Monday, August 2, 2021

Review: How to Keep Your Rat's Cage Smelling Fresh with ZYMOX® Cage Diapers®

Review: How to Keep Your Rat's Cage Smelling Fresh with ZYMOX® Cage Diapers®

Healing Whiskers was compensated in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are honest and genuine. We would not purposefully share a product that is harmful or dishonest to the customer. Information provided is for general information only and not a substitute for veterinary advice. Post may contain affiliate links that provide a commission. Do not use any images without permission.

There are many different options when it comes to the bedding you use in your rat's cage. There's fabric, paper, wood, and even soil in bioactive cages. It can be a struggle to find bedding that helps with odor but isn't messy. For me, I personally use fleece with towels underneath which I toss in the laundry. I do this every week and spot clean and/or replace fleece every day. It's not perfect and get's smelly super quick.

I was recently approached by ZYMOX® to take a look at their new product the Cage Diaper®. I know, silly name, but it is actually quite a great product!

ZYMOX® has been around since 1998, and you've probably heard about them or Pet King Brands from their dog, cat, or horse products. They have a really great and effective antimicrobial enzyme system that is the basis for their products. I've taken a deep look at their Oratene line over on my other blog, The Chesnut Mutts. So when ZYMOX told me that they now offer a small animal cage liner, I was a bit skeptical but decided to give it a shot.

My double critter nation
(Photo from when I used the whole cage)

At the moment, I have a double critter nation where I'm only using the top half since I  have my two rats, Juniper and Coral in there. And like I said, I'm using fleece with towels underneath for my bedding. My biggest qualm with fleece is that it gets smelly within a few days of deep cleaning the cage. My first cage had a deep pan at the bottom and I would use aspen shavings which got everywhere so I'm not a huge fan, but the odor absorbency was actually better. Is there someone that looks nice like fleece but has the odor control of aspen?

ZYMOX® Cage Diaper®

3 sizes of the cage diaper
Featuring Jada from The Chesnut Mutts sulking because she isn't the center of attention.

Let's take a look at the cage diaper. ZYMOX sent me three sizes, but you can actually choose from 8 different sizes on their website. I was sent the 10x12, 24x24, and the 13 1/2x7 3/4.

Cage Diaper cage liner for small animals

It is actually made with 100% unbleached cellulose a.k.a. the same stuff you find in the cell walls of plants. There are some ridges on the sheets and no perfumy smell or residues. It really reminds me of reptile carpet but made out of paper. 

ZYMOX small animal cage liner

It's really thin. Can this really hold up to two rats who love to pee everywhere?

ZYMOX cage liner on critter nation

For my next cage cleaning day, I ditched the fleece and used the Cage Diaper instead. It was a fun puzzle to cut up pieces to fit the pans. They actually have an 18x24 size that should fit the small Critter Nation pans, so I would suggest getting that size if you have the same cage. But otherwise, layering isn't a problem either.

critter nation cage liners

Here is the cage with everything furnished. I have to admit that it was a bit quicker than my usual cleaning routine. My brother was like "Wow, the rats had linoleum put in".

critter nation cage liners from zymox

You can see here that I layered the Cage Diaper pieces on the small platforms. 

absorbent rat cage liner

The rats didn't seem to mind it at all either. So now comes the real test...can it survive a whole week?

odor absorbing rat cage liner

Day 1. I notice a couple of wet spots on the liner. Nothing crazy. The liner gets a bit soft when it is wet but actually dries back up after a while. Not smelling any smells. I did have a small spot where someone chewed a small hole. Looks like it was a pee spot and the spot warped a bit and they chewed it. Because it is just cellulose, it isn't harmful if ingested so that is always great when you have chewers. I spot cleaned like usual and it was super easy.

chew proof rat cage liner

Day 2. No change, no smells. Day 3. I notice some more warping where there are pee spots and you can see a slight yellow tinge. Still no smells though.

biodegradable small animal cage liner

Day 4 through 6, no change, no smells. Holy moly. Day 7 means cage cleaning day! Let's see the damage.

natural pet liner

With everything removed you can see the pee spots, warping, and the little chew holes. It's all dry except for the more recent spots on top. You might be thinking, "Wow, this must really reek of ammonia". It surprisingly doesn't. You can only smell the pee if you put your nose right on it. Throughout the week I was just so honestly surprised. How can this thick paper liner control this much odor?

the best cage bedding for pet rats

I reached back out to ZYMOX to ask more about how it works. It was explained to me that the Cage Diapers provide a more sterile environment that doesn't encourage harmful microbes to develop. Fewer bacteria = less stink. Neat. 

fancy rat cage bedding

Clean-up was super simple. I tossed the liners into the garbage, (but you could totally compost these too) sprayed and wiped the pans with cleaner, and added another liner. Ready for the next round!

In a nutshell...

  • ZYMOX® has been around since 1998 making pet products featuring their enzyme system that fights bacteria.
  • Their new product the Cage Diaper® is a liner made of unbleached cellulose that is safe for chewers and is super absorbent and odor-reducing. 
  • Cage Diapers work so well because the way they are made makes it harder for bacteria to thrive.
  • You can find ZYMOX Cage Diapers on their website.
rat cage liner review

I was honestly shocked to see how well these Cage Diapers held up to Juniper and Coral. After the 3rd day, I still couldn't smell any odors and I remember telling Johnny, "Um, these are actually working really well!". Even if you don't have rats, these will work for a variety of animals: ferrets, bunnies, hamsters, guinea pigs, bearded dragons, leopard geckos, birds, everything in between, and I highly recommend them!

What do you think?
What kind of bedding do you use in your cage?
Let us know in the comments below!

For a limited time, you can get 10% off your purchase at the ZYMOX store with the code "chestnut10" (Ends 8/31/21)


  1. I'm going to order some of these this week! Looks like a fantastic solution! Thanks for the share.

  2. Can these be cut to fit areas in a cage?