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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all.
I have a bird mateing cage for my two beautiful female ratties. it is about 3 feet long, two feet wide, and two feet tall and it has a removeable bottom tray. My main consern is that it has a grated bottom. What I wanted to know is should I leave the grated bottom alone or put something there? If I keep it open any ideas of what bedding to use so that the rats are most comefortable with it and get no breathing problems from it? Also i was just wondering if it would just be better to get an Aquarium stile home for them. Thank you so much.
--Ilikecheese
 

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I'd stay away from aquariums, just way too much hassle there.

I strongly reccomend any kind of paper pulp(I use Carefresh and CritterCare) for bedding and you shopuold just cut out that bottom altogether. One of my gilrs had developed a small case of bumblefoot(which is a very painful sore caused by walking on wire floors all the time), it was small but she just seemed in a lot of pain so I got rid of all wire floors and replaced them with ropes and hammocks and tubes and whatnot.

I think they enjoy that way more, anyways.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
What is all the Hassle with Aquariums? And if i do cut out the wire at the bottom of my cage, will my ratties be hurt by the places where I cut it out?
And also about Hammocks, when i put one up, my rats just chew off the ropes, thus taking it down. Any Suggestions there?
 

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Part of the hassle with aquariums is ventalation. there isn't much air movement in there so you'll have a bigger ammonia prob. plus cages that are tall are better as u can put up more stuff like hammocks, ropes, ladders etc.
i'd say don't cut out the bottom, just put something down(maybe linoleum) and cover it in bedding. CareFresh and CritterCare are supposed to be good. aspen shaving are also good, but stay away from cedar and pine as the oils on them can cause respiritory infections. If u have access to alot of carboard u can cut it up and that'll work good to.

Not sure about your hammock prob. hope this helps!
 

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Rats produce large amounts of ammonia(which is what you smell with a dirty cage). This will gether on the sides of the tank and seeing as there is very little ventilation, their fresh air supply will be limited.

to solve this problem, you CAN clean it more often. But that is the hassle, not many owners think it's worth the time so they just go with a wire cage.

As for the hammock problem, I've heard of people reccomend this solution caled 'Bitter Apple', it will be sold in or around the ferret area. It's designed to keep ferrets from chewing but will work with rats, it just leaves them with a harmless but very unpleasant taste. You could find that and spray any problem chewing area.

Good luck!
 

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HENRY said:
The glass cage are a big pain. Have done everything to the smell? Help
Well, the best thing to do would be to switch to a wire cage, but if that's not an option you can clean the sides of the cage with a vinegar/water/lemon juice solution
 

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another option (if you're considering the aquarim for the draft benifits would be to use a medium sized (miniuim for one rat, larger for more rats) dog crate carrier. you can use ropes and pant leg pieces to make hammocks and a bit of ingenuity and perhaps a drill for other toys. the mostly solid sides will reduce draft but the wire front the the ventilation holes on the side will provide adequate ventilation. most kennels come in two pieces that can be separated for easy cleaning as well.
 

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you can cover the wire grate on the bottom with stick down lino or fabric to protect those feet. Bumblefoot is caused by dirty surfaces and obesity...so wires are fine as long as they are a suitable spacing so your rat doesn't get his foot caught and injure themselves.
 

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your cage sounds okay, but as lilspaz said, i'd reccomend covering the wire flooring with lino or something of a similar nature.
 
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