This article is from the WSSF 2015 AFRMA Rat & Mouse Tales news-magazine.
By Karen Robbins
Jodi Houdek Nieuwstadt, Facebook
QWe just got 2 pet rats who are now about 10 weeks old. They have been doing pretty well using their litter box, but still urinate on their bedding (which is fleece). Most of the time the smell is low, but lately it is stronger and seems to be affecting my husband—upper respiratory issues and itchy eyes. Do you think this is something that will go away? I’m not sure if I should change their bedding; could any of their foods make the smell stronger? Any suggestions you have would be great.
ARats will mark things as their own, so when using fabric items in the cage, they will need to be washed every day or every couple of days. The buildup of ammonia on these items can affect the rats as well with them getting sick (sneezing, rattling, wheezing, etc.). Yes, some foods could affect them smelling more. Also, the type of bedding used can be contributing to the smell. What sex are the 2 you have? Males can be stronger smelling than females. Also, if you have a wire cage and are not washing the ENTIRE cage at least once a week, the buildup on the wire will make things smell.