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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A question for those of you that use fleece liners and have chewers. What do you do to deter chewing? I had switched to aspen in the past because my girls destroyed their fleece (and also they never litter trained very well). Now that I'm getting a DCN, I want to try liners again and see how it goes.

One thought that I had was to use bitter apple spray around the edges of the fleece. I have used it on the plastic pan in my boys' cage so that they would not chew it and it has seemed to work. After a few applications, they did not seem to chew at all so I have not had to spray it in a long time. Could something like that work on fleece?

If you have any other suggestions, I'd be glad to hear them. Thanks!
 

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I've had this problem with my girls and I've tried everything. I literally right now just have a flat piece of fleece that lays over top the pan. I don't pin down any of the sides, so that way they can't chew anything. It's working so far, I just know i'm going to have to be cleaning the pan more then twice a week since they move the fleece around.
 

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I have heard they don't like the taste of peppermint extract because its too strong smelling? Could try that?
Or vinegar?

I actually have no idea. But I will be following this thread. I have a chewer! Its driving me mad!
Oh the joys of rats :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I used it on my boys' plastic pan and they never chewed (that I saw) but I don't know it it was because of the spray or they just didn't chew period. The girls are in a metal cage so this wasn't an issue. I will put a liner in the cage before I put them in it and spray it, let it dry, then put them in and I will document the results. The cage is coming this week, so hopefully I'll be able to give you results soon. The spray tastes horrid and I think it lasts for a while after spraying it, so we'll see (it is sold for dogs, so it is non toxic, etc.).
 

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Artgecko, let me know how it goes. My girls are now chewing their shelf plastic pan, still chewing the fabric as well. Trying to figure out solutions still.
I did however not clip my fleece on my lower pan, and now my girls aren't chewing it - but they do move the fabric around alot more so the bottom pan gets dirtier quicker, and I've noticed that the fleece is smelling alot faster now.
 

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My girls didn't chew it so much as they dug at it until there was a hole. I tried not pinning it down and now it's constantly in a ball somewhere in the cage. *sigh* My girls are mostly litter trained so I'm debating if I jsut want to deal with the constant rearranging of the fleece. LOL
 

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I have heard they don't like the taste of peppermint extract because its too strong smelling? Could try that?
Or vinegar?

I actually have no idea. But I will be following this thread. I have a chewer! Its driving me mad!
Oh the joys of rats :p
Mine love both peppermint and vinegar. :) If they know I have salad with vinegar they will lick it all off. Anything with peppermint gets them excited. I use dr bronners peppermint soap so I get licked a lot after a shower. I heard those things too though...when I was trying to get rid of wild rats....and I thought well..that certainly won't work. lol Live traps is all I've came up with so far.
 

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My girls love to chew up the fleece and chew on the plastic pan underneath. Something I found that works is to put an different piece of fleece over top of the one thats clipped down. This way they think they are pulling up and chewing the fleece I put down, but are instead falling for moms evil trick to get them to stop being fleece eaters :p Works every time for me. The clipped fleece stays firmly in place and the decoy gets ripped to pieces. Since it doesnt get clipped down, I use them until they start using the pieces theyve ripped off for nesting. lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the ideas guys! My cage won't be here until sometime this week and I plan to set it up asap once it arrives, so hopefully I'll have testing data for you by the weekend :p

EmilyGPK- When I had them on fleece before, they had scraps of cloth, old dishrags, and paper / paper towels to nest with and bird / rodent wooden chew toys... They still ate the fleece. I'm hoping this time will go differently. I bought some cheap fleece from Joann's when it was on sale last week ($2.99 yd) so you can bet that I'll be using the cheap fleece for the first go round. I'd love to make them pretty cage liners, but can't afford to have them chew up fleece that is $5-7 a yard.
 

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I don't know where you live but around fall/winter here they always sell cheap fleece blankets in regular stores that are 50"x60" usually for $3-$5. If you can get those (especially towards the end of the season when they start to mark them down) that has been a way cheaper option for me :)
They're the perfect size for my critter nation, you can make 2 main floor covers with one blanket, or a main floor cover + a platform cover + scrap fleece for snuggle boxes :)
 

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I was thinking about using a bathroom mat for the bottom of the cage, because its plastic backed it would be heavy enough to stay in situ without clipping. My girls do chew their liners but because of the door size it's hard to clip them down. Any hazards with using the mat?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The only issue I could think of is if they ingest any of the rubber whether it would hurt them or not... Not sure.

Thanks for the suggestion spysquid. I've never seen fleece throws that cheap, but I'll keep an eye out. I *think* my cage was delivered today (the fedex tracking info says it was but I'm not at home yet to see). If so, you may have testing data by Friday. I'll probably put them in tomorrow if I set it up tonight.
 

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I was thinking about using a bathroom mat for the bottom of the cage, because its plastic backed it would be heavy enough to stay in situ without clipping. My girls do chew their liners but because of the door size it's hard to clip them down. Any hazards with using the mat?
I tried the bathroom mat and of course my girls chewed it, even through the bottom part where its like that rubber material. But they haven't had any problems because of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Just got the cage assembled and the cage liner has been sprayed. I'll let it dry overnight and put them and the rest of their stuff in the cage tomorrow afternoon. I'll give you guys a report Friday about how things go. I sprayed around the edges, focusing on the clipped areas and raised sides.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Rat love- What kind of mat are you using? Is it one of those terry cloth ones (with the fringe like material that sticks up) or a flatter one?

I have their cage mostly setup. The rest of their items have not come from amazon yet (climbing ropes and another space pod) so I'm hoping they will come today and I can put them in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
UPDATE: They've been in the DCN since Saturday. So far, no chewing. They have pulled up some of the fleece at the edges, but haven't chewed it yet. I am disappointed with how fast the fleece is starting to smell (so may go back to bedding anyway), but I'm hopeful that the bitter apple stuff is helping. I have the fleece clipped to the pans with bulldog clips at the corners and have the excess tucked under the pans. I also have some loose fleece aaround the edges of the pan on top of the liner.
 

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I am disappointed with how fast the fleece is starting to smell (so may go back to bedding anyway)...
Did you wash the fleece before using it? I find mine starts to smell more quickly if I don't wash it first. The longer you use fleece (more washes) the better it gets at wicking away the moisture. I generally put a puppy pad under my fleece. The fleece wicks away the liquid from the top and the puppy pad soaks it up before it can smell too bad.

Right now I'm trying out Kelseyrawr's trick and have the bottom layer clipped down and a decoy on top. Seems to be working so far. No chewing.
 
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