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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought my rats litter box pellets tonight and as soon as I put them in new little litter boxes they dived into it like it was a treat and started to eat it. I want to make sure it won't cause then harm before I put it back in their cage.

Brand: All Living Things
Fragrance Free Premium Rabbit Litter

Ingredients: Recycled paper, zeolite & baking soda

Additional info from the package: 95% post consumer recycled paper. 99.8% dust free.

It says also: while this litter is non toxic, you should seek immediate vet care if your pet consumes large quantities of litter or if there is a change in food or water consumption.

Should I observe them and see if they're just checking it out?
 

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Do you have a grate for your litter boxes? I wouldn't really think it was a good idea for them to eat it... The warning there is a little vague as well. How much is a "large quantity" when compared to a rat? I would definitely watch them and see if they stop eating it. They may just be exploring it and eating it for now and then it may lose its luster before too long and they may stop caring about it... I just remember the one time I gave Dela a starch packing peanut to play with. The first thing she did was sit her butt down and eat the entire thing. Even though it wasn't bad for her, I still didn't want her to just chow down on a bunch of them. So, I guess just watch them carefully and judge what to do from there. I would definitely call your vet if they have a change in eating and drinking habits though, as the warning suggests. :3
 

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When I put in Yesterday's News into the litter boxes, all 4 of my girls hopped in and picked up pieces to chew... after about 30 minutes of picking and tasting and dropping, they decided "this is not food." Left them alone since.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I don't have grates sadly. They don't sell them for litter boxes this tiny :(. I have a litter box on each floor as of right now (so 3 of them) but I never had anything in them until now so maybe that's why? I even put their poop on the top of the litter to show them it's for pooping and not eating. Maybe I'll put one litter box with it in it now and if that goes okay then I'll add another and another until they're all filled with the litter I just got.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Grrrr. I put even just one litterbox and they keep shredding the pellets. I just went back to their old set up. But I do find that it does get stinky. What can I use to freshen it up a little without using pellets or bedding or paper?
 

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I mixed baking soda into my litter and in newspaper under fleece liners. That helped a lot.
 

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When I laid down the clay pellets from Kaytee, I was alarmed at first at how the rats would take to chewing the pellets. I guess they just wanted to know what it is. Almost anything new I introduce gets chewed on in some fashion. My rats do most of their initial exploration via teeth.

They don't chew on the pellets now.

I've been worried about what they chew, but after reading a bit about how they gnaw, I'm a little less worried. This site talks about how "rats fill the space with the insides of their cheeks while they are gnawing so nonedible items fall out of their mouths before reaching the molars." So while they may be chewing on the litter box pellets, I suspect that they aren't really eating it. Maybe they swallowed a little to see what it's like, but since it doesn't smell like food, they probably just chew on it to figure out what it is and let the fragments fall out of their mouth. Of course, if they gnaw on something that causes harmful particulates to float around to cause URIs, then that can be a problem (see also, dangers of cedar and pine).

I'm no expert, but it does seem that most animals are expert at what will kill them. That's not to say they're perfect. We know the chemical compositions of some these items, so it behooves us and the rats to keep them from chewing on anything dangerous that could get into their nasal passages. I'm not seeing that with the Kaytee Critter Litter pellets I have, but I'm willing to listen to any cautionary tales.
 
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