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I'm unfortunately losing my current employment position due to the economy and budget cuts, but on the positive flip side, I may be adopting two rats: two Long-Evans females, born 6/07 in the colony I supervise. I singled these girls out as "mascots" due to one, Jinx, having been born tailless (she looks like a ratamster), and her sib, Jazz, came along for the ride since I never house rats singly unless absolutely necessary. (And yes, I'm quite aware of the heat exchange difficulties for tailless rats--Jinx will be monitored closely with a eye to that in the summer.)

I have two indoor cats (geriatric boys showing their age), but I'm not concerned about hostility between the species. Likely, they'll either be apprehensive of our new rodent residents, or they'll think it's some fantastic new feline entertainment center. However, because of them, I want a cage that's off the floor and mobile, just in case a change of venue is needed. I also want a bottom pan that slides out for easy bedding/litter changes. This cage --Super Pet Multi-Floor Welcome Home--meets both of those requirements, but the bars are described as spaced at 1". Even though this would be considered too wide for young rats, I'm fairly certain the space shouldn't be a problem for Jinx and Jazz, since they've both achieved their adult size and weight. I'd like the community's thought's on my caging choice, however, in case there might be a hidden caveat or something untoward with this model that I've overlooked (in my admitted excitement).

I plan on using Swheat Scoop Small Animal Litter in the bottom tray, since this will provide very good odor control, and make for ease of even daily clean-up with its clumping action. Any feedback on this litter from others that have used or are using it would be appreciated. (Jinx and Jazz have been housed on a corn cob/cellulose fiber bedding blend, so the Swheat Scoop shouldn't be too large a transition for them.)

So, I'm soliciting feedback on my cage and litter choices, as well as recommendations for any top-notch rat hideaways, chew toys, and other fun items to put on the shopping list for the girls. They don't appear to be heavy chewers of their current enrichment items, but they did creatively shred a fuzzy pyramid hideaway I gave them once. And I do plan on continuing to provide them with a regular size Nylabone to exercise their ratty fangs.

Oh, diet? For the staple, Oxbow Regal Rat, of course; supplemented with all the recommended items from the diet list.

Many thanks in advance to all replies and recommendations --
--
D. K. Kraft
aka Ocelot
 

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The cage looks good. :) You'll have to be diligent with wiping down the shelves if you don't cover them, as they look like it'd be easier for pee to pool there--bumblefoot risk. Another thing is that even some full-grown females can get through the 1" bar spacing, so you'll have to test it with your girls, and possibly modify it. I know that all three of my girls--who are 7 1/2 months old--could easily fit through 1" bar spacing. The litter also looks good, though I've never heard of it. The only thing I'd worry about is it might be dusty. Don't know though.

Another thing that I'd be concerned about is the fact that you said you recently lost your job. Are you going to be able to have a vet fund set up for them?
 

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1 inch space will most likely not keep the girls inside. I have 1 inch & 3/4 inch cages... that 1/4 inch makes the difference in who can live in the cage & not one girl I have goes in there, including my biggest girl who is the average size of most male rats. My largest male DD is in a 1 inch bar spaced cage & he can get a fair amount of his face out & he is over 3 pounds. The reason the males can go in these wider spaced cages is because their skulls are twice as big as the girls.
 
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