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Hello, I am looking at an alternative bedding for my rats cage. Currently I've gone between the paper pellets and the shredded paper but I've noticed with both that they're fairly dusty and that my rats kick a bunch of it out of the cage (along with the occasional poo) onto the floor.

I see a lot of people talking about using fleece liners but how do you secure them in the cage? I have the double critter nation cage and I can't figure out a way that I would be able to attack them to the four pans properly. Do most people just line the floors and let their rats run underneath or is there something being used to hook it to the edges? Are there any other good materials that would work and are easily washable and cleaned?

For those that own an extra large cage, do you line every floor with bedding or are some of your floors just the plastic pan/bottom?
 

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When it comes to securing the fleece down, I just cut it long enough so the edges go under the pans which then holds it in place when I put the pan in the cage. It's easiest to just use binder clips, though, I would imagine.
 

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I don't use binder clips because my rats chew tons of giant holes into the fleece just to get under it so i had to spend another $30 just to get more fleece. Also if they want to go under i just let them because they are having fun. And I put fleece on every level because they pee everywhere and it gets gross.
 

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I did use binder clips and did a layer of uhaul moving pad underneath the fleece to absorb urine. That said, I was never happy with odor results and had to change the whole set of fleece every 3 days to keep smell down. I ended up buying bass metal pans and now use aspen bedding.. The DCN can now go a week without any odor issues. I ended up taking my half levels out due to chewing of the plastic pans, but when I had them in, I did the same method as the base.. uhaul pad with fleece on top with small binder clips to hold it.

Whenever I used fleece, I had issues with chewing. You may have more success not using clips, but using a liner that is like a pillow case that wraps the levels / bases. I would not leave the shelves just plastic because they will pee on it and it will dry and stink... Maybe if you had a spare set so you could wash them and swap out daily it might work.
 

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I have a single critter nation. And I use old bath towels all you have to do is shake the poo off and then wash them. I suggest using that instead of fleece because when I attempted to use fleece it stunk up my room. It doesn't soak up the pee as well. Maybe it was different for others but that is my experience with that . :) Also, a tip for potty training. The rats love to pee on rocks so if put a few rocks in boiling water for a little while to sanitize them. Then put them In different corners of the cage and see which one the rat pees on the most. Put a litter box there/ leave the rock. If you put a litter box there just keep the rock in it and they should go to the bathroom there. I heard about this from someone else here on rat forum and am going to try it hopefully tomorrow ! I know that was slightly off topic but that should help with the poo part of the problem. And then the part where your rats push all of the bedding out of there cage.. Well just simply use old towels. This has worked VERY well with my ratties. :)
 

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Yeah, we tried fleece, but they love to chew and burrow. We didn't get around to padding it with liners. An IKEA opened up nearby, and people praised the Borris doormats, so I went that route. Is there something better? I'm sure. Did the Borris mats work for us? Absolutely. And for only $1 a mat, I can have two sets for only $12.

If you don't have an IKEA, then this doesn't work for you. From what I read, shipping costs more than the mats themselves.
 
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