Author Topic: Litter costs and question  (Read 11587 times)

Offline Sunilata

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Litter costs and question
« on: January 21, 2005, 02:55:50 PM »
I'm just curious what you guys spend on litter. I use a thin layer of Yesterday's News in the bottom of my Ruud, and for the past 3.5 weeks I've had another littler cage of babies (but their effect on bedding was very tiny). I clean the cage every 4-5 days. Anyway, early December, I spent around $70 on four 30 lb. bags of YN. Here it is time to clean the cage again, and I am down to my last bag!
Kurt added up costs per year for me and it came to like $450 per year or something. I realize that I have fifteen rats, but I just think of how much money $450 is and how it could be spent elsewhere (vet fund, namely).

How are towels as far as smell is? Would putting a towel in the bottom of the cage and changing it daily work well enough?  ???
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Offline ekw4petrescue

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Re: Litter costs and question
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2005, 03:17:53 PM »
Wow, your YN must be expensive.  :-\  I get 26lb or 30lb bags for $11, and I have to buy about 2 bags per month.   I know there are people on here that only use towels/rags, and simply change them out daily.  I'm not sure about the odor control that way, but I imagine it would work well.   :)
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Offline Dearpie

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Re: Litter costs and question
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2005, 03:19:04 PM »
Yep, it's about $11 or so at Petsmart for the large bags in the cat litter dept, and the same stuff is almost $20 at Petco.  Amazing ...

Offline Sunilata

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Re: Litter costs and question
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2005, 03:31:13 PM »
Awh, we don't have a Petsmart around here (that I know of). :( The mom-and-pop petstore that is really close to me sells small bags (15 lb.) for $8.99, and that's all they have. If I go to Pet Quarters up in Bangor or Augusta, they sell the 30 lb. bags for about $16-$17. And I'm making sure to buy the cat kind, not the "small animal" litter.
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Offline jessiree

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Re: Litter costs and question
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2005, 04:03:20 PM »
I use towels...or old blankets..or fleece remnants or what ever is on hand.  I don't have a problem, but you'll need to change them more often--about every 2 days.  If you don't have chewers it works great, just toss them in the wash and put new ones in, but if they chew you can have some distrruction on your hands.  I actually found some fleece baby blankets from Walmart a few weeks ago for $1 that work well.  they aren't very thick or soft, but I just layer them to cover the bottom and the girls seem to like them!
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Offline DazzleMe

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Re: Litter costs and question
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2005, 04:24:47 PM »
I used to use Yesterday's News religiously because I couldn't 'take' aspen (allergies). However when I ran out of the Harlan Teklad paper pellets before the holidays I had to buy a large bag of Aspen because Petsmart was out of YN. Typically the YN at Petsmart is $9.99 for 26-30lbs (double at Petco). I reluctantly purchased the Aspen that one time and vow never to go back! It doesn't bother me like it used to. I think it was a 50liter bag of Aspen for $12 and it gives me two full litterpan changes for all the cages. I prefer to empty the litterpans once a week, however sometimes it does last a lot longer than that. I probably spend about $25 a month on litter.

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Offline ratmomma

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Re: Litter costs and question
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2005, 06:10:15 PM »
It's expensive here, too.

I use newspaper on the bottom with fleece bits and raggs. I change the newspaper every third day or so and chuck the rags once a week. I have a fleece hat they use as a hammock That gets washed.

I have two, And they poop inthe same place, so that I just wipe out daily with a wet paper towel.

They are in a cage, so aspen isn't an option. What a mess! I did use in in the tank. and it was fine. I really like not having to dump all of that stuff out. We get a ton of snow, so running out to the heap isn't an option now.
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Offline VegetarianPetLuvR

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Re: Litter costs and question
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2005, 08:11:57 PM »
I use Yesterday's new for the litter boxes (and :heart: it!) but the rest of the cage has no little. I simply put towels and baby blankets down on the second and third floors. The only use the first floor for eating, litter box, and tearing up paper bags, so that's fine towel-free. I change towels every few days. They don't really pee on them, so odor isn't a problem. Then I just toss em in the wash.

