Author Topic: "Explosion" of smell?!  (Read 787 times)

Offline E-marie

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"Explosion" of smell?!
« on: May 29, 2013, 06:46:46 PM »
My house smells like the rat cage. It's never EVER smelled like this.
Ruby just died, could the rats be over scenting? After cleaning the cage it still smells. UGH!!!  It's so gross!
Can I do anything, I'm not over cleaning or under cleaning. Even after deep cleaning a 3 weeks ago it was smelling.
Time to get a new cage? Can I do anything?
Lilly, Shadow RIP Daisy, Star, Peanut, Amber, Ruby

Offline *Kat*

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Re: "Explosion" of smell?!
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2013, 07:54:38 PM »
What kind of cage is it?

Offline Vonda Z

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Re: "Explosion" of smell?!
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2013, 12:59:15 PM »
You have probably covered all of these bases already, but these are the things I would check for first:

Is it possible that the rats have managed to pee outside their cage, hitting the walls or the floor or adjacent furniture? You might want to try cleaning around the cage if you haven't already. Cleaning the cage with vinegar can help neutralize the smell.

When you put in clean hammocks/liners do they smell? It might be that you need to add vinegar to the rinse cycle and possibly also add a second rinse cycle. If they still smell - the pee may have permanently affixed itself and you may want to replace them.

Do you use fleece liners? If so, do you also have an absorbant layer (eg, cotton or towels)? Fleece by itself will start to smell quickly if you don't also use something to absorb the pee.

Are you re-using boxes or supplying the cage with shredded paper? I know that boxes can really start to stink in a short time. Paper is the same way. How about wood items like huts and bird toys? I spray mine with vinegar and let it soak in - but if they still smell, it might be time to replace them.

If your cage is galvanized wire and not powder coated, it could be that the wire is soaking up the urine smell.

If you have plastic items, like tubes and igloos, run them through a cycle in the dishwasher to make sure they get completely clean.

Is it the rats themselves that smell? If so, you might want to give them a quick bath with a small amount of blue Dawn. They will probably hate it, though.

If you have a Critter Nation and have had it for a while, the pee can be getting caught in the crevices. You might want to completely take it apart and do a thorough hosing down.

I have also found that our cages need cleaning more often when it is hot in the house. Running the air conditioner seems to help - whether it is because the rats smell worse when hot, the pee smell is more evident in warm temperatures, or the air just circulates better when the air conditioner is running, I am not sure.

I have found that a quality HEPA air cleaner will help a lot with keeping the air fresh, but if your cage still smells even immediately after cleaning - it sounds like there is an underlying problem that needs addressing. The key to solving it is figuring out what exactly continues to smell after your cage is clean - the cage itself, the area surrounding the cage, the accessories, the hammocks/liners, the rats, or something else. Look for the source.

Offline E-marie

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Re: "Explosion" of smell?!
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2013, 05:04:59 PM »
I have a coast rat manor. It's the black which I'm pretty sure is powder coated.
It's very small so I think it's time to get a new one anyway.
Can/Do you put vineger by the cage too? I think I've heard of someone that does.
Lilly, Shadow RIP Daisy, Star, Peanut, Amber, Ruby

Offline ceopet

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Re: "Explosion" of smell?!
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2013, 11:27:14 AM »
I have a coast rat manor. It's the black which I'm pretty sure is powder coated.
It's very small so I think it's time to get a new one anyway.
Can/Do you put vineger by the cage too? I think I've heard of someone that does.

I would take it to the tub with me and scrub the heck out of it to make sure pee isn't hiding anywhere in there. Also clean clean clean your walls carpet/floors and any furniture around the cage, pee can travel pretty far. My cage is over a food away from the wall and I still have to check every cage cleaning to make sure there is no pee behind it  :yelcutelaugh: