Author Topic: Best kind of bedding...?  (Read 13996 times)

Offline Linny

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Best kind of bedding...?
« on: October 22, 2004, 01:56:45 PM »
Hi! I'm mostly just asking this to prove to my mom that there IS a difference between different types of bedding, so she doesn't put our rats on cedar when we get them next month...  :-\

So, what's the best kind of bedding for rats? I know not to use cedar or pine (which is VERY annoying since it's all the petstores sell, and my parents are tempted by how you can get huge bags of it for about two dollars), but I'm not sure what kind I SHOULD use. Like some sort of wood chips, or cat litter, or something... Any suggestions?

Also, if anyone lives in or near Winnipeg, Manitoba (Canada), do you know of a place where I can actually BUY some good types of it? Because all I can find are cedar, pine, and some very small bags of aspen, which would last about a day, that cost about ten dollars each.  ::)
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Offline jessiree

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Re: Best kind of bedding...?
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2004, 02:04:48 PM »
I don't live near you, but I do have some good suggestions, that hopefully you can find near you!  :BlueDumboSmile:

I personally use old towels/cloth.  My raties love it and it's easy to use.  It doesn't both anyone allergy-wise.  I just change their towels every 2 days and wash them--and replace with others!

There's also Aspen (a safe wood shaving) and carefresh (a paper bedding) and also something like Yesterday's news (a recycled newspaper cat litter.--don't use the clay kind of litter, by the way)  You can get a huge bag of yesterday's news for a decent price and it'll last a WHILE. 
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Offline starsevol

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Re: Best kind of bedding...?
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2004, 02:05:17 PM »
Hi Linny,

I started my boys on carefresh. It does have an odor to that alot of people dont like.
Then I tried ultra carefresh.....nice but EXPENSIVE....

then one of my boys, Beau, developed respiratory issues and Kim (from Kims Ark) told me about towels......completely dust free!

I go to the thrift store and buy them cheap. I throw them away when they get too holey.
Its alot of laundry but the rats dont care whether or not their bedding is neatly folded  ;D

And my boys LOVE burrowing and playing in the towels. They chew them up and stuff them into the door of the igloo on chilly nights. And when you clean the cage, unlike litter that makes a mess, towels pull out in one piece. I love that! I will never use anything else now!
« Last Edit: October 22, 2004, 02:09:26 PM by starsevol »
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Offline brandy

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Re: Best kind of bedding...?
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2004, 03:06:33 PM »
I use shredded aspen, I can get a package at Target for $3.50 (US$) that lasts me about six cage cleanings.  Very cheap, and have never had a problem with it!

I used to use Carefresh, which is also good, but it's a lot more expensive. I like it, but I can't justify paying more when the aspen gets the job done just as well.

There are lots of other paper-based beddings out there, take a look at your local stores to see what's available. If there are any big chain pet stores near you, they usually have a better selection, and also look at feed stores.

Definitely don't take the risk on cedar or pine - respiratory problems, liver problems, all kinds of problems! Ask your parents whether they'd rather pay a little more for bedding or a lot more on vet visits!

Also - how many cages do you have? B/c you said you only found tiny bags of aspen... A lot of the time, the bags are vacuum-packed, and hold a lot more than it looks like.  The bags I get at target are only about 15" long, 9" wide and 3" thick, so it's only 9 liters - but as it says on the bag, it expands to 24 liters.  As I said above, that little bag easily lasts me five or six cleanings. (Although $10, even Canadian, is a lot for a little bag of aspen.) But if you've only got one or two cages to clean, don't discount the small bags if you can find them cheaper.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2004, 03:09:53 PM by brandy »
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Offline tsk_n_such

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Re: Best kind of bedding...?
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2004, 03:16:24 PM »
when my rats are in quarantine and, thus, have to be in a standard cage, I've always used either Carefresh or Aspen. Carefresh is a bit dusty though and doesn''t control odors, even though I'm a frequent cage cleaner.  Aspen does control odors pretty well and is pretty reasonable.  In the permanent cages, though, they are on linoleum and only use the 'potty' area..where I use yesterday's news pellets.  :)
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Offline Kendra

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Re: Best kind of bedding...?
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2004, 04:43:15 PM »
I love aspen.  I didn't like the smell of Carefresh, and Cell-Sorb is hard.  Mine aren't potty-trained, so using towels got really messy.  Aspen is absorbent, soft for them to walk on, smells nice, and is a lot less expensive than most other stuff.  I haven't tried Yesterday's News, or that new cardboard bedding, though, so they might be good, too. 
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Offline Sunilata

