Rat bedding helps keep rats in clean and relatively hygienic conditions because it absorbs waste and neutralizes odors to a certain degree. Unfortunately, often the wrong choice and its incorrect use nullify the pleasure of keeping rats, greatly complicate the owner’s life, and can even impair the animal’s health. Therefore, it is very important to familiarize yourself with the main bedding types in time, the options for using them and understand what most suitable alternative for you and your rat is.
Unfortunately, it is impossible to unequivocally answer the question which best bedding for rats is and which one to use. Rats react differently to the same materials and fillers. The bedding that fits one rat could cause chronic rhinitis or wounds on the paws of others. But there are certain indicators or properties that make one better or worse for use in a cage, and you need to study them carefully.
General recommendations are:
Good bedding for rats comprises cellulose fillers in every sense. They are not noisy (does not rattle when animals run and jump), not traumatic for paws, hold smells well, esthetically look great, do not dust, are suitable for large, heavy and elderly rats, hypoallergenic, are not harmful to health and are economical enough to use. But they do have one minus, and it is their price.
They like to sleep in different bedding. The rats love to rustle papers very much but do not use newspapers and sheets with printing ink for this. Observe the condition of the rat’s soles. Is there any irritation from the litter? A paper from a shredder can become a good option. It is very interesting for rats to gather it in nests or play hide-and-seek in it like in thick grass.
You can use hay or straw, sawdust, thin and soft wood chips, husks from the grain, special fillers made of cellulose, sawdust pressed, granulated, paper napkins, rags, etc. Rags can sometimes cause injuries, especially if the strings are twisted around the fingers, paws or tail. For this reason, do not use cloths or yarn for bedding in the nest with babies and nursing mothers. But nonwoven fabric with excellent ability to absorb (e.g., kitchen napkins) will suit well.
You can use cat litter. But it often contains clay and, accordingly, a lot of dust. It is bad for the lungs! In addition, small granules can get into the throat, causing asphyxiation and the rat will suffocate.
Granular fillers for rodents are an excellent choice, but they are somewhat expensive. Also, pay attention to the uniformity and composition of the granules.
It turns out that apple tree, strawberry tree, bamboo, blackberry, black currant, dogwood, vine, hawthorn, hazelnut, kiwi, lime, mulberry, pear, pecan, pine, poplar, quince, wild rose are the bedding for rats.
Rats like to be petted in spacious trellised cages with plastic pallets. In this case, they prefer various wooden or plastic houses and hanging rat hammocks. To create even more comfortable conditions for a rat, it is important to equip the cage properly. A house located inside will create an atmosphere of comfort and privacy that these animals are looking for. The choice of the feeding place must be determined by convenience of its removal since rats like to drag it to a small house or hide in the corners. In addition, it should be comfortable for the animal to eat there.
It is also necessary to install a drinker on the cage’s outside. The fitted tray in it contributes to its more convenient and easy cleaning since it is enough to remove and wash it without disassembling the entire cage.
It is certainly good but not every fleece is suitable for this purpose, only the one that is 100% polyester and slightly different on both sides. Fleece should be of good quality and shouldn't form the pads on the surface after washing.
Unlike other types of fillers, it can be used repeatedly. You need to have 2-4 sets in stock for each cage which should be changed during the month. One set can serve for years depending on the fabric’s quality.t
Traditionally, yellow fleece color stimulates appetite. Perhaps other shades have also some influence on the animal’s behavior and perception.
In general, animals like this litter. It is pleasant to the touch, warm, dry, allows them to dig into the fabric layers. It looks aesthetically and neatly. Besides the fact that fleece is a rather unusual means of a cage arrangement, it offers almost unlimited possibilities for design and creativity. Its color variety and patterns allow you to make your pet’s cage an interesting interior element.
Back2Nature for Small Animals is a really high-quality rat bedding. Pay attention to this awesome paper filler by FibreCycle, as it does not contain dust at all and is health secure. Although the price is slightly higher than its competitors have, the quality is worth overpaying. In order to save a little, you can use it together with another filler which is a common practice today. This paper bedding for rats is superb thanks to its self-disintegrating feature. It also masks unpleasant odors perfectly. The product controls natural odors. It has no additives or chemicals. Thanks to its highly absorbent qualities, it offers superior performance.
Kaytee Aspen bedding for rats is the option if you need the most durable fillers. Their main benefit is the price and guaranteed odor control. These factors assure that the cage of your rodent is clean. It has an exceptional absorption capacity which is one of the major factors. Furthermore, Kaytee bedding is natural and safe as it is aroma free and without any chemical components. The product is non-toxic, so you may not be afraid if the pet eats it. As to the other benefits, you can apply it for newborns thanks to its soft, fluffy, warm and dry qualities. It is great for games, swarming and nesting. Furthermore, this is an excellent option for postoperative maintenance, as it is soft and absorbing moisture in comparison to traditional products.
