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Discussion Starter #1
So, I've decided on the cage for my boys, next is to get to making it into home before they get here, so what are some of the most popular toys and additions for male rats? I know that wheels are kinda hit or miss with the boys, but hammocks seem to be a universal love :)

Emy
 

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hehe I LOVE adding new toys :D heres a list of everything I have in my boys cage:
2 flat hammocks
1 corner hammock
1 hidy hold hammock
6hanging chew toys
32oz water bottle
feed trof
a cardboard "cheese" house
a little mini cabinet that I hide treats in
a chew toy sip tied to the side of the cage
2 ladders
4 climbing ropes

I've also baught a bunch of stuff and will be making my own toys!! :D I'm super excited, I'm also going to make more hammocks for the boys & girls.
 

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My boys like hammocks, lots of 'em (I've set up an 'obstacle' course out of hammocks so that they have to go through a couple to get to their favorite one.)\
They like hidey things like cardboard boxes or igloos or towels.
They like big litter boxes they can dig in.
They like bowls to pea fish in.
They like wood toys to chew on.
They like paper to destroy.
None of them seem to like a wheel, but none of them had one when they were younger (that I know of so that may be it).
They like their 'crinkle' hammock because it makes loud noises and wakes up mommy....

Because Mommy is one of their favorite toys.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks so much for all the great ideas! I think this next month or so I'm going to be doing a lot of sewing (which I like to do so it's not a problem)

Are there any kinds of fabrics that are not the best for rats? And, because winers are cold and summer hot here, should I have different types of housing for the different seasons? Like have a summer hammock of light cloth, and a flece lined one for winter?

As for paper to destroy, that's great! Now I have the excuse of "My rat ate my paper, sorry professor!" lol!

Emy
 

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Heehee... Bring in a rattie 'decorated' paper as evidence.

I have fuzzy hammocks and nylon ones, they take their pic. Usually they don't seem to care, or they sleep on the ground. :lol:
 

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Forensic said:
They like their 'crinkle' hammock because it makes loud noises and wakes up mommy....
Is the crinkle stuff in between the layers of fabric, or is the hammock made out of crinkly stuff? *intrigued*

Our girls have -

a 12" wheel (which they use, lots)
a giant igloo
3 bunk bed hammocks
1 hammock sleeve that they can go inside or lie on top of
(all hammocks I make myself, out of fleece)
several jingly and none jingly balls
cardboard tubes
paper towels, which they shred or make beds out of
hanging wooden parrot toys
a 7 foot plastic dryer hose that leads from their cage to me, when I'm going to be on the couch for any length of time

On top of the standard things, I'll give them other stuff to chew on or play with as I find it, if it is suitable - brown paper bags, hard nuts (pecans, walnuts etc), tissue boxes, popsicle sticks...
 

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As well as the normal stuff what every one puts in the cages I make a lot of my own stuff or buy childrens wooden toys. At the mo they have a wooden train, Wicka baskets, A mase made out of 10 Pringals tudes, Curvey cd rake and loads of home made Hannocks, Tunnals/tudes, Little huts and sleep sacs. I change the toys they have every 3 days or so coz they are so clever they soon learn what to do with a new toy and soon get bored with them.

I give them a Roll Around Ball and exercise ball and Rabbit Run Tube but they only use them for chewing or sleeping in.
 

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DonnaK said:
Forensic said:
They like their 'crinkle' hammock because it makes loud noises and wakes up mommy....
Is the crinkle stuff in between the layers of fabric, or is the hammock made out of crinkly stuff? *intrigued*
In between two layers of fabric... It's meant for ferrets, I think I got it from ferret.com.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Wow! So many great ideas! Thanks so much! Now this might be a stupid question, but does color play a role in what rats like, I know they have poor eyesight, so do they like brighter colored things? If so are there any colors that they might not like? If this is stupid please let me know! lol :)


ETA: I think this fits here better then a seperate thread...I've been doing some research and as far as bedding goes, I need a bedding that will be easy to change, and involve the least smell, as these guys will be "illegal" dorm rats for a few months until I get my place, :p My college's policy on pets is, "if the RAs don't see them and don't smell them, then they are allowed." Ceaning the cage won't be a problem as we have four people who will be involved in the care and loving of my two boys (who I can't wait to meet...lol) but is litter box training the way to go, what about fabric bedding, what's the best fabric to use, etc..lol sorry for all the questions, but I just want the best for my lovely rats to be!