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Re: Best kind of bedding...?
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2004, 04:49:43 PM »
:heart: Yesterday's News! I only use towels for sneezy babies or rats that I am trying to monitor their...erm, raisins.  :confused:

YN is heavy enough so it doesn't get kicked out of the cage (that much), controls odors well, and while it is kind of expensive around here (I'm in Maine, and I pay $8 for a 15 lb. bag) it lasts awhile. It is also one of the only beddings that aren't pine or cedar that I can get around here, and it makes me feel good to know that it is recycled. :)
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Offline MinnieRat

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Re: Best kind of bedding...?
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2004, 05:04:17 PM »
I use cloth for them.  They are usually bed sheets, pillow cases, and shams. My guys aren't potty trained but, I clean their cages every day. Now that it is getting a little cooler here I have lined the cages with fleece. It is so much easier to clean cages for me then using aspen. (Just my opinion.)
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Offline Christy

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Re: Best kind of bedding...?
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2004, 07:24:03 PM »
I'm allergic to aspen shavings but love the Gentle Touch aspen pellets.  Equivalents are Yesterday's News and Cell Sorb Plus.  Those are my favorites to use and are all three pellet type litters.  Be sure to never use cedar, pine or clumping cat litters.

Offline SR&P

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Re: Best kind of bedding...?
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2004, 07:30:40 PM »
According to my vet, Carefresh is the best.
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Offline VegetarianPetLuvR

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Re: Best kind of bedding...?
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2004, 07:35:37 PM »
I use carefresh for the litterbox, and paper towels for the rest of the cage and for bedding. However, I don't like the fact that carefresh doesn't really reduce odors, and it's quite expensive, so I plan on switching to aspen pellets. This has been mentioned, but I have to add: Just don't get pine or cedar. And clumping cat litter isn't a good idea either.

Offline Christy

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Re: Best kind of bedding...?
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2004, 07:59:57 PM »
According to my vet, Carefresh is the best.

I'm so allergic to carefresh it's ridiculous.  Plus I don't like the way it smells or controls odor.  Just my opinion - I know a lot of people love it. I like the fact that it's soft, I just can't walk in the rat room when I use it.  :/

Offline enchancea

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Re: Best kind of bedding...?
« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2004, 02:23:20 AM »
I used old towels and pillow cases along with newspaper.

Offline Linny

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Re: Best kind of bedding...?
« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2004, 09:05:17 AM »
Thanks for the suggestions, guys  :)
)c ¨>
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Offline Linny

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Re: Best kind of bedding...?
« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2004, 07:51:23 PM »
Okay... we found some large bags of Yesterday's News at Petvalu or someplace like that for a pretty good price, and we've bought some, so we're going to use that.  :)

Ohhhh, I wish my dad would hurry up making that cage!  :hyper:
)c ¨>
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Offline Mighty-Midget

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Re: Best kind of bedding...?
« Reply #15 on: October 24, 2004, 09:24:13 PM »
There is a cat litter called Yesterday News, it's not ...horribly...exspensive, and it a bag will last you a while. It works wonders on the smell. I also put some care Fresh where I know the ratties like to sleep to make it a little softer and more comfy for them.

Offline BadRattitude

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Re: Best kind of bedding...?
« Reply #16 on: October 24, 2004, 09:40:05 PM »
I'm currently using Harlan's Shredded Aspen, which I LOVE.  It's similar to the Kaytee Aspen but without the dust.  I've gotten buggies 2 of the 3 times I've used Carefresh, so i don't use it any longer.  YN controls odor great, but can be expensive if you have alot of cages or big cages.  In a pinch i've used shredded newspaper (soy inks).

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Offline Leslie Marie

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Re: Best kind of bedding...?
« Reply #17 on: October 24, 2004, 09:49:15 PM »
I currently have my rat's on Yesterday's News and it works really well. The best I've used so far. I was using Carefresh and it's a good bedding too. The reason I stoped using it was because it was causing my asthma to act up.  :-\

Offline rattielady

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Re: Best kind of bedding...?
« Reply #18 on: October 25, 2004, 09:03:44 AM »
I was able to go to Tractor Supply (thanks to a tip on here) and got a HUGE bage of aspen for $8 HUGE HUGE bag! should last for a very long time! This is even scent free. which made me happy. it says it expands to 5.0 cubic feet. I swear it is at least the size of 5 bags of the same stuff I get from the pet stores. and only  a little over a dollar more expensive. I bet any farm stores will have this stuff.
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Offline Mighty-Midget

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Re: Best kind of bedding...?
« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2005, 03:12:29 PM »
I resently descovered this AMAZING bedding called hunt club pet bedding, it's sold at any feed stores and such, it's cheap it's light, and it's COMPLETLY dust free!!!

