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Discussion Starter #1
Alright, so firstly, thanks to everyone who gave me advise on my previous topic about my smelly little furballs!

I'm going to experiment with using towels as bedding and wanted to run this past you guys because, lets face it, you're the experts here!

SO! I've raided my poor mum's airing cupboard and pulled out all the old towels I could find (including some that are 30+ years old, and given to my mum as an engagement present! Yes, I did get permission to use them lol). My plan is to use a newspaper lining underneath the towel (I have standard two storey cages with a pan bottom, so I'm looking for ease of cleaning, I'll just roll the paper up and pull it out. Yes, I know newspaper isn't reccommended because of the ink, and I am looking for alternatives!) and also use some wood pellet cat litter as well, to soak up any extra wetness (I've been using it as a mix with Carefresh, so at the very least I need to finish the bag, if I could get hold of Yesterdays News that would be great, but I don't think it's sold in the UK).

For cleaning the towels I am hoping to do that at least once a week, twice if I can (again, I have 11 cages so cleaning them all out is a bit like planning army manouvers!). I was going to soak the towels in the bath first with some baking soda (which has been reccommended) however, do I use it before washing or before drying? The towels will be machine washed in hypoallergenic (or whatever it's called) washing powder.

I also would give them additional bedding of toilet paper (non scented and non coloured) or kitchen roll (again, the same) for them to nest with, until I can convince mum to find some old bed-sheets I can cut into strips and give to them as nesting material. I've been giving small animals loo roll and kitchen roll as bedding for years (although not so much with my rats because they get their own little fleece beds to sleep in!), the reason for this is because it's disolvable and can't clog them up, should they choose to munch on it (I'm sure I asked my vets advise on this once upon a time). Unlike all this fluffy stuff you can buy at petshops that can be dangerous for them if they decide to use it as a late night snack.

I plan to do all of this tomorrow, and as it's such a HUGE change in my normal routine, I wanted to make sure there's nothing that I'm doing that's completely idiotic. Any input would be great!

Thanks again guys, I'm learning a lot from this forum!

OH! and whoever gave me the idea for towel hammocks - genious! I'm sure I got the idea from a post in here! I grabbed some bulldog clips from a stationary store and my rats LOVE their homemade hammocks! Thanks
 

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I'm very cautious about using towels in cages, as they fray very easily and little nails get caught in them. I much prefer fleece bedding, as even if it's chewed it won't fray. I use towels under the fleece to absorb any extra urine that soaks through, and my cage stays fresh for about a week.
 

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You can find inexpensive sheets and towels at thrift stores. Also, try the baby section for fleece blankets. You could even raid the regular hangers for clothes made of fleece, especially the kids area.
Just a thought.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
And a good thought at that. I might just have to have a mosey around when I'm next at the shops. Regular fleece blankets you say? As in, the blankets I sleep under? (They have a sale on them at the Disney Store and rats with Pirates of the Caribbean and Finding Nemo bedding would be cool lol)
 

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Yep. Just like your blanket. I don't know what your sale is, but for new material you might get a better deal at a fabric store.

I was just at my local fabric store getting some fleece for the same reason and for making toys and such. They were having a 50% off sale making the fleece as little as $1.50 per yard! This time of year around here they have a TON of designs, too. I had fun!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Oh, the sale is 2 blankets for £10 I think. I'm a little crazy when it comes to buying things for the rats though, I usually spend more on them than me lol. Last christmas I bought a huge wooden castle (designed for 4-5 year old KIDS) for £70. I thought it was a bargain! People called me mad when they learned it was for the rats.

But they loved it. So it made me happy :)

I'll have a look at fabric stores near me though, I think that's a good idea. Thanks very much!
 

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i use towels in my cage for the boys and they have never snagged a nail, nor have the towels frayed. just be careful as to what kind of towel you get and you should be fine. fleece is softer and cuter, though. :D
 

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I use blankets in all my dens, but prefer bedding in his bathroom (and yes, he did decide one box was his bathroom) I use old t-shirts/silk cloth/towels... anything warm and soft really. I find it easier to walk into our sotorage room and pick through the tons of boxes of fabiric stips than it is to keep bedding up. That, and I can round up all his bedding and through it in a pillowcase and wash it. that, and it keeps me from having to invest in wood bedding as much. His favorite nest is one made of shredded hemp cord though (Just took a huge lenth of it and floded it up and took scizzors to it).
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well, it's done. And it took me 4 and a half hours to do, might I add! Lol. They now all have towel and newspaper bedding - although I had to take Ritchie's paper away after an hour because he was chewing it to pieces to make a nest. Bad rat! Lol. I've substituted an extra towel and seems fine.

I also made them ALL towel hammocks which they are going crazy over! Daphne and Ivy keep pushing each other out of theirs lol

Tomorrow I'm going to buy some bedsheets to cut into strips and use as re-usable bedding.

I just wanted to thank you all for your help and useful advise! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
4 and a half hours for 11 cages, 2 loads of washing (for beds and cuddly toys only!)

So yes, a lot of love...kitchen roll...disinfectant...clips...carefresh...food...towels...

I'm going to be having towel-related dreams tonight! Lol
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I have 15 rats. It's not that I wouldn't like less cages, but most of my rats aren't very 'rat friendly' so I can't put them together lol
 

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BlueSkyy said:
i use towels in my cage for the boys and they have never snagged a nail, nor have the towels frayed. just be careful as to what kind of towel you get and you should be fine. fleece is softer and cuter, though. :D
I wasn't as lucky as you, and had a senior rat break his right front paw because I had given them a towel hammock :(. Of course, I seem to be cursed with horrible chewers....
 

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I, also, use towels and love them.

As far as the baking soda, I sprinkle it into the dryer before starting it.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
If you'd said a year ago that I would have 15 now, I would of given you the same reaction LOL. They just sprung themselves on me
 

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Discussion Starter #20
OH! And for any UK based peeps here, I reccommend Tesco's as a source of bedding.

I've just been (believe it or not, only to buy yogurts for Lily's anti-b's) and found TONS of great suff (which I thought was reasonably cheap)

Bath towels - £4/£6
Fleece blankets - £6
Double bed sheets - £5/£6
Pillowcases (to cut into strips) - £1.50
Fluffy bath mats - £5
Fun odd fingery bath mats (which I thought would make fun shelf covers) - £10

and of course, you get the Tesco economy stuff which are cheaper. And flanels which could make great little hammocks are 68p

Between Tesco's and the sudden realisation that I've got nowhere to store any of the rats new toys (so I had to take a trip to Homebase for a drawer thingy) I spent £130.

My rats better love me now! I think I've caught the mad rat lady bug.

Anyway, yeah, this is just for info purposes for anyone interested
 
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