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My dd's pet rats are whiffy!!!

(29 Posts)
DannyOD Thu 10-Sep-15 10:47:53

DD2 got two pet rats for her birthday. They are great success and we all love them as they are so sweet and friendly. However, they really whiff sometimes and it stinks her room out. She shares with DD1 and I feel it is a unfair on her. She cleans them out regularly and always uses pet cage disinfectant and this powder stuff that you add to the litter which is supposed to decrease odours but they still smell. They are males which I know are the smellier sex in rats but I was wondering if there was anything else I can do to reduce the pong?

RattieofCatan Thu 10-Sep-15 13:00:28

How frequently are hammocks being changed? They tend to get smelly faster so you may have to do them more often. Do they have a litter tray? They can be trained to use it very quickly. How often is the cage cleaned? Are the bars being wiped down too? How big is the cage? Smaller cages need cleaning more often too.

MrsTrentReznor Thu 10-Sep-15 13:06:11

Ah! The whiff of a cage full of squishy boys! How I miss it! <waves at rattie>
I had an enormous pile of hammocks so I could change them regularly. I also used shredded cardboard as a substrate.
I found this helped with the whiff. You can buy a big bale of the cardboard and it lasts for months.
My lot used to pee out of the cage down the wall which required a good wipe down. (Why do boys always miss? hmm )

DannyOD Thu 10-Sep-15 13:20:38

It is a two story cage and rather large - got it from Pets At Home, she cleans them out weekly. I have to admit, although they have a hammock they don't sleep in it - preferring to sleep in the chew tunnel we bought them!! We have changed that regularly. But they do climb in and out of it, play fight in it etc,. Can you give them a wash or do they need to be thrown out and replaced?

IamTheWhoreofBabylon Thu 10-Sep-15 13:25:37

I loved my rats but never again, they stink
Mine were boys. The more I cleaned them out the more they peed
They must have been marking territory
It would drip down the bars. They even peed on race other
It wasn't boredom, they had a massive cage with toys and were out every day

RattieofCatan Thu 10-Sep-15 13:52:36

Oh they are gorgeous! Are they rescues? They are big boys of they are young ones!

I'm on my phone so I may miss something but re washing the chew tunnel, it depends on what type. I wipe down everything, including cardboard, and you can soak the plastic ones. We have hundreds of hammocks and bits of fabric that get used as hammocks. You may find that if you put a few up they may start using them more, or they may not have used them as it's hot or it may just be that they don't like hammocks, our lone boy refuses to climb and loves his box, I can count on one hand the times I've seen him in a hammock without me having put him on it.

Definitely try different substrates, I can't remember what we used as we switched to fleece for all three cages in the end. Our boys were allergic to everything though so we didn't really have a choice.

Was the two storey cage advertised as for rats? Usually P@H stock the Jenny as their token rat cage so it should be fine in terms of the size not contributing to the smell. She may need to do smaller cleans in between to keep smell down, so use a scoop to get damp substrate out every night, wipe down any shelves and remove any particularly smelly toys. We spend no more than ten minutes doing all three of our cages every night, but we don't have any shelves, only hammocks.

How old are the rats and how long have you had them? If the smell is a recent thing then it could be hormones triggering them to mark more, always fun -_- our girls mark more than the boys do, they also pee down the bars the dirty sods. The boys have never done that.

MrsTrentReznor Thu 10-Sep-15 13:56:31

Oh my god they are gorgeous!!! shock
I'm feeling all broody for ratties!!! grin

RattieofCatan Thu 10-Sep-15 14:20:03

Oh god, don't start me on rattie broodiness, I missed out on some gorgeous silverfawn a couple of months ago and am still gutted! Unless some silverfawns appear, I have to wait until next spring before we get any more, but we will be getting three most likely! grin
Here are my lot smile

zombiemeow Thu 10-Sep-15 14:28:10

Yay rat pictures! grin

No advice other than what your doing I just came here in hope of rat pictures

do you bathe the rats too? Some hate it some love it. My first rat used to get a bit whiffy so we would run him a bath and he'd play in there for a bit, he loved it. The others hated it.

