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Old 02-16-2014, 06:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Using sand/rice for dig box?

Hi!
I have a very active 18 month chocolate male called Albie. I recently changed the hemp in his cage to pretty fleece liners, which produce much less mess and smell, and make his cage look like an adorable carpeted little boy's bedroom.
I know that Albie would love a large box to dig in during his evening play time out of his cage, so I'm planning on buying a shallow cat litter box. He already has his litter tray in his cage, but it has the wheel in it so is not that accessible.

I once tried making a dig box using fleece for Albie and hiding treats, but he showed no interest. He doesn't harbor any instinct to drag fleece around and make a nest. I know he'd adore some fine material to dig in under strict supervision - would well washed playground sand work? What about uncooked basmati rice?

Would a mixture of rice and sand work well? I plan to watch him strictly, but if he ate one grain of rice, would it really be a problem?

Thanks so much!
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Old 02-16-2014, 06:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I definitely wouldn't use sand. It has too much potential to irritate eyes, nose, or get caught in the penile sheath & cause irritation or injury (my biggest concern with it). Rice is a bit better, but could still get caught, so if you do decide to give it a try, watch him carefully and make sure you inspect underneath after you take him out of it.
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Old 02-16-2014, 07:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I use uncooked oatmeal flakes. It's pretty much destroyed if he pees in it, but that way I have no concerns if he eats a bit when digging around, but it still has some weight.

I've heard other people use smooth, washed aquarium stones.
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Old 02-16-2014, 09:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Don't use rice also. They absorb a lot of moisture and with it, mold growth. It could also attract pests if moist
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Old 02-17-2014, 01:26 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I got my girl a dig box, even though I haven't seen her use it yet, but she seems to like exploring so I'm sure she'll use it eventually. Anyways, besides from fleece strips, I like to use aquarium stones. I bought mine at both Petsmart and Michael's, but you need to make sure they're large enough so your hedgie can't fit them in its mouth. For instance, the smallest stone in my dig box is about an inch in diameter. Have fun!
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