13 Best Rat Toys and Wheels

By Nadine Oraby | 2020 Update

Domestic rats are highly personable and intelligent creatures with a perky nature.

Just like a dog, these adorable puffballs are smart enough to learn techniques, tricks, and even play fetch.

With a dynamic personality, the rats may turn to laziness and depression if not supplied with adequate toys. Apart from toys, exercise wheels are also an excellent source of indulging your pet in physical and mental activity.

The best rat wheels for your furball

Before we move on to the best rat toys, we’re giving you a rundown of the best rat wheels for your furball. I’d always advise rat owners to buy a wheel before any other toy as it’s an all-time favorite for rats.

The top 4

Best Wheels for Rats

Easy to clean

Wodent Wheel Senior with Nail-o-Matic Yes



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Silent Runner



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Rodent-Wodent Wheel




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Chin Spin Wheel




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A rat wheel would undoubtedly go well in a cage. Like other small pets, rats shouldn’t be allowed to roam freely in the house.

If you’re looking for the best rat cages, check out this article.

1. Wodent Wheel Senior PLUS Nail-O-Matic

By SunCoast Sugar Gliders


 Key Facts
  • Dimensions: 7 x 12.4 x 7.8 Inches
  • Product Weight: 1 pound
  • Diameter: 11 Inches

The combination of Wodent Wheel Senior PLUS Nail-o-Matic by SugarCoast Gliders has proven to be very successful. It has earned massive appreciation from millions of rat owners by making the maintenance of pet rats easy and convenient.

The Nail-o-Matic is a removable nail trimmer which includes an excellent abrasive surface for slow yet efficient nail trimming.

Above the abrasive surface lies a smooth platform to protect your rat’s feet pads.

The product also includes a wall to wall plastic inner track which fits in firmly and covers the axle completely. This way the tail and axle contact is minimized and so are tail-axle injuries.

The five entry holes (25/8” x 3”) are a significant attraction for your pet rats. These little fellows love to climb in and glide for endless fun hours!

Wodent wheel senior plus Nail-o-Matic is a wonderful source of quality exercise along with hygiene maintenance and loads of safe fun.

 Things I really like
  • Wodent wheel senior is a plastic vertical wheel which makes your rat’s exercise time quiet and safe.
  • The hard plastic is more durable and prevents problems like rusting.
  • The Nail-o-Matic is removable, which makes it easy to use.
  • The complete coverage of axle keeps your rat safe.
  • Both the Wheel and Nail-o-Matic are washable. Thus it can be maintained conveniently.
  • The smooth platform protects your rat’s soft feet pads.
 Things I don’t like
  • The Nail-o-Matic has to be replaced periodically to keep nail trimming efficiently.
  • Expensive than wire wheels.

2. Silent Spinner

By Kaytee


 Key Facts
  • Dimensions: 7 x 12 x 14 Inches
  • Product Weight: 68 pounds
  • Diameter: 12 Inches

All rat owners want their pets to stay healthy by exercising on wheels, but at times, the constant squeaking and rattling get annoying.

For rat owners who want to get a good night’s sleep without causing inconvenience to their little pet,  Kaytee Silent Spinner is the perfect solution.

The usage of patented ball technology and plastic spoke ensures that the rat keeps spinning quietly.

The solid plastic vertical wheel is well-ventilated and has no wire spacing.  High-quality and two-toned plastic has been used in the product’s manufacturing.

The Silent Spinner comes with the facility of free-standing though it can be attached to a wire cage using the fiber tie included.

Also, the raised treads allow improved traction and movement. Kaytee Silent Spinner’s 12-inch diameter allows even heavy rats to run without arching their back.

This cat wheel would keep your rat happy and help you in creating a bond with it. Don’t believe pet rats could love their owners? Check out this article.

 Things I really like
  • It has no wire spacing, which makes it entirely safe for your little friend.
  • It is very spacious and has proper ventilation.
  • It is very durable and is guaranteed to outlast your pet of managed with care.
 Things I don’t like
  • The colors have been reported to fade and lose vibrancy after some time.
  • Being a solid wheel, it is difficult to clean if your rodent’s not litter trained.

