Author Topic: When you need to clean the cage, where do you put your fuzzbutts?  (Read 9573 times)

Offline Little_Vixen

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I got this really nice cage. Well, to me it is nice. Not nearly as nice or easy as the cage I had 5 years ago, but this is still not bad :)

Here's the thing though.

Where do you put your rats while you clean the cage? The last one I had had a grated bottom and under that it had bedding in it's own little tray that could be slid out and dumped and everything was very easy to take apart. This one is a little less easy and I don't have any real extra cage-type thing to put the boys in while I change the litter.

I wouldn't have had to change the litter, but the 'sample size' of the bedding that came with the cage just wasn't enough to cover everything properly. Picked up more, just need to change things.

Offline Vonda Z

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Re: When you need to clean the cage, where do you put your fuzzbutts?
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2014, 06:18:13 PM »
Do you have a carrier for taking them to the vet? Small dog or cat carriers work well. If you don't have one, it is a pretty good investment - you will have it on hand if your rats get sick and need a vet visit.

Or a smaller travel cage is also a good investment in case you ever need to travel with your rats or need a cage for quarantine or something like that.

If the cage is in your room and your bed is a safe play space, you could put them on the bed while you change the bedding. Just keep the bedroom door shut in case they jump off when your back is turned.

Offline Little_Vixen

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Re: When you need to clean the cage, where do you put your fuzzbutts?
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2014, 06:41:56 PM »
I don't have a carrier yet no. With my puppy we would just used her crate whilst taking her to the vet and anywhere. 

I am looking into a travel cage right now, we've only had the tykes going on 3 days so everything was a little hodgepodge and more than a little unplanned.

I've got 2 lil boys, still baby boys. The cage they are in says it can fit 4 if space is used wisely as 2 cubic feet per rat and 3 if space is used at 2.5 cubic feet per rat.

I'd like a travel cage to obviously be a little smaller and more easily manageable as we do plan to travel some around this summer.

Any suggestions on a smaller travel size cage?

Offline alisonia333

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Re: When you need to clean the cage, where do you put your fuzzbutts?
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2014, 08:29:48 PM »
My guys go into their corrugated plastic play pen while we clean the cage, either that or they'll hang out with my fiance on the couch. I don't leave them on the bed or couch unsupervised because they could potentially disappear, but I'll leave them in the play pen in the same room as me. If you don't have a playpen, a big storage bin or something like that might work for a short period of time as long as they weren't able to climb out of it.

Offline Violet976

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Re: When you need to clean the cage, where do you put your fuzzbutts?
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2014, 08:38:24 PM »
I've got a double Ferret Nation as the main cage and a large Martin's currently as the play cage on the bed (sometimes I use a Rat Manor instead on the bed). For cleaning, I simply clean around the ratties. I have an almost 24/7 freerange setup that leads the Ferret Nation to the bed, so if they all run out on the bed I'll remove the ramp so they are stuck on the bed while I clean. Usually though, I just open the doors and scoot them out of my way as I clean. Same with the Martin's on the bed. I just clean around them, but am extra careful when lifting it out of the pan to clean the bottom.

Offline MizBiscuit

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Re: When you need to clean the cage, where do you put your fuzzbutts?
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2014, 05:15:19 PM »
I block off part of the hallway near where their cage is with a few of those dog/child gates. I put a few toys and whatnots down for them and just keep an eye out for climbers while cleaning. They can make it to the top of the gate right quick but have trouble with the going back down. I normally scoop them up right away anyway since I don't want a chase through the house.  :BlueDumboSmile:

Blinkin is my noisy boy. He'll get to the top and start squeaking and crying in order to get my attention and then stand up when I walk over in order to get some cuddles. :yelcutelaugh: It took me a bit to catch on.

It takes a while some days to finish the cleaning but I can't say I mind. ;)
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Offline mutewolf

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Re: When you need to clean the cage, where do you put your fuzzbutts?
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2014, 06:18:05 PM »
I'm very lucky and just let my boys run around the house. I have a small 1 bedroom apartment so the cat gets shoved in the bedroom, doors for bedroom &  bathroom are shut, and off they go.