Offline Suebee

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Re: Best kind of bedding...?
« Reply #20 on: January 31, 2005, 09:16:41 AM »
What's it made of?

I never consider a bedding unless I know its content. ;)

Edit: Found this:

Quote
manufactured from selected grades of corrugated material typically used for boxes, which is converted into small dimensional pieces

http://www.equiworld.net/uk/ezine/0102/huntclub.htm
« Last Edit: January 31, 2005, 09:19:00 AM by Suebee »

Offline ratties

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Re: Best kind of bedding...?
« Reply #21 on: January 31, 2005, 08:27:29 PM »
i started off with carefresh switched to yesteredays news but was still having a problem with sneezy rats so now i am using hemp. i am so tempted to try using fabric.
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Offline ruthiechan

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Re: Best kind of bedding...?
« Reply #22 on: January 31, 2005, 09:44:05 PM »
when my rats are in quarantine and, thus, have to be in a standard cage, I've always used either Carefresh or Aspen. Carefresh is a bit dusty though and doesn''t control odors, even though I'm a frequent cage cleaner.  Aspen does control odors pretty well and is pretty reasonable.  In the permanent cages, though, they are on linoleum and only use the 'potty' area..where I use yesterday's news pellets.  :)

Am I the only one whose experience is the opposite?
I'm using Aspen right now and technically, cage cleaning day isn't for 3 days, but I'm going to have to change it tonight because it smells already!
This is especially bad for my husband whose allergic to the rats. It also clings like crazy to cloth and carpet.
With CareFresh, I could be on time or a day late (though I try not to to do that, but life happens sometimes) and it's not such a big deal because it doesn't smell too bad.

Yesterdays News is okay, but when I saw my sister use it, it turned her rat's tails black.

When we move though and actually have a washer and dryer INSIDE, I'm going to use nothing but cloth.
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Offline Suebee

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Re: Best kind of bedding...?
« Reply #23 on: February 01, 2005, 09:03:45 AM »
The only time I ever tried Aspen it kicked off a respiratory infection in one of my rats, so I haven't used it since. I can't vouch for it's economy or odor control...

That said, I personally think CareFresh is fantastic at odor control. I've -never- had anyone tell me my home reeked of rat, even when the cage needed a cleaning. I usually got comments like "Wow, your place doesn't smell at all!" -- and usually from non-rat people.

As for its dustiness... depends on the bag. I've had some dusty bags here and there over the years... but it's usually pretty good. I've noticed and overall improvement since they started smooshing it into tight bricks instead of bagging it loose, like they used to.

Offline kmw

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Re: Best kind of bedding...?
« Reply #24 on: February 01, 2005, 10:00:07 AM »
I've used:

Cloth
Aspen
Carefresh (regular and ultra)
White Tek-fresh
Cellsorb
Hemp

I've currently got white Tekfresh and Harlan aspen.  The aspen itself has an odor (not offensive, but it smells like aspen!), and doesn't have the odor control capacity of the regular carefresh.  But, my rats have their own living area, on a solid non-carpeted floor, so clean-up is a breeze.  Plus, I'm switching cages to really deep pans, so that keeps the amount of kickage to a minimum :)
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Offline jixie

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Re: Best kind of bedding...?
« Reply #25 on: February 01, 2005, 06:25:36 PM »
Am I the only one whose experience is the opposite?

Heya.

I switched to aspen because of costs before I got rats, but I used to use carefresh in my rabbits litterbox. It was before he was neutered and had some pretty potent urine. There was never a problem with oder, even when cleaning the litter box. Switched to aspen and --ugh! Thought I would pass out first time cleaning it.

Currently using hardwood pellets and it's by far my favorite litter. Inexpensive, excellent odor control, and hey it even looks nice. The downsides are that it's really heavy, and it's not very comfortable to stand on. I don't use it in cages where the animal has to stay on their bedding (ie, tanks), but in the multi-level rat cage it's perfect for the pan, or in the rabbits litterboxes.

Each litter has it's pros and cons and it will take some experimenting to decide which type is "perfect" for ones situation. Aside from cedar I'd also strongly discourage using corncob bedding, it doesn't absorb anything and it WILL mold if you don't change it everyday, and has no redeeming factors that would make it worth your money.

