Help with rat aroma please

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New Member
May 2, 2022
Urgent help needed with rat aroma please.
We are new to keeping rats, have had our two boys for a couple of months now. Got them at around 6 weeks old and they have been thriving and grown rapidly. They have a good size two storey indoor enclosure with plenty of toys and my daughter loves them and handles them daily, getting them out to run around her bedroom.
Their enclosure used to be in my daughters bedroom all the time but they are too noisy at night, play fighting and squeaking, so it is moved onto our landing at night.
Our big problem is their aroma. My daughter has become nose blind to them, but my husband and I smell them and it is intolerable to my husband, who has a strong sense of smell.
In their enclosure they have recycled paper bedding/litter from pets at home in a “litter tray” which one of them is good at using, the other one goes anywhere.
There is a hammock and fluffy tube that they love sleeping in.
In an attempt to neutralise the aroma and disinfect we are cleaning with diluted white vinegar every day (as per videos on YouTube) and changing the soft bedding every few days, but it is just not helping. You only have to get half way up the stairs and you can smell them in my daughters bedroom.
Please can anyone advise us how to stop this aroma, it is causing major problems.
Thank you in advance.
Hi there, can you maybe post a pic of your enclosure? Do you have a lot of levels where there is a flat tray that is maybe plastic that the rats could be peeing on? Male rats tend to dribble pee wherever they go, so a wipe down of all surfaces is necessary on a regular basis. Any shelves or bridges or basically anything especially if it is plastic or wood needs to be wiped down a lot to keep the odor down. Hammocks and any other material objects need to be washed quite often as well as they will pee in them even if they are litter trained, that is simply the joys of owning male rats. My boys are amazing at using their litter box, so the bedding only needs an occasional overhaul as I can get most of the soiled bedding out by cleaning out their litter bin on a regular basis but their hammocks and such need to be washed quite often as they do spend a lot of time in them and they need to be washed a lot to help with the urine smell. Also, remember, when you do wash them, they will dribble pee to mark them again as their scent is now missing so it is a constant thing. The best thing to do if you don't want to be doing laundry for your rats all the time is to have multiple hammocks and material items in their cage so that you can switch them out often and maybe keep the soiled ones in a bin that can contain the smell so that you can wash them all at once. Just always remember....males dribble pee everywhere they go....wipe wipe wipe or yes it will smell. My boys are right in my living room and very rarely do I smell them and have asked visitors who are not rat people if they can smell them and they consistently say no :) It can be done!