ideal as a hospital cage, maternity cage or for introducing rats (where you want a small space initially). Potentially usable as a holiday cage for a week or two if you only have two or three smallish rats.
What is it?
For any of you familiar with the Jenny rat cage - this one is essentially it's smaller sibling. The base is the same size and colour, and it's is about half the height (so no extra levels).
Price and where to buy:
The Jenny is widely available in pet shops and online although the Mary seems harder to come by (why do Ferplast give their rat cages girl names?) - I used to work in Pets at Home and although they used to sell the Mary, they didn't by the time I started working there. I decided that I wanted one as I have a difficult male rat (sickly, has cataracts, very grumpy and used to get into fights with my other boys - the last one resulted in the vets having to glue him back together so now he lives on his own). The Jenny is really too big for a single rat so I thought the Mary would be perfect. As we didn't sell it, but still used them to house animals in the back of the shop before they went on sale, I asked my manager if he could get me one - he said to take one from out the back and put a donation in the adoption box, so I emptied my purse in there (a whole £3.47 :P) but the cage actually retails for around £80 (so I got a bargain!) at a number of online pet based websites, which is on the expensive side considering if you shop around you can get the Jenny for £100.
As mentioned earlier this cage has the same base size as a Jenny so even though the cage is physically smaller overall, it won't save you any floor space. The dimensions are: 80x50x37cm with a bar spacing of 11.3mm making it appropriate for up to two rats (you should preferably have rats in pairs or more), but I would lean towards a pair of girl rats for this cage as females are smaller and the more space the better! It would also be suitable for a syrian hamster if you wanted to get one a large cage, as the bars are close enough that it won't be able to squeeze out.
The base is nice and deep so the bedding and litter doesn't get chucked out over the sides which is very handy as it means you aren't forever hovering up around the cage. The bars are also coated meaning they don't rust (a big problem I have with my Jenny as they older Jenny cages didn't have coated bars). Access is via a medium sided 'door' in the middle of the top of the cage and a small door on one side (either that or you can lift the whole top off) which is generally speaking ok, but it can be difficult to get your more grumpy rats out (such as my dear Gandalf) as maneuverability is not fantastic. Due to the plastic base and coated bars this cage is essentially wipe clean, it's very easy to clean out and keep in tip top condition - I've had this cage for 6 months and it looks as good as new, whereas my uncoated Jenny cage is less than two years old and starting to rust really badly (when funds allow I'll be replacing it with an all singing all dancing, top of the line cage).
The cage comes with a ferplast tube which attaches to the cage via two short chains - these tubes retail at about £7 each separately so it's a decent inclusion. It also comes with a water bottle and metal food bowl with holder which attaches to the bars. All of these are nice accessories to have, but you will need to buy more to keep your rat/s entertained - personally I've also added some playsticks which act as sleeping quarters and something to chew on, and a rope hammock.
Overall I think the cage is really good - it's a viable alternative to the Jenny if you only have a pair of rats or one that needs to be kept alone and it's durable. The main downside to me is the price - as stated earlier it's only £20 less than the Jenny (on average) but half the size, and it's actually the same price as Ferplasts Furet cage* (which I will be reviewing when my suggestion goes through) which is a bigger cage with similar build quality. In conclusion I would say buy the Mary if cage height is an issue or you can get it for a decent price, otherwise I'd go for the Furet or a coated Jenny in a similar price bracket.
*Prices quoted for the Jenny and Furet cages are the current prices at Pets at Home - these prices widely differ online (mostly more expensive on the net for some strange reason).
The 'Mary' was the first rat cage I owned. I bought mine from Pets At Home but its no longer available there. You can get one from various pet supply websites for around £80, which I personally feel is overpriced for this cage and I would recommend you shop around as you can get better cages for much less money.
The Mary cage consists of a deep plastic base and a wire mesh top section which attaches by clipping onto the sides of the plastic. Most come with a piece of plastic tubing, a food bowl and a water bottle too. There are two doors to the cage, a small one at the front and a larger one on top.
The Mary is quite small for rats, they are very active animals who love to run around and play. They particularly love to climb so a cage with much more height to it than the Mary, that you can fill with fun obstacles and layers, is preferable. The Mary cage is also only suitable for a maximum of two rats, any more and it would be overcrowded.
The tube that comes with the cage is decent quality and rats do love running through and hiding in tubes, but the cage needs a lot more adding to it to make it a suitable home for a pair of rats.
The cage does have its good points, the base is nice and deep so the litter doesn't fall out of the bottom too much, its easy to clean and the bars are very narrowly spaced which reduces the risk of escapes!
I moved my first group of rats into a bigger, aviary style cage as soon as I could afford to, but I kept hold of the Mary and it came in handy again as they got older and were a bit more doddery and less able to clamber and run around. The Mary is good for elderly rats as it has a reasonably large footprint so they still get their space, but everything is at a level that is easy for them to reach. The cage is also good to have around as a 'hospital' cage in case one of your rats is ill and needs to be isolated from the others.
So in summary, the Mary is too small and restrictive for young, healthy, active rats but its handy to have around for older or poorly rats. The only issue is storing it as it doesn't flatpack, one for the loft!