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Offline Ratschooksanddog

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Re: Best kind of bedding...?
« Reply #26 on: February 01, 2005, 11:49:09 PM »
hey

I use Oaten Chaff. I have trouble finding siutable litter where i am, so i can simpathise. I use chaff in my brooders (for young chickens) Its dust free and really absorbent. It has a lovley hay smell.
The rats love to have a dig in it for edible bts (making a mess around the cage). I only have to change it every 2 weeks if i put it 1-2 inches deep.
A 35kg bag costs me only $18 (AU)

As for sleeping material...old clothes work well! And unbleached, unsented toilet papaer...but usually by accident. Mostly the rats sleep in their tunnel hammock.

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Offline Kimmers

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Re: Best kind of bedding...?
« Reply #27 on: February 04, 2005, 11:02:13 AM »
I used to use Carefresh, but wasn't too terribly impressed, so after lots of recommendations, I switched to Yesterday's News. And I love it, it's the best I've tried yet -- the downfall is that it's expensive.   $15 for it here, and it is a 15 or 20 lb bag, but with a cage my size, it's like it's only enough for 3 uses. So since I change out the litter every week, that adds up. ;P   

This towel idea intrigues me, though. I'd like to try it, but my parents would throw a fuss at me throwing the dirty ones into the washer when it's time. They're so anti-rat, don't want anything the rats have touched touching anything of theirs.  ::)
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Offline aphoeniceus

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Re: Best kind of bedding...?
« Reply #28 on: February 04, 2005, 11:05:43 AM »
I used to use Carefresh, but wasn't too terribly impressed, so after lots of recommendations, I switched to Yesterday's News. And I love it, it's the best I've tried yet -- the downfall is that it's expensive.   $15 for it here, and it is a 15 or 20 lb bag

Have you looked in the cat litter section?  I get a 30# bag at Petsmart for $11.
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Offline critterkeeper

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Re: Best kind of bedding...?
« Reply #29 on: February 06, 2005, 09:18:20 AM »
I used to use Carefresh, but wasn't too terribly impressed, so after lots of recommendations, I switched to Yesterday's News. And I love it, it's the best I've tried yet -- the downfall is that it's expensive.   $15 for it here, and it is a 15 or 20 lb bag, but with a cage my size, it's like it's only enough for 3 uses. So since I change out the litter every week, that adds up. ;P   
Well, I am currently using Carefresh, and I don't think it' s worth $20.00 for 10lbs.! I fell in love with Yesterday's News just now, and to think of how giddy I'm being over bedding. I cried tears of happiness (literally) when I saw the little brown dot on my babies noses' indicating they were siamese because it was "just so beautiful"  :BlueDumboSmile:. Anyway, maybe I'm so happy cause I'm gonna order my new cage today and its SuperBowl Sunday......... GO PATS!!!  :BlueDumboSmile: :rattysmiley:
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Offline Kimmers

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Re: Best kind of bedding...?
« Reply #30 on: February 07, 2005, 11:55:51 AM »
Have you looked in the cat litter section?  I get a 30# bag at Petsmart for $11.

I think one time I grabbed that one by accident, then realized later it was cat litter. I wonder, is there any difference between the Small Animal Yesterdays news, and the Cat Yestdays news?
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Offline jessiree

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Re: Best kind of bedding...?
« Reply #31 on: February 08, 2005, 09:11:33 PM »
Have you looked in the cat litter section?  I get a 30# bag at Petsmart for $11.

I think one time I grabbed that one by accident, then realized later it was cat litter. I wonder, is there any difference between the Small Animal Yesterdays news, and the Cat Yestdays news?

As far as I've been told there is no difference except the price. Market it in smaller bags for small animals and charge an arm and a leg!  ::)
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Offline Rattie_lover

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Re: Best kind of bedding...?
« Reply #32 on: February 09, 2005, 07:07:42 PM »
sorry if you think this is off topic but i think it fits in -

i was lookin at different rat cages on ebay the other day and a lot of them specifically say 'rat' in the description, yet they have pine shelves. now, i wouldnt buy them anyway cuz my rats would chew the shelves lol but i thought all pine was toxic for them? so is it just the bedding and the shelves in cages are ok, or are the people on ebay misinformed/just trying to sell the cages?
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Offline amylou

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Re: Best kind of bedding...?
« Reply #33 on: February 10, 2005, 12:29:34 AM »
I have been wondering about this Carefresh too because everytime I hold my girls after I put them down I sneeze a few times and then when I clean out their cages I sneeze a lot.  Does the ultra carefresh seem to have less dust than the regular?  The kind they sell at Kim's Ark looks neat and it says it has less dust but the shipping is expensive.  It is the same at the rat shop too.  I thought Yesterday's News may be too hard for them to walk on, so that is why I haven't tried that.   I thought about trying Aspen until I saw where Suebee wrote it triggered a res infec in one of hers.  Well now I am clueless, I will just have to try it all out I guess.