Author Topic: Liner design  (Read 1646 times)

Offline a1issa

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Liner design
« on: June 23, 2007, 11:32:18 PM »
So I've had my FN setup for ~2 weeks now, and I'm loving using fabric.  However, I've been struggling to figure out the best design for liners to be very absorbent, hard for the rats to burrow under, and super-easy for me to change.  Also, I want to have to completely wash the pans as little as possible (right now I'm having to do it every 2 days).  My rats are only partly litter-trained, and some of them do full-bladder peeing on the liner.

Some things I've tried, and some things I want to try.

1) Fleece, attached in trillions of places with binder clips.  Unless I used *tons* of clips, they pulled the liners up and hung out underneath.  Changing them took a while when I had to clip the in 3-5 places on the side.  The clips also flipped up when I put the tray back in, and it was a pain to try to tuck them all in.

2) A sewn fleece pillowcase type design, that allows you to slip it over the pan and fold/clip the end under.  This was very easy to change, but the rats in the bottom cage *devoured* the liner bottom through the top of their cage.  What a mess.

3) I want to try a second layer of fabric underneath the fleece, to make it more absorbent.  I'm wondering if flannel would be a good second layer.

So basically, what I'm asking is what everyone does, and how they deal with all of these issues.  If my rats would become completely litter-trained and stop burrowing (yes, I put down lots of scraps for them to burrow under already), it'd be a heck of a lot easier! 
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Offline Forensic

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Re: Liner design
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2007, 02:09:04 PM »
I attach my fleece with velcro.  Holds tight.  :)

Offline ratsamongus

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Re: Liner design
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2007, 03:54:30 PM »
I would use flannel on top of fleece as flannel is much more absorbant than fleece.  And with the fleece being on the bottom, it would be a lot cushier.  When I make my hammocks and such, I usually always use the flannel as the fabric that gets the most contact.

Offline MadHatter

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Re: Liner design
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2007, 04:23:24 PM »
I attach my fleece with velcro.  Holds tight.  :)

Thanks for that idea.  I've been trying to figure out how I'm going to make the big liners stick to the larger levels.  That solves my problem!  (good thing I have a pack of velcro already)  :thumbsup2:

Offline embryodb

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Re: Liner design
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2007, 04:42:11 PM »
I put rubber placemats under the pan so that the rats on the bottom level can't chew on the fleece that wraps under the pan.  This is also to prevent squabbling through the cracks as my FN is separated right now until proper introductions can be done.  Works pretty well :)

Offline Mischief Mistress

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Re: Liner design
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2007, 01:29:57 AM »
i use cage liners at petsmart by hartz, the tear them up but if you put fleece on top theres no way the pee can get to the cage level itself.
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Offline a1issa

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Re: Liner design
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2007, 11:09:40 AM »
Alright, I'm going to try flannel over fleece with the next cage change.  Yesterday I put towels under fleece, and so far that's helped quite a bit with the pee smell.

Although it still really reeks of pee in here - and every toy in the cage (except wheels - they were washed 4 days ago) was washed yesterday, pans & shelves were washed, and bars & fixed shelving were wiped down with vinegar solution.  Guess I need to wash the wheels, the rats, and perhaps the walls.  Oh, and the litter boxes get changed every 2 days, and I'm using wood pellets which are super absorbent and barely smell.  Now if I could just figure out why this room smells like urine so much!!!
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Offline Mischief Mistress

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Re: Liner design
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2007, 08:03:05 PM »
maybe there is something wrong with your rats urine to make it smell so horribly, because if you have washed EVERYTHING and it still smells bad, check your source!
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Offline a1issa

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Re: Liner design
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2007, 08:57:58 PM »
Well, there are 12 of them, and not all of them are litter trained.  It's also between 75 and 90 degrees in here, since we don't have air conditioning.  The smell gets exponentially worse by the end of the second day of a bedding change... and the smell is reasonable when it's been freshly cleaned.
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Offline anita1216

