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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just wanted to share with everyone that through patience, hard work, research, and somewhat clumsy campaigning on my part for owning rats (sending rat pictures daily), my boyfriend is finally on board with owning them! I'm so excited that I have no words haha. This will be our first pets together so it's great to be taking this new step. He admits that the rat pictures worked on him even though he could see through my intentions haha.

However before we do get them there's so much more research I'll need to be doing, because there are a lot of differences in food, toys and bedding here. No Aspen or lab blocks it seems. Also I'm still looking for Breeders in the area. My boyfriend and I are working on emails to send out to them. It's perfect because it gives me motivation to learn/use German and he's teaching me through writing these letters and reading all the information on German sites.

Common litters I find here are made out of plants, hemp and wood. The wood ones don't say what kind of wood which in turn I will not buy. The plant one doesn't say the type of plants it's made out of! and the hemp one I guess is just hemp, and seemingly the most attractive option, but is it okay for rats? The bedding here is catered to rabbits, degus, and hamsters too, really there's not much option for digging bedding unless I'm translating everything wrong.

So my question at the moment is if hemp material as litter be okay for rats?
 

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Aspen is actually pretty ok to use as long as it's not especially dusty. It's pine and cedar that you really need to worry about because of the phenols.

A lot of people here, including me, just use fleece for the cage floor. I use at least 2 layers with a few small fleece scraps on top, which seems to keep them from tearing up the nice big fleece sheets that I use to line the very bottom on the cage floor. they move the small scraps around and burrow under the second layer, but leave that first layer mostly alone. Then I just vacuum off the poops or shake it out outside, and wash and it's ready to reuse! I really like using fleece now more than litters, plus there are so many cute colors and patterns available :)

I also have a couple small litterboxes in the cage with aspen inside. They use it, but not 100% of the time.


Not sure about hemp material. I'm assuming it would be ok, but I've never seen or heard of a hemp bedding in the US where I live.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What I was saying was that there seems to be no Aspen here. :( The wood beddings here are all labelled "Holz" which is wood in German and no description what it actually is :(.

I plan on using fleece for the bedding by the way.
 

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Hemp is very good, though some brands arent as good as others. In the uk we have 3 main brands; Aubiose (excellent, low dust, nice and soft), Hemcore (can be a bit dodgy, added citronella and can get mouldy if damp), hutch hemp (sold in small bags but as nice as aubiose). Its one of my fave choices along with shredded card which i dont know how available it is on mainland europe but is probably the most loved substrate here in the UK.

In terms of food, check out www.ratrations.com, there's a distributor based in Europe and its sells excellent quality own brand mixes (based on shunamite principles) which are quite different to the rubbish you get in many pet shops
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Isamurat! I'll look into those brands and see what I can get here. I'll also look at the rat rations site.
 
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