Author Topic: How often do you clean out your cage?  (Read 8379 times)

Offline ((ekfdmlqlc))

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How often do you clean out your cage?
« on: April 19, 2011, 10:36:46 PM »
It must be the first-time-rat-owner skittishness, because I'm cleaning out my cage top to bottom (which is pretty darned big; I have the Marshall Townhouse cage) every single day (takes me about 1.5 ~ 2 hours). I also spot clean a bazillion times a day and if I have the time while I have my rats out for free range, then I'm continuously wiping at the cage bars, 'just in case they peed on them'.

I think I'm a bit more paranoid because I don't want my rats to get terribly sick, and also partially because their cage is in my bedroom; don't want any odours building up. :3

So to Goosemoose: How often do you clean out your rats' cage(s)? What do you do for odours in between top-to-bottom cleans? If anyone has tried air purifiers... Do they work? I'm thinking of getting one... :)

Offline johanna2004

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Re: How often do you clean out your cage?
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2011, 10:49:35 PM »
I vacum out every day (i use fleece liners)  and i change the liners atleast once a week. I change the litter box every other day or so. though closer to every five days.  when i had a different cage i wiped the levels down with a baby wipe once a day and a good clean atleast once a week.

i clean everything (wipe down the bars scrub the hard to reach places ect) once a month.

I have a air purifier and it helps keep the allergens down.

and i don't have any problems with smell for the most part unless i'm running behind on my cleaning schedule.

the more rats you have the more often you need to clean though.  (i'm currently at 4 in the big cage)
my happy pets
Boo- my big boy rat
Fuller- adventure rat
Wash- hungry rat
Turkleton- shy rat
Gibson- nakkid rat

Offline Miss Vicky

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Re: How often do you clean out your cage?
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2011, 10:52:59 PM »
I change litterboxes 2-3 times a week and change out the liners and hammocks usually every 3 days or so, but sometimes longer if they're not too dirty.
I also take the cages outside for a hosedown once every 1-2 weeks, time and weather permitting.
Owned by two cats (Tiny Tim and Jasper) and two rats (Wreck-It Ralph and Fix-It Felix, Jr.)

Offline Sunshine42573

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Re: How often do you clean out your cage?
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2011, 10:57:36 PM »
I change liners and litter box every three days or so. Then every other time I change everything out. very time liners are changed I wipe shelves down with cleaner and dry them.

Offline johanna2004

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Re: How often do you clean out your cage?
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2011, 11:20:06 PM »
i love that my boys use the litter box so well its helps alot
my happy pets
Boo- my big boy rat
Fuller- adventure rat
Wash- hungry rat
Turkleton- shy rat
Gibson- nakkid rat

Offline AlwaysAmy

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Re: How often do you clean out your cage?
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2011, 11:32:31 PM »
I sweep out the bottoms of the cages (where my rats do most of their pooping) every day or every other day.  I tear down & clean the cages once a week or about every 9 days, depending on how my days off fall.   :confused:

Offline Sunshine42573

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Re: How often do you clean out your cage?
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2011, 11:58:08 PM »
yes litter box training helps a lot. But mine still pee in certain corners. thinking of getting corner boxes for those to see if that will work. i have three girls in a single CN. use fleece for liners and the one litter box.

Offline Pomlover2586

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Re: How often do you clean out your cage?
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2011, 12:40:13 AM »
I vacuum my liners daily, and wipe down the litter box, igloo, tubes etc daily as well as pick up any stray poopies. The liners get changed Wed and Sundays, and the hammocks get changed sundays as well. Litter box is also changed Wed and Sun. I wipe down the cage with baby wipes on Sunday, and once a month I take it out for a hose down. Total cleaning time daily is about 30 mins- and that includes food prep.
~Elaina~
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Offline PackLife

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Re: How often do you clean out your cage?
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2011, 01:32:15 AM »
I have nineteen rats between four large cages, my cleaning routine is a follows:

After my son is down and before I go to bed (which leaves four to five hours), I do free-time rotation in my rat room. Same-sex groups spend time out in the play area while I change litter pans, spot clean, and inspect the condition of their cage furniture. If anything feels scummy, it's removed to either be washed or tossed. Replacement items are installed if needed. Water bottles are topped off. Food is refreshed.

My liners are two layers of towel sewn under fleece. Every other day, I replace the liners (regardless of condition) with fresh ones, shake them out if needed, then throw them into a hamper. I never detect an odor since I've been doing it this way. Nothing really has a chance to get gross. At the end of the week, the wash is done and I have the next week's liners all clean.

Every week, all cage furniture is removed for cleaning. They are soaked, scrubbed, dried, and replaced.

