Environmental enrichment cage for rodents

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points icon Environmental enrichment cage

The exact nature of the environmental enrichment protocols used in laboratories varies widely from one to another and is most of the time not fully described in published experimental methods.The Marlau cage has been developed in collaboration with researchers to standardize housing enrichment. The Marlau Cage offers the unique opportunity for researchers to standardize housing enrichment and introduce new paradigms: complexity, activity, novelty and wellbeing.


On-going exercise & social interaction are constant. Tunnels, ladders, sliders, and nesting areas are available. Environmental enrichment for rodents, combining novelty, complex environment, and social stimulations, influences brain plasticity and protects against the effects of brain insult. We engineered the Marlau cages for rats and mice to provide continual stimulation of cognitive function during enrichment procedures using mazes. These cages are composed of a ground floor with two compartments separated by a one-way door: one contains food pellets and the other water bottles, and a replaceable maze is placed on the upper floor.

To reach the food, rodents must climb to the upper floor, cross the maze and slide down via a tunnel.

Imposing such a path to procure food or water ensures all animals have equal access to the different features of enrichment, and cognitive stimulation is maintained by regular changes in maze configuration. Each cage can host up to 18 animals.

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Activity: Increased activity is encouraged by enlarged exploration area and three running wheels.


Novelty: The maze is changed 3 times a week offering 12 different configurations.


Complexity: Locomotion is motivated by food since water and pellets are in separated compartments.

bg_support points icon Characteristics

Rodent exploratory behavior

- The rodents go through a compulsory path that includes a maze in order to reach both food and beverage.

- Each cage is delivered with : tunnel, nesting, stairway, 3 wheels, 3 bottles.

- Each set includes 6 mazes labeled from A to F.

- Size of the mice cage is: Length : 580 mm x Width : 400 mm x Height : 320 mm. Weight : 13 kg / wheel diameter : 12 cm

- Size of the rat's cage is : Length : 800 mm x Width : 600 mm x Height : 510 mm. Weight : 25 kg / wheel diameter : 20 cm

- Packaging included.

bg_support points icon Rodent exploratory behavior

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Reproducible data

Thanks to the standardized home cage equipment; the data generated is more reliable and reproducible.

Time Saving

Researchers do not need to detail the methods of enrichment used during the process.


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Brochure MarLau Cage

Environmental enrichment cage.

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hexagone Rodent
Physiology & Behavior 249 (113771)
hexagone Rodent
Affective behavior
Rixt van der Veen, Valeria Bonapersona and Marian Joëls - (2020)

The relevance of a rodent cohort in the Consortium on Individual Development

Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience
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