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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-27-2004, 08:46 PM Thread Starter
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Question about odor and baths

I have not owned rats in years so I forgot how they smell. I remember giving my rats baths years ago. The 2 girls I have now are NOT real calm and would probably get really upset if I gave them a bath and I don't want to get them scared of me.
My question is , can I rub them with something? towlet of some kind? They smell yukky! I clean the whole cage every morning and wipe down everything, I use paper towels on the bottom of cage , it's easy to just pick up throw away and wipe down , put clean towels in. It's not helping, they still stink.Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-27-2004, 10:10 PM
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i dont know my rats dont smell but the cage does we use yesturdaynews cat litter and it does help with smell
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-28-2004, 07:02 AM Thread Starter
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These rats stink, and it's probably because they were kept in dirty cages. I went to this girls( around 20 yrs old) rattery and she wouldn't let me go in the house! She said her Mother didn't want me to because they had dogs.I never saw all the rats and how they were kept, maybe it was a mistake to buy them, but I thought it was better than buying at a petshop.
I noticed one was scratching/grooming like crazy from the first day.
I gave them both ivermectin treatments. I felt tiny scabs on her the 2nd day, im pretty sure it was a flare up from stress after reading about scabs and itching, but of course I can't be sure. I paid $20.00 for them and if she's not better soon they are going right back to her!
I did inform her of this, she feels very bad but I'm tired of paying good money and getting crap or problems .
Anyone have ideas on how to make them smell better?
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-28-2004, 07:13 AM
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I have two boy rats. There cage or them do not stink.Rats are not sopose to stink,specially if you are takein the care of them you have stated.I mean they might have a special smell that of course is not of you or me.But if its a stale smell then something is wrong,and they need to see a vet, maybe its a bigger problem then just smelling.
I wipe down my lil boys with a wet cloth with frangrant free,dye free,perfume free,dog shampoo.You can find it in most pet stores,its clear and has no evil chemicals.One of my boys is white,so when he gets real dirty he gets a bath under the facet in the sink.Yeah he hates it,but in about 2 minutes he forgets about it.I also use this dog shampoo to clean thier cage stuff with,and super hot water.If your unsure about useing shampoo or anything,scolding hot water it self will kill alot of germs and smells and be alot better then just wipeing down the cage.
Also if your just putting paper towels in thier cage that could be a big reason why they smell,rats pee alot and that means they are sleeping and playing in there urin,and the paper towels only hold so much,and leave the top layer still wet with pee.I use corn cob granuals,also found at most pet stores.It helps alot absorbs alot of wetness and that way there not rolling in there own yuckys.Not sure about kitty litter because of all the dust it has,and not sure how that effects thier respitory system,id be careful and find imfo on that first.
I hope this helps,if you need any other imformation or help,or any kinda question,just lemme know
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-28-2004, 07:35 AM Thread Starter
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I've only had them a few days so I suspect they smell because maybe their cage was not cleaned much at the breeders, . It's not a sick smell like they are ill.
I was planning on getting some kind of litter, maybe carefresh in white, I hate the grey looking carefresh. That's interesting about the dog shampoo your talking about, don't you have to get off all the residue?
When I wipe down the cage I do use a disinfectent, the cage has no smell whem I'm done, and they usually sleep on a platform up high, but they might be laying on a wet paper towel, and your right the papertowel just stays wet in the spot they pee in so I should get something esle today for them.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-28-2004, 08:44 AM
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They most likely do smell bad from bad housing conditions. It's unfortunate you couldn't see the "rattery" as that often will show you how well cared for the rats are. Sounds suspicious to me!