3. Silent Runner

By Exotic Nutrition


 Key Facts
  • Dimensions: 12 x 5 x 13.5 Inches
  • Product Weight: 2 pounds
  • Diameter: 12 Inches

The “Silent Runner” by Exotic Nutrition is one of the top rated exercise wheels on Amazon and has gained immense popularity amongst small pet owners like rats and chinchillas.

This 12” wheel has been manufactured to eliminate safety hazards as much as possible. The center axle has been removed, and a heavy duty stand is used as a base.

The running surface is simple and smooth without any pinch area in which dirt might accumulate. Also, the running track has been textured to produce a firm and steady grip.

Top quality plastic and metal have been used to produce the product which ensures durability. The front is covered and has three bean shaped entry holes which create an atmosphere of safety and fun for your pet.

The product uses dual ball bearing technology with stainless steel ball bearings. Also,  it can be assembled and disassembled again and again.

 Things I really like
  • The axle-free design allows your fluffy friend to exercise without the danger of a tail or spine injury.
  • The metal stand provides stability.
  • The smooth surface without pinch areas and facility of disassembling make cleaning easy.
  • Dual ball bearings technology makes the wheel very quiet and silent.
  • Cage attachment allows convenience to the rat owner.
 Things I don’t like
  • Plastic can be easily chewed by rats and other pets, causing severe health issues.
  • Unopen designing discourages adequate ventilation.

4. Rodent – Wodent Wheel

By Transoniq


 Key Facts
  • Dimensions: 21 x 13 x 7 Inches
  • Product Weight: 2 pounds
  • Diameter: 12 Inches

Often people owning male rats find it difficult to select a suitable wheel for their naturally large pets. Most of the wheels are manufactured in view of small pets. Thus, some larger pets have to arch their back while exercising, which causes health strain.

Fortunately, the Wodent wheel has been specifically designed for larger male rats, prairie dogs, and hedgehogs. Though small pets can also use it.

The wheel has a simple semi-enclosed design with three entry holes (3.6 inches). These openings attract the pets and encourage to wheel joyfully.

A majority loves the wheel simply due to its function of disassembling and assembling different parts with great ease.

The strong, safe plastic used in construction is recycled, which plays a part in preserving nature side by side.

The base is made of heavy gauge painted steel to provide stability and support. The solid rear wall creates an atmosphere of comfort and security around rodents.

 Things I really like
  • The Wodent wheel is easy to clean as it can be disassembled into parts for thorough cleaning.
  • The product offers enjoyable exercise time that too quietly in comparison to traditional wire wheels.
  • The stable base allows heavy pets to run safely without the gear of the wheel toppling over.
  • It is more sturdy than other plastic wheels.
 Things I don’t like
  • It is a very large wheel with an overall height of 13 inches.
  • The wheel is not designed to be attached to a cage, and even if done through tactics, it requires a very large cage.
  • Not suitable for sugar gliders as it can cause tail-axle injury.

5. Chin Spin Wheel

By Quality  Cage Crafters


 Key Facts
  • Dimensions: 15 x 8 x 15 Inches
  • Product Weight: 16 pounds
  • Diameter: 15 Inches

Quality Cage Crafters is an American brand which offers handmade spinning wheels. These are best suited for chinchillas but can be used for rats,  hamsters and other pets.

Chin spin has an open wheel design with a 15-inch diameter. The back is made from excellent quality wood which is fixed to a thick metal sheet.

The surface has been coated with silver vein powder, and the edges are not sharp.

The wheel can be attached to wire cages easily using the hardware supply included.

There is no need to worry about the sturdiness of the product as extra bearings have been provided to ensure durability.

It is available in a variety of colors.

 Things I really like
  • Usage of wood and metal avoids your pet from getting hurt on wire wheel or spoke.
  • The silver vein coating provides a firm grip to your pet.
  • Is multi-purpose and can be used for rats, hamsters, etc.
  • The 15” diameter provides the small pets plenty of space to run and stretch.
  • The wheel is comparatively silent than other wheels.
 Things I don’t like
  • It is heavy and large, which requires a large cage only.
  • The price is much higher than the regular plastic ones.

