Preferred Bedding
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Thread: Preferred Bedding

  1. #1
    Pink Eeper
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    Default Preferred Bedding

    Hello all!

    I'm preparing for my first ever rats and I was wondering what type of bedding I should use. I've heard several different types from rat litter to shredded paper to just a fleece layer you can take out and wash...what's your favorite type of bedding?

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  3. #2
    Squishy Laprat moonkissed's Avatar
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    When looking for a bedding there are lots of different choices and some of it just comes down to preference, but the #1 things to look for is odor control and how it controls ammonia.

    By far aspen is my favorite. I love it and use it in all of my cages.
    Wood is proven to do amazing at odor control and scores very high at controlling ammonia.

    by far most paper bedding scores very very low at controlling ammonia. I do not suggest using paper.

    I only suggest using fleece if your rats are completely 100% litter trained. It does nothing for ammonia or odor.

    Some suggest paper pellets are good. I don't use them but sunseed brand I've heard suggested.
    flax & hemp are supposed to be very good but nearly impossible to find lol

    Kiln dried pine is a favorite by many people. It has to be kiln dried. There is some debate on the safety of it. I know tons of people who do use it and love it. It is supposed to be the best at controlling ammonia. There are no really good clear cut studies one way or the other, so its a personal decision. Research if you are interested



  4. #3

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    I started with fleece because our breeder uses it but I found that even though I was washing frequently and using an absorbent layer, I was having a lot of trouble with odor and the rats were chewing through it a lot. I switched to aspen (I bought a huge bag for $10 from the tractor supply company) and I'm in love. It controls odor wonderfully. I do use paper in the litter boxes and just clean them very frequently because they can't manage the odor from pee at all. I am not sure what to replace that with because I want something different from the aspen.

  5. #4

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    In the UK I find it hard to buy aspen in bulk, so I mix aspen with recyled paper pellets to make it go further. I find the pellets are great at absorption and if you aerate them by moving them around then it's helps with odour control, but the aspen in the mix helps with smell and it sticks to poo (the aspen I get is shredded instead of shaved) so that the poo doesn't get trodden in so much and it dries it really quickly and doesn't smell and is easy to remove.
    I let my boys have kitchen roll to put where they like, but as for smell and such when they wee on it... it's bad, so if you were using shredded paper I would change it almost daily, well that's my personal experience anyway
    I tried flee for a while and thought it was bloody horrible! It stinks and if your rats aren't litter trained (mine weren't when I tried it) then poo sticks to it and wee spreads all over it... in my opinion it's a bit of a disaster if your rats like destroying and aren't litter trained.

    My boys are semi litter trained and use the potty for doing poos, but tend to wee where they like. Aspen is by far the best substrate I've tried that's is suitable for all my rats habits and needs

  6. #5

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    I've started off using towels for mine as the main bedding and providing lots of different textured cloths/fabrics for them to nest in too. Just for kicks I added some of the paper bedding that came with the cage and they HATED it. I mean the second I put it in there they went on a rampage and were physically picking up chunks of it and moving it as far away from their nest as possible, even pushing it out of the cage where they could. If they didn't make such a huge mess, it would have been hilarious haha I haven't had too much trouble with the ammonia smell, and my nose is super super sensitive. I change the towel every other day and check all the loose bits every day and remove any that are super stinky. They also have a litter box though, but I know they're not 100% litter trained. They don't poo outside the box, but I'm pretty sure they pee outside of it.

  7. #6
    Squishy Laprat moonkissed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by calcifer View Post
    I've started off using towels for mine as the main bedding and providing lots of different textured cloths/fabrics for them to nest in too. Just for kicks I added some of the paper bedding that came with the cage and they HATED it. I mean the second I put it in there they went on a rampage and were physically picking up chunks of it and moving it as far away from their nest as possible, even pushing it out of the cage where they could. If they didn't make such a huge mess, it would have been hilarious haha I haven't had too much trouble with the ammonia smell, and my nose is super super sensitive. I change the towel every other day and check all the loose bits every day and remove any that are super stinky. They also have a litter box though, but I know they're not 100% litter trained. They don't poo outside the box, but I'm pretty sure they pee outside of it.
    I strongly suggest not using towels.

    Fleece is the only material that should ever be used that the rats can get to. You can sew a towel in between fleece if you do not have chewers. But you should not use just towels.

    Towels have little loops of fabric where toes/nails can be caught and injured. I have seen the aftermath and it is scary. They can also chew it and leave dangerous holes to get caught in and it can fray. It is just not safe.

    On top of that, fleece when properly used wicks away the moisture. Other fabric will just be wet and that is gross.

    That is also the problem with fabric, you have to replace it too often. That can stress rats out and cause them to overmark, making the smell worse. It still does nothing at all for ammonia, so they are still going to be right there face to face with it



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