Paw Talk - Pet Forums banner
1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,347 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello to all my forum buddies!


A question has come up that I would love to get some input on from all of you ratty pros out there. As I did before with my previous ratties, Klausse and Wolfgang, I am using fleece and flannel for my new boys' ratty mansion, rather than bedding such as Carefresh, etc. I like the fact that flannel/fleece bedding is virtually dust free and soft for the boys, and of course, instead of going through bags of bedding, I just do extra loads of ratty laundry every week. So far so good....but here is my question:

I notice that with my boys, as was the case with my previous boys, that I am literally replacing almost all of their fabric on a daily basis. In addition to the base of their house, I also line their 3 platforms with fabric, not only for their comfort, but also to help absorb urine so they are not sitting on a wet plastic platform with nothing to soak up the pee. Of course, I do a sniff test on all their fabric pieces daily, and more often than not, I get that funky smell that tells me I need to replace the fabric.

I am totally good with this and I already learned in the past that when you choose to line your babies' house with fabric and not go for the carefresh/aspen shavings,etc, that it does require more frequent cleanings. But I wonder if anyone else that chooses the fabric route has noticed a tendency for the cleanings to be required on a virtually daily basis. I figured I might be acting over zealous with the cleanings if I am doing complete cloth change outs 6 to 7 days a week, but at the same time, I do not want the boys sitting on fabric and inhaling ammonia from their urine that is in the cloth from their pee. Any thoughts? Maybe baby boys just pee like crazy everwhere and I forgot about that from when my previous boys were little wee ones. My new boys are turning 7 weeks old this week so they are definitely still babies.

The reason I wanted to ask if anyone thinks I am overcleaning though, is that one of my rat articles mentioned that sometimes if you over clean, you completely remove all of the rat's scent and they can feel the need to mark all the new fabric with their scent so you get into a pattern of over cleaning and over-marking with males...or is this bogus info? I have been trying to keep at least a little scrap of something with their scent on it to put back into their house after a cleaning, like a piece of paper towel or small blankie that smells fine, just in case this is a sound theory.

Just wanted to throw this out there to get some opinions. Do any of you that use fabric only for bedding and lining shelves also do cloth change outs on a daily basis or am I missing something here? :rolleyes:

As I said before, if that is standard and expected for those who choose the fabric route for their ratty houses, I am good with doing whatever it takes to keep my boys comfy. Just wanted to get some feedback on this. Thanks in advance! :wave:
 

·
Official Loofah Tester
Joined
·
1,365 Posts
I've noticed that the cleaner the bedding the more my boys pee. They work themselves up feeling like they just have to claim it as their own. So I spot clean every day by picking up the poos and dabbing any wet spots, and spot change three days in where I remove the worst offenders....usually the 'favorite' hammock and the burrow bin, and do a full cleaning at the end of the week. Even with the full cleaning, I leave one stinky hammock and a few small scraps of stinky bedding strewn throughout.

My advice would be to try cleaning less and see how they act. If they calm down, then a little pee reek amongst friends should be fine for them as long as they have plenty of ventilation, which I know you give them anyway.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,317 Posts
Yep, I agree with Storyseeker. I changed my boys' bedding about every two-three days, spot cleaning once or twice a day, depending on how messy they were. :) I had a laundry hamper just for their soiled blankies, and then I washed their laundry once a week all together. They will definitely overcompensate with urine if you try to clean too much. So, spot clean when you do see urine pooling on the floor or shelves of their cage, but leave their fleece blankies in for at least two-three days.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,347 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Excellent advice, thank you so much Story and Breyer! I figured that might be the problem...over-cleaning and the boys feeling the need to mark it again with lots of pee. :rolleyes:

I think in order to be able to spot clean urine, I may need to leave some of their blue plastic platforms bare, with no cloth, so I can see where the pee is and to be able to spot clean it as you mentioned, yes? Because if I have cloth on every single platform, the pee goes right into the cloth and it is impossible to spot clean once the pee gets absorbed. Maybe I should try leaving most of the platforms bare and resist the urge to cover every single space with cloth? I think I get over zealous in my urge to give my boys soft cloth EVERYWHERE. I need to back off a bit maybe! :crylaugh:

Great tips on this from both of you, thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,317 Posts
What I used to do with that cage was to lie individual blankets on each shelf, not necessarily as a cover, but rather as blankies that they could move around and turn into nests. They seemed to prefer it that way. So, I used baby wipes to clean the shelves and floor each morning and evening, but I left the blankets in the cage for a couple of days. :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,347 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Okay I see, that is a good system! So, when you said you use baby wipes to clean the floor, did you literally pull up their fabric from the floor and wipe under the fabric, then put the fabric back down? I was not sure what you meant when you said you use baby wipes for the floor. The bottom of their cage?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,317 Posts
Oh, yep, sorry! I meant the floor of their cage. I usually lifted the blankets up and wiped the plastic shelf and cage bottom, then placed the blankets back where they were. It was a pretty easy routine to get into, and I just let them out into their playpen while I cleaned their cage--otherwise they would try to "help", which of course made things more difficult! :lol:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,347 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ha ha, yep, my boys are always out playing on their free play playground while I am busy cleaning out their house. Nice of them to try to "help" but yes, it causes chaos, I can imagine!

Okay, I thought that was what you meant by wiping down their floor. I do the same thing...lift up the fabric, wipe down the surface, go hunting for stray poops, ya know...!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
I've been cleaning mine out on a daily basis as well but it makes sense that they'd go nuts trying to remark everything! My boys are pretty messy but I'll resist the urge to clean on a daily basis and see how it goes. Thanks for the thread :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,347 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hi Britt,
Yep, I was so glad to get that advice too and I immediately made myself be less whirlwind about constantly changing everything out 24/7 and just letting things settle a bit over a day or so, and sure enough, it seems like the urine marking calmed down quite a bit! I was very thrilled to get that advice about over-cleaning! Who woulda thunk eh? :rolleyes:
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top