(Sorry if this is lengthy, but I have to vent!!
I have always weighed the pros and cons with both paper bedding and the ever-popular fleece liners, but I have always gone with the paper pet bedding because it was just easier for me and Carlos seems to love digging in it and "rooting" around for worms. Also, he is used to bedding because he has always lived in it.
However, I am fed up with paper bedding!!
It was so dusty, and sometimes I would pick Carlos up and his huffing noises sounded slightly stuffy for a few minutes.
He would sound more like "Vvvt vvvt vvvt" instead of the normal "Hfff hfff hfff"
And I am 100% certain it was because of the dust/bedding, because he'd snort a couple times and be back to normal! Sometimes I'd help him along by brushing dust off his nose with my fingertip...
It made me feel bad, and one time I did try to switch to fleece... but when I did, I but his old bedding in his litter box, and he went and slept in there instead (which he NEVER does...) So I took out the fleece and put his paper bedding back, and he dug in it enthusiastically and went to bed in his normal spot. This was just a couple weeks ago.
Today was the last straw!!! >
I just bought new bedding yesterday and cleaned his house, then this morning I picked him up, and his shiny black nose was all dull and white (coated with dust
) and he was so stuffy he actually sneezed! I put water on my finger and wiped his nose, and ended up having to pick clumps of dust from his nostrils. I could tell he felt better right when I did that. His breathing went back to normal and he cuddled up to me with what I interpret as gratitude. <3
I did NOT want to put him back in that bedding for another second. So I dumped the brand new stuff in the trash, rinsed all the remaining dust out with water, and put the fleece sheet back in, this time with not a single piece of paper bedding. It was easy to see that Carlos was very confused when I put him in his newly lined cage. He walked all over it, looking very alert and mildly concerned. I sat by him and gave him treats, until he finally went to bed under his favorite towel/blanket.
I hope it helps Carlos that this fleece has been sitting on my bed since I got it, so hopefully it has some of my scent which he is very used to and trusting of.
That is the end of my venting, sorry I had to get that all off my chest.
Now, my question is... what advice might you have for me when it comes to maintaining fleece liners?
With the paper bedding, I'd spot clean every day, and dump it out and replace it as needed (Once a week, sometimes every other week, and every time I missed a day of spot cleaning. Also, every time Carlos got a big bath.)
I intend to do what I've read some others do, which is buy fleece that is twice as long as his cage and simply fold it in half.
Also, if any one else has switched from bedding to liners, did you do anything in particular to help your hedgie adapt? I think treats and his usual blanket helped Carlos a little, but...