Author Topic: Rat hammocks  (Read 298 times)

Offline Beltaine

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Rat hammocks
« on: February 15, 2017, 01:08:16 PM »
I was wondering, what kind of fabrics are the best for making rat hammocks? Only polar fleece? Fleece + cotton fabric? Fleece + flannel? What fabrics are you using most often and why?
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I'm a rat hammock maker. I sell my works on Etsy. All hammock are handmade by me with care and attention to detail. I use soft fleece and natural 100% cotton fabrics. Good prices and worldwide shipping with trackig number.

Offline BigBen

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Re: Rat hammocks
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2017, 03:36:21 PM »
Fleece is recommended for rats because it is a non-woven fabric, and felt, likewise.  Woven fabrics, as they get chewed, can develop loops of threads that can damage or cut off a ratty toe, or perhaps a hole might stretch enough to let a rat's head through and then trap the rat.  Fleece and felt do not develop thread loops, and they do not stretch the way woven cloth does, so a rat can't get its head stuck in a hole.  If you want an absorbent layer in your hammocks for the fleece to wick liquid to, it would be a good idea to use cotton batting or some other such non-woven fabric for the purpose.
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Offline ILoveMyRatties

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Re: Rat hammocks
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2017, 10:09:23 PM »
I only use fleece. I know it is tempting to use flannel or cotton because they have such beautiful patterns...but it is safer to use only fleece in my opinion:)

Offline purple rat

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Re: Rat hammocks
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2017, 09:17:42 PM »
I use fleece on the inside of all my hammocks and flannel on the outside for winter hammocks, and cotton for summer. I find that having the outer fabric gives it more strength (I've had some hefty rats :o) and my rats that have been chewers tend to stop once they get through the fleece layer
« Last Edit: February 16, 2017, 09:21:47 PM by purple rat »
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Offline ILoveMyRatties

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Re: Rat hammocks
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2017, 08:44:01 AM »
I only use fleece. I know it is tempting to use flannel or cotton because they have such beautiful patterns...but it is safer to use only fleece in my opinion:)
i should add that even if it is safer, the chances of any problems are tiny. I've had rats who destroyed flannel and cotton and I still used those hammocks for quite some time and never had a problem. also if you keep your rats' nail short and rounded as opposed to sharp, even less chance of any accident.

Offline Vonda Z

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Re: Rat hammocks
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2017, 07:48:58 PM »
I use a layer of cotton/flannel and a layer of fleece and have been for years and never had a problem. I throw things away when they get chewed, but even if they do a ton of damage in a single day - i have never had an issue.

That said, when I make things for a friend's chinchilla, I use fleece only (and only seamless designs) because supposedly chinchillas can ingest the fabric if they chew it and exposed seams are an enticement to chew and if they ingest the woven fabric they can become impacted. I am not exactly sure how that works not having had a chinchilla, but it is what I have heard from the chinchilla community, so I follow their instructions. Rats will never ingest the fabric they chew, so impaction is not a risk.

I think the hammocks work out better with a layer of each. My hammocks tend to be pocket style, so they can go into the fleecy warm inner area when cold or lay on top of the cooler cotton surface in warmer temps. Two layers of fleece produce very thick hammocks - especially if making pocket hammocks where several layers are sewn at once, and they can be a challenge for some sewing machines with so much fabric needing to pass under the presser foot, but a layer of fleece and cotton is just about perfect. And the cotton fabrics are always sharper and more vibrant than the fleece patterns.

But that is just my preference.

Offline BigBen

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Re: Rat hammocks
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2017, 02:07:02 PM »
. . .

That said, when I make things for a friend's chinchilla, I use fleece only (and only seamless designs) because supposedly chinchillas can ingest the fabric if they chew it and exposed seams are an enticement to chew and if they ingest the woven fabric they can become impacted. I am not exactly sure how that works not having had a chinchilla, but it is what I have heard from the chinchilla community, so I follow their instructions. Rats will never ingest the fabric they chew, so impaction is not a risk.

. . .

I'm glad to hear that folks have used woven cloth for their rats without serious issues.  I guess the risk isn't as high as some of us have feared.

As for chins, yes--you don't dare give them anything to chew on but wood (and of course, pellets and hay) because they will swallow it and become impacted and that is life-threatening.  So no plastic wheels--only all-metal--and food bowls can't be plastic, either.  I haven't given my chins hammocks, because I didn't think even fleece would be safe.  So that's good to know.

I am fairly new to chinchillas, but I can tell you that they are a lot of fun and a lot less likely than rats to take sick, but when they get sick it's almost always life-threatening, if not inevitably fatal.  So the trick is to keep them as healthy as possible and not to let them get sick.  Interesting fact:  chins, unlike rats, can't brux, so they need to keep their incisors trimmed by gnawing.  (That's why chins chew on everything, I guess.)  But they are very sweet animals, and love to bounce around their enclosure.  And their fur is so soft!  Makes even the silkiest rex rat feel like terry cloth!
What is a rat?  King-sized love in a pint-sized package.
RatCode:  1m0f18r !B C? D+ F S-- ocA reC sM a+++ e++++ n