The right litter for your rodent enclosure

Having the right litter in your rodent or rabbit enclosure is extremely important. It absorbs odours and ensures that your pets feel well. There are different types of litter for different small animals. Rodents love to have a nice environment to live in.

Even though they can only live with their own species and have to be kept apart from others, rabbits, guinea pigs and chinchillas actually have a lot in common. For example, they all need a floor covering, ideally with several layers of different bedding materials. The lower layer should be made of absorbent litter – wood or straw litter are particularly suitable for this – to draw the moisture from the upper layer and absorb any odours. The upper layer should be made of comfortable bedding such as a floor covering made of hemp, cotton or spelt, combined with straw. This kind of bedding is soft, cosy and easy on sensitive paws, which your pets will appreciate.

Rabbits and chinchillas also need a toilet filled with highly absorbent litter. If you or your rabbits are susceptible to allergies then hemp litter is your best bet. Anyone looking for an easy-clean option should try a hemp rug. Chinchilla owners, never use pellet litter for your little friends. It’s too hard for their paws and could cause problems if they happen to eat it.

Hamsters need dust-free litter otherwise they can develop respiratory problems. Hemp or spelt litter is therefore an excellent alternative for them. Don’t forget to include dust and mould free hay and straw in your hamster cage too as it helps to keep the little loners busy. Hamsters also need nesting material for their sleeping den such as cotton or paper wool. You should also give your little ones a bathing corner with chinchilla sand where they can groom their coats.

Plenty of litter for digging

Mongolian gerbils, dwarf hamsters, fancy mice and especially degus all love to dig. It’s really important that their floor covering includes enough space for digging so that they can enjoy this aspect of their natural behaviour. The litter should be at least ten centimetres deep in this area. Incidentally, a gerbilarium is the ideal accommodation for these little diggers. Mongolian gerbils don’t need absorbent litter as they don’t urinate much. In contrast, fancy mice definitely need this kind of litter to prevent an acrid aroma from developing. All three kinds of rodents love to build stable tunnels as their favourite form of entertainment. The ideal litter for digging is a mixture of hemp, cotton, paper wool, straw, spelt litter and hay.

Rat owners need to create two layers in their pets’ cage. The lower layer should consist of about 2-3 cm absorbent litter, ideally wood litter pellets, to draw the moisture from the upper layer and absorb any odours. The upper layer should consist of about 5-8 cm comfortable bedding such as hemp and straw. It’s important that this layer is soft, cosy and – most importantly – dust free, as rats have very sensitive respiratory tracts. Hemp rugs are good for creating paw-friendly, hygienic levels in the cage. If you want to give your pets some entertainment, treat them to a comfortable, alternative layer of cotton, paper wool, hay or straw. They can use this to jazz up their cage interior to their little hearts’ content.

Call into your local store today to discuss your rodent’s personal needs with our Maxi Zoo Pet Experts