When I read the e-mail from Joanne, one of our supporters, my first reaction was stupefied silence:
My second reaction was, "Really, people? Does this have to be explained? Staples in a cage with critters who chew and gnaw and shred?" (I know...I know...it could have been said more gently.)
My third reaction was, "Oh ick, wet newspaper!" Every time I think of newspaper in cages, I think of the cages in shelters, lined with newspaper that so easily gets wet, then shreds into soggy bits the wetter it gets and the more the critters scramble over it. I think of the guinea pigs and rabbits I've pulled out of those cages, with inky feet and soaking wet bellies and rumps. I always think, "This is no way to live, no matter how temporarily."
I know there's folks who put layers of newspaper under layers of fleece, instead of using store-bought cage bedding. The fleece part I can understand -- it's washable, it's not going into landfills in plastic bags, it may be cheaper than conventional cage bedding (I've never done the math to figure the annual cost of store-bought bedding vs. annual costs for detergent, hot water, and gas or electricity). I also can see using just layers of fleece to line the bottom of the cage.
But handling all that wet newspaper? Ick. Double ick.
So for the folks who use newspaper for cage bedding along with fleece, share with us (please) why you went that route. How wet does the paper get? How much fleece do you layer on top? Doesn't the fleece get inky and hard to clean? What does the newspaper/fleece combination give that just using fleece doesn't? And if you use only newspaper, please share your experiences.