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I have 4 boys who refuse to be litter boxed trained. I've tried everything that I've googled, does any one have advice ? I have to clean the cage every day sometimes 2x. My roommate has complained about their Oder so I really want to litter train them. Think an air purifier will help with the smell? Doing research and have mixed reviews . Also is an exercise wheel needed ? I have one but they never used it so I took it out .
Last question, my boys play fight a lot and sometims I have to break it up. They all love each other and sleep with each other but there is a strong dominant order. There has never been a major injury but small scratches that heal up fine, it just worries me ( mostly with my hairles ) Thank you for any advise you can give, just want to do right for my babies.
 

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I think you may be having odor issues because you've got so much of the plastic pans exposed. Because that plastic is textured rather than completely smooth, urine gets trapped and you're left with residual urine odor. I was struggling with my girls for a long time with potty training and I finally gave up and just made a more odor resistant environment for them. http://www.ratforum.com/showthread.php?259386-New-cage-layout-for-the-girls-DFN There's still fleece on one shelf and in all the baskets, but a few pieces are easier to change than having all fleece. The aspen in the bins lasts 2 weeks if you find where they're pooping in it and remove as much as you can. I also use an air purifier and OdoBan odor absorbing gels which seem to make a decent improvement. The air fresheners are not really strong scented, so it won't harm your rats.

The scuffles you're describing sound pretty normal for boys. Unfortunately, hairless rats don't have the fuzz to protect them from things that would normally just glance off the fur. My hairless boy looked pretty similar once my boys hit the 6 month hormone mark. If things get too horrible, you could always consider neutering.
 

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I completely agree with kksrats. The plastic pans are looking bare and that will definitely cause odor problems and they may get confused and just pee/poo everywhere. (I have 6 boys and they pee everywhere, so it's a REALLY good idea to lay something down on all panels, such as fleece/with towel liners. -Urine odor can lead to URI symptoms.) Right now, I'm personally experimenting with bath mats for all in one liners.

I'm planning on not neutering my boys, though.. (It's honestly going to be my last option, the procedure is so costly here.), like kksrats said.. play fighting is normal. Your little men have to establish that hierarchy. But if it's only little scuffles here and there, I honestly wouldn't worry about it.

Maybe look at the immersion thread that Rat Daddy made. I personally recommend it. You don't have to be as intense as he is, if you don't feel comfortable. But act like the rat parent. Be the alpha, when you think theyr'e playing too rough.. step in and make them stop. (By saying NO! Sternly, clapping your hands.. physically separating.) Most rats will get the picture.

I've never had a hairless rattie (Even though they look super adorable/unique looking..) But maybe try to start trimming their nails or putting a lava ledge in the cage to try to dull their little claws. Maybe that'll help?! Good luck! ^_^
 
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