Fleece Liners -- Info, and Pros & Cons
We've had quite a few people over the years ask us about using fleece liners. What we think of them, whether we like them, whether we would use them again... and so on. So... we created a page with some info, as well as pros and cons, so you all can make informed decisions about whether you would like to use them yourself.
What Are Fleece Liners?
Fleece liners are an alternative to traditional bedding, for example, pine shavings. Fleece liners are typically made of two layers of fleece, with an absorbent layer sewn between them. We have made some of our own fleece liners, and we use terry cloth in the middle (the material towels are made of), to help them absorb more.
How Do I Use a Fleece Liner?
Fleece liners completely replace the bedding in your pet's cage. Where you would put bedding in your cage pan, instead, you can get a custom fleece liner made, which will fit the size of your pan. This liner will serve as bedding -- your chinchilla (or other small animal) will poo and pee on it. This means that you will periodically have to wash your fleece liner. We recommend washing them 1-2 times per week.
Fleece Liners Sound Great! Why Doesn't Everyone Use Them? -- Pros & Cons
While some people love fleece liners, there are other people who do not. The opinion that you get, often depends on who you ask. Below is a list of pros and cons that we, here at NWI Chinchillas, feel represents fleece liners, and will hopefully allow you to make an informed decision on whether you want to use fleece liners for yourself.
- Typically custom made, so you can often pick cute fabrics that you like
- Can color-coordinate your cage with matching accessories, such as hammocks
- "Nicer looking" than shavings (at least when clean)
- No shavings to make their way outside of your cage (though poos still will), possibly not as messy
- Washable, so once you've bought them, the major expense is over (no more buying shavings)
- More environmentally friendly than shavings
- May cost less in the long run, if you wash them at home
- Absorb about the same as shavings (no better)
- Have to be washed 1-2x per week, so it's useful to have multiple
- Can develop an unclean odor quicker than shavings
- On lighter colored ones, poos stand out more, which makes the cage have a "dirty" appearance faster than with shavings
- Washing is disgusting -- expect the water to be pee-colored, so we don't use our own washing machine
- Spend money on laundry @ laundromat, whereas money would have been spent on shavings. Are we really saving anything?
- If pets chew them, need to be sewn to keep pets away from inside layers (which are not fleece)
- Cannot use typical fabric softener, must use vinegar to soften them
- If not changed frequently enough, there is the possibility for pets to get infections from bacteria in the liners