Carriers definitely work or if you have scaredy rats, maybe a safe table if they won't jump off?

Offline OhRats!

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Re: When you need to clean the cage, where do you put your fuzzbutts?
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2014, 06:55:28 PM »
Hi there;
I have a pretty good sized bathtub; I let mine run around in the tub (and the few that jump out can free range the bathroom) on cage cleaning day.  I bring their whole set up into the bathroom so that I can supervise while they are playing.  On days when the cage needs a 'hose down', I just let them play outside the tub and stick the cage as well in there as I can to give it a good scrubbing.  Otherwise I use baby wipes on small cleanings, and for tougher but not quite requiring the 'hose down' technique I do a vinegar solution mix.  Hope this helps!
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Offline kaycejonesgrl

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Re: When you need to clean the cage, where do you put your fuzzbutts?
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2014, 08:30:52 PM »
I let mine climb out and about (with a CN I can't move it or anything) and on and around the cage and adjacent counter but they do get on the ground and climb in the arm chair next to me. My house is insanely tiny and has no where for them to go however so i don't worry and have great success by opening the treat bag and sitting next to the chair with it. They don't know their names but they do know the sound of the yogi bag haha
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Offline lovelyg4m3r

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Re: When you need to clean the cage, where do you put your fuzzbutts?
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2014, 11:29:41 AM »
Since the rat cage is in our bedroom, when I go to clean it (which is like twice a week to once a week, depending on when we start smelling it) I just put an extra blanket over the bed to protect our bed from rat pee and poo, then put a few of their toys there while I clean. I was a bit nervous the first few times, but now my boys are pretty trust worthy. They like to sniff at our night stands but generally stay off them. But, if I don't put another small blanket on top of the extra one, they will pull up an edge and crawl under the extra one, getting to our bed covers, which is a no no. so I put a small fleece blanket on top as well for them to run around under and they are pretty content. Giving a little treat keeps them busy as well.
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Offline foxontherox

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Re: When you need to clean the cage, where do you put your fuzzbutts?
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2014, 01:33:46 PM »
We keep our cage in the living room, where we used to have a couple couches and a coffee table, but now it's basically a rat habitat (seriously- the coffee table is always covered with a towel and cardboard boxes, tubes, etc).  When I clean the cage, they hang out there.

Offline Ratilda

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Re: When you need to clean the cage, where do you put your fuzzbutts?
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2014, 01:51:51 PM »
We have a DCN, and clean around the rats.  If anyone gets obnoxious, they get to spend cleaning time on our couch.  Obnoxious usually entails trying to steal the washcloth or refusing to get out of the DIRTY hammock.

If you choose to do the clean around them method, go slow initially.  A vacuum cleaner is a bit frightening initially.  And, they can get quite upset when you move their stuff around.  But, we have more problems with them insisting on piling into the new hammocks when they haven't been attached to the cage yet.
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Offline lovelyg4m3r

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Re: When you need to clean the cage, where do you put your fuzzbutts?
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2014, 01:54:58 PM »
We have a DCN, and clean around the rats.  If anyone gets obnoxious, they get to spend cleaning time on our couch.  Obnoxious usually entails trying to steal the washcloth or refusing to get out of the DIRTY hammock.

If you choose to do the clean around them method, go slow initially.  A vacuum cleaner is a bit frightening initially.  And, they can get quite upset when you move their stuff around.  But, we have more problems with them insisting on piling into the new hammocks when they haven't been attached to the cage yet.

Lol I hear ya, when I clean around my boys they are always trying to get into the hammock as I am hanging it. The other day, everything was attached except the spacepod, and I put it on, then went to zip tie it to secure it and Kuzco went barreling into it like a mad man. Before I could reach out and grab it, two of the 3 legs came off the bars and it was danging by one. Kuzco was sitting there  holding on inside the thing looking at me like  :shocked2: "oops..." and Then slowly slid out and waited until I was done to try that again  :yelcutelaugh: Glad it wasn't too far of a fall, if the whole thing had come off it could have been a bit more of a disaster. But it was right above a shelf. Lucky boy.
My wonderful son: Vincent Jacob
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Offline LindsayM

