Rat advice please 🐀 ☺(6 Posts)
Just sorting out everything as I'm getting a pair of rats soon. I've got a decent cage and a few hammocks etc, but was wondering what bedding to put in the cage. I know sawdust is a no, and have previously used basic cat litter, but is there something better?
Also, diet. They'll only be 8 weeks old when I get them, what should I be feeding them?
Clumping cat litter is a big no as well as if they eat it it can clump in their bellies, we use breeder celect paper based cat litter, we've tried loads of substrates and come back to it every time.
Megazorb is very messy and got stuck to the fleece in the hammocks, shortening their life span (trying to get enough out to wash the hammocks was a nightmare). It also got stuck to our almost bald rex, so I wouldn't advise it if one of the babies is a rexy! Aubiose was too sharp for my preference, but others swear by it. The cardboard based ones are popular too but my mischief at the time I tried those just used to shove it out of the way, little sods!
Re food, we make up a shunamite mix for ours, based on the new version not the old one which is more easily found online. The only way you can get the new version now seems to be by buying the Scuttling Gourmet book annoyingly, but it is a good book about rat nutrition so you may find it interesting. Ratrations sells ready made mixes at a good price too and they seem to be loosely based on the shunamite. they sell everything actually and are really good, I get most of our toys and food from them.
What cage do you have? Are you getting boys or girls? Do you know their varieties or just getting a random pair?
Ah, thanks so much, that's a really helpful post. I'd looked at megazorb but it looked really messy and aubiouse didn't look right either. I just want something thats going to be safe for them, but not make a giant mess.
Not sure of exact variety yet, the litter is very mixed, some dumbo, think they're all smooth coat but not sure if there's a rex or two. I'm getting 2 girls, just need to wait they're old enough to collect. Huge variety of colours and markings in the litter, they're all different so I've no idea what mine will look like yet.
Cage is a standard large Savic rat cage, I forget exactly which one. It's about 80x50cm, and seems enormous. I've made some hammocks and bought large tubes and other bits to put in the cage.
We used to use Sainsburys compressed wood cat litter - no dust, very absorbent and they smell lovely.
We've had our first rats (2 boys) for 5 weeks now and adore them! In terms of bedding we've tried carefresh and back2nature. Carefresh got smelly very quickly so switched back to back2nature. We are using the shunamite diet too, with Harrison's banana brunch as the bulk. Make sure you have a couple of hammocks as they get smelly quickly too! Our boys are getting braver and braver now - they are such cute personalities. One is a dumbo seal point Rex and the other a grey and white smooth coat.
We use Carefresh bedding with Bio-Catolet in their litter box.
We don't have any smell at all. Their litter box is cleaned daily, surfaces are wiped every day, and the cage washed thoroughly every week.
We use old cut up towels for hammocks and wash them until they fall apart.
We have 2 girls. We did have 3 but one died a couple of weeks ago. She was a year old. They were super friendly but since their mate died they are much more subdued and timid. They are not as affectionate with us which is really sad.
Ours only smell if their diet is not great. They smell really bad if they eat yoghurt!
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