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Pet Rats/Rat bedding

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Question
I've got a rat and I just recently changed her bedding to  ''Forti- Diet Pine small pet bedding & litter" from the ''Kaytee clean & cozy". I had to switch because that is all the store near me had. But  I noticed that when I first placed her in the change she began chewing on the bedding, I can't tell if she is actually eating it or not though. Will she be okay? Do you think that she'll actually ingest it?

Answer
Oh no, pine is a terrible bedding for rats!  All rats have very sensitive respiratory systems and pine will surely cause respiratory infections!  You just use something else....almost anything is better.

If you must use a pet store wood shavings bedding, check the snake section for Aspen bedding and make sure it is pure aspen, and not mixed with other woods.  Aspen is safe.

Personally, I hate all pet store type bedding, even Aspen, because they are all dusty!   I line my rats cage with fleece.  I love fleece because it is soft and actually much more cost effective than shavings, because I can wash it and re use over and over until it falls apart or they chew it up.  Other good choices are just plain white paper towels, or old white tee shirts.  Of course, if you use fleece or paper towels or tee shirts, they need to be changed every few days because they will smell faster, but that is ok.  

I'm not certain your rat is actually eating the pine...she may be just chewing on it.  What she may have injested til now won't hurt her, but get rid of that bedding now...as soon as you read this reply, and put in white paper towels which I'm sure you must have on hand, until to decide if you want to go with fleece or check stores for aspen.  

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Irene Murphy

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I can answer a variety of questions regarding adoption and care of pet rats throughout their lifetimes, including questions about their health and well being, temperment, diet, bedding, cages, toys, etc. I will try to answer your questions to the best of my ability in a timely manner and I have an abundant amount of resources to help me to help you with your pet rats. I love rattie pictures, so include pics with your question if you can. You may ask me medical questions, but please be advised that I am not a vet. I may use my resources to answer some medical questions, however, I will need to refer you to your local vet with medical questions that I feel I am not qualified to address.

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I have been a huge rat enthusiast for many years. Since becoming a rat owner, I have educated myself in all areas of pet rats from every resource I could find including the internet, books, conversations with local exotic vets, as well as several local rat breeders.

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I have a college degree but not in the area of animals. I have obtained my extensive experience and knowlege of pet rats all on my own because in my eyes, pet rats are the most interesting and fascinating creatures you can ever imagine to have as pets. I also am saddened by how mislabeled and misunderstood these amazing and extremely smart animals are by the majority, and my mission in life has become to educate and change as many people's perceptions of rats as I possibly can.

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