Budgeting with Critter Nation?

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forumuser05

New Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2019
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Location
United states
Hi!
I recently got a single unit critter nation for my rats I'm going to get soon (this will be my first time getting rats). I would love to see if there were any ways to save money with the bedding, toys, or accessories. At Dollar tree, there were 30 x 30 fleece blankets I was planning on using for the fleece in their cage, on top of microfiber towels, dish drying mats, and puppy potty training pads from the dollar tree. I bought these because I heard of many people saying these are good for absorbing and inexpensive in case I realize my ratties will be chewers! Does anyone have any experience using any of these from the dollar tree, or does anyone know if they will work or not? Also, if I have fleece pieces to use that are not quite big enough to reach the other end of the cage on its own, how can I connect the two fleece pieces without my rats being able to dig under them?
One more thing, are there any budgeting tips on accessories/fun toys for my ratties?
Thanks so much!
 

Dena

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2018
Messages
65
Location
Texas
BOXES. Cardboard boxes! I use coke boxes from like a 12 pack, old oatmeal containers, tissue boxes are a big hit around here. You can use small boxes from like Amazon delivery, cut holes in them, and put some tissue paper (dollar tree, I rip it in small sections) and instant fun! Dog ropes from dollar tree, cat balls (like the crinkle or jingle kind) I have used the baby blankets from dollar tree. They work great. I also have spice racks tie wrapped to the sides, and doors, and baskets of various sizes from the dollar tree. I used tubes meant for garden drainage, and made ramps out of them, and tie wrapped them to the sides. As far as keeping blankets down, it's hit or miss. I use binder clips on the sides of the pan. Not the front and back. The door won't close if I do. Also, get a plastic shoe box, and put shredded paper and a rock about at least half the size of the rats in it. Put it in the most pooped in corner. Most will catch on and use it to pee and poop. My girls are fantastic at it, the boys, not so much. I have resorted to Walmart for my fleece. It's usually around $4-5 a yard. Pretty cheap, and I can use a yard to cover both pans, and have some strips for the 3 spice racks (you want to cover any wire they walk on like ramps, and wire spice racks) and still have a scrap or two for their baskets. Hmmmm I don't know of anything else right now.... Welcome to the forum, and the wonderful world of rats!
 

forumuser05

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Joined
Oct 10, 2019
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0
Location
United states
Okay thanks! Wehave lots of money saved for them, just want to cut costs on fleece and stuff until I know it works for them, then I will spend more :)
 

Evermore

Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2019
Messages
5
Location
Ottawa, Canada
Looks like everyone nailed it here, haha. There are a lot of cool tutorials online of 2 or 3 different toys you can make - foraging-style brain games - for your ratties out of toilet paper/paper towel rolls alone. Also any old clothing of your own, that isn't too stringy (want to avoid intestinal blockages in chewers as well as caught toes/limbs), that is too worn out for you is a treasure for them.

My husband had an old sweater with holes he was going to throw out, but we decided to keep it for the girls, I didn't even have a chance to wash it before the rats stole it for their bedding (they seem to adore his scent especially, lol). It wasn't that dirty, he'd worn it for the morning then realized it was damaged. Invaluable things that are throwaways to you are often exciting for rodents.

Also, those little springs you find for cats? The plastic ones that come in packs of 4-6 for like, a couple of bucks? They go absolutely wild for those.
 

ViciousCurse

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2019
Messages
70
Location
Minnesota, USA
Aw, congrats on your two new babies! It'll surprise you how quickly you fall in love with them!

Depending on where you live, I go to Jo Anne fabrics and go to their salvage fleece or whatever. You usually get a huge discount for buying the extra fleece. I've found that I use about three or four yards of fleece, but I'm making duplicates and using the extra too-small-for-anything pieces to make cuddle fleece. I also have a double critter nation, so my cage is effectively double the size of yours. You'd be surprised what you can find in this extra section lol. I found this SUPER adorable frog fleece.

I keep cardboard boxes from EVERYTHING. Food, trash, Amazon, etc. Anything big enough that my rats sleep in, they get to keep. Also, depending on how much of chewers your two new ones are, I've found that plastic hides work best (for me). Easy to clean, very long lasting, and totally worth the $8 or so bucks I spent on a plastic igloo. Only problem with wooden or cardboard hides (again, for me) is if the rats urinate on either of those two types, the hides tend to absorb the urine and cause an odor. Same with paper towels. Plastic ones can just be wiped off lol.

I still use cardboard and paper towels, but just be prepared to replace them twice a week.

I also go to my local pet store and get cheap bird toys or whatever. My rats aren't that big on chewing, so bird toys can last me a LONG time. I also DIY toys a lot with toilet paper tubes or paper towel tubes, which there are a lot of tutorials for that sort of stuff.

Also, don't be weirded out by buying random dollar store items to use as hides. I've seen baskets, plastic or woven, shower caddies (those things that you can put shower essentials on), etc. as hides. You'd be surprised what rats love to sleep in or on.
 

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