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Re: Liner design
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2007, 03:38:16 PM »
The heat absolutely makes it all smell worse. I have seven boys in a cage and before we turned on the central air they were a bit ummm funky ;) I spot clean daily and pull the cage apart once a week to scrub the pans, shelves and any plastic in the cage. I also change out linens about every three days. The smell is at a minimum and until hubby complains that he can smell them (in over a year he has never once mentioned their smell) Im gonna call what I do a good plan for us :)

Offline Dearpie

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Re: Liner design
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2007, 05:33:47 PM »
Well, there are 12 of them, and not all of them are litter trained.  It's also between 75 and 90 degrees in here, since we don't have air conditioning.  The smell gets exponentially worse by the end of the second day of a bedding change... and the smell is reasonable when it's been freshly cleaned.

I hope you have a fan on your rats, at least.  My sister's rats passed of heat stroke when her house reached 90 degrees inside.

Offline italianqt

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Re: Liner design
« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2007, 06:27:07 PM »
I've been sewing fleece under cotton for the last few cage changes (with folded binding around the edges) and i have noticed a CONSIDERABLE difference in smell. I used to use fleece only and really, WOW, what a difference this has been.
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Offline a1issa

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Re: Liner design
« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2007, 08:11:56 PM »
Well, there are 12 of them, and not all of them are litter trained.  It's also between 75 and 90 degrees in here, since we don't have air conditioning.  The smell gets exponentially worse by the end of the second day of a bedding change... and the smell is reasonable when it's been freshly cleaned.

I hope you have a fan on your rats, at least.  My sister's rats passed of heat stroke when her house reached 90 degrees inside.

They get frozen water bottles during the day, and they go pea-diving every afternoon when it's at the hottest.  I'm afraid to give them a fan because I don't want to aggravate respiratory problems. 
« Last Edit: June 27, 2007, 08:14:09 PM by a1issa »
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Offline BarbedDragon

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Re: Liner design
« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2007, 08:28:20 PM »
I use those floormats that are made from cut up cotton Tshirts sewn together. I cut them up and handbind the edges to fit the shelves and the I put them on the bottom of the cage full size. They are SUPER absorbant and I can throw them in the washing machine without any problems. I use binder clips for the shelves but to be honest they really have never tried to burrow under them---I think because they are too heavy.

 :yelcutelaugh:

lemme know if you don't know the mats I'm talking about and I can take a pic for ya.

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Offline a1issa

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Re: Liner design
« Reply #14 on: June 27, 2007, 08:51:06 PM »
Like a rag rug?



Where do you get them?  And do you have chewers?  Wouldn't they turn into a raggedy, stringy mess if chewed on?
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Offline BarbedDragon

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Re: Liner design
« Reply #15 on: June 27, 2007, 10:11:22 PM »
Yup!!! Thats what I use!

I DO have chewers!! Beleive it or not only one corner has gotten chewed on. I just cut it off and kind of tacked down the end, but I don't think that was even necisarry. Of course I say that and Zim will probably chew it to bits tonight.

These are rats that hammocks dont last more than one go with. So full of holes after 5 days I have to toss them. They don't really mess with the rug *shrug*

I get mine for 4.00 at Big Lots. I need to get more just in case they plan on running out, which most of the stores seem to be right now.

They have a BIIIG one for about 15.00 (I THINK) that could be used to cover a whole cage about twice I'm sure. I think I may use about 3-4 normal mats for one go in the cage.

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Offline a1issa

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Re: Liner design
« Reply #16 on: June 28, 2007, 10:49:32 AM »
Hmm. mine have been doing the opposite - leaving the hammocks alone and destroying the bedding!  Little buggers.

I'll definitely keep my eyes peeled for those.  I didn't see them when I was at Big Lots a few days ago, but I wasn't looking, so I probably just missed them. I'm willing to try everyone's different methods and hopefully I'll find one that's superior.  I really need to get the smell down for the sake of my allergies!
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