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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Like the title says, I'd love some tips on using fleece in my FN/CN cages. :)

I have a DFN and a SCN with trays. Some of the pictures I've seen, the fleece looks so flat that I don't think theres a tray under there! What are you using instead? How do you stop the fleece from being destroyed in minutes, and maybe most importantly, how do you keep the smell down?

I LOVE the look of fleece, and the bedding I'm using gets everywhere since they push it through the doors. I was considering getting a couple of the steel trays with high walls and continuing to use paper based bedding, but it is kind of dusty and still tends to get everywhere. I'd be fine with replacing it often, my biggest factors are smell, mess, and cost.

How often do you find you need to replace the fleece? How do you get it for the lowest price?

Any other cage decorating tips are very much appreciated!! :) Their cage looks so bare compared to all the exciting exhibits here!
 

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I use binder clips and tiles to keep my fleece down! The smell has never been too much of an issue, but I do a minor cage clean (removing all the poops) every other day, and a whole fleece change every week. I wash my fleece with vinegar and detergent, and that seems to really kill the smell too. I mostly buy from Joann Fabric, it's not always super cheap, it takes 2 yards for a set and it's generally about $6 a yard BUT when a set gets too chewed up to be used, you can make hammocks with it or cut it up for cuddle pieces! Sorry my pictures are kinda bad, but hopefully you can kinda see how I do it!
 

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Fleece is so awesome because it wicks away urine from the top to the layer underneath. Keeping your rats free from the mess. To work properly it needs something under the fleece that is absorbant.

Some ppl make liners made of fleece with something sewn on the bottom or inbetween the fleece that line the trays perfectly. You can also buy them.

Some rats are horrible chewers and some are not. It just depends. But I have found what works best is using layers. I actually use dish drying mats under my fleece, they are absorbant and a bit sturdier to stay in place. Then a layer of fleece that has binder clips to attach it. Then a few scrap fleece mini blankets on top. I find if they have a layer to get under they will be happy and leave the bottom layer alone.

I buy fleece blankets from walmart for $2.88 & sometimes from thrift stores. They last a long time. I just wash and reuse.

I dont really have any smell issues. I clean my cages twice a week.
 

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I use fleece in my SCN and these is what i have learned.
1. Dont use binder clips. My rats chewed at the fleece even more to get under it so i just had destroyed fleece.
2. Cut the fleece and towel very close to the exact size you will need. That way it looks neater but it has room to shrink.
3. because they will pull the fleece back i put extra pieces around their cage and tons in their huts and hidey spots.
4. Its not like bedding and you have to spot clean around twice a day because rats are poop macheines.
Hope this helps
 

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I actually recently stopped using fleece because my girls just destroyed it. They decided to go underneath it and they ripped up all of my absorbent material, which completely defeats the purpose of the fleece in the first place. They'd tear a hole anywhere in it, even in the middle if they had to, to get inside, so tiles didn't work for me. I switched to using entire fleece blankets instead. I have not been using an absorbent layer underneath right now, but I'm thinking I might try it. The whole fleece blanket works well because I can wrap it around anyway that I want and still have tons of extra material to put on top inside for them to burrow under and play in, but they're not trying to go underneath the entire blanket. You could probably do this with normal fleece by cutting way more than you need. :3
 

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To get a good price on fleece I shop at WalMart and buy the least expensive usually abut $4 a yard or get it on clearance my last cost $2 a yard. I go to Joann's when they are having a good sale on fleece. I usually pay $4 to $6 a yard. And for the cheapest prices, I buy remnants at both stores.

For the shelves, I make a case like a pillow case and cover the whole shelf. I did this with the trays as well until I got the deeper pans. Now, for the pans I sew a double layer that fits inside the pans. My rats do like to tunnel under and I have had some success by putting pocket hammocks on top of the base covers and attaching them to the sides of the cage. The next pan covers I will make will be pocketed like this. My rats don't seem to like hammocks, but I am trying different types to see if I can find one or more that they will use.

By "pocket" I mean I have a seam in the middle of the top of the hammock or liner with a hem on each side so the rats can get inside the liner rather than under it.

The rats I have now, don't seem to chew the fleece, but those I had before made lace of it in only a few uses, so I was kept busy replacing it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you! Great tips :)

I didn't know that about the liners but it makes sense! I have some like.. puppy pee pad style liners that might work underneath.
 
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