6. Run-About Ball

By Kaytee


 Key Facts
  • Dimensions: 13 x 13.6 x 14.5 Inches
  • Product Weight: 15pounds
  • Diameter: 13 Inches

The Run-About Ball by Kaytee is a huge 13”  plastic clear ball which is ideal for larger breeds of pets such as rats, hamsters, etc.

This mega transparent ball allows your pets to have a sound view of the surroundings as they roll and glide around.

It encourages the pets to grow confident, learn, and explore. Unlike the previous colored version, these balls have a single opening.

Also, it allows for sufficient ventilation for safe and healthy exercise time. Moreover, it has been designed to fit the Kaytee Hamtrac perfectly so that your pet’s journey takes an adventurous turn.

 Things I really like
  • Allows easy movement of your pet.
  • It is much easier to clean and maintain.
  • An efficient way to keep your rat safe while you clean its house.
 Things I don’t like
  • The product is unable to withstand many bumps into things and the lid pops out.
  • The scratching results in a foggy unclear plastic ball after some time.

The best rat toys in the market

So, now that we’ve reviewed the best rat wheels, it’s time to present our list of the best rat toys for your furball.

Rat toys are my fall-back option in case a rat doesn’t like spending time on exercise wheels. But it’s totally fine if you’d like to buy both at the same time for your rat.

The top 4

Toys for rats


Safe Easy Movement
Nut Knot Nibbler

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Run-About Ball


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Fun Pet Balls

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Molar sticks

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1. Nut Knot Nibbler

By Kaytee


 Key Facts
  • Dimensions: 1 x 3.1 x 3.1 Inches
  • Product Weight: 4 ounces
  • Material: Natural wood with almond nut

Despite the large variety of toys available, pet owners often face difficulty while trying to find toys that fulfill more than one requirement of their pets.

Kaytee has been successful in providing a toy for small animals that not only offers a quality play time but serves as a chewing toy too.

The Nut Knot Nibbler is made from natural, washed and dried wood which has been retrieved from the dense forests where pollution is impenetrable. The pesticide and pollutants free wood is a healthy chewable toy for your little friend.

To add some fun and provide some challenge to your pet rather than just being merely a chewing toy, an almond nut has been placed in between the tangled pieces of wood.

Also, the toy has been dyed with multiple colors using vegetable dyes. This is to make the product attractive and encourage your little fellow to gnaw and pounce at it.

 Things I really like
  • A multiple purpose toy, reducing the need to buy numerous types of toys.
  • It can be used for all kinds of small animals like rats, rabbits etc.
  • The usage of natural wood makes it safe for your pet’s body.
  • It’s small and light-weight structure makes carrying it  to different places easier.
  • The toy stimulates physical as well as mental activity.
 Things I don’t like
  • It has been reported that the current version comes apart easily and the pet doesn’t have to work much. Thus, losing it’s appeal.
  • There have been concerns regarding the usage of wooden balls instead of almond nuts in the new version which may prove hazardous for pet’s health.

2. Run-About Exercise Ball

By Kaytee


 Key Facts
  • Dimensions: 7 x 7 x 7 Inches
  • Product Weight: 12 ounces
  • Material: Plastic

Pet owners searching for a way to allow their pets to explore without running into danger should consider the Run-About ball by Kaytee.

This transparent plastic ball encourages your pet to discover independently and safely. It offers an interactive play time with animals, along with a clear view of their surroundings.

The glow-in-the-dark feature is the highlight of the ball, which helps owners keep track of their pet’s adventure even in the dark. It has a smooth surface and a 7” diameter, which is perfect for small animals like rats.

The ball has been manufactured to fit the Hamtrac Raceway which allows controlled exercise environment perfectly

Your cute little fellows can move around easily in this lightweight exercise ball.

 Things I really like
  • Helps in burning away excess energy in your pet, keeping it healthy.
  • Offers safe play time while the owner cleans the pet’s house.
  • Its smooth surface allows easy movement.
  • Encourages your pet to explore, learn, and grow confident.
 Things I don’t like
  • The latch system is not strong enough, and the lid pops off periodically.
  • The ball may develop cracks and fractures if bumped into walls frequently.
  • The tiny slits allow animal waste to slip out and create a mess.

