Fleece covers for CN? Also, cage cleaning frequency

Discussion in 'Habitat' started by Tiffany Gibbon, Sep 6, 2018.

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  1. Sep 6, 2018 #1

    Tiffany Gibbon

    Tiffany Gibbon

    Tiffany Gibbon

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    Hi! My three girls are my first ratties ever so I'm learning as I go! I had a question about fleece liners for the Critter Nation cages. I ordered a set, but then when applying to a breeder I was told they are not good. The girls do have a litter box and we are working on training right now. I was also doing some research on a pee rock. I know the concern is cleanliness and the ammonia build up in the fleece. The set I purchased does have a liner to prevent this and I also wash the babies bedding once a week. Is this sufficient? I'm worried now.

    Also, I deep clean their cage every Tuesday and rearrange their set up for some mental stimulation. Is that frequent enough? I'm not sure if I should be doing it twice a week...

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Sep 6, 2018 #2

    Petunia

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    I don't know why the breeder would say that was a problem- many of us use fleece
    Maybe they think ppl will not wash the fleece often enough

    it's generally a good idea to change out the fleece at LEAST once a week, depending on the number of rats you have. I have 4 boys and do a liner change twice a week

    don't use too much detergent, and add some white vinegar to the wash and/or the rinse, and the fleece will be fine

    dont' use a fabric softener

    if the fleece starts to smell, there is a method for stripping it, if you search it on this forum you should find a couple of threads about it. I forget what's involved, some dawn dish soap I think and some soaking-
    I've done it a few times and it always worked great

    but using vinegar in the laundry and washing the fleece often (esp rinsing well!)
    keeps it clean enough that I dont need to do any stripping of build up
     
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  3. Sep 6, 2018 #3

    Tiffany Gibbon

    Tiffany Gibbon

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    Oooo, never thought of vinegar! Thank you so much. I have 3 females and they're pretty cleanly. I think I will start doing bi-weekly cleanings though. Just to be safe :)
     
  4. Sep 10, 2018 #4

    jorats

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    Very strange that a breeder would say such a silly thing.
     
  5. Jan 16, 2019 #5

    Kelly Jacoby

    Kelly Jacoby

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    Hi. I just ordered some fleece fabric - what do you used to hold it down? I currently have two sets that I purchased and they were pricey. My girls chewed the corners day one so now I am going the cheaper route and going to try to do this myself. Help!
     
  6. Jan 24, 2019 #6

    jorats

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    I used bull clips to hold down the fleece onto the tray.
     
  7. Jan 24, 2019 #7

    Kelly Jacoby

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    Thank you. I will get those. I tried tape but it didn’t hold and I came down to find the fleece all pulled up with about 20 holes in it. My girls are chewers thank goodness for clearance fleece from the fabric store!
     
  8. Feb 18, 2019 #8

    Lisa

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    We buy the cheap fleece throw blankets from walmart for $2.50 each. We have two DCN and three blankets gives us enough fleece to make a complete set of liners plus some left over or fleece strips or a hammock or two! Our girls are fleece seeking missiles, and I just couldn't get myself to spend the money on the fancier fleece (I will admit, I'd LOVE to get some for the prints...I've been eyeing a few different ones!) but they really only get 2 maybe 3 uses before I have to turn it into strips....so, the blankets are a better value for us! and they change the prints as the seasons and holidays go by...so it's not TOO bad, lol..!
     
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  9. Feb 18, 2019 #9

    Kelly Jacoby

    Kelly Jacoby

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    That is a good idea! I buy those blankets often for the shelter I volunteer at!! I will
    Be buying more now and cutting them to fit :). Thank you!
     
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  10. Feb 18, 2019 #10

    Lisa

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    You are welcome! I cut out a pattern for each section of the cage using cardboard and I just trace the pattern out on the fleece (so much easier than measuring all the time!) Cut the fleece and whatever you are going to use as an absorbent layer...(I and many other rattie parents use UHAUL moving blankets. They can be purchased at any UHAUL store for about $8. One blanket will give you enough fabric for 2 complete liner sets) I then sew them together, turn right side out (like a pillowcase!) and then I quilt around the middle. Not only does it help keep the absorbent layer in place, but my rats are less likely to chew it if it quilted ( I still haven't figured out WHY, but I'm going with it, lol) You can use a second layer of fleece on the bottom of each liner (I don't, it just gives our rats incentive to chew and dig.) I just do the two layers, but alot of parents do three....If you don't sew, you can cut the fleece and absorbent layer just a bit bigger than your pans and clip down...it probably wont keep your chewers out, but it may slow them down a bit! add something heavy to the corners (like bricks, terracotta pots, or litter boxes) that's where most rats like to start chewing! Good Luck with the fleecing!!
     
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  11. Feb 18, 2019 #11

    Noel

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    Tiffany, I've only been a mom to 2 boys for about 6 months! I love them! I put fleeceing all in their beds and hammocks. I get mine from Amazon. Flic-flac fleece, 28 pcs for $10.99. The ones they don't destroy, I wash & use again. I also put contact or cabinet shelve liner on Rinky & Bingos (those are my two) shelves. Then all I do is wipe it down with water & vinegar everyday & change each week.
     
  12. Apr 10, 2019 #12

    Jen

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    I use dollar store outdoor door entry mats as liners. I add some strips of fabric for them to use how they want. It’s sturdy and cheap. Plus, if you have a carpet shampooer, totally cleanable or tossable (again cheap find at $1$
     
  13. Apr 11, 2019 #13

    ViciousCurse

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    I noticed no one else mentioned this, but I've just started using pee rocks for my boys. Unfortunately, I have very large male rats and there are no rocks for sale large enough for one rat to sit on. I improvise and use a lot of larger rocks to form a pile. I've noticed immediately that they urinate more frequently in their litterbox. I wash the rocks once a week to keep encouraging them to pee on them. They also seem to like the rocks to poo on them.

    The rat breeder I've previously gotten rats from has said fleece is alright, but it's not her favorite for the potential ammonia buildup, so I can see why your breeder would say what they did.
     
  14. Apr 11, 2019 #14

    Nadia Mazza

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    I use any material and min love pillow cases which i fold .so old clothes, they love jeans too
     
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  15. Apr 11, 2019 #15

    ViciousCurse

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    The aforementioned breeder I know doesn't even buy fleece for their rats, they just make hammocks and cuddly things out of old clothes and jeans. It seems to work out just fine for them. It's not pretty, but it's cheap and easy (plus it recycles), especially when you have chewers. Thankfully, none of my rats are hammock chewers.
     
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  16. Apr 11, 2019 #16

    Gailrin

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    All of my girls are chewers, they chew everything, but thankfully the last place I ordered my fleece from was amazing. They double layered that shiz, so even if they chew through one layer, they got several before it ends up irreparably damaged.

    Fleece is generally favorable to other cloth because of how it frays when torn or when it falls apart, it doesn't create little strings and bits that rats can get caught or hung in.

    Personally I'm a fan of combo between kiln dried chips AND using fleece, Fleece for everything platform, stair, step, ramp etc, and chips in the pans/main levels. Spot clean the platforms when it needs it, change the Litter Pans often. Plus chips give them something to dig in/forage through.
     
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  17. Apr 12, 2019 #17

    ViciousCurse

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    I made the mistake o buying a hammock made of other fabrics. I was unaware that they tore into the hammock and one of my rats fell through and string got wrapped around his neck. It was a freak mistake I should have looked out for, but I refuse to buy/make any hammocks unless they're fleece. This a word of waning to anyone else, I'm not looking for pity or scrutiny.
     
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