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Re: When you need to clean the cage, where do you put your fuzzbutts?
« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2014, 06:33:52 AM »
My cage isn't very large, it takes me about 15 minutes max to get everything cleaned and put away. I have the All Living Things Luxury Rat Home ("Luxury"). Usually I just let them out for their free ranging time while I get everything squared away. If you do want to secure them, maybe try making a "bin cage" (even just a plain plastic bin with tall sides would work), or a cat crate? Even a bathtub could work. Bin cages and cat carriers are good for transsporting your rats to the vet, too.
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Offline BigBen

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Re: When you need to clean the cage, where do you put your fuzzbutts?
« Reply #14 on: March 08, 2014, 08:00:52 AM »
The boys get to free range during playtime, so I let them wander and just keep an eye out.  If I am feeling stressed or just want to concentrate on cleaning, they go into their carrier for the duration.  They live in a CN.

The girls are often okay on the bed, which is their dedicated play area, but often I just close off the two halves of their DCN and put them in the half that I'm not cleaning at the moment.  It's so funny to watch them realize at the end of cleaning that the ladder is down again and there is a whole other part of the cage to explore, yay!
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Offline Little_Vixen

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Re: When you need to clean the cage, where do you put your fuzzbutts?
« Reply #15 on: March 08, 2014, 08:57:06 AM »
I managed to pick up a decent sized cage at Goodwill that has no shelves or anything in it, but that was easily remedied by picking up a few different things while at goodwill. I wiped it down, put some fleece down and popped the boys in it to explore it while I cleaned their cage. It is now collapsed and under my bed. Easy peasy ^_^

Offline Suebee

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Re: When you need to clean the cage, where do you put your fuzzbutts?
« Reply #16 on: March 08, 2014, 11:16:41 AM »
No rats right now, but when I did, I set up my Grrreat Wall playpen and put them in there. I'd check in on them between each stage of cleaning.  :thumbsup2:

Offline melcab

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Re: When you need to clean the cage, where do you put your fuzzbutts?
« Reply #17 on: March 08, 2014, 02:19:07 PM »
I found a small dog crate for $15 at Christmas Tree Shoppe. The boys go in there when I clean. We have a pen for playtime, but if I did that there would be no floor space for the cleaning.

Offline Azusanga

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Re: When you need to clean the cage, where do you put your fuzzbutts?
« Reply #18 on: March 09, 2014, 12:36:46 AM »
For the girls and for the boy that I currently have separate, I have a 10 gallon fish tank that I clean out and put some towels and chewies and worms in for them to run around in and play with. It works for right now. The big boys I just shove them out of the way or put them in the tank or travel carrier.
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Offline Dogstar

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Re: When you need to clean the cage, where do you put your fuzzbutts?
« Reply #19 on: March 09, 2014, 03:04:55 AM »
Usually I use a travel carrier or a small cage (like the type made for a hamster) for them to stay in while I clean the cage.
I really want a grrreat wall playpen but I'd be too nervous to leave them in it unattended so it wouldn't work well for cage cleaning times.

Offline anita1216

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Re: When you need to clean the cage, where do you put your fuzzbutts?
« Reply #20 on: March 09, 2014, 02:38:46 PM »
At one point I had 14 rats in a double FN, so cleaning was a major event. Those that were well behaved were allowed onto the couch. Trouble makers were put into a large plastic tote with toys and treats.

Offline Pied

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Re: When you need to clean the cage, where do you put your fuzzbutts?
« Reply #21 on: March 31, 2014, 11:53:42 PM »
My kids are basically out when I'm home, alternating.  I have a very weak and old man (last of my males) and he's out when I can watch him because he falls.  And I have two girls who don't need as much supervision.. just a watchful eye to make sure they aren't getting into mischief.  My guys basically hang out on the top of the cage (toys and boxes and jungle gym oh my!)  so when I clean that is where they go.  No real need to put them anywhere else.   I also don't clean with anything too harsh so if they get in the way it's not usually a big deal.

Offline skeletrabella

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Re: When you need to clean the cage, where do you put your fuzzbutts?
« Reply #22 on: April 05, 2014, 12:52:01 AM »
I let mine play on my bed. My current group don't leave the bed, and the group before this I was good with letting them free range my entire room (couldn't contain them anywhere anyway and they came when I called).

