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So I am wanting to build a cage for thee rats that I will be getting eventually. So the problem I am running into is, how to make the shelves at least semi water proof so they are easier to clean. Also is plywood safe to use or would people recommend something like pine? I will only be doing sides, shelves and a bottom storage area, as the back in going to be hardware mesh to have more ventilation. Any input is helpful, I've heard Minwax is pet safe but not sure also I live in Ontario so it has to be something I can get access to.
 

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You can paint with non toxic waterproof paint.
I have a huge converted parrot cage as we don't have much on offer in terms of cages here in New Zealand. For my shelving I used shower board. Completely waterproof it's much more pricier but it lasts forever. I have a mate who build a cage out of it and it's still going strong after 10 years. It's also really strong.
 

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You could also cover/ make your shelves out of coroplast, which is waterproof. I wouldn't personally want to make a cage out of wood at all because of the tendency of it to get chewed to pieces around my cage. But your future rats may have no interest in wood :)
 
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