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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I plan on adopting a pair of female rats within the next few months, but I am the type of person that likes to prepare in advance (especially in regards to making lists of everything I'll need beforehand), and right now I'm stuck on the "bedding" portion of my supply list.

I realize that I may be required to change bedding depending on whether or not my future ratties react badly to a certain bedding, but in general I've tried to find some that have reasonable absorbency/odor control and aren't too dusty. (to hopefully prevent buying litter that will irritate them in the first place)

This is what I've narrowed it down to:

Drs. Foster & Smith: Aspen Bedding (seems to work pretty well overall, but may be fairly dusty?)
Vitakraft: Eco Small Pet Bedding (rave reviews, but given the material it's made from, I'm worried it may not be very absorbent)

Basically, I just want to see if anyone has had any experiences with any of the above beddings, and if so, how they'd rate them/pros and cons/etc. And, of course, if anyone else has some good alternative suggestions that meet the aforementioned requirements, I'm all ears! (Overall, I'm worried more about odor control and absorbency, but finding a bedding that is also minimal in the dust department would be a huge plus.)

Thank you all! And sorry for being the millionth person to bug you guys about bedding :p I just couldn't really find any answers regarding these specific substrates.
 

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The aspen is cheaper, but can be just a tiny bit dusty. The Eco bedding is more expensive. Both are not very absorbent in my opinion. I personally use Carefresh bedding because it is absorbent. You can also consider using fleece if you want to.
 

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I've had so many issues with other bedding being super dusty and after being suggested to use Eco bedding and using it for a few weeks I must say its pretty awesome! My rats love to run around in it and make little tunnels and I honestly haven't noticed that it wasn't absorbent or anything (then again they have a litter box also). I'd for sure give it a try and see how you like it. You only really need to change it once a week.
 

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I've found that some brands of aspen are dusty and some aren't. I chose to use aspen in most of my cages because it smells nice and doesn't become putrid smelling within a few days of soaking up pee (sorry, biased against paper lol). If you want to try aspen and find that it's too dusty for your taste, shake it around in a big colander a bit over a trash bag or something.
 

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This is so timely.

I was at Petsmart today for 20 minutes in the bedding aisle alone! After some time I thought, "This is ridiculous! My babies are coming Saturday!" I chose the Carefresh Complete (I think it has some baking soda in it? --- hope that's not harmful?). Currently bedding is: buy 2, get one free.

I may check out the Eco (I did see that there as well).

I just want my rats to be happy and healthy...I'm choosing bedding, not a spouse or vehicle! :)
 

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This is so timely.

I was at Petsmart today for 20 minutes in the bedding aisle alone! After some time I thought, "This is ridiculous! My babies are coming Saturday!" I chose the Carefresh Complete (I think it has some baking soda in it? --- hope that's not harmful?). Currently bedding is: buy 2, get one free.

I may check out the Eco (I did see that there as well).

I just want my rats to be happy and healthy...I'm choosing bedding, not a spouse or vehicle! :)
Lol I understand that. I spend more time looking at ingredients and nutrition on my rats' food and snacks than I do with my own.
 

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Lol I understand that. I spend more time looking at ingredients and nutrition on my rats' food and snacks than I do with my own.
ROFL! Glad I'm not alone. :)

It got to the point..."Okay...so this one is white...and this one is purple. Is purple harmful?" (Both were the exact same, other than that! LOL)
 

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I use to use care fresh but Snowball tends to sneeze a lot when I was using It so I just decided to go with the fleece instead , so far it's worked great no sneezes here
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I was initially going to choose either aspen or carefresh, but I was worried that carefresh would end up being too dusty for them. With aspen, on the other hand, it seems kind of hit or miss; some brands are riddled with dust, while others are far more reasonable in the dust department.

I'm thinking that I'll try aspen first. I found a method of "de-dusting" the aspen (which seems to help, even if only to a point) on another website, so I will try that first and see how it goes. If my future ratties show any signs of sneezing/other negative reactions to the aspen, I'll switch them to the Eco Small bedding and see how that works.

Fleece is definitely an option as well, but in the past all of my pet rats have always loved snuggling into and jumping around in their bedding, so I kind of want to exhaust those options first before switching over to fleece.

Thank you for all!
 

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I second paper-based cat litter. I use the paper litter in their litter boxes and then I usually have a couple boxes/bins filled with carefresh/fleece scraps/shredded cardboard so they have something to dig around in.
 

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You could always buy some "yesterdays news" or off-brand cat litter and have a thin layer of that under your aspen to absorb urine. I've used that and pelleted pine horse bedding as an underlayer (like a couple handfuls in a CN below about 1.5" of aspen) and had no issues. It absorbs the moisture well.
 

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This is so timely.

I was at Petsmart today for 20 minutes in the bedding aisle alone! After some time I thought, "This is ridiculous! My babies are coming Saturday!" I chose the Carefresh Complete (I think it has some baking soda in it? --- hope that's not harmful?). Currently bedding is: buy 2, get one free.

I may check out the Eco (I did see that there as well).

I just want my rats to be happy and healthy...I'm choosing bedding, not a spouse or vehicle! :)
Everyone I know teases me because I spend at least 15 minutes looking through the ingredients on potential snacks. It's like, hmm.......2 grams of sugar won't really matter, will it? And then spend another 10 minutes debating whether to get it or not.
 

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Everyone I know teases me because I spend at least 15 minutes looking through the ingredients on potential snacks. It's like, hmm.......2 grams of sugar won't really matter, will it? And then spend another 10 minutes debating whether to get it or not.
Too funny! I can see myself doing the same thing then taking out my smart phone to research there in Aisle 17 of Petsmart! :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I do the exact same thing with literally everything that I buy for all of my pets. I always cringe whenever I see people just pick out the "popular" products (which, ironically, tend to be the worst possible things to give their pets) instead of just taking the time to see if what they're feeding their beloved babies is actually good for them or not.

I care more about my pet's diets than I do my own. LOL.

Anyways, I will look into getting Yesterday's News as well. Thank you! At this rate, I think I may eventually order a few different kinds and see which seems to work best. I imagine that'll be a lot easier than going through them one-by-one, and without the hassle of having to order new ones each time. lol
 
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