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Discussion Starter #1
My Rats are Litterbox trained and one little rascal I noticed eats alot of litter. These are well fed happy rats, but this one is a a fattie and lives for things to eat.
I had been using a real pricey litter called Dust free fiber from healthy pet, but he really liked those little paper pellets and ate alot, and I was worried about intestinal blockage because the pellets swell up, so I just bought Cat Country at Petco, its made from Montana Wheatgrass, I filled the litterbox and put it in the cage and he acted like it was Christmas turkey, he started gobbleing everything in sight so I yanked that out, I don't know what to use, he even eats Carefresh!
We have a local litter called Good Mews, its like yesterdays news and I get the best results with this, he still eats some but not as much as the others.
Its really a mystery and I wonder if maybe I shouldn't use anything, just let them go in the box and wash it everyday.
I'm pretty sure its not an imbalance or anything this is just a Rat that likes to eat new tastes, any ideas?
Spider
 

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8O THAT is one story I've not heard (read) about before!!

Sorry I'm as useless as a shreded cardboard box. lol
 

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Thats funny.. I had to buy the girls bird litter today, because they eat the corn cob litter like its really food. It happens, sky! They had the bird litter before that they were trained by but but I decided to change to something else one day... bad idea, they were treating the corn cob like food putting their toys in it and not pooing, but eating it....

Good grief, I hope they retrain themselves to litter boxes.
I just think your rattie likes to chew/eat anything and anything else you try I bet he will eat that as well. I'm not sure, but I think rats are not known for getting blockages, anyway...
 

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Mine eat corncob litter, too, but I've never heard of a rat eating *all* of those types!

Good luck with the gobbler; hope you find a solution.

Have you tried aspen?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I tried Aspen once but its really a bedding and I don't want the Rats to get comfortable in the pan, just do their business and get out. The News litters work fine with all the others except this one , he's always in the pan scratching around looking for something, maybe if I threw some timothy grass in the cage it would satisfy what he's craving?
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The wheatgrass litter I can totally understand as they will just think its food. The same with the corn, and other wheat based litters.

As for the Yesterdays News have you watched him actually eat it? Or just him nibbling on it. If you leave the litter in for a day, do you witness him doing this behaviour for more than one day after it has been introduced into the litterbox?

If he is just taste testing it the first day you put it in, I wouldn't worry about it. If he is routinely eating it for consecutive days then yeah.... don't know what to tell you but I can see that being a problem. hahah
 

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Maybe you could shred torn paper beeding pretty small and sprinkle it in the tray then vinegar rinse it every day. Also Ive read rats dont like mint-maybe if you sprayed the pan with mint tea fatty might think twice about eating it!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I first noticed this at night, I heard this rustling scratching sound in the pan, I crept up and saw Chucky searching for something? find it and start munching, Then again. At first I thought he was eating poop as I heard Rats will do this, but its the pellets he's eating. Some look tastier than others and he keeps scratching, digging looking for whatever it is.
The Scents would probably work but I don't want to drive the others away from the box, if I sprayed mint or vinegar he probably won't eat it, but may not want to go near it at all.
The question is; if he's gonna eat it anyways should I use a safe substance like the wheatgrass pellets that won't expand like the Yesterdays news? he hasn't bloated yet and I feel around his abdomen for constriction butnothing.
One thing I do notice is he has a bad stomach lately. He has really smelly poops and he always pulls the towel away from the floor so he can lay with his stomach on the cool floor, his body sprawled out flat, it must be soothing. What can I give him for his digestion?
I'm sorry to ramble on and on but its a problem I can seem to get a handle on.
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i don't know if rats get blockages but i had a friend whose guinea pig died from eating yarn and it getting balled up in her intestines. i don't see any reason why a rat can't get a blockage, but paper i don't think would do it. does he continue to chew it for a long time after you introduce new litter, or does he just taste test it for a while, as lise suggested? that would let you know whether he is actually eating it, or just playing with something new. even in humans, sticking things in your mouth is actually a really good way to get a feel for something, as can be seen by babies (we get yelled at for this as we get older, but you get the point). :D
 

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If his poos are funny and he looks like hes got bellyache I sounds like he might be ingesting some of the bugs that usualy live in the gut-I did think maybe rats would smell if something wasnt right to eat but maybe not :)
 

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Spider said:
The question is; if he's gonna eat it anyways should I use a safe substance like the wheatgrass pellets that won't expand like the Yesterdays news?
No... I woudn't. That encourages him to eat that and not eat his nutritious balanced diet which is needed for him to be a healthy rat.

Here is an idea. What about just putting a piece of newspaper (if anyone you know gets the newspaper?) down in the litter box, then swapping out the newspaper a couple of times daily.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thats what I was thinking about laying down some unbleached paper towel and changing as need be. If they won't pick it up and run away with it.
Chucky is definately eating the litter not tasting it, I can hear him rummaging around all night in the box searching for a choice pellet, then I see him crunch and chew them up, its making him sick and I gotta do something drastic because the package says the litter swells up 20x soaks up moisture, It was working great with all the other rats using the litterbox and all but I have to remove it.
I bought a flat of growing wheatgrass today and they're running around my bed munching it, hopefully it will help his sour stomach.
I've been trying to think what is in the pellets he's craving, I think wild rats must nibble on alot of weeds and twigs or something, cause this is a well fed little fattie and he really went at those wheatgrass pellets like it was something hes missing, so maybe this fresh wheatgrass will satisfy him.
 
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