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Hello,

I have a question about floor covers for rat cages. I've seen a lot of youtube videos and they seem to use fleece blanket things to cover the cage floor area. I am wondering, if I just use fleece blankets would this be suffice to protect their little feet from the metal cage bars, or do you usually have to put some carpet on top of the bars first or something?
 

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if you can its better to remove any wire mesh floors in the cage, not so much to prevent bumble foot, as that's one of the myths that float around, but because rats prefer to sit on a solid or substrate covered floor, and mesh flooring gets whiffy easily.

Instead you could use a nice layer of substrate on the floor, this gives the rats something to dig and forage in but also is better for absorption than fleece. For any shelves that are mesh, I would take them out and get some cheap rectangular cat litter trays, with holes in each corner and some wire or keyring clips you can make hanging shelves that can be moved around and hold a thin layer of litter. Not only is this nice for them to sit, walk and play on, it also helps massively with litter training and keeping them smelling nice
 

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If you can't get find litter trays, cover the wires on the floor with cardboard - athough you will need to change it every time you do the bedding as it will get dirty, then just add whatever you think of using as bedding on top (personally I use wood shavings that have the dust removed as thats what they were bred on, so why change it, right?)

I've had wood shelves until recently as a substitute for mesh ones - but they only are good until you can no longer wash out the urine. Now I've got the one plastic one the cage came with and a bunch of hammocks and a hut with a flat roof :)
 

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Fleece looks pretty and they seem to like it. But it does get smelly fast (as in, less than two days... I may be washing them too much and causing my boys to over mark everything though.) They also chew them. But it does look pretty. Personally, I might try deep pans with some sort of bedding other than fleece if I can't learn to manage the smell, since I'm sure by the time it bothers me it is bothering my ratties as well.

I used to put towels under the fleece but not anymore. Then again I have plastic pans anyway. If I had bars there, as you do, I would definitely put something under the fleece. Pans of some sort, ideally, if you can find some that fit.
 

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Addition to the shelves comment: for my shelves I found this sheeting at a big box hardware store, the best way to describe it is corrugated plastic. It's rigid and comes in a big sheet, a few feet each way. I cut it with a box cutter and then cut slits at the ends to attatch to the cage with zip ties. It can be cut to any size, any shape, it's really perfect! And pretty cheap, too!
 

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so...am i suppose to not use fleece on the bottom then? i have the wire covered (for the most part) and a potty spot in the corner. i did witness one pee in an uncovered part of the wire bottom. the rescue told me that i can train them by sweeping up the poo and putting it into the potty box itself. so should i take out the bottom?? there IS a pan, but its not deep. not like a tub.
 

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I would remove the wire bottom altogether, either way. You can use fleece on the pan but it will need to be changed out every few days or else it will smell.
They can be litter box trained, but only for poo- they will still pee wherever.
Perhaps you can cover the sides of the cage near the bottom somehow, to make up for the shallow pan? So they won't be kicking bedding everywhere? Like as a guard attatched to the cage.
 
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