New to Rats

Discussion in 'Health & General Care' started by Ratturtles, Dec 20, 2018.

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  1. Dec 20, 2018 #1

    Ratturtles

    Ratturtles

    Ratturtles

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    I am a first time rat owner. Ive had my girls for about a month now. I have a couple of questions that Im hoping someone can answer for me.

    1. This is the cage my rats are in[​IMG]
    They always pee on the third level of the cage and as a result my room always stinks. Even if I wipe that level down multiple times a day it still ends up covered in pee by the end of the night. My rats are constantly walking/sitting in their own urine and I feel so bad, but Its so hard to keep up with. Im looking for suggestions on what I can do to fix this problem. Can rats learn to pee in a litter box? Im thinking of buying some bedding to put down on just that level to hopefully absorb some of the urine and to help with the odor. Any other suggestions? They poop on the bottom level of the cage so it falls onto the litter mat but for some reason they wont do that when they pee. :(

    2. I switched their food to oxbow adult rat food and one of my rats has gained some weight. Im worried the rat is going to continue to gain weight. Right now Im feeding it unlimitedly with the occasional snack, should I limit how much Im giving them each day? If so how much should I give them?

    3. Can I use cat litter on the litter tray. Ive read not to use cat litter in rat litter boxes because its too dusty and can become a lung irritant, but Im just wondering if it would be alright because the litter tray sits under the cage and as a result they would never come into direct contact with it. Right now Im using corn cob litter and its not working. Can I use a walnut based cat litter?

    4. Do I need to give my rats hay? I believe it says to provide hay on the back of the oxbow food bag but I cant find much online about it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2018
  2. Dec 20, 2018 #2

    SQ

    SQ

    SQ

    Senior Member - Vegan for the animals

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    Welcome to the forum :)
    Congrats on your rattie girls
    You might want to post pics of their cage and setup

    I would suggest the you buy 3 corner litter boxes, 1 for each of the 3 levels, and a litter box for the bottom floor (a corner one or larger). You can use an unscented paper based kitty litter in them, such as yesterdays news. Just make sure it is not dusty. Corn litter can cause health issues if the air is too dry, such as in the winter

    You will need to do something with the bottom floor of your cage - rats need sold floor.
    You could cover the wire floor with a piece of coroplast cut to fit.

    Oxbow is one of the 2 recommended blocks for rats - you can feed then the adult block
    It will provide the nutrition they require.
    In addition to having oxbow blocks, feed them a variety of daily vegs, and occasional healthy treats such as berries, a piece of ripe fruit, cooked whole grains, organic pumpkin seeds, a few of cooked chickpeas, organic kumut puffs etc

    Rats do not need hay for bedding and rats do not eat hay

    Please see the reference thread for info on nutrition, the forbidden foods list, bedding, etc
    https://www.ratshackforum.com/threads/reference-thread-read-only.35894/
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2018
  3. Dec 21, 2018 #3

    Ratturtles

    Ratturtles

    Ratturtles

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    Did the picture I uploaded not show up? Or do you mean a picture of their actual cage?

    The problem with litter boxes on each level is that the level platforms themselves are somewhat small. At their widest they're 9 in in width and at the smallest they are 7 inches. I feel like I would have to have a really small litter box for it to not take up most of each level. That's why I was thinking of just covering each level in shredded paper bedding but I'm not sure how effective that would be?

    I will figure something out for the bottom of their cage as I have heard that stated other places before. Thanks for the reminder.

    Should I limit how much oxbow I give them? Just out of curiosity what is the other recommended block?

    Thanks for the reference link I'll definitely read through it.

    One thing I have been finding online is the debate over fresh news vs yesterday's news. From what I've found so far most people have said that yesterday's news might *or is* made with pine or other softwoods and as a result fresh news is the recommended paper pellet. Adversely, fresh news is made with baking soda which I've heard is harmful to rats. Im sure both have their pros and cons but out of the two I was wondering which one you would recommend, if either. Right now I'm swaying more towards fresh news but Im still currently unsure.

    Thanks for all the help so far :)
     
  4. Dec 22, 2018 #4

    jorats

    jorats

    jorats

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    Hi! Both those litters are quite acceptable. In the past, I've used very tiny litter pans to put in every corner. Eventually I was able to remove them and only put in the specific corners where they peed.
     
  5. Dec 27, 2018 #5

    SQ

    SQ

    SQ

    Senior Member - Vegan for the animals

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    my rats enjoy corner litter boxes, sometimes just to make nests in ……. when they had litter boxes they used the small levels, without the litter boxes they didn't
     

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