Litter and bedding are really where your odor control and air quality come into play. Changing cages weekly and doing some scooping of litter pans will keep your rats smelling good and breathing easy (and keep your fellow humans happy.) There are so many litters available on the market that it can feel a bit overwhelming. The two main types sold in pet stores are wood shavings and recycled paper bedding. I would NOT recommend wood shavings, and definitely NEVER cedar bedding, since it contains oils that can really irritate or damage a rat's respiratory system. Kiln dried pine and aspen are much safer if you want to go the wood shaving route, but I personally find the shavings to be messy and not all that great at odor control. Paper bedding is the best option in my experience but even that comes in a huge variety of types. There's the hard pelleted type that is great for areas where the rats won't be bedding down or for corner litter pans. This stuff is often marketed as cat litter and can be cheaper in the kitty litter aisle. Popular brands include Good Mews, Yesterday's Mews, Exquisicat and Crown Animal Bedding. The bedding comes in small hard gray or brownish pellets. OkoCat is also a hard pelleted paper bedding but the pellets are smaller and white. There is also a softer version of the recycled paper bedding that looks more like shreds of thick handmade paper. Common brands are KayTee and Carefresh. If you opt for Carefresh, I personally prefer the Carefresh Complete. It usually comes in white or multicolor as opposed to the brown version. It is much less dusty than the plain brown, less processed litter which is always a good thing for everyone's lungs. There are also options like Soft-Sorb (tiny soft pellets of paper, with an option to get it with lavender buds for natural odor control), kapok pellets or shredded crinkle paper like you might find in packing supplies at an office store. I suggest experimenting to see which type seems to work best in your household for cleaning and odor control. You can also go with lining your cage with fleece or flannel and changing or washing it frequently, with just a couple of small plastic litter pans in the corners.
Kaytee: Pet Supplies | Kaytee Products
My pet rats live in a ferret cage. Store bought cages meant for rats are way too small. They can't run around in those tiny cages. For male rats you can use ferret or rabbit cages. This one is made by super pet...kaytee brand also makes the same cage in a purple and white color. Its 2f x 2ft!!!! If you have pet rats check the ferret isle for cages!
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