How do I make cleaning their cage easier? - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
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post #1 of 36 (permalink) Old 08-26-2004, 03:03 PM Thread Starter
 
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How do I make cleaning their cage easier?

I'd say I spend roughly 45 mins to an hour cleaning my cage every 2 weeks. Two female degus live in there, quite happily. I'm pretty thorough with the cleaning, maybe this is my problem. I have a little litter box that they use on the highest level next to their house, a wheel they frequently run in, and aspen shavings on the bottom with another small house. One thick cardboard tube hangs from the top of the cage. The two shelves that are holding the house and litter box and the shelf under the wheel is lined with a thick paper board. They frequently tear up the flooring and the tube and carry the pieces into their house on the top level. I can't believe how much stuff they can stack in there sometimes. I place my girls in a big ball for them to run around in, sorry, I just don't let them run about in my apt freely. I have to brush off the dust from their litter box that falls everywhere throughout the cage, replace the flooring on those 2 shelves, and replace the shavings. I clean the platform the cage is resting on and then put them back in. It seems really simple but is taking up a considerable amount of time for me. Is this time normal? Anything I can do to decrease the time spent on this? I really like these guys but cleaning them can get really difficult. Thoughts, ideas? Thanks!
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post #2 of 36 (permalink) Old 08-30-2004, 04:18 PM Thread Starter
 
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Bump, nothin' for this one either?
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post #3 of 36 (permalink) Old 09-04-2004, 10:42 PM
 
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Hi there,

Sounds pretty good to me If it takes you about 60 minutes to clean the cage, thatīs about 4 minutes a day... pretty low maintenance.
I like to give mine things to do as well but since I have 6 in one cage (36x30x5ft. heigh) I even need to do more cleaning.

However, I really hate those balls. I canīt believe that you even put two in one ball, chances are low that they want to go inthe same direction all the time. Additionally, the air circulation is pretty bad, they can hurt their feed in the openings, they canīt smell where they are going, they use their sense of smell a lot for orientation and since the urine mark, it must be a big stinking mess in the ball. Maybe you could consider putting them in a spare cage for the time you are cleaning the cage.
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post #4 of 36 (permalink) Old 09-04-2004, 11:09 PM
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I could be wrong but I think he met they get to run in the ball....one at a time....not together....but then if they are going in together I agree...one at a time at least.
I don't know much about Degu's but if there is dust from the litter tray is that really good for them? I don't know, could you maybe change to a cleaner type of litter? Like a recycled paper litter....Degu owner's help me out here....don't do this until a degu owner confirms it is okay!
I know a lot of people use shavings for their mice but I find it really messy and line the bottom of their cage with the recycled litter too....they don't have a problem with, it helps control odours from them and it's easy to clean up....is that at all possible with Degu's?

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post #5 of 36 (permalink) Old 09-05-2004, 12:33 AM
 
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Is the dust for them to use the potty in or for dust baths? I keep a dust bath in with mine all the time. They use it to use the bathroom sometimes, but I clean it out. The dust does have a tendency to settle on stuff. It came to my mind that the dust may not be good for their resp. systems, but lots of degu owners do this and noone has ever said anything about it irritating their degus lungs. For flooring, I have some cheap straw mats for them to sit on so they don't sit on the wire. Also they are okay for them to chew on. Also, in the top level that is a half floor, I put an Italian ceramic floor tile that they sit on. It stays cool, so if they get hot they can sit up there, and they can't chew it up. I just wash it off with soapy water about once a week. I do use aspen in the bottom. I just have to change it regularly. I know this is a pain, but I don't really know how to get around it. Oh, you can't be too thorough. It's good that you keep it so sanitary.
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post #6 of 36 (permalink) Old 09-05-2004, 12:40 AM
 
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I occasionally put mine in one of those balls one at a time. This is when I can't supervise them free playing in the bathroom. I don't think it's that bad. Just don't leave them in there a long time. And yes, they do pee in there, but so do hamsters and most people feel they are okay for hamsters. Some people don't have the luxury of being able to let their degus have free range.
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post #7 of 36 (permalink) Old 09-08-2004, 10:43 AM Thread Starter
 
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I put both girls in the ball at the same time....they love it! They seem to have no problem being in there together for the time that it takes for me to clean up the cage. I've narrowed the cleaning down though by getting everything I need for cleaning right there at hands reach, including the vaccuum, screwdriver to help release the cardboard flooring we have, I remove their wheel and dish, everything that needs to be washed/rinsed and do that prior to taking them out and have it ready to go just before I put them back in. I have dust in a "dish" on the top floor for them to go potty but I also have a dust bath bin that I put in for them too, so it's not a problem, but they still like to roll in their own urine and stuff regardless and it just settles everywhere in the cage then. We were thinking of putting in tile for them instead of the cardboard, but then I'm guessing I would have to buy some sort of nesting material then, as they like to rip parts of the cardboard up and make a cozy sleeping place. What nesting material is good?
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post #8 of 36 (permalink) Old 09-09-2004, 10:04 AM
 
