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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys,

I am loving my DCN and also LOVe the covered litterboxes that were recommended to me here on the forum. That said, my girls have developed an odd and gross habit that I wanted to ask about and find out if other peoples' rats do this too.

Apparently, my girls are pulling bedding out of the covered litterboxes and leaving it around the base of them or scattering in the area close to the box. The bedding in question is a yesterdays news type product (so not soft or appealing, just pellets). I have seen them remove the pee rocks from the boxes but have not seen them take the bedding out personally, just seen the results. In this case, the mess couldn't be caused by them jumping on the box and would have to be caused deliberately.

Has anyone else ever had this happen and do you have any clues as to the motivation? Removing the pee rocks from the box is also a new behavior and again, I'm just not sure why they're doing it or how to prevent it.

I guess I've just got bizarre ratties with weird habbits lol.
 

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Bedding ends up all over the place in all our cages, I dont think you can prevent or stop it aside from putting a mesh over the litter box so they can't get to the litter. As for the pee rocks, you may need to find heavier rocks.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That's the thing... The litter boxes have a wire grate over them, so they have to be reaching into the box (under the grate) to grab the litter pellets out. :/
 

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I have a girl who will jump in the litterbox, look at me, and then shove half the bedding out of it onto the nicely placed fleece just outside of it... I tend to see this happen more often when the boxes start getting icky and it's time to change... it's like she's telling me "get this nasty stuff out."
 

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That's the thing... The litter boxes have a wire grate over them, so they have to be reaching into the box (under the grate) to grab the litter pellets out. :/
They are. LOL Mine both do it. I've seen them reach in, grab a piece of litter and gnaw on it for a bit. Then it either gets put back in the pan, in their house/hammock etc. as scavenged bedding. or scattered around the outside of the pan.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the input guys! I had hoped having the covered boxes would make it less messy, but I guess not lol.
 

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I use a bit deeper litter pan, no wire grates, and do have pee rocks, and my girls leave the bedding where it belongs, for the most part.

Every now and then they will track a bit of litter (I use Kaytee or Ultra Carefresh), but there isn't much of it out of the pan at all, at any given moment.
 

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I do larger pans too, no grates and they use them as the dining room/bedroom/bathroom and really don't take much out of it-mostly just bring things into them.
 

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Maybe switch to a bedding that is less "chewable"? lol. I use Kaytee Clean and Cozy in Eevee's litter boxes, mixed with some cheap toilet paper for extra absorption. She doesn't touch the litter, but her late cagemate Cream used to take every single piece of Yesterday's News and store it where she stored food before I got covered litter boxes and stopped using pelleted litter. After switching to a litter box with a grate and putting Kaytee in it, Cream never touched the litter again.

Random note from a proud rat momma: all four of my girls were perfectly litter trained for some reason, even though all I did was give them litter boxes. They taught themselves. <3 Now if only I could get Pooka and Anya to do the same...
 
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