You can get blankets/towels really cheap at second hand stores. It's great to have lots on hand.

Offline Scubbs

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Re: Litter costs and question
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2005, 08:47:15 PM »
Yesterday's News, in the 30 lb bags, costs me around $9-$10.  I use mostly towels on the floors of my cages, and YN just in the litter boxes.  The 30 lb bag lasts me about 3-4 weeks, but that includes BunBun's litter box which I clean out every other day.  It'd probably last me a month and a half if it were just the rats.
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Offline Bratratbeds

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Re: Litter costs and question
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2005, 09:25:33 PM »
Have you tried to order YN online at Petsmart?  I'm not sure but I think the do ship It might be cheaper to do it that way.
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Re: Litter costs and question
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2005, 10:05:12 PM »
A 30 pound bag of YN from Petsmart.com would cost you about $26 dollars per bag.

$11.99 for the YN
    5.99 for the shipping
    8.00 for the weight fee.

Offline aphoeniceus

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Re: Litter costs and question
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2005, 11:04:26 PM »
I use aspen for the bedding, and yes it can be a little messy but it seems to work good with odor  :laugh: .  I use YN for the boys' litter boxes (there are 3 of them), which works perfectly.  And, I use old rags/towels for all the levels and small ramps.  I have to clean out the rags every couple days cuz boys pee everywhere!  ::)
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Offline Scubbs

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Re: Litter costs and question
« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2005, 12:07:54 AM »
I change the towels out in the big cage every two days, and I don't even smell them at that point.  It'd probably be a lot more economically reasonable just to get a few sets of towels (dollar stores sell hand towels for $1 each, they're great) and just throw them in the wash every couple of days and bleach them.
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Offline Sunilata

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Re: Litter costs and question
« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2005, 12:18:25 AM »
A 30 pound bag of YN from Petsmart.com would cost you about $26 dollars per bag.

$11.99 for the YN
    5.99 for the shipping
    8.00 for the weight fee.

Wow, I didn't know they had a weight fee! Here I was thinking that was a reasonable alternative, as long as I got enough to make the shipping charges worthwhile.

And yeah, Chelsey, that's what I'm thinking I'll do. Buy some cheap towels next time I go away and just rotate them in. I'll be doing a lot of laundry anyway once the ferret comes along...
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Offline RatGrrl_005

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Re: Litter costs and question
« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2005, 01:22:19 AM »
I have just switched to "woody pet" -its horse bedding.  Its kiln dried pine pellets that fluff up like shavings when wet, so it lasts longer than YN(Which i love, but with all the cages, it just wasnt economical for rescue use) - fortunately i can get it the town n country co-op feed store for $4.99 per 30lb bag.  So far, so good on it.  :)

Offline Dearpie

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Re: Litter costs and question
« Reply #15 on: January 22, 2005, 01:28:16 AM »
Pine is not recommended for rats. Period.  It may be cheap, but it contains phenols that wreak havoc with a rats delicate respiratory system.  Pine and cedar are huge "No-No's" for the small pocket pets.

Offline aphoeniceus

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Re: Litter costs and question
« Reply #16 on: January 22, 2005, 02:43:19 AM »
From what I have heard, "kiln dried" is a process where they remove all the phenols.  It is used for horse bedding.  So, that would make it safe - or so I have heard.
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Offline BadRattitude

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Re: Litter costs and question
« Reply #17 on: January 22, 2005, 03:36:56 AM »
What about hay or straw?  No phenols, freeze it to kill the buggies (easy to do with the weather in Maine right now I'd imagine).  You can buy it by the bale.

Offline DebW

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Re: Litter costs and question
« Reply #18 on: January 22, 2005, 07:45:05 AM »
I use cloth (towels) with all of my adult rats.  I change it daily, so I have the cost of detergent and electricity.

