Have you ever subscribed to a newspaper you don’t even read just because it fit nicely into the tray at the bottom of your pet bird’s cage? There are a lot of good things about using newspaper to line your pet bird’s cage tray. If you actually read the paper, you’re getting double-duty out of it by recycling it in the bird cage. If you’re lucky enough to have a cage with a tray that corresponds to a paper’s size, you don’t have to resort to cutting, trimming and folding tricks to make it fit. Research has shown that black-and-white newsprint actually has some antibacterial properties, so with daily cage maintenance, it’s actually quite sanitary. I’m addicted to my morning read, but there are a few things about using newspaper to line the cage and playgym trays that are not so good.
Trimming to size is time consuming. Newspaper can be dusty, emitting tiny particles of paper into the indoor atmosphere. People sensitive to dust might find themselves reacting to this extra irritant in their environment. Newsprint comes off on hands and anything you touch after using it. Birds that have access to newspaper often soil their feathers by rooting around in the paper. Have you ever seen a greyish cockatoo or a double grey-headed Amazon? I have! The ink is harmless, but unattractive.
Newspaper is absorbent. Moisture from droppings and discarded food will soak through the layers of paper in the tray. This is great if you remove them all each day, but if you stack newspaper in the tray hoping to remove just a layer per day, you risk bacterial growth on the dampened paper underneath.
Cage Catchers division of Handy Wacks Corporation has been producing moisture-resistant cage tray liners since 1992. The thin, white or logo-printed sheets are lightly paraffin waxed and designed to stack at least seven layers deep in cage trays to streamline your cleaning routine. Pre-cut cage tray liners have been around for decades, but one of the big differences is that Cage Catchers are available in sizes to fit most of today’s larger cages. The company will also cut special sizes to your order so you can use them in odd-sized cages, carriers and playgym trays.
I tested Cage Catchers with my own flock and found that they worked well under normal conditions. Neither a day’s worth of droppings or discarded soft food soaked through the paper. (If your bird habitually dumps its entire dish of water, all bets are off.) It was easy to remove a layer of paper anytime it looked messy and reinforced something I’ve always found true: The easier it is to clean your pet bird’s cage, the more often you’ll do it!
Advantages: Cage Catchers are convenient and easy to use
Cost: 20 inches by 20 inches size starts at $9.11 for 30 sheets and $75.94 for 500 sheets, which is more than a year’s supply for one cage. Other prices depend on size. Cage Catchers offers free shipping in the Continental U.S. for orders of $50 or more. It’s quite economical, especially when purchased in large quantities and less expensive than some newspaper subscriptions!
Cage Catchers Product Information
- Quantities of 30, 150, 500 or 1,000 sheets are available. Also available are 1,000-foot rolls in 24-inches and 36-inches widths. Paper cutters are available for rolls.
- Cage Catchers are available in sizes to fit most popular round or rectangular cage models. Custom sizes to within 1/8 inches of customer specifications are available as long as the cage is smaller than 48 inches by 48 inches.
- Lightly waxed paper is non-absorbent to reduce risk of mold and bacterial growth; moisture won’t seep through to bottom layers.
- It’s easy to monitor your bird’s droppings on the white surface.
Cage Catchers are hypo-allergenic. There is no dust or other ingredients to irritate birds or humans.
- The paper is lightweight. It’s easy to handle and occupies little room in trash and landfills.
Liners are available in plain white or printed with the company logo. There is no additional charge for printed paper, but delivery might take longer.
- This product is great for travel. Get some Cage Catchers for your bird’s travel cage or carrier. If your bird stays home, your birdsitter will appreciate the convenience of Cage Catchers.
- A week’s supply fits in bottom tray for quick daily change.
- Cage Catchers can be difficult to find in local pet shops. Contact Cage Catchers for a retail source or to order direct atwww.cage-catchers.comor by calling 1-800-445-4434. Drs. Foster and Smith distribute stock sizes of Cage Catchers through its catalog and on its website,www.drsfostersmith.com.
- Shiny or matte side up? Company spokesperson Karen Marohn said that most customers place Cage Catchers in their birds’ cages with the smooth side up,but noted that the product is effective no matter which side faces up.
- Is your bird a paper shredder? This paper is so nice you won’t want to risk layering it in a cage where birds have access to the paper. If that’s the case, use one sheet at a time.