Soundproofing rat cages?

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Soundproofing rat cages?

Post by meadow » Thu Jul 25, 2019 5:20 am

Hello all! I am considering getting a rat. However, I will most likely be keeping them in my room. With my mother as a severe (huge emphasis on severe) insomniac who likes to occasionally sleep in my room with me, sound will be a huge issue if I decide to get a rat because I want to let my mother sleep soundly in my room even if I get rats.

So my question is: what are your experiences with attempting to soundproof a rat cage? I asked on places like Reddit about using a modified aquarium or vivarium (lots of air holes for ventilation & a carbon filter on top for reduced odor) but I was still told quite blatantly that "It is not acceptable at all"

I also asked if I could cover the cage with a soundproof blanket at night by draping it over a frame that I could construct that is about two or three inches above the cage and extends two or three inches in every lateral direction so that the blanket is never touching the actual rat cage. This is to prevent them from chewing it and also because I know that they need good circulation because of their delicate respiratory systems, so it has to be open to the air in some way or another. Do you guys think that this is acceptable and provides good enough air circulation? I would imagine that it would be fine (I got the idea from a forum post on another forum, but I don't have the link anymore. There the general consensus was that doing so was indeed a good idea) however on Reddit, people were saying that doing so would not prevent noise and would be a health risk to the rats, but with no further explanation or alternative idea. I can see why one might say that it will not prevent noise just because of logic, but I could just as easily believe that it would prevent noise to a great extent (but not perfect). I'm not very familiar with how such a thing might work, so if someone more knowledgeable than I am could explain and determine if it would be effective or not I'd be very grateful! The same goes for why using a blanket over the cage in such a way would or would not be a health risk.

Another idea (which I can't really find any answers for online) is to possibly buy and install a soundproof curtain. During the day I'd have it open but at night I would close it. Have any of you ever tried soundproof curtains for rats/pet noise reduction in general? Do they work well for less white-noise type things that are very close to them (as most are used to deaden sound from traffic etc. I don't quite know how they'll fare with less white-type sounds such as the sound of roughhousing or squeaking rats). What do you guys think of this idea?

Any feedback and tips are great! Even if they have nothing to do with soundproofing! For example, another one of my big concerns is odor, so if anyone has any tricks up their sleeves to deal with that I'd love to hear them! And any rat tips in general; everything is appreciated.

Thank you!

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Re: Soundproofing rat cages?

Post by [cub] » Thu Jul 25, 2019 5:54 am

I don't think most attempts to soundproof the rats, while having them in the same room as you, is going to work without compromising their health. Anything that blocks sound significantly will block airflow significantly, because that's how sound works. A soundproofing curtain might help if it's big enough to section off their end of the room (and they will need a section of the room, not just a box a few inches bigger than their cage!), though you'll still get leakage around the edges. My rat cage is in the room next to the bedroom and when they're being dramatic I can still hear them through the wall. The best solution really is just to have them in another room entirely, and/or wear earplugs.

Smell is generally a combination of age (kittens stink), novelty (new rats stink), diet, substrate, and cage layout. This video from Isamu Rat Care covers a lot of the main culprits: That said, rats are rats and they're going to smell somewhat whatever you do, especially in summer.
Poo-shoveller to: Calyn (NLA32); Zephyr Nyahir; Zephyr Zymandis; Zephyr Blasto.
Fondly remembering: Zephyr Mick Jagger "Edgeworth"; Din (NLA28); Zephyr Donovan "Phoenix"; Xeltan; Lita (NLA32); Lia (NLA28); Zephyr Delanynder (NLA28); Falere (NLA36); Mirala (NLA36); Zephyr Opold; Rila.

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cyber ratty
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Re: Soundproofing rat cages?

Post by cyber ratty » Thu Jul 25, 2019 8:50 am

I agree that any kind of blanket isn't going to work, and vivariums are not suitable.

You can reduce sounds by having a tic tac wheel instead of another type, and there are bottles which don't rely on ball bearings so they are quieter or you could replace them with a bowl when you mum is in your room.

However, the best option would be to have a cage on wheels (or on a wheeled stand), and just wheel it out onto the landing when your mum comes in.

Odour is controlled by using toilet corners which can be changed several times a week (include one next to their main sleeping place as an en-suite), a deep layer of good substrate (cardboard and kiln dried dust extracted shavings works well) which should last a couple of weeks, and keeping an eye on any fabric accessories which are best changed weekly. Feeding a good quality diet (a Rat Rations mix is best) will make a big difference, and don't have any bare wood or flat shelves in the cage.

Incidentally, you say you are thinking of having 'a rat' - rats are social animals and should never be kept alone, a group of 3 or more is best for them.

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