3. Crittertrail Lazy Lookout Accessory Kit

By Kaytee


 Key Facts
  • Dimensions: 7 x 7 x 17.5 Inches
  • Product Weight: 4 pounds
  • Material: Plastic

Crittertail Lazy Lookout Accessory kit includes some essential items to expand and recreate the Crittertail differently.

Kaytee’s Crittertail is a wonderful toy which is much more like a complete playground with towers and funnels.

Designed for all types of small animals, a range of sizes is available of the crinkly tubing. Also, it comes in an assortment of colors becoming a source of attraction, enjoyment, and mood lifter.

The Crittertail can be attached to any cage easily due to its flexibility. The lookout towers have vast space in which your pet can sleep along with its bedding.

 Things I really like
  • It can be connected to the Crittertail series to expand and recreate your rat’s little play area.
  • It can be easily disassembled and assembled.
  • It serves as a sleeping area as well as a playing area.
 Things I don’t like
  • The tower falls off if not secured tightly with ties and latches.

4. Perfect  Chews

By Kaytee


 Key Facts
  • Dimensions: 5 x 2.1 x 1.2 Inches
  • Product Weight: 64 ounces
  • Material: Wood

If you do not supply your tiny pet with appropriate chewing toys, then you are likely to have almost everything in your house chewed on.

Perfect chews by Kaytee is a colorful, completely chewable toy with a crunchy texture.

It is a compilation of different wooden toys onto one wooden skewer with a hook and loop at the top so that it can be hanged easily to any cage.

This multi-level toy can be disposed of once your pet no longer wants to play with or chew it. It is available at a cheap price, and for further feasibility, the company also offers packages of three.

The composition of the toys in the Perfect Chews may vary according to your pet. For example, a Perfect Chew for a rabbit will consist of carrot toys to make it attractive

 Things I really like
  • The crunchy texture helps in trimming and cleaning your pet’s teeth with ease.
  • It is low priced. Thus, it can be replaced without burdening your pocket.
  • It can be hanged to nearly every cage.
 Things I don’t like
  • The colors start to fade and peel off after sometime.

5. Willow Branch Ball

By Ware Manufacturing


 Key Facts
  • Dimensions: 4 x 4 x 4 Inches
  • Product Weight: 8 ounces
  • Material: Natural Willow Branch

The Willow Branch Ball by Ware Manufacturing is made up of natural willow branches extracted from pollution-free areas.

Numerous thin branches are tied together firmly to give ball-like structure. The toy provides healthy and quality fun time.

This Willow Branch Ball is a complete boredom buster which has no added colors. It is available in different sizes according to the pet size.

 Things I really like
  • A healthy chewable item which keeps your pet’s teeth trimmed and clean.
  • Being small and light, the ball can be easily moved by your tiny fellow.
  • It is made of wood. Thus, it has high durability and sturdiness.
 Things I don’t like
  • Concerns have arisen due to the strange odor that accompanies the ball.
  • Incidents, where pets have swallowed the ball, have been reported.

6. Fun Pet Balls

By Niteangel


 Key Facts
  • Dimensions: 7 x 2.7 x 2.4 Inches
  • Product Weight: 2 ounces
  • Material: Natural cornhusk, Seagrass, Water hyacinth, and Rattan

Niteangel’s Fun Let Balls comprises of 4 different types of balls made up of natural corn husk, seagrass, water hyacinth, and rattan.

These handmade balls are manufactured from natural healthy materials thus forming a wonderful chewing toy.

With a rough surface, the toys are suitable for rats, rabbits, gerbils and all other kinds of tiny pets. Being handmade, the ball’s sizes may vary from the one given in description.

Pets love pouncing, jumping and gnawing at these balls. To further encourage your pet to play with it, treats can be placed in the center of the balls.

 Things I really like
  • Fun Pet Balls keep your pet’s chewing desire satisfied.
  • Indulges animals in long safe hours of play.
  • Easy to move around and can be discarded when it is completely chewed.
 Things I don’t like
  • Animals might choke on to the small marbles and balls inside.
  • They fall apart easily and are not durable.

