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Discussion Starter #1
Re: Shredded paper - paper cuts?

Spider said:
I've always felt most of the contemporay cage designs are contrary to the Rats nature.
Not to hijack the thread, but what do you think would be an optimal cage design? What about contemporary cages do you disagree with? I'm about to make a big cage change from a round birdcage to a Ferret Nation, and this whole fabric bedding thing is really weird to me. It seems contrary to normal rat behavior to have an environment that they can't customize by digging, chewing, and piling as they please, so I'm wondering if that's what you're referring to?
 

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Re: Shredded paper - paper cuts?

:lol: My rats 'customize' the fabric bedding as they see fit.


I just customize it back. :lol:
 

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Re: Shredded paper - paper cuts?

lol. amen. i suppose it could be considered contrary to their natural behavior, but i guess that's why we give them lots of toys to play with. if they can't keep themselves stimulated by burrowing, etc, then they need something else to do. it's a fair trade, i guess.
 

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Re: Shredded paper - paper cuts?

I mentioned in another thread how I felt about cages. The Domestic Rat is Rattus Norvegicus a burrowing,trail creating rodent. The Black Rat is Rattus Rattus, a rodent that lives to climb, feeling best in branches high up.
The two sometimes live in the same area with one above in the branches and one burrowed below.
Of course the Norway will enjoy to climb, but not as much as he appreciates area to explore horizontally, and dig.
I believe the tall cages like Martins are popular as a convenience because they take up less space, and because they require less material on the floor which can be expensive if you have 6 sq. ft., thats alot of bedding.
I have a Humongous Rabbit Hutch style cage 40x20x30 3 levels, and I keep the ground floor empty except for a litter box, thats almost 6 sq. feet of wrestling, chasing, partying space and they love it. I have to coax them out for free range, they got free range in they're cage. They are healthier because they run all night, chasing banging the walls etc. I've been thinking of sometimes filling the botton with shredded cardboard so they can burrow but haven't yet.
Anyways thats how I feel, I used to have a Martins and all they did was go from one perch place to another, and at night I felt they couldn't really have a good chase cause it was so crowded, and the climbing slowed the action.
Spider
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Re: Contemporary Cage Discussion

Spider, I missed your previous post in another thread.

And I do have to agree with you. I think they prefer open spaces (as long as they're protected/familiar enough to feel safe, so that thigmotaxis doesn't keep them from boogie-ing). I do like to put a few small obstacles around, ones that they can naturally chase each other through. The babies seem to get a great kick out of chasing each other through the ferret ball.

You cage sounds really cool - you must have some very happy rats.
 

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Re: Contemporary Cage Discussion

I'm sorry I don't have a camera. But Its really just a big rabbit type hutch, with a plastic pan high 5" sides and a ledge about 10" on the left and 18" on the right. I keep the food and an cabin on the left one and they sleep on the right one.
I believe the greatest asset of keeping so much space clear on the floor is it allows them to be creative with their bodies, in expressing themselves. Have you ever seen a Rat prance? its very cute. I have a Rat thats really still a baby 4 mo., and he prances across the plastic floor, and over the towel he sounds coltish like little hoofbeats, he'll start running one way then slam on his brakes cut accross another way, I've seen kittens prance and I guess all animals do, its double cute to see a rat do it.
If you want to see what the cage looks like, theres another thread in this section called the President Trading Co.. and there's a link that Donna provided so you can see it.
Spider
 

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Re: Contemporary Cage Discussion

also the one in the photo is different, my cage has 1/2 inch spacing and the one in the photo has larger. Also the ladders are different I have wood ladders like a Parrots.
Also I put fleece on the ledges, but having a wire floor is very important.
You need air to circulate unerneath the rat take away the amoniac fumes. If your Rat is laying in his urine 1 hour its like 30 hours for us. With a solid plastic floor it collects under the rat. The fleece collects the urine and I change it everyday.
Spider
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Re: Contemporary Cage Discussion

Yeah, the prancing is awesome. I especially like the prance that comes from a rat that's just picked up something and is going to hoard it. It's so cute!
 

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Re: Contemporary Cage Discussion

it's twice as cute if the item they picked up is far too large for them to gracefully carry. XD
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Re: Contemporary Cage Discussion

Or if the item is *larger* than them! Mine love it when I get packages, and they run off with gigantic wads of packing/tissue/news paper.
 
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