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How did you train them to use a litter box?

Their litter box "training" was mostly a matter of taking advantage of their natural tendencies. The first step was to locate where in their cages they chose for their elimination. Scribble liked one particular corner in her area, and Eek liked underneath one of her ramps. Shallow trays were acquired as litter boxes - it turns out that an old floppy diskette holder (from the nearby Goodwill) is about perfect for this. Their cages are lined with fabric, which is changed weekly. The litter needs to be texturally different to distinguish it from the rest of the cage. CareFresh litter, which is essentially rolled paper pellets, has been perfect for these rats. When placing the litter boxes into the newly cleaned cage, at each rat's chosen location, a few older droppings were added as an additional clue.

Eek took to her litter box immediately, and has mostly used it consistently ever since it was introduced. Though in her frequent reorganizations, she has once accidentally dumped the contents as she moved the tray around, and another time filled it with other items (constructing sort of a tower of items in the cage corner) - in both cases making it temporarily unusable. Other than than, she's very good about always using her litter box for peeing. She's less conscientious about using it for poop.

Scribble is the opposite. Scribble is pretty good about using her litter box to poop. And has, it would seem, little control about where she pees. Norwegian rats do use urine to mark their territory, and are known for leaving little drips here and there as they go about in the world. Fortunately Scribble's urine is fairly scentless.



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