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Thursday, October 24, 2013

U-Haul Furniture Pads with Rat Cage Liners - Part 2: Early Review

Halloween Cage with Furniture Pad Liners
On Sunday, we started using the new cage liners made with a layer of U-Haul furniture pad and a layer of fleece. Today is day 5, and they are still going strong.

I have to say that I was cautiously optimistic about these new liners. They are inexpensive to make and nice looking. They are softer than the Zilla liners and can be made in any color combination that works with your cage d├ęcor. They are heavy enough to feel durable and absorbant. They require less than half the amount of fleece I would have to purchase to make a pillowcase liner and no towels to go underneath. They are easier to change than pillow case liners.

But the key questions were (1) would they hold up to chewing and (2) would they control odor well enough?

Furniture Pad Liner with the Corner
Pulled Back by the Rats
I am very pleased to report that the preliminary results are looking very positive. On Day 5, I still cannot detect any rat urine odor. None of the liners have been chewed. The worst they have done is to pull on the corners and bend them inward.

I fully expect that they will eventually start chewing on the corners/edges or maybe at the fleece in the center. However, with the pillowcase liners, they had already made huge holes in the corners and sometimes the center after only a day or two in use.  There is no temptation to burrow underneath these liners, so there is much less need to chew a hole and dive in.

I have the two large level liners clamped down with a few large binder clips. But the liners on the shelves just rest there unsecured and the rats have not cared to bother with them. While I don't think that they are indestructible (how many things really are?), I am hopeful that they will be durable enough to last longer than the pillowcase liners with towels and maybe even longer than the Zilla liners. They definitely control odors better than the Zilla liners.

I am so optimistic at this point, that I have started working on liners for fall and Christmas themes as well as liners for Loki's Martins R-695. The Zilla liners have really worked fine for Loki, but I prefer the bright colors of these homemade liners and the softness of the fleece and the machine washability. Also, with Loki potentially having had a urinary tract infection, I want to be able to easily check for blood on the liners, so I will know if his infection has returned. The dark green of the Zilla liners made it hard to detect blood.

The furniture pad is quite large. I used two pads and was able to cut the backing for the following liners: 2 sets of Dual Critter Nation liners plus two extra Critter Nation shelf liners, 2 sets of Martins R-695 cage liners with extra long bottom liners so that the weight of the cage will secure the liner in place plus one extra Martins bottom liner. Note that one of the Martin's shelf liners was made using two fragments of furniture pad pieced together to make one piece. Based on that, the average cost for the furniture pad for one set of liners comes in at about 4 dollars a set (less for Martins cage liners). Add that to the cost of the fleece, assuming 1.5 yards at about $5 a yard on sale, and a set of Dual Critter Nation liners comes to about $11.50 a set plus tax. You can't do better than that (unless you buy your fleece from the remnant bin at JoAnn's while it is on sale and get 1/2 off the sale price!).

Related Posts:
Using U-Haul Furniture Pads with Rat Cage Liners - Part 1: Construction
Liner Instructions for Critter Nations and Martins R695 Cages
Furniture Pad Liners - Update

8 comments:

  1. Are these still working for you? I'm in the process of coming up with something for our new ratties and came across this. Looks like a great option for us if you are still happy about it.

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    1. Yes - we really like them. They have held up better than other solutions we have tried. This update shows the two liners that have been the most damaged and how we repaired them: http://www.ratropolis.blogspot.com/2014/01/furniture-pad-liners-update.html. Most liners only get nibbles around the edges or are left alone.

      I have heard from another person whose rats chew the furniture pad, so all rats are different. These work for us but may not work for you. I would recommend starting small and testing with your rats to see how they work before investing too much in any solution.

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  4. very Excellent post.how you protect your surface using the felt pads and other furniture pads.
    furniture pads

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  5. Whatever you do do NOT get the Home Depot furniture pads to try this. I bought 2 felt blankets from Home Depot yesterday and they disintegrated in my washing machine. Now I have to figure out how to clean my washing machine and had to throw out the pile of shredded fluff. :(

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  6. Whatever you do do NOT get the Home Depot furniture pads to try this. I bought 2 felt blankets from Home Depot yesterday and they disintegrated in my washing machine. Now I have to figure out how to clean my washing machine and had to throw out the pile of shredded fluff. :(

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