Rats go to the bathroom everywhere?

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orangeK

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Jan 6, 2020
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California
I was so impressed when I first got my rats. I used a pie tin as a litter box, filled with Yesterday's News, and they were so good about using it - even going back in the cage to use it when free ranging. Surrounding the litter box was Carefresh bedding, which made a clear line between the litter box and the rest of the cage floor.

I stopped using Carefresh after a couple of weeks (mites and I don't like the smell) and got rid of the litter box as now their entire floor is Yesterday's News (they don't like sleeping on the floor, anyways, and I put newspaper in the hides for them to nest in if they ever decided to). Since then they have just been pooping all over the floor, not just one corner (which don't rats usually do?) Recently they also started pooping on their level where I keep a food bowl. I wipe it down several times a day with a vinegar/water mix. Right now I have just completely taken it out to force them to go on the Yesterday's News. Sometimes they poop on their hammocks as well.

Any reason why they could be doing this? I was thinking now maybe without a clear bathroom area they just don't know or care to go in one corner. I was also thinking maybe the level being cleaned so much is making them want to mark it more, but I don't know what else to do.
 

Dena

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Joined
Nov 13, 2018
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64
Location
Texas
I'd go back to the litter box, and use fleece on the floors. Just clip it to the sides of the floor pan. They may be confused. Put a couple of litter boxes in their cage. One on each level, and under ladders. That should help them not go in their hammocks as well.
 

SQ

Senior Member - Vegan for the animals
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Jul 21, 2007
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17,029
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central New Brunswick Canada
Use litter boxes (corners, under ladders/ramps - at least one on each level) with unscented yesterdays news in them
Use something different for your bedding such as another paper based product, acid free ink free paper, fleece, hardwood shavings etc - as long as it is unscented and free from small particles such as dust

Bedding needs to be frozen for (EDIT) 72 hours after purchase to kill any parasites that may be in it
 
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Dena

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Joined
Nov 13, 2018
Messages
64
Location
Texas
SQ meant 72 hours. Not 732. LMAO. Also, make sure none of your bedding ever has baking soda in it either. But try the fleece or paper, and add a couple more litter boxes.
 
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JuliaMoacyr

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Sep 2, 2019
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Location
Texas
I personally use puppy pads on their more active platforms, which makes clean up super easy, but if you have heavy chewers (I fortunately dont) it's not the best option. I do have to put down 3 or 4 puppy pads a platform bc they like to pull it up and nest with it. But it's a very cheap option, you dont have to wash it like you do fleece, and it makes good nesting material if you have rats who like nesting like 2 of mine do. I also have 2 litter boxes they use a lot, however that does not stop them from pooping in some of their sleeping spots too. Rats are habitual and sometimes very nasty. But the litter boxes and puppy pads make it so cleaning is easier and so i only have to clean up once maybe twice a week.
 

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