View Full Version : Questions about smell: Female Rats VS Female Guinea Pigs?

09-27-13, 10:54 pm
I am planning on adopting 2 female rats (craigslist or rescue) at the end of October/beginning of November after me and my boyfriend move into a new place. The only problem he has with any animal is smell (I have 4 piggies and a 2x8 cage, hermit crabs, and a dog so he clearly has no problem with me having animals) I don't want to be inconsiderate as he has been a total sweetheart with me moving the guinea pigs cage around and ending up with 4 piggies instead of the original 2 we planned on (and even a 5th if I find a long haired). But, before I get rats I just want to make sure that it won't cause him discomfort. We have an extra bedroom that is the piggies and hermit crabs room (and rat room if I get them) and will be moving into a 2 bedroom place so they will have their own room in the new place too. He doesn't mind a faint smell as the piggies always have a little smell especially around cleaning day.

So long story short how much would 2 female rats smell in comparison to the 4 guinea pigs(or guinea pigs in general)?
I would like to try fleece bedding as long as they didn't chew it up

I have had a rat before but that was several years ago and before I really had done enough research about them.

09-28-13, 01:15 am
I personally don't think they smell much at all. I have seven rats right now, two males that live in a small 30x18 cage (my older boy has lost a lot of his mobility, so I try to keep it simple for him) as well as five females in a double ferret nation. I use fleece blankets for the bottom of the cages and the females have litter boxes they use pretty reliably for poop.

I would think that so long as they're getting a high quality pellet diet with healthy additions (vegetables/grain/meat), they aren't going to smell too strongly. Diet really does make a huge difference, my old males were on a poorer quality pellet for most of their life as the old recipe for Oxbow wasn't appreciated one bit and I couldn't go more than two-three days without full cleanings (I could smell them everywhere!). I could probably leave the cages alone for over a week now and only notice minimal smell.

So long as you're spot cleaning fairly often, and doing full cage cleanings whenever the fleece is starting to look a bit ripe, you should be fine. Females can be litter trained a bit more reliably than males can be, which should help cut down on the smell as well.

If you are concerned with the rats chewing the fleece, you may want to look at another bedding though. Almost all of mine chew at the blankets, usually it's only a few small holes that aren't really anything to worry about, but occasionally you drag a blanket out that's more holes than blanket.

09-28-13, 01:37 am
When I had 3 female rats I cleaned the cage everyday and no smell.

09-28-13, 01:51 am
Yea I'm not worried about a few holes I just didn't want to have to completely replace fleece weekly because of holes, and they will have a lot of toys because I know they need a lot of amusement. How often do you all wash your fleece?

09-28-13, 07:15 am
I think rats smell way more than guinea pigs. I have 5 male guinea pigs now and they do not smell near as much as the 3 female rats I once had. Especially when the females would go through their cycle, they seemed to smell more then. I also don't like animal odor. I can handle a little but rats are on my list of pets I probably will not have again purely based on the smell. They have wonderful personalities and they were so funny to watch and play with but I'd rather not deal with their scent. I believe I used carefresh bedding or yesterday's news back then and they lived in a large ferret habitat cage.

09-28-13, 09:59 am
Here is my experience as someone who had rats in the past and has guinea pigs:

Like any animal you will get some type of smell. The best way to keep up with it is to have good husbandry of their cages. Rats can be litter trained, which is GREAT! I had two females and I spot cleaned (aka dumped) their litter box daily. Weekly I removed everything and washed what needed to be washed. I noticed little to no smell cage wise. I did notice a smell when they were up in my face but I think that was more their personal "musk".

Rats in general enjoy being clean. They groom themselves and do a very good job.

As for bedding: Rats WILL chew up anything you put in their cages. Its what they do. The great thing though, is that you can easily hand sew (or if your handy with a sewing machine) hammocks and other bedding for them. If your not handy there are many bedding makers and their prices are really cheap (IMO).

09-28-13, 10:51 am
How often do you all wash your fleece?

It really does depend on the rats and the size of cage. I generally go by a rule of twice a week changing everything out. If my girls end up using one half of the cage more often than another, it may be more. It's usually a good idea to plan on washing the fleece straight away as well, it tends to retain more smell (at least, I find it does) the longer it sits there.

10-21-13, 09:12 pm
They won't smell if they are properly cared for as you have done with the piggies. Rats are easily trained to use a litter box so I've heard. I think some people even bathe them like once a year. I don't have any rats my self so this is entirly based on what I have heard.

Fleece is a very good idea to use as it can be used over and over again. First you will need to wash it a few times so it will wick. Once it wicks away moisture you can put it in the cage with an under bedding. Most people use a layer of uhaul pads, towls, then the fleece. You can also use 2 layers of the uhaul pads.

10-21-13, 10:42 pm
thanks I actually use fleece with my guinea pigs so I do know how to use it. I have had one girl for 3 weeks and havent had any problems with smell. I am hoping to get a second soon it has just been a bit difficult to find one with the coloring I wanted.

10-22-13, 12:12 am
I don't know about females but my roommates male rat smells terrible!!! And she keeps his cage cleaned well. I would never own a rat for that reason otherwise they are sweet pets.

10-22-13, 12:35 am
yea thats why I avoided males both human and animal tend to be on the smelly side haha