I did make the mistake of leaving my girls in my cat carrier for a particularly long time once and came back to a hole and free-ranging rats. That gave me a heart attack. Especially since I saw the rats before I saw the hole so I just stared at them in shock for a solid ten seconds going  :shocked2:


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Offline BigBen

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Re: When you need to clean the cage, where do you put your fuzzbutts?
« Reply #23 on: April 06, 2014, 10:50:59 PM »
I let mine play on my bed. My current group don't leave the bed, and the group before this I was good with letting them free range my entire room (couldn't contain them anywhere anyway and they came when I called).

I did make the mistake of leaving my girls in my cat carrier for a particularly long time once and came back to a hole and free-ranging rats. That gave me a heart attack. Especially since I saw the rats before I saw the hole so I just stared at them in shock for a solid ten seconds going  :shocked2:

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Offline AlwaysAmy

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Re: When you need to clean the cage, where do you put your fuzzbutts?
« Reply #24 on: April 07, 2014, 01:13:11 AM »
No rats right now, but when I did, I set up my Grrreat Wall playpen and put them in there. I'd check in on them between each stage of cleaning.  :thumbsup2:

This is what I do.  I set up my Grrreat Wall and put all kinds of fun goodies into it.  (Most of which I remove as I remake the cages to add to the cages so I don't have double clean up.)  I love my Grrreat Wall and don't know how I lived without it.  :)

Offline Little_Vixen

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Re: When you need to clean the cage, where do you put your fuzzbutts?
« Reply #25 on: April 07, 2014, 09:21:18 AM »
I need to look into one of those. Though right now we're down to two boys in two different cages. As soon as my credit card comes in the male they are going to the vet to be assured that neither are sick so that they can start intros since Flux's brother Alex passed yesterday. Just not sure where to make the intros because our tub is a no-go

Offline Been to the Mountaintop

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Re: When you need to clean the cage, where do you put your fuzzbutts?
« Reply #26 on: April 07, 2014, 09:36:56 AM »
However one handles the cleaning bit, I really recommend having enough carriers for all household critters in case of fire, gas leak, heat going out or other "act of God" requiring an emergency evacuation.

A mental image for you, the only time I ever had to evacuate. When we lived in San Francisco we got a problem with fleas  :shocked2:  although we never let any critters outside. At that time we had a Miata--2 seater. To flea bomb and air out, each time we loaded the menagerie up in carriers of appropriate respective sizes. With all of us in the car, the top had to be down. Se we balanced the carriers in our laps, attached them to our seat belts and drove topdown around town for hours. Should have seen the looks we got.  :yelcutelaugh:
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Offline furmommy

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Re: When you need to clean the cage, where do you put your fuzzbutts?
« Reply #27 on: May 02, 2014, 12:06:25 PM »
This thread helped me a lot LOL, i was having trouble finding ideas on what to do with them while i cleaned the cage, i would let them have floor time, BUT I cant watch them closely if im cleaning the cage so that is out of the question!
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Offline Maltey

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Re: When you need to clean the cage, where do you put your fuzzbutts?
« Reply #28 on: May 02, 2014, 12:28:17 PM »
Most cages I clean around the rats- the big girls rarely make escape attempts any more and just laze in their hammocks looking at me like 'you missed a spot!' and judging my cage-decorating skills.
The boy's cage requires lifting the top off so they go in the bath (without water!) because it's next to the rat room and easier to shower down than clean the carrier out otherwise I would put them in a carrier/spare cage/playpen depending on how if I can be bothered to set up the playpen!
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Offline furmommy

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Re: When you need to clean the cage, where do you put your fuzzbutts?
« Reply #29 on: May 04, 2014, 05:09:27 PM »
What kind of play pens do you all use? Do the rats escape it? Mine are climbers LOL I dont wanna put them in a play pen, turn around for 5 seconds and them be gone again lol.
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Offline arianaburns

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Re: When you need to clean the cage, where do you put your fuzzbutts?
« Reply #30 on: May 05, 2014, 11:13:34 AM »
My girls run all over me and the couch :)
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Offline Little_Vixen

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Re: When you need to clean the cage, where do you put your fuzzbutts?
« Reply #31 on: May 05, 2014, 12:42:33 PM »
My boys are both climbers, to the point that Flux only had one ramp in his cage (they still aren't together yet, I've been too sick to continue intros) because Flux never used the one to the floor of the cage.


