Best Safe Mouse Bedding?

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Best Safe Mouse Bedding?

Post by Blessed on Wed 05 Sep 2018, 11:53 am

I got this bedding at Walmart like the one pictured below, only a smaller bag of it, and to me, it smells like something dead! Sick But my mom thought it smelled kind of like sulfur.. Either way, it stinks! And I kind of feel bad for rodents having to live with the smell right by their noses. Razz I don't want the Kaytee granules bedding--it's a great bedding that's not too terribly expensive and lasts a good while if you get the big bag, and it smells great, but I read it might be known to cause cancer to the state of California...so I don't want that one anymore. And I'm not using pine, cedar, or aspen wood shavings for my rodents, as that can probably cause cancer or respiratory infections, and might infest your critter with lice or mites. Doh (I'll admit, I have tried it for my naughty ferret's litter box, but the only thing I'm using the pine shavings for now is putting it in the dog house for my chickens).
And I don't want that current paper bedding I'm using...not when it smells like that! I want something that's safe for them, like the paper, and that absorbs odor--though ASF rats and gerbils really hardly have a smell to them--and it would be okay if the bedding has a pleasant smell to it, but that's not necessary, considering I'm growing my own lavender this year, so I can put some of the fresh or dried lavender in the tanks. Good vibes Another major thing is...the price. Bedding is so stinkin' expensive, and even though I have a job and can afford it, that doesn't mean I want to or am willing to spend 20+ dollars on a somewhat big bag of bedding that won't even last several months. :\ I have bills to pay, and things to save up for, so wasting a lot of money on bedding isn't ideal. Laughing

Anyways, thanks in advance! If you don't have good suggestions (but I'd imagine you guys will Very Happy ), then could you at least tell me what you personally prefer, or use? And the price for the bag size, and why you guys like it and what it does for you? :-)




Last edited by Blessed on Wed 05 Sep 2018, 11:54 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Word missing, and I forgot to add the picture!)

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Re: Best Safe Mouse Bedding?

Post by Nijimi にじみ on Wed 05 Sep 2018, 12:26 pm

Usually beddings like Carefresh have no scent so I'm really surprised that yours does. I would recommend Aspen because mice are mice, they wouldn't have Carefresh in the wild so they'd be fine with wood. But I know everyone loves spoiling their babies so I use a layer of Aspen then Carefresh.

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Re: Best Safe Mouse Bedding?

Post by CallaLily on Wed 05 Sep 2018, 2:37 pm

For mice I prefer paper based beddings, like Carefresh, Kaytee Clean & Cozy, Green Dreamzzz, and just plain old shredded paper (usually added to one of the others). I found many of my mice ended up with weepy eyes when I tried aspen and it also wasn’t great for odor imo. Something about the usual mouse mess mixed with the aspen was just nasty to my nose.

I will say, that label is required by law to be put on ALL paper or wood based beddings that are made or packaged with the intention of selling in the state of California (among many many other products and even buildings!). I wouldn’t worry about that at all. According to the state of California, just about everything causes cancer. Rolling Eyes

Now for the gerbils I do prefer buying a very large bag of aspen and I mix in shredded paper. They don’t seem to mind the aspen at all and it saves me money because gerbils require a TON of bedding. It irritates the heck out of my nose and throat on cleaning day but I deal. As long as it doesn’t bother them, it’s nice to save some money using it instead of the brands I mentioned above.

I’ve never purchased the CritterCare brand but it’s made by the same company that makes Carefresh. I’m thinking maybe the bag you purchased was contaminated or something. I doubt it’s supposed to smell like dead things or sulfur. If you haven’t used any of it, you may be able to return it. Or complain to the company and see if they’ll set it right.

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Re: Best Safe Mouse Bedding?

Post by Blessed on Wed 05 Sep 2018, 7:58 pm

Nijimi, aspen wood shavings smell nice and seems cozy/comfortable and soft, and you're right: Mice don't have paper bedding in the wild, but I already said I don't want to use aspen, did you not read that? I personally don't want to chance giving my rodents mites...That's just gross (or a respiratory infection). But thanks for the tip. Smile

CallaLily, what you said about California...that's hilarious! Laughing Thanks for letting me know that. Wink
Hmm, maybe it was contaminated. . I didn't even think of that. Because many many months ago, I bought a bag of that before, and I don't remember it smelling anything like what it does now. Undecided

Annnyways, maybe I could just try the aspen wood shavings for the gerbil, and one of those brands of the paper bedding for Natalie. I would just feel like a hypocrite using the aspen wood shavings for one of my rodents, since I always advise against it/try to steer people clear of it. :-P

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Re: Best Safe Mouse Bedding?

Post by Nijimi にじみ on Wed 05 Sep 2018, 9:20 pm

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Last edited by Nijimi にじみ on Thu 06 Sep 2018, 12:33 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Best Safe Mouse Bedding?

Post by Nijimi にじみ on Wed 05 Sep 2018, 9:25 pm

Oh and by the way, you can always make your own carefresh and even color it. You can use cheap toilet paper or whatever you have on hand. If price is the problem, hopefully you have time to make some. I've done it before for my hamsters but never for my mice. Soak the toilet paper in hot water and add your food coloring if wanted. Then break up the pieces into the desired sizes and smoosh them into carefresh like bits. Afterwards, you can dry them in different ways depending on how much time you have. Ex: Blow drying, Windowsill, or just plain air dry (but it might stink).

