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Pet Rats/My male rat smells..


My male fancy rat smells like cat urine and I am the only one who can smell it! My fiancÚ can't smell it, my parents can't smell it, and my friends cannot smell it either!! It drives me nuts! I recently changed his bedding from carefresh to aspen today and its helped so much! But he still has that slight odor...What do you recommend?

Hi Elizabeth,
Everyone has a different sense of smell, and some are more sensitive than others. It is your rat himself that smells bad to you or his cage? If it is the cage, I recommend trying rabbit food as bedding in the cage, because I find it is one of the best at odor control, better than aspen. If it is the rat who smells, then getting him neutered would reduce the odor.

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Debbie Ducommun


I can answer any questions about pet rats, but you will probably be able find answers to simple questions more quickly on my website at If you have a life-threatening emergency you can try calling me at 530-899-0605. I am not usually on the computer on the weekend.


I have been "The Rat Lady" since 1985 and am recognized as one of the world's experts on pet rats. I have 3 published books and already answer lots of questions about rats daily.

President of Rat Assistance & Teaching Society

I am a monthly columnist for Pet Business magazine, and my writing has appeared in other magazines. I have 3 published books.

BA in Animal Behavior

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