Our four-footed friends are often held near and dear to our hearts. It isn’t uncommon for dogs, and less often cats, to ride in the car. Some pets like this, while others don’t. Regardless, it is important to transport them comfortably, but not at the risk of your car’s clean interior.
One of the best choices for preventing damage AND ensuring your pet rides comfortably is a seat cover. There are a number of options available, but not all of them are good options. When purchasing a seat cover, there are a number of factors to consider, including the interior design and color of your car, the weight and breed of your pet, and how accessible you need your seats to be once the cover is in place.
Below is a list of the top 7 best dog seat covers currently on the market. While marketed for dogs, these would also work just as well for other furry family members. These protectors are ranked in light of overall effectiveness and customer satisfaction, along with other nuances such as pockets, color, and size.
|Product Parameters:||Size (inches)||Weight (pounds)|
|Prevue Hendryx Earthtone Cage||31 x 20.5 x 40||30|
|Prevue Pet Products 528||32.5 x 19 x 17.5||14|
|Midwest Critter Nation Single Unit||36 x 25 x 38.5||59|
|Midwest Critter Nation Double Unit|
|36 x 24 x 63||111.8|
|AmazonBasics Pet Habitat||47.2 x 23.8 x 20.1||18.45|
|Marchioro Goran 72||13.2 x 28.2 x 17.2 inches||19|
|Homey Pet 3 Tiers Crate||26 x 38 x 17||25.4|
Prevue Hendryx Earthtone Cage – Best Value for a Large Cage
This roomy model is made by Prevue Hendryx, a well-known manufacturer of pet cages. It is an attractive, multi-story cage for rats and other small mammals and one of their best offerings.
The cage comes in an attractive bronze or “Earthtone Dusted Rose” color that hides dirt and stains. The model is big enough for 5 or 6 rats at 31 inches long by 20 ½ inches and 40 inches tall. The height includes a shelf underneath for storing supplies. The cage has wheels for maneuverability.
There are two litter pans and plenty of room for extras like an exercise wheel. The assembly is straightforward. There are reports of issues in alignment and bent parts but customer service has worked through them.
Footing is the main downside of this model. The bottom of the cage is wire, with a plastic catch-basin beneath for droppings—a nice design for convenience, but not your little pet’s paws. Most owners end up putting down fleece or linoleum to spare their rat’s toes, which not only blocks the basin but makes the assembly more difficult to remove for cleaning.
Prevue Pet Products 528 Universal Small Animal Home – Best Small Cage for Beginners
Prevue also makes a smaller cage that contains many of the desirable features of the larger Earthtone model. Though it competes with many other basic rectangle designs, it is an example of a well-constructed modern cage.
The enclosure has large access doors on the top and side, and narrow 3/8-inch wire spacing set horizontally. The corners are rounded and without pinch points, with a deep plastic tub base ideal for burrowing. The cage’s simple bottom is easy to clean and holds in bedding. This avoids the larger model’s wire flooring.
The 17 1/2-inch high unit is 32 ½ inches long by 19 inches wide, which is considered the best size for two rats. Construction is durable and safe, and it snaps together with 6 special clips for simple assembly. The standard wire latch locking mechanism is strong and safe.
Assembling the cage is literally just snapping together pieces and requires no tools. The unit is very lightweight and handles easily, and is built to last for years.
The cage was engineered in the US and passed independent pet safety tests.
Midwest Critter Nation One-Story Unit – Best Premier Small Cage
One of the premier cages for rats is manufactured by the company that makes the famous ‘Ferret Nation’ tower cages. This Critter version is customized for smaller mammals, like rats, and most any accessory your pet could want can be clipped on or placed inside the roomy interior. A double size is available, or an add-on enclosure can be attached to a single unit.
The large open cage is easy to maneuver on 4 locking wheel casters, and has a durable construction that is attractive and built to last. The heavy wire has ½-inch spacing for secure containment of smaller rats.
This cage is one of the easiest on the market to clean. Full-width double doors swing wide open to give easy access to the interior. Bottom trays can be removed and cleaned. Removable shelving can be pulled out or moved easily and has no clip-on attachments to fiddle with or break off.
A good deal of design experience has gone into the Critter Nation cage. It shows in little ways, like the soft, washable ramp covers, or the middle ladder which can be folded closed to form two enclosures while cleaning.
Overall this is a great cage, well designed and sturdy for long-term use. The unit is pricey, but it is big and offers real value. With modification this unit can be made to work for most owners. If you want top of the line and are willing to pay for it, you can’t go wrong here.
Midwest Critter Nation Two-Story Unit – Best Two-Story Large Cage
This model is the super-sized version of the regular “Critter Cage,” and makes a great home for multiple rats.
The double unit’s main feature is its larger scale, so the massive 5-foot plus tower is reinforced to make it as sturdy as the original. This unit retains the locking ramp and removable shelving, and also, unfortunately, the shallow floor tray.
Each double unit has three ramps with covers, a nice innovation that solves the problem of wires. Plastic ramps have never provided uniform safety and usability for pets, and covers are a welcome solution.
Finally, the Critter Nation double unit is ready for all the exercise wheels, stump cabins, hideaways, hammocks, mirrors, balls, rope ladders, stuffed toys and flavored wood blocks you and your pet can hoard.
In fact, the manufacturer recently issued an add-on unit for adding another level on top of your single or double cage.
