Choosing the right bedding for your rat is extremely important. Bedding plays an important role on your rat’s health. It helps control ammonia levels in the cage. Using a bedding that has good ammonia control is essential to ensure your rat’s don’t get upper respiratory issues like URI or Myco flare ups.
It also provides enrichment by allowing them to dig and play. Providing a deep bedding also plows you to hide treats and scatter feed.
Avoid substrates that are dusty and have low ammonia control such as:
- Paper bedding (Carefresh abe Kaytee Cozy)
- Fabric or towels
Here are some of my top choices for bedding 😊
This is the bedding I use in the Rattery. All of our cages have a Bioactive substrate (I’ll make a blog post about it soon!) but I use Sani Chips in all of my litter boxes as well my maternity cages.
Sani Chips come in coarse or fine Chips. Either is a great choice. I use the fine variety. You can find Sani Chips at your local farm/feed store. If they don’t have it you can ask them to order it for you.
Sani Chips is virtually dust free and has great ammonia control.
Hemp is another great choice. It is widely available on Amazon, pet stores, Chewy and Ebay. It has great ammonia control but can be a little dusty depending on the brand.
Aspen is also widely available and probably the most commonly use pet bedding. It has good ammonia control but can be a bit dusty.
I highly recommend that you buy smaller bags and freeze them for a few days before using it. Aspen is notorious for having mites that will pass to your rats. Mites are easily treatable but freezing the bedding before using it will eliminate the chance of a mite infestation in your cage.
AIRLITE CARDBOARD BEDDING
Airlite Cardboard Bedding is a great alternative to wood based bedding. It is however difficult to find. You could try contacting your local farm/feed store and see if they can special order it for you.
Airlite does have a supplier‘s list on their website so check there for a supplier near you.
I have used this bedding in the last and loved it! It is dust free, has great ammonia control and the rats loved using it for nesting and playing. Highly recommended!
There are several brands of paper pellet bedding available. I don’t suggest using them as the main bedding but they are great for adding to litter boxes.
It’s dust free and has good ammonia control. It’s is heavy though so make sure you can carry a full size litter box filled with it before using it.