It was rather epic this last cage cleaning for Goliath. His bed is a ziptied to the cage heart shaped basket that he has put ALL the fleece into that he could. So all I did was detach the bottom of the pan because he didn't want to come out and roam and just set the top of the cage on the bed with the door open if he wanted to get out and changed out the bottom of the cage to a paper bedding for the moment. He was like "nahhh ma, I'm comfy" and didn't come out until I put the cage back together and back on the dresser.

I'm thinking of getting a playpen for them though. Might not be a bad idea.

Offline alisonia333

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Re: When you need to clean the cage, where do you put your fuzzbutts?
« Reply #32 on: May 05, 2014, 10:02:16 PM »
What kind of play pens do you all use? Do the rats escape it? Mine are climbers LOL I dont wanna put them in a play pen, turn around for 5 seconds and them be gone again lol.

http://serribrat.wordpress.com/2013/11/15/diy-tutorial-play-area-fencing/

I built a corrugated plastic (it's like plastic cardboard, I think it's the same as chloroplast, I'm not sure) play pen with sheets of the plastic zip tied together. I used the tutorial at the above link. It cost a little under $30 to make and it's a huge play area. The one modification I made was drilling three holes in each side to zip tie them together instead of just two. The boys love it and it's lightweight, easy to clean, durable and large. To be fair, if there are cardboard boxes inside, my motivated explorer is able to jump from the box to the edge of the play pen!

Offline aem3055

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Re: When you need to clean the cage, where do you put your fuzzbutts?
« Reply #33 on: May 05, 2014, 10:06:17 PM »
I made one like that... but with duct tape instead of zip ties!!! I left both ends non-attached, and clip them together with the same clips I use for my fleece liners... It's the best! It can be a playpen, or just block off one side of the room if I need it to!
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Offline alisonia333

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Re: When you need to clean the cage, where do you put your fuzzbutts?
« Reply #34 on: May 05, 2014, 10:11:36 PM »
I totally love it. I sit right in there with them and play. It is definitely a good barrier, too, and you can just cut the zip ties on mine to use it to block off a room to give them a huge play area. I do wish my Teddy hadn't gotten so athletic, though, because if I leave the room, I basically have to take out any raised huts or he'll jump onto the top of the side and tightrope walk along until he finds somewhere close enough to jump to!

Offline thenightgoddess

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Re: When you need to clean the cage, where do you put your fuzzbutts?
« Reply #35 on: May 08, 2014, 02:11:08 PM »
My boys go on the bed whenever I clean there cage I have never had a rat purposely jump off of a bed before so they are safe on there. You can always get a travel carrier and use that. 

Offline Scubbs

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Re: When you need to clean the cage, where do you put your fuzzbutts?
« Reply #36 on: May 08, 2014, 05:17:43 PM »
I throw my ratties in my large Martin's playpen  :)  They love it!  And it's nice to be cleaning and see them playing and having fun  :BlueDumboSmile:  Wish I had more (or any, really) pictures of them in the pen, seeing as soon as I open the lid, they swarm up to see me!  Every week I change up the layout and the stuff in the pen, to keep it interesting for them.



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Offline WeepingDalek

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Re: When you need to clean the cage, where do you put your fuzzbutts?
« Reply #37 on: May 12, 2014, 03:30:56 AM »
Since certain rats think all cleaning must be supervised to the point of stealing my rags or cleaner - the naughty kids get locked in the other half of the CN set up or dumped on Mr Dalek.  If being really obnoxious, they get to sulk in their carrier.

Usually, I do a spot check after breakfast while they go back to bed.  Then, wipe down and change out anything gross after dinner during play time. Then full change time on Saturday.  The girls swap around on who is obnoxious and who is good.  Captain Jack usually just watches from his hammock.