Author Topic: Some Cage Cleaning Questions...  (Read 903 times)

Offline 4JerseyGirl

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Some Cage Cleaning Questions...
« on: January 28, 2009, 01:17:29 AM »
I haven't decided which one yet, but I *am* ordering a *large* cage for my boys.  This cage will have solid bottoms and if it doesn't I will either make the bottoms solid or cover the floors with linens like fleece or old towels.  Which of those I do most depends on how litter-trained I manage to get my ratties by then.  But I have some questions that I would love some advice on:

1) when you all clean/scrub/wipe down the inside of your cage, what product(s) do you use?  I know that I should use bleach very sparingly, like only a few times a year, and let it air out very well, because of the fumes.  Is the new green/eco-friendly line from clorox animal-friendly, for example? Or is it really best to go to the pet store and get the specially made litterbox cleaning/cage cleaning sprays?

2) when you wash the bedding/the floor linens, what do you use?  I know the less perfumes the better, but does anybody have any specific recommendations?  Any chemicals in particular I should stay away from?  How about Dreft, that detergent that is made specifically to be used for baby clothes and blankets?

3) what are some of the best tricks and tips for litter training?  I'm not terribly worried about my six-week-old squeekers, but I have a six-month-old that I have to train as well.  Also... when I buy a litter pan, say I end up with five boys instead of three... am I gonna want the huge corner litter pan, like, the one a rabbit could sit in?  And should I just have one for the whole cage, or one on each level?

Offline javakittie

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Re: Some Cage Cleaning Questions...
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2009, 09:48:03 AM »
1 : I use a 50/50mix of vinegar/water in a spray bottle for wipe downs. I change out my liners every 2-3 days and just spray the solid flooring I use [lino tiles or coroplast] with the mixture. Let it sit for 5min then wipe everything down with a wet washcloth. Air dry, add liners, add rats - cry when they insist on messing up their pritty clean cage.  :P For Cleanings [scrub downs] I use straight vinegar and hydrogen peroxide. Spray vinegar, spray peroxide, watch cool foaming action for a bit then wipe off the gunk and spray it all down. If there's something particularly funky on the cage, I'll scrub it down with Dawn [or whatever I have on hand] and rinse before using the vinegar.

2 : I use whichever Free/Clear detergent was on sale. I've used just about every brand of Free/Clear my Kroger carries, though, and they all work the same. Since I've gotten my boys [mm, pee marking!] I've also been adding about 1/4c of vinegar to the wash to get the smell out. I don't use dryer sheets, but only because the free/clear versions are a bit too expensive for me to justify purchasing for the rats laundry only.

3 : Slow and steady wins? Mostly you just want to make sure you put the litterboxes where they like to go. This is normally in a back corner, but can be under/at the foot of a ramp or on a shelf. If you're switching to fabric, alot of people have had better success with that than with trying to use a Bedding and a Litter. Alot of us prefer using Yesterday's News, you can get a 30lb bag of Unscented in the cat litter section for around $20 +/- and it lasts nearly forever. You can also use Carefresh [too dusty in my opinion] or Aspen [sticks to fleece like velcro]. I use a ferret litterbox that's in the 12" range. Petsmart sells it, I believe it's made by All Living Things. It's about $5-$7 and they always have blue or purple ones. Anyhow, Something in that general size range would be more than adequate for several rats. You'll want one on each main level in your cage regardless of how many rats there are, though. Rats are lazy bums when it comes right down to it, so having their litterbox as close as possible to where they are is your best bet.

Offline MizBiscuit

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Re: Some Cage Cleaning Questions...
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2009, 10:38:16 AM »
I can really only answer #1. I have some unscented baby wipes that I use when I clean the cage every week and for spot cleanings. Once a month to 6 weeks I take the vinegar/hydrogen peroxide to it. This seems to work well for us.
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Offline synelovator

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Offline 4JerseyGirl

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Re: Some Cage Cleaning Questions...
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2009, 03:15:39 PM »
Yep.  That about does it, lol.  Thanks!