Rat Forum banner
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I still live at home, and my mom is starting to really get down on my three ratties and complain about them smelling so bad. Any suggestions on what I can do to decrease their smell? I personally don't think they smell too bad at all, but she seems to have taken an issue with the smell recently. I'm currently using Aspen bedding because paper bedding is too dusty for one of my ratties. I do a thorough cage cleaning (strip bedding, wipe down bars, clean and disinfect shelves) once a week. My cage has plastic shelves that I don't cover with anything like fleece or towels. I don't use any air fresheners or candles because I'm pretty sure my one rat has allergies and I don't want to make them worse. Any advice, suggestions, or thoughts on what I can do? I really don't want my mom to be down on my girls. It makes me feel bad!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,115 Posts
Not having fleece down is probably the biggest reason for the smell. Fleece absorbs urine (a big part of the smell). I guess some trays can actually trap the urine and stink if they are peed on. (Someone here told me that when I was considering a naked cage bottom.)

I'd try putting fleece down and maybe trying a litter box to keep their poops in one spot.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Okay, I will definitely try that. I just bought a DCN and am going to assemble it tonight or tomorrow morning probably and get fleece and towels down on the shelves and see if that helps. It's safe to use binder clips to hold the fleece down on the shelves, right?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,115 Posts
Binder clips are totally safe. I use them on mine. Try to do fleece, as their tiny toes can get stuck in towel material.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Could I do towels as the very bottom layer, covered with fleece completely over the towels so no towels are showing at all? I've heard fleece is good at keeping everything dry, but the towels are best at absorbing the pee.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
350 Posts
I would just add that your nose will be used to the smell and you will not notice it but it will be stronger for everyone else. Try closing the door and hanging outside in the fresh air for a little bit. Then as soon as you open the door take a deep breath through your nose and you might notice it more.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
908 Posts
1. The fleece will likely smell more than the aspen did... I had to get deep pans for my DCN for this reason and go back to aspen. Plan on changing out the towels/fleece often (as in, I was doing it every 3 days with 3 girls in a DCN).

2. Wipe down the shelves and cage sides more frequently (daily)

3. If you have them in your room and you have a window you can open, open it when you're at home to air out the room. This makes an unbelievable difference. I can tell a difference after having the window open for 10 -15 minutes.

Good luck! It is tough to fight the odor, frequency of cleaning / wiping things down really pays off in that regard, but that's about all you can do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,483 Posts
I use flannel inside my cage instead of fleece, but I do so because I live in Florida and it can get pretty hot almost the entire year round. Fleece is a little too warm for my ratties when it comes to cage liners.

Here's my weekly routine in order to make sure that everyting is not so smelly.
- Once a week I do a full clean. I clean everything in the cage, and I give my hairless rats a bath. I use dawn dish soap, and I usually do this on Thursdays.
- On either Sunday or Monday I vaccum the entire cage to get rid of crumbs that have been collecting, wipe down the tiles, and change out the litter boxes. If they are smelly, I will change out the little blankets I have for my ratties in their huts. V and Evy are hairless so I have those in there incase they get cold. I especially change out Evy's because she can't use her hind legs to get around anymore so she prefers to stay cuddled in her blanket most of the day. I also clean the water dishes.
- I clean the water dishes and replace water when needed. Usually this is once a day.
- All of my ratties are litter trained. I use litter boxes with grates on them to keep stray litter from escaping. Each litter box also has a pee stone in it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
863 Posts
In my experience, my rats never smelled worse than when I was using fleece. I now use Borris mats, which are a dream. Before that I was using newspaper which is also excellent for reducing odor.

I recommend litter box training them, the idea being that all their poops go into one place which can be easily cleaned.

Wiping down the cage bars with some warm water and vinegar will help a lot.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
171 Posts
I'm still struggling with finding ways to reduce odor myself but it was my experience that the cages stunk worse when they were lined with fleece. I still let them have one or two fleece blankets in case they get cold, but I found that fleece hangs on to urine and gets really smelly. Now I line the cages with plastic and absorbent pads in the lower levels, and wipe it down with Nature's Miracle when cleaning.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
994 Posts
Keeping the room they're in well ventilated will decrease smell alot. Keeping doors and windows open during the day when they are not freeranging. (Unless its cold outside, obviously)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
624 Posts
I've been using bath mats and honestly they work so well. They're soft and cozy and it's day 5 in and no sign of smell.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top