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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok I am a new and I am trying to give the best possible home and health for my two ratties Fawn and Greta. I have 3 dogs, 2 cats and I do holistic with them. Their vet is traditional and holistic and I feed holistic (Raw for dogs). I do have some questions and would like some thoughts on the following.

Right now the babies are eating Oxbow Young Rat and Mouse (they are only a month old)
http://www.oxbowanimalhealth.com/products/type/detail?object=10813

They also have Oxbow timothy hay (I think it is the timothy)

Treats-
Dr Harvey Coconut Smiles http://www.drharveys.com/products/line/17-dogs
Whole Life Pet Products Living Treats Berry http://www.amazon.com/Whole-Life-Pet-Products-Anti-Oxidant/dp/B00PQ687H6
Fruitables Greek Strawberry Yogurt http://www.entirelypets.com/fruitables-dog-treats-greek-strawberry-yogurt-7-oz.html
Healthy Dogma Apple Crisp http://www.healthydogma.com/categories/dog-treats/fruit-crisps.html
Oxbow Papaya Medley

Vitamins-
Oxbow Vitamin C http://www.oxbowanimalhealth.com/products/type/detail?object=10829
Mushroom Wisdom Maitake Mushroom- http://www.amazon.com/Mushroom-Wisd...9958&sr=1-1&keywords=maitake+mushroom+extract

Bedding-
Oxbow Pure Comfort- http://www.oxbowanimalhealth.com/products/type/detail?object=11324

Trying to litter train not doing so well but using a recycled paper
All Living Things Premium Rabbit Litter
http://www.petsmart.com/small-pet/l...rabbit-litter-zid36-23802/cat-36-catid-600026

Housing-
Currently in a 40G breeder looking for a good home for them. We do have an air purifier in the room and they have finally learned to climb.


What size is good for two females? What cage wire size is recommended? I am confused as some say to stay away from wire flooring ramps etc due to bumblefoot and others say plastic holds pee, ammonia etc and not good due to URI issues. I clean everything with vinegar and water due to salt water aquarium, my allergies, and my cats allergies. I am just so confused on what is the best options.

Here are some I was looking at:
Super Pet Habitat 5 Level Defined Home for Ferrets
Prevue Hendryx Black Feisty Ferret Cage
All Living Things Small Animal Home
All Living Things Multi Level Small Animal Cage
Midwest Critter Nation Double Unit
Prevue Hendryx Jumbo small animal cage
Midwest Homes for pets Critter Nation Small Animal Single

Some like Marshall Rat Cages but I heard they rust and are all wire floor ramps etc.

I appreciate any and all help, criticism etc. All of my kids are spoiled rotten and we try to do the absolute best for them. I have already ordered Easter cookies from my organic pet bakery and she is making Fawn and Greta cookies too. https://www.etsy.com/shop/laineyspawtique

She is making them with green beans, broccoli, pineapple, strawberries, and coconut! Exciting :)

Fawn and Greta



 

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1/2" Wire spacing is best. Some ferret cages will have too wide a wire spacing. A single level Critter Nation would be ample for two rats. Of course, a double is twice the spoiling and adventure for them. I bought extra shelves for mine. Two shelves on each level gives rats more room to roam. You can make fleece covers for ramps and ladders. If you sew, you can just make slip covers to slide over the ramps. If you don't sew you can clip fleece cut to the size to the ramps. For this fabric remnants of fleece would be an inexpensive way to go. I make slip covers for the shelves and then throw fleece remnants around for them to arrange at will, and I just throw fleece in the bottom trays. I also supply litter boxes with Yesterday's News or similar for them, one on each cage level.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you so much! I am trying to take In as much data as possible but sometimes it gets so confusing!

Do you like fleece better than bedding material? or Do you have both?
 

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I have just always used fleece, so I can't really compare, but one drawback to fleece is the chewing and creation of rattie lace. Keeps me busy sewing new for them. But busy is good for me.
 

