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Discussion Starter #1
So today I finally went out and got some fleece to switch to fleece bedding so I can save money and just wash them instead of throwing the paper bedding away and replacing it. Well anyways since I put it into the cage my rat is acting strange. He seems to avoid it by either climbing up his cage or going into the hammock. He'll even take his food into the hammock to avoid walking on the fleece. I thought fleece is really safe for rats and yes its 100% fleece. Is it possible he allergic to it and it bothers his feet? Or is he just not use to it? I would hate to have switch back to paper I hate that paper bedding.

Thanks!
 

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You could try cotton cloth or old t shirts, maybe? My guy's paper bedding was dusty and made him sneeze so i switched to just using paper scraps/ paper towels. I'm not an expert though
 

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I don't really have old t shirts since I don't have a lot of clothes to begin with. I guess I can try cotton but I've heard horror stories that if they chew on the cotton they can choke or something.
 

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The rat probably just needs time to get used to the fleece. Rats are always a little confused about strange things in their environment, especially if they have been used to a certain bedding before that point. I think that your rat just needs some time adjusting. You can give your rat positive associations with the fleece by feeding him yummy things there and only there (unless he is so uncomfortable that he will not even take treats on the fleece).
 

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I think PawsandClaws is on point. I clean my cage every 3 days and every third cleaning I fill the bottom pan with shredded paper for them to root through and play in. (See rat MMA arena) When I began doing this my gents had never been exposed to shredded paper and for the first few days they acted like it was lava. It was actually quite amusing to see them avoiding it so intently. After a day or so I lured them down with some Yogies and now all is well.
 

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I had a female rat do something very similar. She had been kept on fleece liners but when I upgraded to a DCN I had to make new liners out of new fleece. She tried her best to avoid the new fleece by going between hammocks and jumping quickly between levels. The other girls didn't have a problem with it. After a couple more washes she started staying on it longer and one day after a wash she actually started rubbing herself on it. Like all over every liner. Then nothing. She didn't care anymore. I think fleece, especially newer fleece, feels weird to some rats. The boy I just got who never felt fleece from my understanding flattened himself out and would slide along it too. But he's stopped that now too. I would say give it time.

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