“ Brand: Finacard / Animals Equipment Type: Rodents / Small Pets „
There''s a lot of information and debate out there on the best bedding to use for pet rats, and cardboard strips or squares are generally considered a good option. Cardboard can be used to create a deep base in the cage, enriching it for the rats through comfort and digging potential. I initially used a litter product over the entire base, but moved away from this for various reasons (uncomfortable, expensive) and to Finacard. My first order was a sample pack which included their three main products ? the cardboard substrate, a paper bedding and their own brand litter. This sample pack is an excellent idea, and proved very useful in deciding whether or not to continue using their products. I was happy enough with the samples that I then went on to order full size packages. The cardboard bedding comes in a large bale (approximately 17kg) which is excellently compressed making it easy to handle and store. I use this as the main substrate in a Savic Royal Suite cage with seven female rats, generally doing a full replacement fortnightly with removal and replacement of dirty substrate in between. This way I have found that a bale lasts a little over two months, though this will obviously be different if you have a different set up and cleaning schedule. My rats generally use the litter trays, but the Finacard doesn''t hold too much smell if they go elsewhere ? more frequent cleaning would be required if you have more or messier rats. The product is advertised as dust free which I have generally found to be true (an important consideration with rats). The paper bedding is well loved by my rats. They use it for nesting and it seems to hold its shape without being hard or uncomfortable for them. This comes in small packs and can be ordered alone or in combination with the cardboard. The litter is very similar to other small animal litters on the market, although I find the pellets themselves are somewhat smaller. It has good odour control and is absorbent, and if bought in combination with the other bedding is good value for money. Shipping is free when ordered directly from Finacard. The cardboard itself is cheaper from other sources, but these charge for shipping and do not offer the bulk deals so I find a direct order most cost efficient. I''ve found that orders generally ship within 3 days, and the shipping is 24 hours. The couriers are very good at leaving the package in your designated place and I haven''t had any ?Sorry you were out? type cards. Overall this is a nice, good value product that does what it claims.
Finding a suitable rat bedding is quite difficult. Rat bedding needs to be soft and warm enough to sleep / nest in, easy to dig and forage in as well as low in dust and absorbent. I have tried many commercial beddings over the years, as well as homemade shredded paper bedding and fleece. I have found most of these to have problems with dust, absorbency or both and even found mites in one bag of commercial bedding.
This leads me onto reviewing my favourite bedding which is not universally available but I feel that the benefits outweigh this.
Finacard cardboard rat and small animal bedding is available in a number of pack sizes / bundles. A large 17kg bag can be purchased for £13.99 on Finacard's own website. Pack sizes and prices will be further detailed at the end of the review.
Finacard bedding is a finely chopped, cardboard bedding. The pieces are quite small (stated as 5mm by 25mm on the website) compared to other cardboard bedding. The production process is described as unused cardboard been finely shredded whilst been dust extracted simultaneously. This is particularly important when considering using this bedding for rats as they have very sensitive respiratory systems.
Finacard bedding arrives in a clear plastic bag which allows you to examine the pack carefully for dust. Sometimes when you empty a bag of bedding, you will find some dust collected at the bottom of the bag but I haven't found this with Finacard.
When using the bedding, I have always filled the base of the cage with enough Finacard for the rats to be able to burrow and dig in. I also use enough to keep them warm and comfortable.
When you hold the bedding, it is surprisingly soft and springy for a material that I would traditionally describe as hard and tough. Hiding food amongst the bedding for the rats to find is always a fun game and the bedding itself is safe for them to chew on.
My rats have always been litter trained so use a tray in the corner of the cage with litter in it. However, I find Finacard absorbent enough to deal with any 'stray' toileting and it seems to mask the odour well.
When cage cleaning time arrives, I find the Finacard easy to clean out unlike paper type substrates that I have noticed sometimes stay stuck to the cage etc. It says on the website that Finacard is easy to compost - I haven't tried this yet but may do in the future.
My main reason for using Finacard is that I feel it gives me peace of mind. I know it is safe for my rats and am confident that the rats enjoy foraging and digging it. I also feel it is good value as you can buy in bulk.
I give Finacard a 5/5 because it is currently the bedding that I have found most suitable so far.
Currently you can only purchase from Finacard online or over the phone. You can purchase from the following options:
Finacard Maxibale (17kg) £13.99
Small sample bags of Finacard
Bundles containing Finacard, Papelit Pellets litter and nesting material.
You can also call them for information on purchasing bulk orders.