This article is from the WSSF 2012 AFRMA Rat & Mouse Tales news-magazine.
Karen Robbins, Winnetka, CA
Cell-Sorb Plus® bedding is a heat-treated recycled newspaper pellet in crumbled form mixed with a non-toxic, patented, neutralizing chemical (gypsum). There are no enzymes or biocides to control odor. The ink in the newspaper is soybean based. It is biodegradable and can be used as a landscaping fertilizer and soil conditioner. It is used both as a contact and non-contact bedding. The unique design of the product combined with the animal’s movement is supposed to allow the droppings to work to the bottom of the bedding and out of contact with the animal. The product claims to eliminate ammonia levels for up to 3 weeks, allow the liquid to evaporate, and pull out the moisture and dry out feces. Cell-Sorb Plus® bedding is available in two sizes: an 8 quart bag and a 28 quart bag. The 8 qt. bag comes with a money-back guarantee. This product is available on the Internet or from some retail pet shops. The company makes a small animal version and a cat version of Cell-Sorb Plus®.
I tried this product on both the mice and rats and in different combinations of bedding from straight Cell-Sorb Plus®, to Cell-Sorb Plus® with Sani-Chips®, to Cell-Sorb Plus® with Sani-Chips® and CareFresh®, along with a few cages mixed with Gentle Touch™.
The first thing I noticed when I opened the bag was a strong chemical smell that I did not like. The other negative I found with the rats was that they all had gray tails from this bedding, plus the room was a lot more dusty than normal (gray dust compared to the brown of the aspen).
The first tests were done in some mouse cages with straight Cell-Sorb Plus® and this seemed to work OK. The next test was mixing the Cell-Sorb Plus® (CSP) with an equal amount of Sani-Chips® (SC) and a handful of CareFresh® (CF; for nesting purposes) vs. Gentle Touch® (GT) mixed with Sani-Chips® and a handful of CF along with starting it in some rat cages with just the CSP. The next day the room smelled like CSP. Three days later the room stunk. When I cleaned rat cages the following day I mixed the CSP with SC. The bedding packed together in the cages that had just the CSP and came out with little scraping, but it was dusty dumping the cage (more so than normal). Not much was kicked out of the wire rat cages. However, most of the rats’ cages smelled like dirty cages with ammonia where there would be no smell with the GT. This smell continued until the end of the trial 5 weeks later.
The length of time between cleanings with this product ranged from less time to about the same when used by itself and mostly comparable times when used with other beddings. However, it did not last as long between cleanings as the GT mixed with SC, and the smell was worse.
This is one product that I found had too many things that didn’t work for me and I didn’t like. However, I’ve heard others like this product so this is one that an individual needs to test for themselves to see if they like it or not.
NOTE: Cell-Sorb Plus® is manufactured by Fangman Specialties, Inc., 897 Ohio Pike, Cincinnati, OH 45245, phone number 1-888-247-3993.