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Discussion Starter #1
I frequently see people advising against toys made of these woods. I understand why not to use them as bedding, because it can cause respiratory problems, but having a toy hanging from the top of the cage made of pine isn't likely to exude enough oil to affect them, especially in a wire cage with good ventilation.

So, my question is, why is having these woods in the cage at all, even as little toys, a bad thing? Is it something other than the oils and the respiratory risks? Is it just softwoods in general that are bad for ratties in some way?
 

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Cause if you don't want to breathe it in you probably don't want to eat it.
 

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breathing it in or eating it can cause problems for rats. but more then that wood toys are a waste of money. they get stinky fast and no amount of scrubbing is going to get rid of the odor. for the most part they're just peed on anyway and the ones for chewing (the hang from the top of the cage) will get a couple chew marks on it then ignored. hard bits of food or bones are much better chew toys. and knoted ropes can be dangled off of just as easily and washed in a dishwasher when they get grody.
 

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I'll second what Twitch said here. Any wooden toys I've tried in the past get disgusting quickly, and they never loose that smell. Also, you don't want them ingesting pine or cedar, and it they're close enough to chew it then they're also breathing it in. Not to mention when mixed with urine it releases toxic fumes.

Just a waste of time and money, IMHO
 

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If it's bad for them at all I try to avoid it like the plague (err perhaps a bad choice of words) but many toys don't specify what type of wood they are. A few people mentioned some other toy options. Perhaps a thread can be started for alternative rat toys! I know i'd find it helpful, and I enjoy reading about the creative things people have done!
 
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