Critter Nation is not competitive on price, and it does have a few limitations that are surmountable with some effort. This cage is one of the best in design and construction quality, so the value is there. If price is not a deal-breaker, this model is a good choice. With a suitable tub and the right accessories, this cage is one of the best.
AmazonBasics Pet Habitat – Best All-Around Value in a Small Cage
Amazon has come out with a basic cage that actually competes with something other than price—though it does that too. The manufacturer clearly listened to owners of rats and other critters and has come up with a product to address their main concerns.
One possible issue could be the wire spacing, which is just under an inch. The suggested wire gap is 3/8-inch or at most ½-inch, so this cage can only work well for a large sized rat.
Where the Amazon Habitat really excels is in the easy setup and daily maintenance. The wire frame snaps into position in the molded plastic bottom: no tools or complicated instructions are required.
Cleanup is as basic and simple as the cage. The access doors aren’t full sized, but they are conveniently placed on the top and side. The bottom tray is made of durable, safe plastic that can be wiped or removed for cleaning—and it’s deep enough to hold bedding with space for burrowing.
This cage is not for smaller rats, but it provides roomy quarters for a large adult or two. The Amazon Habitat is not the cheapest, but it’s a great value for durability and offers the all-around basics.
Marchioro Goran 72 – Best Cage for Simple Basics
The Marchioro Goran 72 cage is a basic, stripped down, single story unit suitable for a single rat, with ½-inch spaced horizontal wires to keep pets inside and give them something to climb.
The floor tub is well-designed, and it’s deep enough to hold bedding and roomy enough for burrowing. The base comes in the colors wine and white. The entire enclosure measures 28-1/4 inches wide by 13-1/4 inches and 17-1/4 inches high, enough for one or two adult rats.
Cleaning is easy by way of the large door that swings up and away. There are no moving parts, shelves or ramps to work around, allowing this chore to go quickly.
This cage is great for a single pet and has no serious flaws, though it is hard to recommend because of its comparatively high price. Even buying this cage to use later as a hospital or isolation cage isn’t necessarily justified at its current cost. The unit costs roughly the same as the luxury Critter Nation Double. As nice as the basic unit is, it is probably not the best value you can find.
Homey Pet 3 Tiers Crate – Most Beautiful Large Cage
This is probably the most attractive cage on the list. Its appearance is clean and almost retro in its blocky appearance, a look that signals durable and solid construction. While it isn’t so durable in reality, this unit scores well as a modern cage that looks the part.
The wires are sturdy enough and reportedly set at 1/2 inch apart, which should be suitable for average-sized or larger rats—but there are reports of smaller rats escaping.
The problems here start where they so often do with rat cages, at the bottom. The concept seems good: The floor is made of slotted plastic panels that allow liquid waste to flow through, leaving the solid waste and bedding on top. The assembly can pull out for cleaning, and it can be very convenient if it works as intended. Unfortunately, the tray is flimsy and shallow, and the urine guard is awkward to align.
The plastic fittings are, well, plastic. Rats are chewers—it’s what they do. As a result, plan on this cage being for shorter-term use than with an all-metal model.
The setup isn’t overly complicated, unless you try using the instructions. These are apparently poorly translated from Mandarin, so you will have to use your ingenuity. Most people don’t read instructions anyway, but be warned.
If you are looking for a nice-looking and reasonably-priced larger enclosure, this could be the cage you want. Many folks love this model and work to make up for the deficiencies, but this isn’t the most highly recommended cage for long-term use with pet rats.
It is surprising what a nightmare a bad cage can be: thin wires that bend or snap, poorly fitting construction that bows out and leaves escape gaps, small doors impossible to work through, shelves and accessories with clips to fight with … not to mention the absolute mess of cleaning a poorly designed unit.
There is no all-in-one perfect cage for everyone, regardless of price range. Instead there are a few areas of real concern, and others that are simply preferences that matter to you.
Size is of course a basic parameter. There is some wiggle room, but you don’t want to overcrowd your pets. The rule is to err on the side of a larger cage; just be sure your pet has some smaller areas where they can feel safe.
Construction quality is important for appearance and long life, and to make sure your pets don’t escape or become trapped. Metal is the most durable material, as plastic or other lighter materials are subject to being chewed.
Ease of setup is related to construction quality. Careful design usually indicates better packaging and instructions, and greater accuracy of alignment and complete inclusion of parts. Nothing kills the enjoyment of a new cage faster than poor packaging and missing or damaged parts. Make sure to buy from a reputable source.
Large access doors are important so you can reach your pets easily, manage accessories or do cleaning. Doors should be as wide-swinging as possible, open smoothly and be secured with strong locks.
If accessories are important to you, look for a cage with enough room and fittings to handle everything you want to include. Finally, check that the layout makes sense from a rat’s point of view.
The Most Important Thing About Cages
Cleaning is a major issue with pet cages. It seems simple to provide a sane, convenient method for trapping waste below, but this is far from universally done. Poor flooring is common, and even the best rat cages can have bottoms that are too flimsy, shallow or poorly aligned to clean easily.
So make sure the bedding you want to use will not spill outside the cage. Many owners resort to makeshift alterations including installing a basin, building up the sides, or lining the floor.
A good cage matters even more than it seems, and many owners go through a few models before deciding which aspects are most important to them. We’ve gone through a sampling of cages and discussed their key points, and explained what experience has taught owners to look for in their cages.
Remember that you will be living with this cage, too. It is worth the effort to find one that meets the needs of the pet and their owner!