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For nesting material you could use paper towels, still give cardboard boxes that they can rip apart and hay. Hay should be always availabe anyway since it is supposed to be the biggest part of their diet.
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post #9 of 36 (permalink) Old 09-09-2004, 06:46 PM
 
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I agree with what Phoebe said. Also, newspaper that doesn't have colored ink I think is okay. I know alot of people use this. Anything that would be safe to chew.
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post #10 of 36 (permalink) Old 09-09-2004, 07:25 PM
 
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Hi, I Have 6 Degus.. I Have A Spare Cage Which I Let Them Use Everyday.. This Contains Some Toys And A Sand Bath.. I Clean Them Out Once A Week Sometimes Once A Fortnight Depending On How Messy It Is.. I Put Them In The Spare Cage And Then Clean Out Their Main One Thoroughly.. I Then Leave It In The Garden (depending On The British Weather) For An Airing...for Their Bedding I Use Cut Up Kitchen Roll ..
I Have Tried The Balls For Them To Play In, But They Chewed Through Them And Escaped.. Any Ideas?
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post #11 of 36 (permalink) Old 09-10-2004, 07:58 AM Thread Starter
 
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So just throw some paper towel in huh.....ok, will try. I noticed that Boost is starting to drag around her food dish to other parts of the main floor....she's so silly. What worries me is that my other degu, Turbo, sometimes has seizures and goes a little crazy, running around like nuts on the bottom and I'm worried she'll hurt herself by running into the space where the dish SHOULDN"T be....any way I can secure the dish?
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post #12 of 36 (permalink) Old 09-11-2004, 06:20 AM
 
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Smile Re Degus

I Have To Point Out That I Actually Clean There Cage Out Once A Day , Just Cleaning Up Their Mess, And Wiping Out The Shelves.. But Once A Week I Do A Proper Clean,Washing Their Plastic Toys and the cage with hot soapy water, and them putting in fresh saw dust etc..
Regarding Your Problem With The Food Bowl, Have You Tried Connecting The Dish To The Cage With A Ziptie? Another Way Is To Do What I Use.. I Brought A New Corner Litter Tray And Put Their Food Bowls In That.. The Mess Can Be Cleaned Out Easier.. And It May Stop Your Degu Moving It..
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post #13 of 36 (permalink) Old 09-11-2004, 12:45 PM
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what is a degus?????
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post #14 of 36 (permalink) Old 09-11-2004, 05:58 PM
 
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A Degu Is..

A DEGU IS A SMALL MAMMAL ORIGINALLY FROM CHILE, THEY ARE SIMILAR TO SQUIRRELS IN THE WAY THEY EAT (THEY SIT ON THEIR BACK LEGS AND USE THEIR FRONT PAWS TO HOLD THE FOOD WHEN THEY EAT).. THEY ARN'T VERY BIG ABOUT THE SIZE OF A HANSTER AND GROW TO ABOUT 7 INCHES LONG WITH A LONG TAIL SIMILAR TO A RATS..THEY ARE VEGETARIAN AND IN THEIR NATIVE COUNTRY ARE DEEMED A PEST SO ARE EXTERMINATED... THEY CAME TO BE KNOWN AS THEY WERE USED IN LABORATORIES TO TEST DIABETIC CURES ETC..(I PRESUME PEOPLE FELL IN LOVE WITH THEM AND TOOK THEM HOME AS PETS) THEY ARE ACTUALLY VERY PRONE TO BEING DIABETIC, SO THEY HAVE A STRICT DIET.. IN CAPTIVITY IT IS BEST TO FEED THEM A MIX OF GUINEA PIG FOOD AND PELLETS.. ALSO FRESH VEGGIES BUT AVOID FOODS WHICH CONTAIN SUGARS.. EG. CHOCOLATE, CAKES ETC.. I GIVE MINE BOTTLED WATER ALSO AS NORMAL TAP WATER IS NOT TOO GOOD FOR THEM! AND LIKE CHINCHILLAS THEY LOVE SAND BATHS (NO WATER BATHS).. IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR SOMETHING DIFFERENT , THEN A DEGU IS THAT.. THEY ARE VERY APPEALING AND CAN BE AFFECTIONATE, I HAVE 6 AND THEY ALL HAVE DIFFERENT PERSONALITIES..
I HOPE THIS HAS HELPED..
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post #15 of 36 (permalink) Old 09-20-2004, 07:57 PM Thread Starter
 
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I don't know about the triangular dish......the plastic will be chewed up in 2.5 seconds, and it's not healthy for them to ingest...but I will try the ziptie..thanks.
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aspen shavings, cage cleaning, cardboard box, cardboard boxes, chin room, dust bath, dust baths, food bowl, food bowls, guinea pig, guinea pig food, litter box, litter tray, nesting material, pig food, rabbit cage, rat cage, tap water


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