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We started with fleece but switched to Hemp-bedding (not sure if that exists in the US) now. Our rats just chewed the liners no matter what I tried and they ended up living under the fleece and hardly came out which was far from ideal.
So we made the decision to switch.
We did not use anything under the fleece but our rats are really good about using their litter pan so there were no messes on the fleece.
 

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Do you use different litter for the litter pan and as bedding? If you use different kind it makes it easier for them to understand what they are supposed to do with that thing :)
 

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I highly reccomend the All Living Things Multi Level Cage
I use it for my ratties and they appreciate the huge ammount of space! None of it goes un-used and if you can afford something that big, go for it!

My plastic shelving hasn't smelled at all. I clean it weekly and It's easy as you can remove the shelves without the wire beneath them, and then replace them.

 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yes we use recycle paper pellets in litter box then Oxbow Comfort in tank. Thanks for all the suggestions. Please keep them coming!
 

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What are you using the timothy hay for? Rats don't really need it in their diet.
 

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Hi Huly,

For bedding, I have used "Comfort" bedding (sorry, forgot the entire name)... but with the next cleaning (this Saturday), I'm going to try using Borris mats (from IKEA). People have said good things about them so I'd like to try.

I have fleece on my shelves and while it's comfy for their feet, I am not a sewer so the idea of cutting out a new piece each week is not practical, nor cost-efficient...thus these mats (which go for $1 here in the U.S.).

Not sure if you have an IKEA near you, but may be worth checking out. :)

Just thought I'd add my $0.02.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you so much! That sounds like a great idea as my sewing skills are nonexistent! LOL

I am going to the Super Pet Expo this weekend too so I am hoping to find some cool stuff for all the kids!
 

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Great job on your rats! OMG, that setup looks amazing. I give my rats hay as well, I'll hide their food in it, they like to play with it, and they do eat it some. I've heard it does no good but I'm sure it gives some vitamins/minerals and fiber and it can help grind down teeth. I find they like it, and I think they get some nutrition out of it, plus they like it and it smells good IMO.
 

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Also forgot to add: I finally got a Ferret Nation, it's wonderful but with only 2 girls, a Single Critter Nation will be fine, but rats are addictive and you might want a bigger cage to start so you have room if you want another. Martins cages are fine. *Wire does not cause bumblefoot* a dirty living area causes bumblefoot if a rat has an open cute. Wire can however like aggravate a cut but it really doesn't matter I think they prefer plastic though. Definitely get a Critter Nation, look on Craigslist. I've heard Green Mush is great for rats but it's pretty pricey. Do look into it though and maybe make a supplement with some of the ingredients. There's also something called Missing Link, it's mostly flax seed though. Or you could maybe make your own. Borris mats work well, just watch for chewers.

Rats love like Gerber baby puffs, but Happy Baby Puffs are fairly readily available and are organic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Awesome thank you so much for the info. I posted this is housing but I read an article from Feb 2015 that the All Living Things is made by and the exact same as Critter Nation. Is that true? The link and article is in housing section.
 

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Awesome thank you so much for the info. I posted this is housing but I read an article from Feb 2015 that the All Living Things is made by and the exact same as Critter Nation. Is that true? The link and article is in housing section.
The ALT cage is pretty new. The base of the cage is manufactured in China, but the powder coat/finish, add-ons such as ramps, latches, etc. could be different between distributors. I haven't seen one in person so I don't really know for sure how the fine details compare to Midwest's version.

Wire floors are not a sole cause bumblefoot, as someone mentioned. Bumblefoot is caused by bacteria - usually staphylococcus - entering the foot through a wound, sore, etc. Of course, if you keep your rat in a 1'x1' box with nothing but a dirty wire floor, they'll probably get bumblefoot, but if you provide them with a few different walking surfaces, perches, etc. and keep the cage clean it's highly unlikely to be an issue.

Of all the cages I had (and I had a lot, including a Ferret Nation) my favorite was my Martin's R-680 by a long shot. It was lightweight, sleek, well designed, and extremely durable. It looked new when I sold it after 3 years of constant use. It is 30 x 18 x 24, the perfect size for two, and it also fits in a standard bathtub for deep cleaning :)



http://www.martinscages.com/products/cages/rat/
 
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