Every three weeks the rats are transferred to temporary holding containers and their cages are broken down. I use a concrete mixing tub filled with hot water, vinegar, and dish soap along with a scrub brush to clean everything thoroughly. The cage parts are toweled off and reassembled. Cage liners down, accessories reinstalled, etc.

Maybe it's excessive but it's also effective. Nineteen rats and six mice in one room and no smell. I also use a germ guardian mini air purifier. I find this is really effective, especially with the musky mouse smell.

Offline TnM

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Re: How often do you clean out your cage?
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2011, 08:19:31 AM »
I change my liners every other day or every third day. If my rats are in any way even slightly sneezy I up that to changing them every single day. I don't think you can be too clean. Once your rats are settled in and not new and stressed out of course(I'm thinking of unsocialised babies I've had here, that stress wouldn't have been good).
3 Girls in QT: Shady and Misha(the old ladies), and Blue Fairy
4 Boys: Spaz, Brother, Buddy, Valentino

RIP: Memory and Rattie Girl, Tinsel(amazing monkey rat), Ruby(The Gentle Giant), Holly(lil' tilty holly jolly rattie) - Gone from sight but never forgotten.

Offline Lillyloo

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Re: How often do you clean out your cage?
« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2011, 12:05:46 PM »
oy I feel like my schedule is so lax now  :confused: I dump the whole lot of bedding once a week and when I do that I check the shelves and wipe them down with peroxide and vinegar mix. If they aren't to bad I wash shelves every two weeks. Hammocks and hidy holes get washed every three weeks or so unless they are really gross. They love to marinate so if I wash them to often they just go crazy sent making it back up ::) The cage gets totally broken down once a month for intense super cleaning Of everything. That is also when I check to see if some toys are past their prime and need to be thrown out.

Offline lessthansign3

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Re: How often do you clean out your cage?
« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2011, 05:29:53 PM »
I use aspen, and it gets changed once a week on the FN and more frequently right now on the smaller temp cage I'm using for my two dwarf boys while I'm trying to intro them to my big boy Hamlet. The cage was a perfect fit when they were babies, but now that they are fully grown, it's too small even for dwarves :( But, it will have to make due for the time being and it *hopefully* won't be much longer before they'll be living with Hamlet! :D

I wipe things down with Tidy Cats cat box wipes, and I'll spray on some vinegar and/or peroxide when things are really bad and scrub it good. When the shelves are nasty and in need of more than just a wipe down, I take them out and spray them down in the tub. Soon, I'll be taking the FN outside and spraying it down after a long winter of having been inside. It will get a good, deep cleaning. The chinchillas' FN has to go first, though, because they've been FAR messier!  :eek:

Offline RKEM

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Re: How often do you clean out your cage?
« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2011, 06:00:44 PM »
Every night I clean the water bottles, remove the poops or wet litter from the litter pan. I also change the baby blankets, paper towels and hammocks that have been peed on. Sleeping boxes, houses and tubes that have been used are washed down with water and dish soap. I'll also usually wipe down the floors if I've changed the blankets on top of them. The rhythm of cleaning depends on the rhythm of soiling by rats. Older rats tend to make much less of a mess and don't require all floors to be cleaned whereas younger rat can trash a 30 cubic feet cage every single day. Every few months or so, I'll dismantle the entire cage and plop each panel in the bathtub for a hardcore scrubbing.

Offline NotAGirlOrABoy

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Re: How often do you clean out your cage?
« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2011, 06:30:03 PM »
I spot clean daily and clean the whole cage (change bedding, clean it in the shower, wash hammocks) every week, week and a half. My cage is also in my bedroom, and this works just fine for me.
Everyone should be lucky enough to be owned by rats.
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RIP Steamer. Mama loves you. :)

Offline ((ekfdmlqlc))

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Re: How often do you clean out your cage?
« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2011, 06:59:19 PM »
Haha good to hear that I'm not the only cage-cleaning-obsessed one. XD It's tiring to spend so much time cleaning just their cage everyday, but I love how my rats run around in excitement and sniff everything after I put them back in their cage!

Offline blenderpie

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Re: How often do you clean out your cage?
« Reply #15 on: April 20, 2011, 08:35:33 PM »
I feel lax (though I only have three.)  I wipe down their shelves (where they mostly potty) about every other day, and change the base bedding about once a week. I have my rats in my room, and there's not much of an odor.  Now, I imagine that if I had more, my cleanings would increase.

Offline Bunnerrrs

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Re: How often do you clean out your cage?
« Reply #16 on: April 20, 2011, 08:51:59 PM »
I have 4 in a single FN. Liners are replaced ever 3-4 days depending on how pee-crazy they are. Shelves/toys/hidies/wheel/food dishes/litterbox are pulled out and scrubbed with hot water and dish soap, rinsed, then scrubbed again with water and peroxide or vinegar depending on what is available and then rinsed. Bars of the cages are wiped if they ever feel grimy, but it has never really been an issue. The litter itself is changed every other day or so. They don't pee in their hammocks so those are only changed every other week, sometimes longer, but they never smell. Water bottles are changed every night.

