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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Firstly, I'm sorry for blowing up the forums.

I am getting a list together of what I need to go buy and want to make sure I didn't forget anything -
  • cage
  • bedding
  • fleece
  • coroplast
  • formula
  • lab blocks
  • nursery water
  • paint brushes
  • food/water dishes (x4)
  • small bin
  • heating pad
  • pedialyte
  • Rats!
I will be hand-raising so that's why there are a few odd things on there. I will also be making the cage accessories so keep that in mind. Please let me know if I missed anything or if this looks like a solid list!
 

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Q tips for potty ing and toys (you'll see toy playing before their eyes even open!). I'd also get a water bottle and a wheel for free range because you'll have to train them to use both if you ever want them to.
 

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What is the fleece for? If you are making either hammocks or liners, you need an additional fabric to go over the top. Some people opt to do double fleece but most, including myself, do fleece/flannel or fleece/cotton for hammocks. For liners I personally do fleece/u-haul furniture pad. If you are just buying fleece to put in their cage for warmth then you won't need any of the additional stuff I mentioned. A water bottle sounds and q tips sound like a good idea. Might want to add fragrance free baby wipes to the list too which have a lot of utility and can be used to gently clean the fur. List looks pretty solid otherwise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have an infant so we have baby wipes and we have q tips. I'm not too concerned with them using a wheel or bottle, would that be something necessary? I've also been stocking up on toys from ropes to balls with bells and baby toys my daughter no longer uses.

Why can't fleece be used? Most people make cage liners and hammocks from it, even here.
 

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Fleece can be used, I was just saying that most people use fleece and either cotton or flannel - not on its own. So if you are planning on sewing hammocks yourself out of the fleece, you might want to add cotton or flannel to the list. You want to teach them to use the bottle eventually because water dishes can harbor bacteria like no other. Many rats have a tendency to scent mark or even poop on everything in their cage so that can also create a problem with nasty bacteria build up. It is also extremely difficult to judge if they are drinking enough whereas a bottle lets you see the level of water going down as they use it.
 

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Fleece can be used, I was just saying that most people use fleece and either cotton or flannel - not on its own. So if you are planning on sewing hammocks yourself out of the fleece, you might want to add cotton or flannel to the list. You want to teach them to use the bottle eventually because water dishes can harbor bacteria like no other. Many rats have a tendency to scent mark or even poop on everything in their cage so that can also create a problem with nasty bacteria build up. It is also extremely difficult to judge if they are drinking enough whereas a bottle lets you see the level of water going down as they use it.
Your list is great. A drinking water bottle/s is essential. Litter box with litter bedding (don't use the same as your cage bedding). Wooden chew toys. Tissue boxes for nesting/hiding spots. Hammocks/igloos. Ropes/ladders for the cage, rats love climbing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I already ordered the dishes but I'll pick up a bottle, too. They can't even be used when they're cleaned once a day? I don't let my animals water sit there and get stagnant just refilling it I rinse and rub the dishes with my hand or a clean rag daily before refilling them.
 

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I already ordered the dishes but I'll pick up a bottle, too. They can't even be used when they're cleaned once a day? I don't let my animals water sit there and get stagnant just refilling it I rinse and rub the dishes with my hand or a clean rag daily before refilling them.
A bottle is allot more hygienic than bowls for water. Guaranteed they will most likely pee in the bowls..
 

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I have two bottles and a water dish that gets cleaned every day. Its good to have back up water in case one method fails, spills etc etc. Also since my rats like to wash in their water they really need to have another source. Having more than once source also helps stops bullying or competition over the bottle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I just placed another order in which I'll be receiving A LOT of activity toys. I need to go get formula and paint brushes and I'll be ready for my babes!
 

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One of my ratties favourite toys is a large plastic box full of paper shreds, tissue paper and some paper pellet cat litter. I chuck some food in there and mix it around, keeps them occupied for ages as they forage about.
 

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I need to learn to be more creative.... My boys have a whole bunch of wooden parrot toys that they don't bother with. I've tried the empty boxes with shredded tissues, hiding treats, cutting peek a boo holes. They just land up sleeping in them..lol..

I'm working on a dig box with wheat grass but I can't find any organic, free from fertilizer soil. But will keep looking.

Any suggestions would be great though. My boys are only going on 4 months, so they can't be that lazy yet...
 

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I personally use fleece in the bottom of my cage as I find it easier on my allergies - my boys for the most part make use of their two litter boxes. The thing about fleece though is that it doesn't provide the enrichment or opportunity to forage that loose bedding does. Foraging is an important natural behaviour for ratties which is why I compromise by providing a nice deep box full of interesting things to rummage through. :)
 

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I suppose I'd add iodine to the general list of handy supplies, it's dirt cheap and I've used it for tail tip rot in baby mice and assorted injuries on my rats. It can come in handy for the humans in your household too. I wouldn't raise a kid or a rat without it.

Best luck.
 
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