Critter nation cage recommendations?

Discussion in 'Habitat' started by Renee, Nov 13, 2019.

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  1. Nov 13, 2019 #1

    Renee

    Renee

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    Hey all! My birthday is coming up December 1st and all of my friends are pitching in money to get me a critter nation single unit cage, and I'll be using some of my money to get the additional unit.
    I'm very excited.
    Does anyone know what all I'll need? What are cage guards / do I need them? I heard rats chew up the trays?
    What cage cleaners does everyone use? My current cages are small enough to fit in my shower so I scrub them with dawn soap.
    Also how many rats would y'all recommend for a double unit?
    Thank y'all and enjoy some rat pics!
    49021808106_a6659351b5_k.jpg 49033041191_adbb9f690f_k.jpg 49005679606_df38bda573_k.jpg
     
  2. Nov 13, 2019 #2

    Renee

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    Also!! Fleece liners! Anyone know good places to get cheap and good ones? Etsy?
     
  3. Nov 13, 2019 #3

    Dena

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    As far as stuff you need.

    Dollar store baskets (I have at least 2 in each section)
    Something to cover the wire ramps or you can use plastic drainage tubing sold at home depot. I just cut them to length, and cut a couple of the small pieces in half lenght wise, and zip tied them to the cage. I don't use the ramps.
    A couple of litter boxes or small pans to go potty in.
    Scatter guards aren't necessary, unless you use paper bedding, or some kind of litter bedding like yesterday's news on the entire floor. I use fleece on the floors and shredded paper in the litter pans.
    Fleece is cheap at Walmart ($4 a yard) or at joann craft store. Use fleece scraps for them to cuddle to in their nests.
    You can make your own fleece liners and hammocks. I'll link a place that has the patterns.
    Cardboard boxes.
    I have space pods to hang from the ceiling.
    You can get bird dishes that screw on to the bars. These make great water dishes that can't be spilled. I'll post pics in a min.
     
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  4. Nov 13, 2019 #4

    Dena

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    This is just a couple pics of how I did the tubes.

    Empty tissue boxes are also a big hit with my girls. The boys are too fat to all pile in one. LOL
    Also bird toys clipped to the top and sides are great. You can also use baby toys. The colorful, rattly or crinkly kinds that you would put on a car seat or stroller. Mine seem to like those.
     

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  5. Nov 13, 2019 #5

    Renee

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    Thank you so much!
     
  6. Nov 13, 2019 #6

    ViciousCurse

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    Depending on the energy level and sizes of your rats, the single critter nation can hold anywhere from 3-4 rats comfortable, or upwards of 6, but that's with tons of hammocks, sleeping places, and hiding places. I've currently got five males in a DCN, but it could hold more. My boys are just hitting that age now.

    I will use unscented baby wipes to do any minor cleaning, such as cleaning the bars. I'll use these wipes on their plastic hides as well. I use Dawn for deep clean, but make sure you wipe that off good. If you're going to be using fleece and litterboxes, I got litterboxes with holes in them, and then I'll get a pair of washers, a screw, and a nut, and then I screw those litterboxes to the cage.

    Making your own fleece liners, while tedious, is the best way to go. Depending on where you buy your fleece liners and how much of chewers your girls are, you may have to replace them frequently. I've seen sets sold up to $20, but you can go to Joanne (or any other fabric store) and buy remnant fleece for half of that. Again, some rats chew the trays, some don't. I usually prevent that with tons of toys and I do cover my trays completely with fleece. I've had minimal chewing here and there.

    Good luck on the new cage! Happy early birthday!!!
     
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  7. Nov 13, 2019 #7

    Renee

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    Thank you so much! Very excited
     
  8. Nov 13, 2019 #8

    Dena

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    I have to use a new piece of fleece to cover my girls floor every time. If the fleece is still somewhat decent, I will cut it and use it for the smaller shelves, or use it for scraps for their nests. So the fleece you buy doesn't have to go to waste. I don't know how my girls can demolish a piece of fleece in an hour flat, but they can....
    To hold it on the trays, and shelves, I use large binder clips clipped at the sides. If you want pans, there are some made by bass. They aren't unreasonable, but not super cheap, but they are made for the critter nation, and fit it perfectly. Just Google bass pans. As far as cleaner, if I have one get sick, or the cage is really gross, I use medical grade disinfectant, that has no smell. Then wipe down the surface really well. Or I use baby wipes. When it's kinda smelly, I use diluted white vinegar, and I use dawn dish soap on plastic toys, houses, bowls, and bottles. Then let it soak in hot water and rinse. Generally if it's safe for babies, it's rat safe. Don't do too deep of a clean too often. That can cause over marking and make it more smelly. Instead, I change the boys fleece every 3-4 days, and the girls once a week. My boys just pee way more, and aren't litter trained (SIGH) but the girls are and are generally cleaner than the boys. As a matter of fact, the girls rarely have a smell at all!
     
  9. Nov 13, 2019 #9

    Wednesday

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    My rats second the empty tissue boxes (the long boxes). It's great! Every box of tissue comes with a free rat bed! Also, shoe boxes have been much appreciated, especially if I leave the paper in them.

    Keep your eyes out for sales at JoAnn's. They recently had a sale on their fleece for $2.99 a yard for the plain, unpatterned kind. It is nice and thick. But, yes, mine chew as well, so I put paper grocery bags down too, so they will hopefully be more distracted by that. We'll see.

    I've heard that critter nation sells chinchilla pans that are made of metal and are deeper. I haven't looked this up though, so not sure. Seems like that would prevent chewing and keep the bedding in, if you were using a carefresh type of material.
     
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  10. Nov 13, 2019 #10

    Dena

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    My girls love the square tissue boxes too, but the long ones last longer since no one has to chew an extra hole for everyone to pile in. Also, I go to dollar tree, and get the big pack of tissue paper for gifts, and I'll randomly tear pieces, and give it to them. It's so cute because they will bounce off with it, and stuff it in the nearest box, or bed! And a pack lasts a long time if you tear small pieces at a time. I even have a forage toy made for rabbits, and I'll tear pieces of the paper and stuff it in there, so they have to work a little bit to get it out.
     
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  11. Nov 13, 2019 #11

    Dena

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    OR, the crinkled paper from dollar tree, also sold in the gift bag section is a HUGE hit! Since the girls don't pee so much in their houses, I can stuff a tissue box full of it, and watch them scatter it and play in it. You can even hide littke treats in there, so they have something to hunt for!
     
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  12. Nov 13, 2019 #12

    Renee

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    Yes! I use that as my girls bedding. I get a big bag of the paper at Pet Supermarket for $12.
     
  13. Nov 13, 2019 #13

    ViciousCurse

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    My boys thought the crinkled paper was just another litterbox! I don't fault them, but it got smelly very quickly.

    My boys show a different kind of love for all of these cardboard hides... They sleep in them and they rip a giant hole in the bottom of a cardboard box. Maybe they hate how cardboard boxes feel on their bottoms lol.
     
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  14. Nov 14, 2019 #14

    Wednesday

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    Yes, mine chew everything. EVERYTHING. All of the boxes I put in for beds are appreciated but apparently need renovations and added ventilation before being acceptable.
     
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  15. Nov 15, 2019 #15

    Renee

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    thanks for making me laugh haha! my girls are the same
     

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