At any rate, I like to use pet wipes. They are made for dogs but gentle enough for rats and they work pretty good. Most pet shops carry them and they come in a package of 8. This will keep your girls from getting stressed and also help them to smell good.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-28-2004, 09:57 AM
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Thats a great idea too,"PET WIPES",wipe em and toss em !
The residue isnt much or hardley any from the shampoo,but then i dont use a lot of it, i use like a tiny amount rub it on a wet cloth and wipe them down and then take a dry cloth rub em down and its a done deal.
Yea sounds to me like they probbly were in bad conditions too,i mean when your selling any animal,the number one thing is too show they are well takein care of and have been treated well and that they are being kept in clean conditions.But hopefully these two girls will find there way into your heart and become good pets just the same.If needing a bath is the worst thing,then you are good to go,scrub em love em and everything should work out fine. Good luck wid the smell goods
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-28-2004, 07:15 PM
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they have baby powder sented dry shampoo for kittens that i use on my rats. its a powder you put on them and brush it out. no water needed. you can get it at walmart! smells great!
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-29-2004, 04:42 PM Thread Starter
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I finally got the carefresh litter today in grey because the white was so much more money , I'll see how fast I go through it and maybe I'll get white if I don't need too much of it. I still need to get wipes but that will have to wait for now.
Since it was the daughter who was selling the rats and it wasn't her house she could not make the rules I decided to let it slide, you know parents can be such a pain as I remember way back before I was a parent myself.
Thanks for all the help and I'm sure I'll have more ? soon.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-31-2004, 08:06 AM Thread Starter
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The carefresh made a tremendous difference!!!!
They don't smell bad anymore and nether does the cage in the morning. That stuff works great .
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-04-2004, 08:38 PM Thread Starter
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I also want to add the girls smell like perfume now and I never washed them, what a difference!
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-05-2004, 07:56 PM
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Thumbs up

Very glad to hear that your sweeties smell good. COngrats :blob2:
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-06-2004, 12:57 PM
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to be honest, I think carefresh smells WORSE than yesterdays news. I've kept rats for 10 years now and have used everything from pine (hey, it was when I first had rats.. we all make mistakes.. 1 rat, 10 gallon tank, seed, and pine shavings.... VERY VERY bad, lol... I quickly found out this was wrong and changed my ways... 10 years ago!), carefresh, yesterdays news, aspen, walnut bedding, ecofresh, healthy pet, ultra carefresh, etc. IMO yesterdays news is by far the best at holding odors. You can buy a large bag in the cat litter section of petsmart, although it's making its way into grocery stores for.. 5 dollars a small bag. while you can get 4x's that much for 10 dollars at a petsmart! Aspen's the cheapest acceptable bedding, but I find it doesn't hold odor like yesterdays news does.

another easy way to keep the cage smelling better, spot clean daily, and change the bedding weekly. you'll find rats will usually pick a corner to poo in, and you can easily litter train them that way using those corner litter pans for ferrets and rabbits. This can be spot cleaned daily to keep odor down. walnut bedding found in the bird section can be used as a safe litter for them, and you can actually SCOOP the poo out of it, like a cat litter box!

Best I've done for rats who've come to me in less than ideal situations... yes, they stink, covered in urine, a PEW one will look ORANGE from there.. I've filled the bathtub with luke warm water, and not too much. so htey can walk in it and be above the water... keep a large bowl or something upside down in there for them if they desperately want to jump out of the water, they won't lunge up your arms and scratch you up (if you do'nt clip toenails, even if you do this still happens). I have used from baby tear free shampoo, to ferret shampoo (too harsh IMO), to just antibacterial soap to wash them with. I usually choose the latter. Their fur isn't about to get tangles, etc, like ours would. Use the soap and that way it also will help with their scabs..

You said you're using ivermectin right? that's good.. when I get mites it doesn't usually clear up for up to two weeks... honestly I wouldn't give them back to her if it's as bad as it sounds. best to get them out of that situation, you know? just hope the girls aren't pregnant (is it THAT bad a place? ack!)
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-06-2004, 01:56 PM Thread Starter
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I don't really think the scabs were on Aurora the day I picked her up- it seemed like a stress flare up of mites and scabs were there next day- but she was scraching like crazy first day I brought her home.. The scabs all are gone now and I only treated her once, I know they say to treat 3 times but I thought I'd just see if this does it, if the scabs come back then I'll do a 3X treatment for sure. They are all settled now and very happy so maybe that's all what's needed to keep her in check.
I never see the yesterdays news, but next time I'll look when I go to petsmart. It seems everywhere I go carefresh is jumping out at me! I don't like the smell or looks of it but it seems to of soaked up the urine well and kept them smelling good.
Thanks for all the good info!
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-20-2004, 01:14 AM
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I found that if they don't tolerate a bath good then get a bowl of water and wet your hands and handle them, and have a towel on hand to towel them off. Don't soak them mind you, just damp from the wet hands, this also gets them to groom themselfs. After they start to trust you more you should be able to bath them. I rarely have to bath any of mine since I do this to anyone who gets a smite' smelly, which is not too often.
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