So many bedding issues...

Discussion in 'Habitat' started by Ratmama17, Feb 13, 2019 at 9:02 PM.

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Best bedding

  1. Fleece

    2 vote(s)
    66.7%
  2. Paper

    1 vote(s)
    33.3%
  3. Fleece with towels

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Feb 13, 2019 at 9:02 PM #1

    Ratmama17

    Ratmama17

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    I've had my rats for several months now (getting close to their first birthday) I have 4 girls in a double CN and they get along great.

    My main concern is their bedding. At the start of my having rats as companions I was using fleece and washing/changing once a week. I switched to a paper bedding and used Yesterday's news (a recycled paper pellet) in their litter pans. I was paranoid about the dust and would spend hours trying to sift out the extra dust and then they just fling the bedding out, scatter guards don't seem to work!! In addition, when I use paper bedding it got stuck to anything fleece or cloth that I put into the cage (hammocks and fleece tunnels)

    So now i'm back to using fleece. I change and wash the fleece 2-3 times a week and it seems to keep the odor down if I stay on top of the cleanings. I worry that the fleece is not absorbent enough. I know some people use U-Haul blankets but I don't know where to but them! I was thinking about using some old towels from Goodwill under the fleece to absorb the pee? would this actually help with odor at all? I'm just really worried about ammonia buildup.

    I could go back to paper bedding but I hate the process of trying to get rid of dust (I used oxbow which I think is a very nice bedding) and I hate that they fling it out every 10 minutes!!

    All in all, i'm a perfectionist who just wants the best for her rats. What do you all use for bedding? Help!
     
  2. Feb 13, 2019 at 10:36 PM #2

    SQ

    SQ

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    U-Haul is a business. There are likely several locations in your area.
    Please do not use towels as they have small loops that toes etc can get caught in
     
  3. Feb 14, 2019 at 4:04 AM #3

    ViciousCurse

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    I'm a fleece user as well and I have the same exact cage, along with using litterboxes. I always have a ceiling fan on in my room. I have a large, tall bedroom, so the fan isn't all that powerful in my room; it just barely moves the air around. Stagnant air is a huge odor contributor in my opinion (and I personally just hate the feeling of still air).
    The paper bedding I use for my litterboxes is Exquisicat Multicat, unscented, recycle paper bedding. It should be $20 for a 20lb bag. I've never had an odor issue with this bedding and it is dust free. I haven't gotten around to trying this tactic, but some members on this forum would recommend the use of a pee rock. It's a rock that's large enough to fit the biggest rat and when you place it in the litterbox, it should train the rats to urinate in their litterboxes as well.

    I've seen some people use puppy pads or other absorbent things underneath the fleece, but I honestly wouldn't recommend them unless you're a 100% sure your rats won't pull up the fleece and chew on those mats. Mine constantly chew and pull up their fleece, so I don't trust putting puppy pads under their fleece, just because then they'll chew it up when I'm not around.

    Do NOT use any of those air fresheners. I don't know what they're called, but don't use aerosols, or any of those gel air fresheners. For whatever reason, they kill rats very quickly. I've heard horror stories of breeders losing all of their rats within a single weekend because people watching their rats used those thing. I've heard the same thing from people just casually keeping rats as pets as well. Anything that is not homemade, don't use. Pettubers like Maggie Smith and Tyler Rugge have made tutorial videos on how to make homemade air fresheners. (DISCLAIMER: Those are apparently safe for birds (which are very sensitive to air quality allegedly), so part of me hopes they're safe for rats. I haven't done research outside of that and I have not made any homemade air fresheners. Take this advice with a grain of salt.)
     
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  4. Feb 15, 2019 at 5:11 AM #4

    SQ

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  5. Feb 17, 2019 at 3:22 AM #5

    Ratmama17

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    Would the U-Haul blankets actually help with odor? why are they recommended?
     
  6. Feb 17, 2019 at 3:29 AM #6

    Ratmama17

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    @ViciousCurse I don't use any air fresheners in my room, though I was considering buying an air purifier because I've read that these can really help with pet odor.

    Do you just change the fleece every few days to keep the pee smell down? have you tried anything under the fleece that would absorb pee?
     
  7. Feb 17, 2019 at 10:47 PM #7

    ViciousCurse

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    If I'm not mistaken, U-Haul blankets actually just look like glorified felt blankets. And I don't think felt is absorbent. From what I've seen and briefly research, water rolls off felt because felt is hydrophobic. If you're really stuck on getting a U-Haul blanket, see if it's cheaper to buy felt and cut it to size with a few layers, or if it's worth it to buy U-Haul blankets themselves. Personally, I wouldn't use them due to them being hydrophobic.
    Certain brands coat fleece with a water-repelling agent, so urine will just "sit" on the fleece, similarly to felt.

    My rats actually don't urinate on their fleece frequently. Mine are pretty good about going potty in their litterboxes. I have unneutered male rats, so they do mark up their cage, but I don't get an sort of odor from them. The only time it "smells" is the day before cage cleaning and that's just because I need to get more litteboxes because eight rats using two sort of overloads the litterboxes. So, no. I don't change it every few days because my rats don't urinate or defecate on the fleece all that frequently.
    As mentioned in my previous post, I don't use anything underneath my fleece because I don't want my rats pulling up the fleece and chewing on/potentially swallowing whatever materials are in puppy pads or whatever, so no. I've never put anything underneath or on top of my fleece.
     
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  8. Feb 18, 2019 at 12:05 AM #8

    SQ

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    I have never used u-haul blankets with rats
    My understanding is that people who make custom pan covers started using them between layers of fleece so that they would absorb urine.
     
  9. Feb 19, 2019 at 1:54 AM #9

    Lisa

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    I am a fleece/U-HAUL blanket user with 9 rats. U-HAUL blankets are recycled denim jeans that are made to be VERY soft, VERY absorbent and VERY durable. With 9 rats and daily spot cleaning, we are able to do a single deep clean once a week and we have no smell at all. If you are in the US, you can buy the blankets at any U HAUL rental store (where you would go to rent a U HAUL truck.) You can also order them online. They are about $8 per blanket. We have 2 DCN cages and we can get a complete set of liners for each cage plus have a little fabric left over for another project out of ONE blanket. You can double up the fleece for extra absorbency (a lot of guinea pig owners will do that) I use one layer of fleece and one layer of blanket, cut to size and sewn together. I quilt the middle to help deter excessive chewing. I then clip the liner to the pan. The blankets really work well.
     

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