Critter Care bedding is one more option to pamper your rats. Without any doubts, the brand is very popular in the zoo market, as it does not contain dust. It can also remove the animal’s urine smell. Made from recycled wood pulp, it does not even resemble other fillers. It has many quality certificates. Although resembling some well-known and popular paper fillers, this one consists of corrugated cardboard. Critter Care bedding review states that this material is more efficient while dealing with unpleasant odors and keeping the cage clean.
Ensuring cleanliness in the cage is a problem for all rodent owners. It is difficult to determine which type of rat bedding ideas is better. They can be:
For rat cages, this bedding type includes shavings, sawdust, wood chips and pressed woodworking waste – granules.
It is important to remember: pine bedding for rats and cedar bedding for rats are contraindicated – they cause allergies.
Only shavings of deciduous trees are perfect for rodents. In order not to provoke sneezing, it should not be fine and dusty.
You can use sawdust for a domestic rat if there is a false bottom in the cage so that the rodent is not directly exposed to it. Small particles and dust cause the mucous membranes inflammation, sneezing, and general malaise.
Hardwood chips are the best option among wood fillers. They are not dusty, do not cause allergies, are not traumatic for a rodent. However, elderly and frail individuals prone to dermatitis experience discomfort.
They are highly hygroscopic which is a big plus. But after getting wet, they turn into dust, irritating the animal’s mucosa. Stepping on dry pellets, the pet gets injured.
These include hay, cotton, flax and corn bedding, hemp mulch and herbal granules.
Dry grass poorly absorbs moisture and can be traumatic for the animal’s eyes. Dust on it causes mucous membranes inflammation of the eyes and nose. Parasite eggs in hay can be a health problem for the pet.
It is not traumatic, hygroscopic, not poisonous, although sometimes it causes allergies.
This filler is hygroscopic and retains the smell inside, although wet pellets turn into dust and are traumatic in a solid form.
Sometimes, there are sharp stalks that can cause injuries. Increased dustiness provokes rhinitis. But here the manufacturer is important.
Corn eco bedding for rats consists of crushed corn stalks. It can be:
If you want to replace sawdust, a variant of small-scale corn filler will be optimal. The coarse filler emits less dust. It does not injure the pet’s skin; thus, it suits better.
They are hypoallergenic, hygroscopic, but, like all granules, turn into porridge when wet. This contributes to dermatitis and respiratory diseases.
It is not allergic and does not have a negative effect on rodents’ mucous membrane. It is possible to replace it with gardening mulch.
This group comprises newspapers and magazines, office paper, cellulose, paper towels (napkins).
Printed products are contraindicated in rat cages – printing ink is harmful to animals.
Clean office paper is low hygroscopic and does not retain odor. The sheets edges can hurt the animal’s paws. However, rats need paper in long stripes to build their nests.
Cellulose granules do not rattle, do not injure animals, are hygroscopic. But it is difficult to cover with them the entire floor surface. It is recommended to use cellulose with another type as the second layer.
The disadvantages of napkins and towels are fragility, low hygroscopicity, inability to retain the smell. Because of this, the cage needs to be cleaned two or three times a day. But they are hypoallergenic, great for nursing females and little rats.
These include disposable diapers and silica gel (mineral) fillers.
If they are fixed firmly on the shelves and the cage’s floor, then there will be clean and dry. You cannot use this bedding in cages where animals like to gnaw litters: small particles clog the animal’s respiratory tract.
They are used in cages with a false bottom, which is at least 5 cm tall. If the animal eats silica gel, it will die.
Choosing the best bedding for rats 2019 is a fairly difficult task. An extensive range of products can confuse the novice. Therefore, before buying, you should familiarize yourself with the main criteria to consider which one suits your pet ideally.
The absorbing properties of bedding and its safety for the animal’s health depend on it. For example, inexperienced owners often use newspapers that can affect the rat’s health adversely. The substances excreted by such bedding cause allergic reactions and even influence the animal’s nervous system.
It is preferable to use fillers specifically designed for rodents. They do not crumble, and even if the rat tries to taste them, nothing terrible will happen.
The bedding should be comfortable for the animal. For small pets, pellets will be inconvenient, and large pets will scatter light sawdust.
Best rat bedding for reducing odor is an important detail, especially if there are several animals in the house.
The material should be only natural and, if possible, do not contain fragrances, so as not to cause allergies. It should not dust, as this may affect the animal’s respiratory tract and cause diseases.
Depending on the composition, the packaging weight, and brand, prices vary. Wood-based bedding is considered the most affordable, followed by paper and corn fillers.
All beddings listed above have their positive and negative sides. Therefore, you have to search for the most suitable option. You can use different options, alternating them. You can also try homemade rat bedding. Such homemade bottom is usually plastic with small holes with a diameter of 3 mm and a distance of 4 mm between them. In general, it is important to understand that not only the pet’s health and well-being but also the hygiene and smell in the apartment, especially if there are several pets, depend on a correctly chosen option. To save you and your lovely pet from possible negative consequences, we recommend Back2Nature paper eco filler from FibreCycle as the best rat bedding. It meets all buying criteria, is organic, non-toxic and dust-free. To save some money, you can combine it with a cheaper variant.