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The x-trail, giant pet cage
X-trail Double Storey Cage
Member Name: Huomenna
X-trail Double Storey Cage
Date: 21/06/11, updated on 21/06/11 (366 review reads)
Advantages: won't rust, can house a large number of pets, easy to clean out
Disadvantages: shelves/trays not deep enough, expensive, more attention needs to be paid with quality control
Rat's are a big passion of mine and I have alot of them as pets. In the past I've only ever had boy rats, but last year girl rats came into my life and that necessitated two cages (lots of baby rats probably not a good idea), this worked ok for a while, but then the boy rats cage needed replacing as the bars had got fairly rusty. I set out to find a cage that was big enough to house all my rats and could be divided into half to keep the two genders separate. Finding such a cage proved quite difficult, but I found 3 possibilties (all online) - the royal savic suite 95 (most expensive and blue coloured - I discounted this as I wanted something more neutral), the liberta explorer and the x-trail. I debated long and hard over whether to go for the liberta or the x-trail, but eventually settled on the x-trail as from the photo it looked like the better product (better shelving).
This is a pretty big cage so it's not the sort of thing you'd buy to house hamsters, mice or gerbils, neither is it intended for rabbits or guineapigs. This cage would be suitable for: rats, degus, chinchillas and ferrets. Due to the size you could comfortably fit around 10 rats, 10 degu's, 4 chinchillas or 4 ferrets in it.
Where to find:
When I made the choice to buy this cage, I then had to decide where to buy it from and it is suprisingly hard to track down. Most of the sites I found it on looked a bit dodgy (badly constructed, not existed for that long, no proper business addresses) and not only that but every site I asked that sold it, emailed me back to say their were none in stock. I eventually found a website (www.countrysmiths.co.uk) that had a mailing list to alert you when stock came in, plus the site had decent construction and the company has a real shop, so I bought it from then.
Be aware that wherever you buy it from stock seems to be scarce and you may have to wait weeks or months to get it - from my research it would seem the entire UK stock of the cage is imported in one big batch at a time on container ships from China.
Due to the immense size of this cage it came delivered inn two large cardboard boxes and each metal panel was wrapped in bubble wrap. Each box also contained an A4 sheet of paper with a diagram of the cage - unfortunately none of the panels are labelled and the diagram is so useless it might as well not be there.
I'm not that best at DIY, but I'm fairly competent and it took me 2.5 hours to put the cage together. I also have to admit that I couldn't figure out for the life of me how the cage was supposed to fit on the base (my boyfriend couldn't either) as it turned out, we didn't need the base as that would have made it too tall to fit under the stairs, but suffice to say putting this cage together is very complicated.
Aside from this the screws provided to attach the smaller shelves into place are too short - if you're careful they will attach the shelf into place, but if you subsequently place any pressure on the shelf, it will fall off. As such I decided to replace the screws - after all I didn't want a metal shelf suddenly collapsing and flattening one of my pets! If you decide to buy this cage, I'd recommend you also replace these particular screws.
With this cage it seems a bit hit and miss - the material used is high quality, strong and will not rust. However the manufacturing seems a bit slapdash - with my cage one of the panels had a couple of bars where the spot welding hadn't been done so they moved about and the panel that holds the middle shelf in place was slightly bent. This cage has the hallmarks of quality, but it's let down at the final hurdle and if more care was taken during manufacture then this cage would be of excellent quality - as it stands I'd have to class it as ok/good.
As mentioned above, you could also divide the cage in half and have two groups of animals in it. The middle shelf/tray does have a hole in it for a ladder, which you could fashion something to block it up and divide the cage. As this tray slides out for ease of cleaning, I wouldn't recommend housing two different types of animal in the different halves eg. ferrets in one and rats in the other, just in case!
Each of the shelves has about an inch lip around the edge to enable you to put bedding on them. Unfortunately most pets have a tendancy to push the bedding around and knock it out the side and 1" simply isn't deep enough to stop it all being turfed out. I've found I have to hoover up around the cage once a day which obviously isn't ideal. That said having removable trays and being able to open up half the front of the cage means it is very easy to clean.
The door locks are solidly made and I imagine would be impossible for even most houdini of pets to be able to open and get out from.
The cage comes with two hammocks, but these should really be regarded as a free bonus - they're small (only just big enough for one full grown rat to fit in) and poor quality so they won't last more than a couple of weeks with most pets.
I'd actually been considering purchasing a new cage for over a year before I finally did it and unfortunately it seems I missed the right time to buy. Early last year you could buy this cage for around £130/140, now it seems to vary between £175 and £205. The place I bought it from was £175 with free delivery which was about the best deal around right now.
width 93.5cm, x depth 63cm, x height 159cm
To be honest I'm not sure if I'd recommend this cage or not - it serves the purpose I bought it for and is much better than my previous cages, but it is by no means ideal. If the quality control at manufacture was stepped up and the trays deepended, then I would definately recommend this cage for those with a large number of pets. As it stands I would have to give it 3 out of 5.
Summary: Good, but needs improving
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