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Discussion Starter #1
The past few months my rats have gotten into a horrible habit of destroying all the fleece that I put into their cage. It doesn't even matter how many binder clips I use to hold it down, give them 30 minutes and they've yanked/chewed it all up and all of them are hiding underneath the fleece. Sometimes they yank up the fleece so forecefully that the binder clip gets pulled up off the pan along with it. I have no idea how they are strong enough to do this, but they are. It's getting so bad that I don't even want to use fleece anymore! I give them lots of stuff to hide under, and they also like hammocks and such (which they also chew to pieces - but oh well). I see other people talking about cleaning the cage once a week, and I do clean mine once a week but I have to swap out the fleece every 2-3 day because they have destroyed it so much and peed all over it and it's just gross -__- The only good thing is that it makes me use up the fleece for a long time before buying new stuff since I know that they will just obliterate any new fleece I use anyway. So their cages are always covered in ripped up and hole filled fleece that gets torn up on all the corners and sides lol

Any suggestions or should I just accept that my cage will never look nice. It is a DCN by the way. Its always my older rats that are the destructive ones, the babies leave the fleece down more or less.
 

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I would get some rocks, or bricks (The rock should be about brick size) that your rats can't move and put them in every single corner. Also maybe put another loose layer of fleece on top of the fleece that is clipped to the cage. They might burrow under that, and leave the bottom layer alone. You could also maybe put plastic lids under the rocks, as your rats may pee on them. (My rats love peeing on rocks) That might help with the peeing all over the fleece. But if you have male rats, you will probably just have to accept the fact that males pee EVERYWHERE.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Haha, thanks! They are all female but they still pee everywhere. The babies are so good about using the litter box but the adults have just gotten lazy or something and don't do so well with it any more. I'll look for some bricks or rocks, that sounds good!
 

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be careful with binder clips snapping off, it clipped my babies skin one time...Ive never heard a rat scream in pain so loud.... :( I sat there holding him for what seems like ever crying.
 

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My females do the same exact thing. I find myself cleaning the cage and replacing the fleece twice a week. With my leftover fleece i'll make braids for them to chew that hang from the bars, and I give them lots and lots of sticks to chew. I'm still finding they chew the fleece (And they chew the pan) but i'm replacing my pan witha stainless steel one so hopefully that will get them to stop chewing the fleece and pan all together.
 

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Try not necessarily being strict about the liner staying down all the way. My girls chewed one set up their liner, and when I switched to the non chewed set at the end of the week, I left a corner untucked and not clipped. They of course go underneath and sleep/poop/pee whatever but they haven't tried chewing it at all. Seems all they wanted was to sleep under so I let them and just check and pull poop out as much as possible to keep the smell down
 

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Our rats don't like fleece either and I gave up on it. It's easier and less expensive to wipe down the shelf than to deal with fleece, and they prefer sleeping on the bare shelf.
 

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Try giving them a deep box full of something to dig in. Maybe if they have some place else to burrow they'll leave the fleece alone?
 

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My new boy Adonis and his brother Einstein have taken to yanking up the fleece. Today I changed it after buying new stuff as they chewed yp all the old. I punched 6 holes into the corners on 2 sides (3 each side) and tied it down using pipe cleaners cu into 3 pieces. I tied it to the bars underneath the pans. Th other 2 sides I tucked under like normal and set the litter boxes on top of those corners as well as food dishes. You can also make sleaves for your pans like a pillow case. That way you just tuck one side. Even the L cut pan can be put in the "pillowcase"
 

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One of my boys is a bugger for this in the corners of the shelves. I have litter trays on the shelves so I took to using something a bit heavier than the usual plastic corner trays-I use glass oven dishes now- too heavy for him to move so he's given up!
 

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I'm just as lost on this as you are.

My old ladies are so neat and tidy; They don't mess with the fleece, they leave the litter in the pan, and they don't move anything around. The young ones are a nightmare though and they're constantly chewing the fleece and burrowing under it. I have to admit, they do look extremely cute when they're destroying everything.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
It's great to know I'm not the only one with rats who like to make their cage look like it just went through a tornado! I always see pictures and videos of people's amazing cages right after cleaning and I wish my girls could keep their cages looking nice like that for at least a few hours!

I'm going to incorporate all of your suggestions and see if it helps lessen the destruction and then I'll report back to everyone with the results!
 

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I don't know how handy you are you at sewing with a machine but often doing a quilting pattern on top of the liners discourages chewing. Another thing that works for me personally is heavyset objects in corners. I find that my boys only chew the liners when they decide it is way past cleaning time and they need to be changed. For example, I usually put out clean liners on day 5-7 but if it is day 7 on a particularly smelly week, they will start nibbling at the liners. Maybe there is a pattern to your chewers too? Definitely let us know what works (if anything). I know some people got so frustrated with the chewing that they eventually switched to loose bedding instead. Don't blame them.
 

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I have one girl in particular who's really bad about chewing up my liners and she starts doing it as soon as I put them down. One thing I decided to try is to buy some cheap 12x12 ceramic tiles and putting those down in the corners. I only put them on the bottom floor and middle floor...the two large floors of the DCN. I didn't put any on the shelves. It makes it sorta like they have real flooring in their cage. I put the fleece down first and then just put the tiles over it. Then on the tiled parts, I put plenty of cozy things for them to cuddle so it wouldn't seem cold. They sleep on the upper shelf anyway and rarely spend time on the lower floor except to tear up the fleece.

I got the tiles for $.57 each at Home Depot. I just asked them for the cheapest ones they had.

So I've only had them down for a few days but so far they seem to be working.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Cool! I was planning on picking up some tiles or bricks today or tomorrow. The rats generally leave the fleece in the two smaller half-sized shelves, but as soon as I set them down in a newly cleaned cage they start pulling up the fleece on every side and corner they can get to.

I'm not too good at using a sewing machine, haha, but I can do simple things like sew two pieces of fabric together at an edge. I've been thinking about making some reversible sleeve type liners so that they can't pull up the sides. In just worried that they will chew these badly too and I will end up wasting twice the amount of fleece as I usually do.

Since I've introduced my group and had them all together in the same half of the cage the destruction has appeared to be lessened a bit. I'm not sure why, except that maybe they are all distracted by getting to know each other and don't have as much time to destroy things. Tonight is cleaning night and honestly the cage didn't look too terrible when I left this morning.

I hope the babies somehow teach the older girls to not destroy the cage as much, and I really hope the older girls DON'T teach the babies their destructive ways.
 
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