I actually use Harlan's Tek Fresh in my litter boxes, baby cages, and when I'm on vacation and others are watching them.  I belong to a rat food co-op that orders directly from Harlan approximately every 3-4 months.  The large bag of Tek Fresh (the equivalent of a large bag of Carefresh) is just over $9.00.  I can also order large bags of lab block at the same time for just under $10.00.
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Offline Sunilata

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Re: Litter costs and question
« Reply #19 on: January 22, 2005, 09:57:38 AM »
What about hay or straw?  No phenols, freeze it to kill the buggies (easy to do with the weather in Maine right now I'd imagine).  You can buy it by the bale.

I always heard it was sharp and that it might poke them (in the eye, namely). That isn't from firsthand experience though, so I don't know for sure.
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Offline Scubbs

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Re: Litter costs and question
« Reply #20 on: January 22, 2005, 12:53:49 PM »
What about hay or straw?  No phenols, freeze it to kill the buggies (easy to do with the weather in Maine right now I'd imagine).  You can buy it by the bale.

I always heard it was sharp and that it might poke them (in the eye, namely). That isn't from firsthand experience though, so I don't know for sure.

Hay is basically long pieces of dried grass.  Some pieces ARE sharp, and hay can be rather dusty and irritate eyes and the lungs.  Plus, it's not absorbant and it doesn't reduce odors in anyway.

Straw is larger pieces, and if eaten, can cause some health problems since it has no real nutritional value (like Iceburg lettuce).

Towels are your best bet, I believe.
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Offline tsk_n_such

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Re: Litter costs and question
« Reply #21 on: January 22, 2005, 06:30:10 PM »
have you checked the prices at your grocery stores? I get 15 lb bags of YN for $5.23 :)
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Offline BadRattitude

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Re: Litter costs and question
« Reply #22 on: January 23, 2005, 03:14:38 AM »
Hmm, I'm not sure how many of you have actually seen baled hay, but being from West MI where there is plenty of farms, I can vouch that hay is not dusty at all, in fact it has less dust than most bags of aspen and carefresh.  It's not really sharp either, it lies on the cage bottom and I've never seen a problem with it, it is used regularly for guinea pigs and rabbits.  I find it much less smelly than carefresh and aspen.

Hay is fiber and adding some fiber to the diet is not a bad thing, IME the rats at most just nibble it.  I mean, what do rats use in the wild?  Hay and grass.

I find towels smell too much, and not practical if you have a lot of cages.

Offline Grace

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Re: Litter costs and question
« Reply #23 on: January 23, 2005, 10:39:50 AM »
I buy hay for the buns by the bale, and I don't think I'd want to use it as a rat bedding at all!  It CAN be dusty, depending on where you get it and how long it's been stored, but, it doesn't absord odor or wetness well, plus it can be a pain to clean.  For a while I would layer hay over the aspen to give the rats some variety, but, I don't think I'd use it on its own as a bedding.


Sunilata - have you tried checking Hannaford?  The one down by me carries Yesterdays News, though I don't remember the price.  You could try using towels on the floors of the cage/s, then having litter pans with the Yesterday's News.  It would cut down on the bedding costs, but you wouldn't have to change the towels quite as often either since you'd have the litter pans.


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Offline angelratgirl

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Re: Litter costs and question
« Reply #24 on: January 23, 2005, 12:37:04 PM »
i use EcoStraw (which is made from wheat straw and the girls don't eat it) or cell-sorb plus which smells like freshly turned soil after a rain. (ok, to me that is a very pleasant scent). if you cannot find what you want at the petstores try asking around at your local vets. when my petstore of choice is out, that is where i go because my girls' vet also carries oxbow products (such as ecostraw).

sachi especially loves to dig dig dig and she enjoys digging in the litter and making a royal mess if i have more than a half an inch of litter in the pan. i love her to pieces.