Offline DMRNM

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Re: How often do you clean out your cage?
« Reply #17 on: April 20, 2011, 09:34:08 PM »
I clean out every day. All 13 cages, and tanks. The bars and tanks sides get wiped down once week. However I breed so I tend to be overly clean. two of my cages have 4 in them and they get spot cleaned in the morning and bedding changes in the evenings. Water bottles and feed dishes all get scrubbed twice a day as well.

Offline Miz

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Re: How often do you clean out your cage?
« Reply #18 on: April 20, 2011, 10:13:42 PM »
I clean out every second day, cleaning litter boxes, wiping levels and changing hammocks and anything else that needs doing.   Do a full clean including the cages bars being cleaned every week,  and beak them down monthly to hose off outside incase I miss bits in my weekly cleans.  This is a mission at times lol.  I have a small cage with my 3 boys in,  and a furet tower with my 8 girls + 3 Foster ladies.  :) 
« Last Edit: April 20, 2011, 10:15:47 PM by Miz »

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Offline Victoriaa

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Re: How often do you clean out your cage?
« Reply #19 on: April 20, 2011, 10:28:29 PM »
I honestly don't need to do anything, - no spot cleaning, etc - except do a full clean (except put it in the shower, which is done once a month) every 6-8 days.
I also have just one old male in a R695.

Offline Anjel

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Re: How often do you clean out your cage?
« Reply #20 on: April 21, 2011, 12:22:40 AM »
I spot clean a couple times a day. Litter boxes get changed every other day for the more used ones, the smaller ones don't get used much at all so we change them every 3 or 4 days. The hammocks and liners and toys get switched out as they appear to need it. I wash the liners when I've got a sizeable load. I wipe down surfaces often though.

Offline mootpoint

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Re: How often do you clean out your cage?
« Reply #21 on: April 21, 2011, 12:39:42 AM »
I wipe down shelves as needed, and clean base bedding once a week on Tuesdays, when our compost gets picked up. Any blankies are changed during the regular cage cleaning, and the hammock (if its been peed in). But I have a single, old male who doesn't like to pee where he sleeps (thank god!)
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Offline SouthPaw

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Re: How often do you clean out your cage?
« Reply #22 on: April 21, 2011, 12:44:35 AM »
Once a week bedding gets changed, everything gets wiped down. Once a month I do a good scrubbing with bleach. Anxiously awaiting some nicer weather so I can take the cage outside and hose it down.  :)

This is just for 2 girls. They're in my room but I don't notice an odor.
The Rats - Finnick & Reptar
The Dogs - Juno, Lucy, Happy, & Cajun
The Cat - Jinx

Offline Snippet

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Re: How often do you clean out your cage?
« Reply #23 on: April 21, 2011, 07:58:44 AM »
I fully clean the cage once a week/ week and a half.  I wipe down the shelves daily and empty the litter tray a few times a week.  The water bottles are emptied and refilled every day.  You don't want to clean the cage every day as it removes all of their smell which causes them to scent mark even more which will mean they smell more. 
Cara,
Owned by Lilly, Rose & Daphne
Missing Snippet, Frost, Willow, Nix, Fern, Heidi, Fizz, Micha, Bubbles, Bee, Asteroid & Gypsy

Offline ExtraHannah

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Re: How often do you clean out your cage?
« Reply #24 on: April 21, 2011, 09:26:50 AM »
OK, I'm feeling like a slack Mom! My girls aren't litter trained, but seem to go 90% of the time in the deep bottom area where the bedding is. I scrub out water and food bowls daily, the water bowl once am and once pm and change the water bottle about every two or three days. Since mine mostly prefer the bowls this works fine. The only other place one goes regularly is in a large plastic house at the top of the cage. I pull out the bedding and replace every other day or so. I only do a major clean once a week. I use Nolvasan and water in a spray bottle since I already had it for the horses. I  generally change the fleece shelf liners once a week as well - they get the sniff test and seldom smell bad quickly and almost never have any poops on them! Hammocks and such get the sniff test and are washed/change as needed. Either once a week or probably more commonly twice a month.  I mean, if there's no poop in there and it doesn't smell like pee, what's the point?

I do a pretty good job with my weekly cleaning, but will give it a spray with the Nolvasan mixture a scrub and a hose off about once a month. The only time my cage has ever had any odor anyone noticed was when I had to put my 14 year old dog down and was seriously depressed so the bedding change waited about 10 days.