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I'm trying to litter train my three male rats and it's not working too well at the moment. They keep pooping and peeing everywhere even though I pick up everything and put it in the litter pan and have a pee rock in there as well. I'm pretty sure the litter bedding and living bedding are just too similar and they can't tell them apart. So my question is this: What's the best litter to use for litter training? I've seen that a lot of people use Yesterday's News. What qualities do good litters have? Is there anything that I should stay away from? And if you have any tips for successful litter training, I would love to hear them!

Thank you!
 

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Rex, Penny, Sugar, Latte
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She makes really good points in this video:
 

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I use a litter box and litter with my two younger girls.
When I was training them, I would put some of their poop into the litter. It's worked fairly well with them.
They don't hit the litter box 100% of the time, but even 75% is good. It's not so much about keeping all the poop in the litter, just keeping as much as possible in one general area.

My older girl (who's been with me about 5 weeks) has no clue - she goes in and scatters the litter all over the place and then poops somewhere else in the cage. Although, she does tend to go in the same general area (yes, I tried moving the litter box there - same result).
However, I believe she's 1.5 - 2 years old and I know very little about her past - so I don't know if she'll ever "get it".
 

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What litter and bedding are you currently using? I use paper pellet litter in the boxes and it's fine. Yesterday's News is one option but there are many brands. I've never personally used YN because there are cheaper options that aren't made from sawdust like So Phresh and Exquisicat.

Depending on your rats, you'll have varying degrees of success with litter training. I've had some rats that have been really good about it and others that were just terrible. In all, most of the boys I've had used the litter boxes only mostly. Not a day has gone by that I haven't needed to spot clean. I swap out the hammocks every few days to wash the pee out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
What litter and bedding are you currently using? I use paper pellet litter in the boxes and it's fine. Yesterday's News is one option but there are many brands. I've never personally used YN because there are cheaper options that aren't made from sawdust like So Phresh and Exquisicat.
I'm using CareFresh Small Pet Bedding for their general bedding and CareFresh Complete in their litter pan. It's basically the same thing, just different colors and for some reason I thought that would be enough 😅
 

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I'd avoid clay litter because of the dust and fragrances.

There's a bit of a myth about baking soda in some forums and on some youtube channels.

There's nothing unsafe about baking soda in a bedding or litter unless there's so much of it that it becomes dusty. Baking soda is only dangerous for rats if they consume it in large quantities all at once. In small amounts, there's absolutely nothing toxic about baking soda. The AFRMA even suggests a recipe for a [homemade "pedialyte"] made with baking soda. For the baking soda in a pellet litter to be unsafe, your rats would basically need to eat the entire bag. That much paper would harm them long before the baking soda was ever an issue.

I prefer the odor/ammonia control that baking soda provides within the pellets over the sawdust in Yesterday's News.
 

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The effects of baking soda are cumulative which means it builds up after time no mater what small quantities are used. This is especially true if it is inhaled.
 

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The effects of baking soda are cumulative which means it builds up after time
I'd love to read more about this. From my understanding, the concern with baking soda is based around the fact that rats can't burp. Baking soda can react with stomach acids to create gas. If consumed in large amounts, the gas build-up can cause the stomach to rupture, leading to death. Normal, small amounts of gas can be expelled in the opposite direction, though, in the form of farts. I think we're all aware that rats can absolutely expel gas this way :)
 

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I use back2nature pellets for the litter tray and aubiose loose hemp for the pan, fleece for the shelves and beds and hammocks
just keep at it it took my boys almost 9 months now they mostly use the pan. If they keep going in a certain place move stuff around so the pan is there instead, I have a box on the upper and lower sections of the cage so there is 2 litter pans as I think they were too lazy to climb all the way to the ground floor to poop every time
 

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I use fleece for their general bedding, but have been very successful using two different litter boxes. One is a plastic shoe storage bin filled with Carefresh and the other is a corner potty filled with Kaytee Critter Litter. The corner potty has a grate guard thingy on top of it so they don't come into contact with the clay litter directly. They do about 90% of their poops in those two containers and I didn't have to do any kind of training. They seem to naturally want to go in the Carefresh bin and I put the corner potty in a secondary area (under the ramp) because they were doing poops under there. Hope this helps.
 

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I'd avoid clay litter because of the dust and fragrances.

There's a bit of a myth about baking soda in some forums and on some youtube channels.

There's nothing unsafe about baking soda in a bedding or litter unless there's so much of it that it becomes dusty. Baking soda is only dangerous for rats if they consume it in large quantities all at once. In small amounts, there's absolutely nothing toxic about baking soda. The AFRMA even suggests a recipe for a [homemade "pedialyte"] made with baking soda. For the baking soda in a pellet litter to be unsafe, your rats would basically need to eat the entire bag. That much paper would harm them long before the baking soda was ever an issue.

I prefer the odor/ammonia control that baking soda provides within the pellets over the sawdust in Yesterday's News.
Thank you! I often see warnings about baking soda on lists and upon reading the actual study it seemed very much as you suggested. I've been using Marshall ferret litter to keep down the ammonia and it definitely helps over the stuff I've tried that had nothing additional. There was a Petco generic for carefresh that I used for a bit but the pellets seem to be much better for me. Now that said, I have two new beans who keep deciding to move their preferred bathroom space. When I just had old boys I had maybe 85% of poops in the litterboxes. New boys have dropped that to perhaps 50%.
 
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