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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-14-2005, 12:18 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2004
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Urination Problem, Need New Cage?

I've had my 4 female rats for around 2 years now. Their cage is a 3 story ferret cage that I found at petsmart, though I can't find any online pictures of a cage just like it. I was a first time rat owner and didn't know what I was getting into with the cage.The problem is that they hate the bottom of the cage were the bedding is and always stay in the top. They won't go downstairs to urinate, they'll just back up to a corner and go. This makes the cage, our floor, and everything on the lower levels really nasty really quickly. I tried to litter train them when they were younger, but didn't get very far. I have no hopes of litter training them this far along in the game, but was thinking that another cage may be better for them. I'd like to build them one as I haven't seen any cages at the stores around here that I think they would like, but I'm not very handy and really don't know where I would even start. I do know that I would like for them to have a large one level cage that's tall so they can have their hammocks that they love so much.

I guess what I really need to know is, how large should a cage be for 4 hyper female rats? Is there anything that can be done about their urination habbits? What should a rat cage be made of?

Another question.. Does anyones rats ACTUALLY use an exercise wheel?
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-14-2005, 01:36 AM
Join Date: Dec 2004
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Well as far as building a cage my only advice is it should be sometime of open wire cage. Plastic ands glass enclosures are bad for ratties. Is there a possibility it could be the bedding they don't like? What kind of bedding do you use? Have you changed it recently? How long have they been doing this? It also could be the fact that they are getting older and climbing all the way down to the bottom when they have to go is diffucult. @ rattie years is equivalent to 45 human years!!

As far as cage size try the cage caculator at http://www.kristinewickstrom.homeste...nelApplet.html

And the excersize wheel, well first off the wheel should be rat sized and all plastic. I have two of these and only one of my rats actually runs in it. Then another rat likes to sit by it and spin it with his paw!! LOL
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-14-2005, 04:29 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
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are the levels mesh?? have you ever consided building pans to put on each on and then putting shaving in them it would be easier to clean!
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-14-2005, 04:47 PM
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I like Jules' idea. I think building some sort of pans would be neat. I know that I always have to put shaving on the comfort shelves that come with my mice's Crittertrails because otherwise they would get all pee/poop. YUK!

Whatever you decide, good luck! And with a three story ferret cage I am sure they are very happy rats!

But, yes, I also agree when I suggest not building an enclosed cage. It may contain smell and dropped feces/shavings/etc., but then all that means is all the smell is trapped inside with no ventilation.

Good luck!
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-14-2005, 07:45 PM
Join Date: Dec 2004
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I agree i also should have mentioned, the levels in one of my cages are wire mesh, which can severely hurt a ratties feet. So I cover them with dishtowels. Then I just wash the towels every few days, (I have a pretty good stash of them) Maybe that would help with your problem and also I think pans in the corners is an excellent idea!
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-15-2005, 01:18 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2004
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They've had the same urination habbits since I've had them. We use Carefresh for bedding and cardboard box and/or that shredded paper stuff for the other levels. The levels are mesh wire and the cage just kinda sets down onto a metal pan and clips in. We try to clean their cage every week or so and it's generally not too bad other than the pee all over everything around the cage. Crazy rats will only go to the bottom level to hide treats. It's pretty fun watching them though, cause 3 of the 4 have different ideas as to how the treats should be hidden. One thinks the treats should go in their bowl with the food, another thinks it should go in the bottom right corner, and another thinks it should go in the bottom left corner. So, they just run around stealing each others treats for a while. They also must always have bedding brought from the bottom to the top to cover their food up. We moved the food bowl up there because they kept peeing all over their food o.O Those are the only reasons the rats have for the bottom level. XP
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-15-2005, 08:02 PM
Join Date: May 2004
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Mine back into a corner and go on the top levels as well. I just keep the bottom level pretty much bare so it stays clean. They have a wire grid on the bottom so they don't have bedding. They sleep on fleece hammocks, and they get kind of stinky after awhile, but I throw them in the washer and dryer every week. The cage has a pull out tray that I change daily and I wipe down the bars of the cage and all the levels too. I figure that they are going to pee where they want no matter what so this is the best method for me.
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cardboard box, female rat, female rats, food bowl, level cage, litter train, litter training, male rat, male rats, rat cage, wire cage, wire mesh

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