Keeping a clean rat cage is an important part of ensuring your pet rat has a happy and healthy home. Remove soiled bedding each day and do a deep clean of the cage at least once a month. Are pet rats clean? Fortunately, rats are quite clean and tend to be fastidious groomers, but since they must eliminate in their cage, they rely on you to ensure they have clean bedding.
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How to clean a rat cage
The best cage for pet rats is made of wire, plastic, or stainless steel so that they cannot chew through the cage. How often do you need to clean a rat cage? You need to do a full cleaning of your rat's cage at least once per month, although there are some cleaning tasks you will need to do more often, and how often to clean a rat cage can vary depending on the size of the cage and your individual rat's needs. Remove your rat from the cage so that you can disassemble the habitat. Remove all of your rat's toys, water bottles, and food dishes. Discard old bedding.
Clean the cage with anti-bacterial soap and water and thoroughly rinse the cage until all the soap residue has been removed. You may need a brush to clean the grime from a wire cage. If you are concerned about infections or illness, be sure to disinfect the cage as well. There are a few options when deciding what to use to clean a rat cage. You can do this with diluted bleach or Lysol. Leave the disinfectant on the cage for 15 minutes and then rinse well with clean water.
At this time, be sure to wash and disinfect all of your pet's dishes, toys, and bedding as well. Make sure that everything is dry. Put in fresh bedding, such as aspen shavings or recycled paper products. Avoid unsafe bedding options, including cedar and pine shavings, sawdust, and corncob bedding. Give your rat fresh water and food and return him to the cage.
Weekly and daily cleaning tasks
Each week, you will want to change the bedding and wash the cage, but you don't need to fully disassemble the cage unless it is quite dirty. You should also wash her water bottle and food dish once or twice per week. In addition to cleaning the cage each week, it is important to clean the room where you keep the cage. Dust all surfaces and vacuum and clean floors thoroughly.
Each day, you should also spot clean the cage. Remove bedding that is soiled and add some fresh bedding. Remove any leftover food and give your rat fresh food. Empty her water bottle and fill it with fresh water. If there are any cloth or fabric items in your rat's cage, check that they don't smell. If items do have an odor, remove them and wash them right away.
Cleaning safety considerations
While rats are generally clean creatures, they do unfortunately have the potential to transmit diseases to humans. Some diseases include giardia, rat bite fever, salmonella, and Seoul hantavirus. Failing to clean your rat's cage regularly increases the risk of infections and illness. If your rat is sick, seek veterinary treatment right away.
Wear gloves anytime you are cleaning urine or feces from your rat's cage. Wash your hands thoroughly after cleaning the cage or handling your rat.