NEVER, EVER USE CEADER OR PINE BEDDING! Ceader and pine might smell good to you, but can be deadly to your rats by giving them respiratory infections and pneomonia. The prefered bedding is Care Fresh. Call 1-800-242-2287 for ordering info. Aspen is also a safe bedding to use. Some people use newspaper but its not very absorbent and the newsprint will get all over your rats. You can however line the cage floor under the bedding, which will help protect the cage floor.
You should be your rats main form of amusement, but for the time they must spend in their cage they will need toys to keep them busy as a bored rat can develop behavioral problems. Try untreated wood blocks, ramps, wheels, (NOT wire ones as the rats can get a foot or tail caught) cardbord boxes and tubes. You should make sure your rats ALWAYS have something hard to wear their teeth down on, since a rats teeth never stop growing. (If they become to long you may have to trim them or the rat will not be able to eat or drink and will die.)
Many stores now carry rat/and or mouse chow. These foods have been specially made to meet the nutritional needs of rats. Store the food in a cool, dry place. DO NOT ALLOW TO BECOME WET, IT CAUSES MOLD! Along with a dry grain mix, you should feed your rats fresh fruits and veggies 2 times a week. Rats, like people, are omnivores and you should sometimes give your rats some lunch meat and/or hardboiled eggs to complete their diet. Also make sure your rats have fresh water at ALL times.
Rats are VERY smart and can be trained to preform tricks. Please visit the FAQ/Trick Training page for tips on training your rat to do simple tricks (sit up, come when called, jump through a hoop.) I recently heard of a rat who was trained to carry wires and thus was able to wire schools for an internet connection. The rat followed the sound of his trainer’s tapping along the wall and was able to fit into tiny spaces that a human could not. There is no limit to what you can teach your rat as long as your have the time!