RattieofCatan Thu 10-Sep-15 14:34:39

All of ours hate baths. They get them occasionally but it usually ends in a bloodshed, mine not theirs hmm

Baby wipes are handy if baths don't work for yours OP, we use them on Ashi as he doesn't clean himself well, he used to attack them on sight but he does let me wipe him over with copious bribery

MrsTrentReznor Thu 10-Sep-15 14:43:47

Whilst we are sharing pics of our fur babies...
These are old pics of some of my boys.
I used to buy cheap boxes of tissues and put them in. Dream used to plant his fat bum in the box and snooze for hours! grin

DannyOD Thu 10-Sep-15 15:02:37

They were born in February so the smell is probably a hormonal thing. I have got a small rodent deoderant spray that we use on them but have not tried bathing them. Think we will have a go this weekend. Do you use special pet shampoo or baby bath? Loving the rattie photos - here's a couple more of ours grin

DannyOD Thu 10-Sep-15 15:16:40

This is the cage they have:-

RattieofCatan Thu 10-Sep-15 15:23:29

Trent that roan is beautiful. That's next on my "coveted" list, but it'll be dhs turn for his coveted after I get my silverfawn (he wants a nakie!)

OP February?! How much do they weigh? They could get much bigger yet! I love big rats, Haku is over 700g and a right chunk. One of my girls is 550g but she gets knocked into shape by the old lady who is 300g grin

I use small animal shampoo though I'd recommend a plain bath at first just to see how they react!

DannyOD Thu 10-Sep-15 15:30:04

I am so glad you are all saying they are big - I am always saying it but my kids don't agree!! The grey is a fancy rat, and the black and white a dumbo (I just love his ears!!) Would love more, have been told boys are friendly than girls would you agree?

zombiemeow Thu 10-Sep-15 16:13:01

I just got small animal shampoo smile but yes just plain water would be a good idea to start with.

Mine have all died now sad but one of mine was a naked rat grin he was lovely although he has a charming habit of lobbing his poo at you as you walked past

MrsTrentReznor Thu 10-Sep-15 16:16:58

We need pics zombie grin
(Of the rattie! Not the poo flinging...) shock

zombiemeow Thu 10-Sep-15 16:37:29

There's two of them grin(that's not my arm! Or my sofa!) the hairless one is elvis and the white one is twinkle who loved baths.

They're crap photos but I panicked trying to find some before I go out!

Twinkle lived until he was 5 years old. He was my first rat.

MrsTrentReznor Thu 10-Sep-15 17:35:30

Gorgeous little squishes!

70isaLimitNotaTarget Thu 10-Sep-15 18:32:32

Gorgeous photos grin

I'm not a RatMum but my first thought was - if you are using disinfectant and litter powder are they trying to overcome it?

I have kept guinea boars and I know they try to out scent each other, no 'clean fresh' type smells but one would pee, the other ran through the puddle.
Or one would pee and the other peed on top of the pee.

Maybe cleanse with steam (hand held steamer, brilliant for softening dried poo envy < vom) and just water so no chemicals.

MrsTrentReznor Thu 10-Sep-15 19:08:43

70isalimit that's a really good point! I remember limiting scented things to try and stop them over compensating too! I totally forgot about that.
"Hmm this smells like flowers better pee on it!" grin

RattieofCatan Thu 10-Sep-15 19:56:31

How did I not think of that, yy stop using things that his the smell, it's counter productive. We used some stuff that did that and they did pee more. Our boys actually hated it, Haku started ripping apart the hammock it was on do we didn't use it again for that reason, that was pretty scary actually, never seen him like it before or since that!

Chopping their manly bits off is a miracle maker against marking, but I wouldn't advise it unless it's really horrendous. We had Haku neutered for aggression reasons but the lack of marking since has been a nice benefit of it! It's also stopped Howl, his cage mate, from marking as much too.

RattieofCatan Thu 10-Sep-15 20:10:24

They are both fancy rats BTW, "fancy rat" is a term used to mean pet rats really smile God knows what colour your grey rat is, I thought it was an agouti (brown) rat in the first picture but it looks like a blue in the one of it as a baby. Do you have any clearer photos of it? Your other rat is a hooded, hooded rats have a "hood" of colour and a stripe down their back.

I love dumbos too, I have two, a British Blue and a dark brown hooded one, not sure if she is an agouti or a different variety though confused my favourite colours are blues and silverfawns but I have a soft spot for blacks and agouti too, especially rexes grin

Zombies: I think I have a rat who will get to 5 years, she seems to be indestructible! Beautiful nakie smile love the colour of the other one too, is it a white or something else?

DannyOD Thu 10-Sep-15 20:25:53

I would love to know what colour he is - he is a silvery grey colour with a white sort of lightening strike down his chest and tummy. Is this photo any better?

zombiemeow Thu 10-Sep-15 20:48:10

He was white, he looks yellowish in the pic, probably just before a bath.

We had 6 at one point! All different ages smile they're such lovely pets aren't they, if only everyone understood!

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