7. Molar sticks

By Flourithing


 Key Facts
  • Dimensions: 1 x 7 x 0.5 Inches
  • Product Weight: 44 ounces
  • Material: Sweet Bamboo, Apple, Timothy Stick

The Molar Sticks are an assortment of three types of chewing sticks suitable for rats, rabbits, hamsters, hedgehogs, and chinchillas.

The variety of flavors keeps away boredom from your pet and helps in wearing down its teeth. Also, it helps you figure out your pet’s likes and dislikes.

It includes Sweet Bamboo, Apple, and Timothy sticks. Sweet Bamboo sticks contain high fiber wood nutrition while the apple sticks are slightly hard, yet sweet. Timothy sticks have been made from top quality powdered forage grass, which makes this one of the best foraging toys for rats.

All products are grown in a natural atmosphere without any preservatives and pesticides. The manufacturing involves processes of screening, trimming, washing, drying, sorting, and packaging.

 Things I really like
  • Keeps your pet’s teeth trimmed and prevents inflammation.
  • Apple sticks are a source of vitamin c.
  • Sweet Bamboo prevents excessive weight gain and keeps the rodent in shape.
  • It also improves the immune system and results in increased calcium absorption as well as retention.
  • The cellulose present in Timothy sticks ensures efficient intestinal function and improves the digestive system.
 Things I don’t like
  • Your pet may or may not like it.
  • The sticks are not labeled in the pack.
  • The sticks quality may deteriorate if exposed to light and moisture.

The need for rat toys

An effective way to ensure an ideal lifestyle for your rat is providing it with toys.

Toys provide with the following benefits:

  • Mental stimulation
  • Physical activity

Toys are a source of mental stimulation because they use brain skills like analysis, strategy and critical thinking even in animals.

Presence of ample toys around your rat encourages it to interact and take an interest in its surroundings.

This keeps its brain occupied. Thus experiences of unhealthy feelings is minimized. Also, your rat stays safe from depression and anxiety.

Toys provide your rat with an opportunity to learn and grow, thus, creating a positive impact on the brain.

Playing around with toys also increases your rat’s physical activity which prevents the accumulation of excess unhealthy fats.

As a result, your rat is less likely to develop health issues such as obesity and it’s body remains in shape.

Types of toys for rats

The variation of toys you can offer your rat is countless, and each is even more interesting than the previous. Primarily, this vast variation can be categorized into:

  • Shredding Toys
  • Chewing Toys
  • Climbing Toys
  • Foraging Toys
  • Push and Carry Toys

Despite the long list, there are many multipurpose toys available at the market or even in the form of your everyday household items. For example, a toilet paper roll serves as a shredding and chewing toy also.

Being nibblers, rats particularly enjoy chewing and shredding things around. Chewing and shredding toys not only protects your house but wears down rat’s incisors too. However, it must be ensured that no poisoning material such as glue is present on the toys. Things such as cardboard boxes, old phone books, and paper bags can be used for the purpose. Fresh, washed and dried branches picked from pollution less place can also be used as chew toys.  Consider the following species:

  • Apple
  • Crabapple
  • Hawthorn

Anything taller or bigger than your rat can be made into a climbing toy such as a ladder, ropes, and blocks. It is suggested to place these toys in the cage where they are less likely to fall and get hurt.

Foraging toys refer to those toys which stimulate the rat’s survival instincts. Rats are naturally found in the wild where they have to hunt; thus, searching for food comes in their genes.

If foraging toys are not made available, then your rat is likely to become lazy. These toys can be made at home easily using cardboard tubes and placing treats in the center.

Rats love pushing, pulling, and carrying toys along with their adventures. Any toy which is small, light weighted and durable can be used as a push and carry toy. It should be made of edible material so that choking hazard is prevented.

Rat Toys: DIY

Rats are lovable tiny creatures with an active and sporty nature. Though a complex variety of toys is available at the market, you can always opt a much cheaper, environmentally friendly, and creative method that is DIY.

