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So I have a bit of a dilemma. I'm going to start fostering rats sometime in the next week, but I'm honestly torn on what to use for bedding!

On the one hand, I'm tempted to use newspaper. All of the newspaper companies in town use vegetable based ink, so if I shred it up, it should be safe for ratties, right? It would be cheap, easy to find, and safe. However, it would be more time consuming when it came to cage cleaning time, I don't think it would do much for odor control, it really wouldn't look as nice, and I'm worried it would leave black marks on any pale coloured rats.

My other option is to use fleece. This would obviously be more expensive, but it would save me a lot of time when it comes to cage cleaning, would look MUCH nicer, and might help them be more adoptable if they were litter trained. HOWEVER, I don't really know if it's worth the effort to litter train every group of foster rats I get. :/

Anyway, what do you guys think? Do you prefer bedding, or fleece?
 

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I use fleece. but i have a SCN so it saves alot of time cleaning and it is less expensive because it lasts for a couple of months. but in your case it may be more cost affective. also the ink may bleed on lighter colour rats if they pee on it. ive never has newspaper but fleece doesnt go 4 days without smelling and rats sometimes pull it up. really its your call.
 

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I think that fleece is a better option than newspaper. Newspaper isn't going to do anything for odor and you really can't recycle it after it's been peed on (or I wouldn't at least). If you have a biglots in your area, they sell fleece throws for $3 each. It's enough material for me to double up and cover two ferret nation shelves or one bottom pan (I double it up because it prevents my rats from chewing holes for some odd reason). You can throw fleece into the laundry with some scent free detergent and it will last you forever if you don't end up with rats that like to chew. Even if you do end up with chewed up fleece, you can cut it into smaller pieces and keep using it for baskets and such.
 

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I prefer fleece by far. Walmart carries fleece blankets for $2.88 and I stock up lol.

I have used newspaper under aspen. I don't think I would ever use just newspaper by itself. Newspaper turns into a yucky mess so quickly it just isn't great on its own. Plus my rats would shred it to **** and then have nothing on the bottom of their cage lol
 

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I have 2 cages a DCN and Living World cage , I use fleece on my shelves and Kaytee clean and cozy for bedding , I just ordered some Oxbox bedding I want to try it , it arrived today so we shall see but it definitely cost a little more then the kaytee
 

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I used to use newspaper with hay on top for my rabbit's litter boxes for years. My family would save all their newspapers to give to me. It was free, so I used it. But it does NOTHING for odor control. I wonder if it even might make it worse. Once I switched to a pelleted litter, the difference was huge. I wouldn't go back to using just plain newspaper for any of my fuzzies.

I have 2 DCNs for my rattles. In both cages, the very bottom floor has a big plastic cement mixing tub that I got at either home depot or lowes. It fits without any modifications, but it fits much better if you saw off one lip to it. In those, I use a mix of kaytee clean and cozy, and shredded aspen with a layer of newspaper on the very bottom which makes it easier to clean and scoop out the litter on top. On the 2 small shelves, and the large upstairs floor, I cover in fleece, or old t-shirts from the thrift store for the smaller shelves. I have one aspen filled litterbox with a pee-rock on the very topmost shelf. Fleece doesn't get stinky too quickly which is nice. I will vacuum all the poops or kicked out aspen off the fleece, and then wash them in a washing machine. My rats do like to chew up the fleece a little, but I buy a few yards of fleece on sale at Joanne's pretty frequently, so I have plenty of back up in different sizes. for the large floor on the top unit, I cover completely in a large piece of fleece where I can tuck in the edges underneath. Then I put a few medium sized fleece pieces on top of that to completely cover the underneath layer. This seems to help stop them from trying to chew threw just one layer of fleece, and they seem to like moving these pieces around or burrowing underneath. Also helps with a little more absorbancy.

I hope this helps! In the long run, fleece is a little cheaper than buying disposable litter, but it is a little more work. I wouldn't worry about litterbox training them, they likely will just potty on the fleece anyway, even if they still use the litterbox like my guys do.
 
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