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Discussion Starter #1
Hi there,

I have two boys and they tend to make big messes. I bought them one little box just to see what they would do and they have been sleeping in it. Is there anything I can do to encourage litter training? I tried picking up some poop and putting it in the litter box and it didn't see to change anything. They also keep peeing on their wooden shelves and sleeping in it. Yuck! Any advice would be much appreciated!
 

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You want to put litter boxes where they go. I don't like really small litter boxes myself. don't think of them like you would a cat box, they can be directly below a sleep hammock, a food dish, ect. I have 8 boys and they have 5 litter boxes and mostly they use them. Use some kind of litter for the boxes that you won't be using anywhere else. I use wood pellets in mine. Toss any stray poo into the boxes.

Rats naturally mark with urine, so 100% I don't think is possible with pee. Pee rocks can help a lot though. Just a smooth flat rock, about the size of the rat is what I use. I toss them in each litter box.

They may use the litter boxes for more than intended purposes, mine also use them as a dining room, play room and occasionally as the bedroom. :)
 

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Thanks for the advice! I'll try getting them a bigger little box. I think the one they have is too small. Maybe I'll buy two so they have options. The peeing is driving me nuts! They also keep peeing on each other and bicker occasionally but always end up snuggling together. Are any of your boys neutered? I have been struggling to find a vet that I am comfortable with neutering them here in Florida. Would the neutering help the marking at all?
 

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Rats mark it's how the communicate, so you probably won't get them to stop altogether. However neutered boys do mark less than unfixed. They will still mark each other to some extent. A pee rock will help as well.
 

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For me, I've noticed that the placement of their nests has a huge effect on where they use the bathroom. Both of my ratties were mostly litter trained until I started hanging their space pod from the top(3rd story) of their cage. Then they just stopped using the litter pan almost entirely, which was on the first level. After moving their pod back to the lower level, now they use their litter pan almost every time. They still tend to pee on their shelves, so I put cardboard and bedding there to absorb most of it, and every couple of days I'll do a quick 5-10min wipe on the shelves. I could see wood starting to smell quickly if it's not covered with anything. Have you considered cutting up some cheap lexan and putting it over the shelves?
 
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