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Hello everyone! My name is Lauren Elizabeth and I just wanted to stop here and introduce myself. You will probably be seeing a lot more of me around here, as I am sure I will have many questions. I am fairly new to rat ownership but am very excited to learn all that I can about these little creatures that have so quickly wiggled their way into my heart. I have ten rats, four boys and six girls. I love them to pieces! I just got them last week, two rescued from Craigslist, two rescued from a pet shop and the other six purchased from a local breeder that I have become pretty good friends with. ;)

I have yet to come up with names for all of my new additions - but I am sure that will come in time. I had purchased a Double Ferret Nation for them originally, but realized that the bar spacing was a tad too wide (a little late, huh)? So, I sold that cage and instead I have ordered a Double Critter Nation which I am eagerly (and impatiently) waiting on to arrive... :p

I am having the most difficulty setting up the cage for them, and being new to rats doesn't help. I usually order things for my other animals from Chelsey's Cozies but she is closed until the New Year due to being backed up on orders... of course. :( Does anyone know where I can order CN liners and cage sets for my rats? Also, any tips on setting yup an awesome cage for them? What do they like? I have attached a picture of their current set-up... so where do I go from here, now that I am getting a new cage? I want it to be perfect for them! What do you guys use for bedding and how do you keep it in? The paper bedding I have now is all over the place! :p

Cage Iron Animal shelter Pet supply Bird supply

Thank you for all of the help (in advance) and hello from sunny, warm South Florida!

Lauren Elizabeth
 

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Etsy is a great place for homemade cage liners for critter/ferret nations and hammocks. They sell lots of cute sets and lots of stores do custom patterns too :)
The best way to go with this cage (in my opinion) is fleece liners. I personally just buy cheap fleece blankets and cut them a bit bigger than the plastic pans, fold under and safety pin to secure the fleece at each corner, then use (4) large binder clips for the floor pans so they don't pull out the fleece not secure with safety pins, and one to keep the platform pan secure. You also need to litter train your rats if you use fleece.
People do use paper bedding all the time with the CN and just order bass pans or make pans themselves with corrugated plastic sheets + duct tape. I heard you have to paint the metal bass pans to waterproof them though, so they won't rust :/

Other than that, check the bird section in addition to the rodent section for ropes, ladders, and perches they can climb all over (you have a lot of wall space to work with!) lava ledges are also great! If you buy any hide boxes or space pods, go with the biggest ones! You will wish you did when your boys grow up ;) Oh, and Yogi's & yogurt drops are tempting to get, but you're really better off buying dog-training treats like Fruitables that are healthier and a better value because you can break them up so a bag will last you a long time. (Well, maybe not with 10 rats, lol)

Here's a photo of my setup right now to give you some ideas :)
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FYI The brick at the bottom is for their nails + I have an ongoing war with 2 of my rats that like to tear at/pull up the fleece back there. Some rats will just do this & you can't train it out of them, you can just cover with heavy things if it's an issue, I would be amazed if none of yours messed with it, they have a burrowing instinct and want to get under the fleece I think. Though I would rather have this problem then deal with messy bedding, lol. I used Carefresh in my old cage and I hated it :p (That's just me though)
 
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