Emy
 

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I think rats, in general see in very muted colors, if they see color at all. Colors are more for your benefit, the rats like how it smells, sounds, feels, and tastes.

Personally for fabric I use cheap towels from the dollar store so I'm not too put out if they get gnawed on a bit. :)
 

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Taru said:
ETA: I think this fits here better then a seperate thread...I've been doing some research and as far as bedding goes, I need a bedding that will be easy to change, and involve the least smell, as these guys will be "illegal" dorm rats for a few months until I get my place, :p My college's policy on pets is, "if the RAs don't see them and don't smell them, then they are allowed." Ceaning the cage won't be a problem as we have four people who will be involved in the care and loving of my two boys (who I can't wait to meet...lol) but is litter box training the way to go, what about fabric bedding, what's the best fabric to use, etc..lol sorry for all the questions, but I just want the best for my lovely rats to be!

Emy
The best odour control I've found is with Yesterday's News. Before that I had Carefresh, which was good, but they used to kick it up all over the place.

A lot of people do use fabric (towels, fleece etc), but you really need to change it every couple of days, as I understand it... which is ok if you have easy washing machine access.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Yeah, we a washing machine for the 6 of us, so that wouldn't be a problem...but I have heard good things about yesterdays news...I will be able to litter box train my boys before I go off to school, so I really don't know what the best option is...lol I think because I have a month to play with before I take them to school (give or take a week) I will give both a shot, if the litter training doesn't work out then I will go with the yesterdays news.

So, on the topic of fabric bedding, is there a preferable fabric?

Emy
 

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I haven't used fabric bedding, yet, but I think most people who do go with towels. I will use towels when I make the switch... I'm just waiting until we get a different cage before I do that.
 

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I use cheapo towels. I'd love to upgrade to nice flannel or fleece, but my boys seem intent on chewing the edges of the towels, so I'm waiting on the nice stuff just yet.
 

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i get towels from the local op-shop so it doesnt matter that my ratties will totally destroy one within a week. they also have fleece squares that they havent managed to chew through yet.

my ratties arent that interested in having toys in their cages, probably because they get so much roaming time that by the time they go back to their cages, they only want to sleep. they also dont like hammocks either, only using them to stash food...
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks so much for all the help! I'm now home from school for the summer so I have lots of time to plan a fun place for my boys!

Emy
 

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my rats hid too much under towelbeddin so i now use paper towels and i change out their cage daily. but thats only cause my girls make a mess and get food everywhere. so i change daily to prevent mold or other bad stuff on food.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Would it be a good idea then to semi-secure the fabric bedding to the floor so that they can't go under it, but it can be easily removed and cleaned? Maybe velcro? Going through all those paper towels seems a little un-economical, and not as good for the environment, but easier I'm sure :)

Emy
 

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Towels are great! I secure my bedding towels to the cage using binder clips, but determined ratties will squeeze under there anyway. One time I was convinced that Olivia had escaped- that's the day I found out they liked burrowing under the towels (thank god). I've only had my ratties a few weeks now, but I think towels are perfect. They really chewed one up quite badly, but since then they haven't really nibbled on them much at all. They're not the best for odor control. You really do have to change them every few days (which is just as well, it ensure that they always have a nice clean place to play). I would say litter box training is another no-brainer. It's almost effortless on your part, and totally worth it. You can even bring the litter pan out for play time and they will use it.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Ah, binder clips, I never thought of that, but they are nice and easy to get, and would make taking in and out a lot easier. I have seen on another thread that target has good towels for cheap that are nice and soft for the rats too. If I got like three sets of them I would be good, one would be in the cage, one in the wash, and one for backup.

I was wondering, what do people put on their levels in their cages? I know that the mesh is not good for little feets, but is fabric the best bet, or do you put down like other surfaces? Also, where would be the best place to get these things??

Emy
 
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