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I will be getting rats in the spring (my first rats finally!) and plan on purchase a Martin Cage. My concern is the rats' feet when they walk over all these lbalconies with bars. I am not worried about climbing. With what material can you cover these balconies, that's at least somewhat chew proof and won't absorb urine?
Please share your ideas.
 

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plexi glass is non-smell absorbent, and easy to clean, but it can be expensive, or there is fleece, but that does absorb urine so will need changing frequently, we'll need pictures of your rattys when you get them :D
 

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I don't worry about the wire shelves myself. Rats don't either. They can only cause problems if the spacing is too wide (never Martin's rat cages) or if they aren't thoroughly cleaned often enough. Bumblefoot had been shown to no longer be caused by wire surfaces but filthy surfaces and obesity and genetics.

But if you want to cover shelves you can use stick down lino tiles...I've done that before. I liked them but be prepared to wipe down once a day at least. You will need to change them out everyone once in a while, but they are so cheap that it works well.

Here is the bottom of the RUUD before I broke it down into separate cages.

 

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EDIT- to prevent BUMBLEFOOT, clean your cage more often
 

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bumblefoot is NOT caused by wire floors, but by having unclean cages where the rats can walk in their urine. having fleece linings on the floors and shelves will not stop bumblefoot as fabric is very good at holding liquids, therefore a rat will still be walking in urine with any sort of fabric liners.
 

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Right. Bumblefoot can be caused by any type of flooring, not just wire. It is caused when there is a cut on the foot that becomes infected by walking on an unclean floor... be that floor wire, tile, plexi-glass, or fleece.

It is an infected cut. If their feet never become cut... no bumblefoot will appear no matter what kind of floor it is... and vice versa.
 

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I almost bought a Martins cage myself and the spacing on the floors is fine. From what I've heard they are good cages and from what I read above the wire floors have nothing to do with bumblefoot anyway so I say go for it! :D
 

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I think the major link between bumble foot and wire floors comes from the difficulty in thoroughly cleaning the floor.
 
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