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I just got a lovely, new, spacious home for Augustus, and maybe for a new baby boy as well, if that works out.

When I first started investigating keeping rats, I remember reading that walking around on those little squares of "bars" in the "wire bar" cages was a cause of bumblefoot. (We're not talking about galvanized metal, here. We're talking about bars that are coated with whatever that plastic-like stuff is that they use to coat the bars of bird cages.)

Later, the information I got was that the prior information was untrue, and that bumblefoot is caused by DNA and unsanitary conditions.

ALL of the rat cages at the store with "levels" have the same setup: the floor to the "levels" is made up of those coated wire squares. Each square is about 5 cm. per side. Since there was no choice, I got a lovely 3-level, and figured that I could customize, if necessary.

* My first question is, is it harmful for rats to walk on the kind of flooring that I have described above, or is it, as the (rat owning) salesman at the store said, "perfectly fine?"

* My second question is, if it is necessary to "customize," how would you do it? I know that plexiglass can be cut to size, and fitted over the wire flooring, but I know that there are drawbacks to this, as well. (I don't want any little toes being caught between plexiglass segments.)

Thanks much for the help! :)
 

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I'm not sure if bumblefoot or any issues would arrise, but covering it would make it more comfortable and easier to clean(no crevices).

plexiglass seems more dificult to cover it. what i suggest is runnin out to home depot and buyin linoleum tiles. They have linoleum tiles that have a sticky side so all you do is stick it on wire. they also are extra easy to wipe down and clean. plus they can be cut to size very easier. and very cheap at the price of .89 cents each square foot tile.

however i leave ramps uncover so they dont become slides.
 

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That's a GREAT idea! Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
My Vet said that I can use hammocks (on the ground,) which are easy to remove and wash. Any thoughts?
 

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hammocks? how would u do that?

I got linoleum tiles and they work great. and like stated above they are cheap.( .74 for mine )
 

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Wouldn't using hammocks on the ground be just the same as using fabric bedding? :lol:
 

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won't the glue on the bottom of the linoleum tiles get all gross when you clean it? Or do you put tiles on the bottom of the wire shelf to create a barrier?? Because if it works so well, and it doesn't get too gross I think I might go pick some up today!
 

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I just trimed the paper around the edges and clipped them to the shelfs.
it came out real nice. but i am covering it with fleece soon.
 

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My linoliem(or the glue) never gets gross. its easier to clean than hammocks....and hamocks may not stay as simple. i know my girls would knock it all over, even if it is clipped. But a hammock or cloth on the bottom floor would work easy.

i guess its up to preference.
 

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I have linoleum covering the wire of my girls' cage, but only because it's galvanized :? I use towels as bedding, and if I didn't need the lino to keep the cage in decent condition I wouldn't even bother with it, I'd just clip the fabric to the sides, right over the wire. But with bare linoleum there's nothing to absorb urine - so it would be easier to wipe up than wire floors, but you'd have to do it frequently so they're not walking around in puddles.
 

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I never could get my linoleum to stick properly, so I poked holes in all the corners and zip-tied it down. Other than that it works great! My girls have yet to pee on the linoleum levels, though I still wipe it down regularly.

About the bumblefoot...I've heard a variety of causes as well but I do believe wire footing plays a part. In any case, better safe than sorry, right? Plus I think a smooth surface is just nicer to walk on. :wink:

edit:typo :oops:
 

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I never liked the sticky lino :p Pee always gets in the crevices that you can't clean. It's better to purchase the non stick lino by the foot or yard or whatever, cut it to size and zip tie it to place.

My favorite material of all time for wire shelf covering is coroplast: corogated plastic. It's so wonderful, so easy to cut and so easy to work with and so durable! I put holes on the corner edge parts and zip tie them down. If I ever need to I cut the zip ties to give it a deep clean under as well as over. I couldn't do that with the sticky lino. I really hate that stuff XD
 

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Poppyseed said:
I never liked the sticky lino :p Pee always gets in the crevices that you can't clean. It's better to purchase the non stick lino by the foot or yard or whatever, cut it to size and zip tie it to place.

My favorite material of all time for wire shelf covering is coroplast: corogated plastic. It's so wonderful, so easy to cut and so easy to work with and so durable! I put holes on the corner edge parts and zip tie them down. If I ever need to I cut the zip ties to give it a deep clean under as well as over. I couldn't do that with the sticky lino. I really hate that stuff XD
You can buy lino tiles without crevices. Mine dont have any and i love them.
 

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Bumblefoot is most associated with wire floors because it's harder to get the urine and grit from in between the wires.
 

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Bumblefoot is caused by genetics, and also bacteria. Most rats who get bumblefoot are exposed to unsanitary living conditions, or they walk through puddles of urine a lot. In actuality, wire flooring doesn't cause bumblefoot at all, but a lot of rats find the flooring uncomfortable. In the past, I've covered wire floors with stick-on linoleum tiles, and also fleece/towels. Both worked great when used together :)
 
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