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Re: Best Safe Mouse Bedding?

Post by CallaLily on Thu 06 Sep 2018, 10:05 am

I understand how you’re feeling about the aspen. With my bad experience with trying it with my mice, I didn’t think I would ever try it again for any of my pets. But gerbils need so much bedding and my husband was kind of complaining about how often we were needing to buy the more expensive paper based ones, so I reluctantly gave it another shot. And using aspen with the gerbils really my only complaint is my reaction to it on cleaning day. But I’ve solved that by buying some face masks to wear.

So it’s a win-win. The gerbils really enjoy digging and tunneling in it. Adding shredded plain printer or construction paper bulks it up cheaply and seems to help make their tunnels more stable. There have been no bad gerbil reactions to it. There’s no funky odors. And my husband complains less.  I must make him sound so grumpy on here but he’s not really.  I could continue buying the more expensive beddings if I really wanted but this makes more sense for us. Especially with how quickly my little zoo just expanded.

I use the aspen with my hamster too. No issues there so far either. But I once when I have mice again I will use paper for them. It’s just what seems to work best with mice in my experience. Though there is one or two members on here that swear by cocofiber or untreated potting soil. Especially for male mice. That may be something I try when I get mice again, as I’m already sure that when I do it will be a little boy mouse. Of course all these gerbils have my future mousey plans on hold a little longer. Smile

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Re: Best Safe Mouse Bedding?

Post by Peachy on Thu 06 Sep 2018, 10:38 am

I've made my own Carefresh type of bedding, too. Bit time consuming and you have to be able to plan ahead but it works. I can't remember what I had to do to make it soft... probably try to keep it cool while drying rather than heat it? There's some tutorials out there if you need more direction.

My colony is currently happy with the colorful "confetti" whatever CritterCare bedding. I haven't noticed any off smells. I would return the bag if it's really bad and try another one, or else lay it out so it can air out. You could shred some paper towels for the meantime.

My gerbils LOVED aspen. It holds tunnels very well and my gerbils were all about tunnels! Also good shredding material for them. I've been happy with it for mice, too. The kiln-dried pine is safe, but I grabbed a bag for my gerbil once because the aspen was out, and my mice had allergies to it. Bald bellies! They never had this reaction to aspen, though.

Soil is a fun and pretty cheap option, too. Milo is on soil. He doesn't love it as much as previous mice did.

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Re: Best Safe Mouse Bedding?

Post by AmyLynn on Thu 06 Sep 2018, 5:15 pm

Some of my mice LOVE paper crinkle bedding. You know the recycled paper kind. You can get 10lb of it through Staples for $18.29. Keep in mind that is paper and paper is very light weight. So that is a lot of paper crinkle! I found a blog where people had noted that they were using it for their mice. So this may be both fun for your mice and cost effective.

https://www.staples.com/crinkle+paper/directory_crinkle%2520paper?fids=&pn=2&sr=true&sby=&min=&max=&myStoreId=&scSku=
http://www.goosemoose.com/rfc/index.php?topic=4108880.0

They also sell it commercially labeled for mice and I found that as cheap as $15 for 4lbs. online. My local Petvalue sells it too but the price varies pretty wildly.

https://www.petswarehouse.com/bedding-litter/?sort=priceasc&page=4

I like to add hay or orchard grass to an area of the habitat as well because it smells nice and the mice love to eat and play in it.

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Re: Best Safe Mouse Bedding?

Post by Mahjling on Sat 08 Sep 2018, 1:24 am

I suggest coconut coir, from such brands as eco-earth, so long as your cage doesn't have bars to kick it through or you're okay sweeping around the cage regularly. It's soft, good for digging in, smells pleasant like the forest after rain, it's safe, has the best odor control I've ever encountered, and it's incredibly cheap. (4 - 5$ here for a pack of three bricks.)

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Re: Best Safe Mouse Bedding?

Post by Lizardian on Sat 15 Sep 2018, 9:30 am

I've used CritterCare bedding and never had a problem. It has a scent to it if you bring it close to your face but it's not supposed to smell like that. If you wanted to give it a second chance, I would recommend going to a different store that carries it and buying a small bag to see if it smells any different.

Or maybe find a different brand of paper bedding if you don't want to go into the trouble.
And just a note, I've bought hemp bedding before because it was really cheap but I do not recommend it. My mice had allergy/respiratory responses after using it.

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Re: Best Safe Mouse Bedding?

Post by Blessed on Sun 16 Sep 2018, 12:35 am

Thank you all for your help. :-) I finished off my bag of that bedding, and have probably decided on getting the Kaytee Granules bedding again, after all, for the gerb, and perhaps paper bedding for the natal girls.

@CallaLily, I couldn't seem to make myself pick up a bag of that 'dreaded' aspen wood shavings. Laughing My mom and I talked it over, and I was so tempted to get it, and had been seriously planning on getting it at one point, but was reluctant...and finally decided against it once at the store. The struggle is real, ma'am; the struggle is real. girl_sigh

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