Household items that can be recycled and reused to make rat toys are:

  • Paper
  • Cardboard
  • Plastic boxes
  • PVC pipes
  • Wood
  • Pea-fishing pool

Though paper can be plainly used as a shredding toy, you can always wrap it around some of the rat’s favorite treat or toy and watch it retrieve. Another way is to fill a small bucket with magazine and paper shreds.

Cardboard is perhaps the most useful item while doing DIY due to the countless possibilities it opens up.

You can utilize different sizes of cardboard boxes and tape them to build your DIY rat playhouse.

You can also add in a few challenges through cardboard tubes connecting one box to another. Try out making climbing toys by stacking up and taping durable boxes.

Rats are intelligent animals and can be taught tricks like jumping up and down the climbing toys.

A small shallow plastic box can be used to make a digging toy. Start by spreading a thick layer of untreated soil and then planting a few plants like wheat grass. Let it grow a bit before offering it your rat to dig and jump at it

PVC pipes without any sharp corners can be made into tunnels and mazes.

Wood makes wonderful chewing toys if they are edible and produced from pollution and pesticide free environment.

Amusingly, rats do love to dive, splash, and jump into the water. Take a shallow transparent plastic box and fill it with water.

Place a few stones on which your rat can climb on and spread a handful of peas at the bottom of the box. Keep a cautious eye when you first introduce the game as the reaction may be unpredictable.

There are numerous possibilities to make DIY toys which only requires a bit of creativity and effort.

Whatever toy you make, ensure thoroughly that it is edible and non-toxic if swallowed.

Avoid the use of glue and markers which contain hazardous materials and can be licked by your rat.  Try using fleece rather than threads and ropes in your toys which can tangle around organs and cause blockage in the digestive system.

Bonding Games for rats

Pets usually possess an affectionate and lovable behavior towards their owners but they expect the same in return.  An effective way to show your love and strengthen your bond is to play games like:

  • Peek-a-boo
  • Hide-and-seek
  • Wrestling

In Peek-a-boo, sit on the same level as your pet and hide behind a table or chair and then reappear after a few seconds. Do this a couple of times so that your rat understands the game.

If your rat moves around excitedly then continue playing. However, if it comes after you then turn it into a game of Hide-and-seek.

Try playing wrestling too by pretending your hand as another rat and with a gentle hand, roll it over and chase after it.

Fascinatingly, rats like being thrown over so try throwing your rat in a gentle manner and from a short distance onto a pile of blankets or on a pillow.

These games not only develop interactive skills in your pet but strengthen your relationship with it. Such games help your pet learn to express without hesitation and to trust on its owner.

Related Questions

Do rats like hammocks? Hammocks are multipurpose things which serve as climbing toys as well as a sleeping area.

Elevated placement and constant swaying provide rats with a climbing challenge which they find interesting and amusing.

Also, hammocks fulfill a rat’s desire to sleep in high and compact spaces. That’s why rats adore hammocks. However, every rat is different, so it’s not guaranteed that yours would love a hammock.

How big does a rat wheel need to be? The size of a rat wheel largely depends on the size of your pet rat. Normally, rats have a 10-inch body with an 8-inch tail.

However, this standard size may vary according to the rat’s background, gender, and health status.

Considering the standard size, it is suggested to use a rat wheel with a 12-inch diameter. Remember that if your rat’s spine does not bend in the rat wheel then it is of appropriate size.

What is meant by “Wheel Tail”? “Wheel tail” is widely known phenomena where it is believed that wheeling makes rat’s tail curved.

Apparently, the phenomena proves to be correct as the rats do have to curl up their tails while wheeling and if this continues for long, the rats develop an unnatural curl.

The impact of wheel tail is a controversial topic where some believe that it causes back pain and health issues. On the other hand, a majority believes that it is harmless and the use of wheels should not be stopped.

It is advisable to use larger wheels to avoid the development of wheel-tail.

Do rats play fight? Yes, rats do play fight with one of the rats playing the dominant role. They usually start by puffing up their fur and then chasing each other.  They may pin down or flip over each other.

The game is usually a playful one with rats jumping around the floor with lots of squeaking and noise.

It is absolutely normal, so let the rats fight. However, if you notice any bruises or scratches then it is wiser to stop them and try calming them down.

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