Author Topic: Newspaper nesting material  (Read 5006 times)

Offline Hattie

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Newspaper nesting material
« on: January 30, 2005, 03:41:18 PM »
I have been using newspaper as nesting material for my two boys, but recently I read that the ink can be poisonous for rats. Is this a proven fact or just a precaution to take? I could change to old cloths and towels but when I added a few because I thought it would be more comfortable, my rats just pushed them out of their box...
Any advice would be much appreciated :)
~Hattie
Owned by: 1 dog (Charlie), 2 cats (Roxy & Jake), 2 rats (Winston & Sherman) 2 horses (Jethro & Jakey), 1 cow (Maddie) & 20 sheep :)

Offline VegetarianPetLuvR

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Re: Newspaper nesting material
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2005, 04:02:06 PM »
I use Yesterdays News in their litterboxes, and then just lay down baby blankets and towels for the rest of the cage.

The ink can be poisonous, unless it is the non-toxic one (soy?). I guess you'd have to call the company to find out.

Offline Sunilata

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Re: Newspaper nesting material
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2005, 04:03:36 PM »
I'm pretty sure I read that most newspapers nowadays use nontoxic ink, so that should be fine. :) I give my girls newspaper shreds (and shredded paper, like what comes as packing material in a Martin's cage shipment) to play with all the time, with no ill effects.
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nightsdoc

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Re: Newspaper nesting material
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2005, 04:14:18 PM »
Most newspapers nowadays use a soy based ink.   But be aware that they still do contain petroleum products.

Offline Siana

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Re: Newspaper nesting material
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2005, 04:31:00 PM »
I really don't like to use newspaper as nesting, as I can't stand the smell, and if I can't stand the smell, I don't want my rats sleeping in it.  However, it apparently shouldn't be harmful provided the ink is soy based.  I suggest you phone the printing company and find out, because I'm not sure everyone in NZ uses soy based ink.

What I use is old ripped up sheets as nesting material, and hand towels to line the cage wire.  I need to change the sheets and towels every 2 - 4 days, but a good wash with nappi san, and they're good as new, and can be reused.  If you continue to give your rats old cloths, I'm sure they'd get used to them. :)

Hattie, what are you lining the bottom of the cage with?  Are you also using newspaper for that as well?  I've found there are very few safe beddings in NZ - All you can really find is Cedar and Pine shavings for litter, which is what I initally used.  However I soon found out that both are toxic to rats, and needed to find an alternative.  The only safe alternative I found was Breeders Select cat litter, which consists of small pellets of recycled paper.  It's very similiar to Yesterdays News, which a lot of US people use.  It's not only safe, but I found it was much better for odour control as well, which was a pleasant bonus.  If you're not familiar with it, I highly recommend it. :)

Offline Ree

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Re: Newspaper nesting material
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2005, 04:51:48 PM »
The only safe alternative I found was Breeders Select cat litter, which consists of small pellets of recycled paper. It's very similiar to Yesterdays News, which a lot of US people use. It's not only safe, but I found it was much better for odour control as well, which was a pleasant bonus. If you're not familiar with it, I highly recommend it. :)

Is that Breeders Choice?  ;)

I use toilet paper for nesting in my cage, so that's another option.

My cage shelves are lined with towels (painstakingly cut to size, hemmed and velcroed.... and then shredded by the darlings) which as Siana said Napi San works great for.   

A little bit of effort = a LOT cheaper.  Breeders Choice runs at about $9 for a small bag (iirc) and the only other options I've seen are pine/cedar.

(oh, and Hi!  More kiwis on the forum can't be a bad thing)
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Offline Siana

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Re: Newspaper nesting material
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2005, 05:30:40 PM »
The only safe alternative I found was Breeders Select cat litter, which consists of small pellets of recycled paper. It's very similiar to Yesterdays News, which a lot of US people use. It's not only safe, but I found it was much better for odour control as well, which was a pleasant bonus. If you're not familiar with it, I highly recommend it. :)

Is that Breeders Choice?  ;)


Formerly Breeders Choice, now Breeders Select.  They've changed their name, for some reason.  ::)

Ree is right, it isn't cheap.  I probably go through 2 bags a month.

Offline Hattie

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Re: Newspaper nesting material
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2005, 06:28:07 PM »
Ree, I love your site! Expect an order for hammocks very soon :)

Up until recently, I was using pine bedding because as you say, it was the only thing available. But since reading all these articles about cedar/pine toxicity, I have just used newspaper. I will look into breeders select but I'm not sure my budget will allow for it! Towels seem like a good idea, although don't they get smelly quickly?
Owned by: 1 dog (Charlie), 2 cats (Roxy & Jake), 2 rats (Winston & Sherman) 2 horses (Jethro & Jakey), 1 cow (Maddie) & 20 sheep :)

Offline VegetarianPetLuvR

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Re: Newspaper nesting material
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2005, 07:48:03 PM »
Ree, I love your site! Expect an order for hammocks very soon :)

Up until recently, I was using pine bedding because as you say, it was the only thing available. But since reading all these articles about cedar/pine toxicity, I have just used newspaper. I will look into breeders select but I'm not sure my budget will allow for it! Towels seem like a good idea, although don't they get smelly quickly?

Towels do start to smell pretty fast. I just change them *before* they start to get smelly - usually every 2 days.

Offline aphoeniceus

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Re: Newspaper nesting material
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2005, 07:52:57 PM »
I second that on the towels.  They do need to be cleaned frequently as they can get stinky.  But its definately worth it in the long run financially, and it gives you more time to interact with your babies!   ;D
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