The ZooMed odor tamers are a disposable carbon activated cage liner that promises to reduce ammonia stink in a pet’s enclosure or litter box by up to 80%. This item is intended for owners of tiny animals, birds, cats, and reptiles.
The cage liners are available in a variety of sizes: 250-foot bulk store-use roll, as well as four pre-cut sizes (10-gallon, 15/20-gallon, “sweater box” 10″ x 15″, and “shoebox” 5 3/4″ x 11 1/2″). The liners are intended to be placed on the bottom of an enclosure and may be covered with a layer of bedding material if desired.
ZooMed odor tamers were utilized in the enclosures of a domestic guinea pig and two rat enclosures for the purposes of this product evaluation. A three-pack of 15/20-gallon cage liners and a twenty-five-pack of 10″ x 15″ “sweater box” cage liners were delivered.
The precut sheets assist to give a range of sizes, but some pet owners may need to have a variety of sizes on hand if they need to mix and match sizes or trim sheets by hand to meet odd-sized enclosures. When I ran out of the bigger size given, I used three sheets of the sweater box size liners, which worked nicely for the guinea pig enclosure. The sweater box liners worked well for the rat cages, but owing to the irregular measurements of the flooring and shelves, the sheets had to be trimmed or cut in half to fit adequately. Carefresh bedding is utilized in both the guinea pig and rat cages.
Guinea pigs are typically non-smelly animals unless their cage is kept unclean for an extended period of time. My guinea pig, in particular, like celery as a snack; nevertheless, it significantly raises the ammonia levels in his pee. He was seen to be an excellent test subject for this product and was permitted to eat more celery snacks than he typically would. Typically, his access to celery is restricted in order to reduce the odour. My guinea pig is mostly ‘litter box trained.’ As a result, cleaning his whole cage every 10-14 days is standard procedure, and the litter pan is replaced every couple of days. When the guinea is given regular celery snacks, the whole cage must be cleaned every 5-7 days. The cage liners were utilized in both the main section of his cage and his litter pan. Under test settings, the cage liners in his enclosure did assist lower odor levels and allowed for a more regular cage cleaning program. The guinea pig had little issues chewing and shredding apart the edges of the liners by rummaging through the carefresh bedding.
While the cage liners worked quite well for the guinea pig enclosure, the rats were a different story. To be fair, these rats are not your typical domestic pet rats, but rather wild ship rats. Ship rats, like gerbils, have developed to save moisture, thus their pee flow is decreased and their feces are more drier. When opposed to their regular domestic pet rat counterparts, this results in a naturally reduced level of odor in a caged context. I would generally clean their whole enclosures every 7 days or so with domestic rats, but with ship rats, I can go 3-4 weeks between full cage cleanings. In the rat cages, the liners were employed both beneath the bedding on the bottom levels and exposed on the higher level shelves. Unfortunately, rats, being rats, will gather everything and everything for use in their nests. The liners would be taken away, shredded, and put into the top-level nest box before long. Furthermore, due to the ship rats’ inherently low odor, any advantage from the cage liners was practically hard to detect. If I had domestic rats to test the liners on at the time, I may have been able to see what effects it could have had on odor reduction.
According to my reptile experience, the cage liners are most likely to suit owners of tiny snakes and lizards who house them in rack systems and use paper towels as the covering substrate on top of the liners (to absorb the bulk of liquid urates leaving the liner below to deal with any odor). I don’t see any evident advantage to utilizing the liners in standard pet bird boxes. The stink of bird droppings is not strong enough to make the liners necessary from a personal aspect. I’m not sure whether the liners would be effective in odor control for cat owners. I anticipate that owners of different tiny ‘pocket pet’ animals will profit the most from the usage of cage liners in enclosures.
In general, cage liners should be anticipated to serve the function of odor reduction between regular cage cleanings. Cage liners should not be used as an excuse to significantly lengthen the time between routine cage cleanings for pets. Overall, the liners seem to perform best with animals whose pee contains considerable levels of ammonia. Animals who do not have strong scents to begin with may not have a true requirement or benefit from having liners installed in their cages.
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