A walk through the pet store shows you many types of bedding for your rabbit. Which one is best? Are any of them harmful? 

Choosing the best bedding for rabbits is crucial to keep your pet safe and comfortable. Good bedding must keep your pet’s hutch dry. Aside from that, it must be edible and comfortable for your bunny. In this blog post, you will learn the best bedding for rabbits. You will also know why you have to avoid cedar bedding. Continue reading to know more!

Rabbits sitting on their bedding

Shredded Paper


Shredded paper is one of the safest bedding materials for rabbits that you can use as bedding for rabbits. It is included in the list of the best bedding for rabbits because it is soft, providing comfort for your pet. Also, it is dust-free and safe for your pet to chew. Compared to other bedding, it is cheaper. You can also easily make bedding using the proper materials.

However, you must choose the shredded paper you will use as bedding for your pet. Select shredded paper that doesn’t have sharp edges. As much as possible, use plain paper so it won’t have any ink. Inks can be harmful to your pet. Hence, refrain from using shredded paper from magazines, booklets, and other printed materials.

The downside of shredded paper is that it can stick to your bunny’s fur. When using this bedding, use it as a base only. Shredded paper is also more challenging to clean since it is smaller than other bedding. Your bunny may also suffer from GI stasis if it ingests too much shredded paper. Also, shredded paper cannot absorb odors, unlike wooden pellets.

Aspen Shavings


When choosing the best bedding for rabbits, aspen shavings are good options. Unlike other beddings, it is non-toxic and safe. This bedding is made of hardwood trees. Thus, it doesn’t contain harmful chemicals like phenols and aromatic oils. It also lasts long and has good absorbent properties, keeping your rabbit’s cage clean. This kind of bedding is also biodegradable and environmental-friendly.

Remember, you should not give fresh aspen to your pet since it still contains phenol. The aspen must be kiln-dried so it would be safe for your pet to consume. The tree’s bark and leaves can irritate rabbits’ digestive systems and skin. Thus, ensure to choose aspen shavings that are adequately dried. Regarding the price, aspen shavings are more costly than other beddings.



Hay bedding


Since hay is edible, it can be considered one of the best bedding for rabbits. It also provides warmth and comfort for indoor and outdoor pets. It is also budget-friendly, and you can easily purchase it on the market. However, ensure that the hay is fresh and not dusty. You must also check if there is any mold.

Although hay is a good option, it can only be temporary bedding for your pet. It is because this bedding quickly gets moldy. Thus, you have to change it every two to three days. It is also poor in absorbing the bunny’s urine. You may select other options if you don’t have time to change your pet’s bedding regularly.

Hay bedding

Straw bedding


Compared to hay, straw is better bedding. It is warmer since its hollow stalks can trap the air, providing insulation to the bunny. This bedding can also absorb the pee of the bunnies. Not only that, but it is also effective in absorbing the foul odor of urine. Thus, it can provide a clean environment for your pet. 

Because of the properties of straw bedding, they can also be a good nesting material for baby bunnies. You won’t also have trouble with your pet overeating their bedding since they prefer hay over a straw. Other benefits of using straw bedding are that it is less costly than hay and is non-toxic.

But like other bedding, straw bedding also has its disadvantages. Poor-quality straw can create a lot of dust. As much as possible, look for dust-extracted or compressed straws. When it comes to absorption, wood shavings are better than straw. You must also change the straw bedding more often to prevent it from getting wet.



Hemp bedding


Organic and highly absorbent, hemp bedding is good bedding for rabbits. Aside from keeping the hutch dry and clean, it also absorbs the foul odor of pee. It is also ideal bedding for baby bunnies since it can warm them even during winter. You will also be assured that your pet lives in a clean environment because the bedding is dust-free.

You can put at least one 6.6-pound bag of hemp bedding in every hutch. It is also eco-friendly and biodegradable. Thus, using it can help conserve the environment. Another benefit of using hemp bedding is that it can last longer. It takes 30 to 45 days to replenish your pet’s bedding.

What to Look for in Choosing the Best Bedding for Rabbits



Safe to Ingest

The best bedding for rabbits must be safe to ingest. Since rabbits love to chew, they would love to gnaw at their bedding. You must choose safe bedding for your pet even if it consumes it. But as a warning, a bunny that eats its bedding all the time may be experiencing boredom or needs to wear its teeth. Provide it with enough hay since eating too much of its bedding can cause abdominal problems.



Good Absorbent

Since rabbits pee a lot, they can wet their bedding. You must provide them with bedding that can absorb their pee. Bunnies that are always wet are most likely to suffer from flystrike. Keeping it dry and clean is necessary for their overall health. As much as possible, choose highly absorbent bedding.



Comfortable and Free from Dust

It is also vital that your pet’s bedding is free from dust. Dusty bedding can result in allergic reactions in your pet. It may lead to serious respiratory problems. The dust may also go inside your pet’s eyes, causing eye infections. Aside from that, the bedding must be soft to make your pet comfortable.



Made of Natural Material

Rabbits have sensitive skin, so you must ensure that your pet’s bedding is made of natural material. You will also help the environment if you use biodegradable material as bedding. When buying bedding, check if it is made of 100% natural material. It must also be biodegradable and eco-friendly.



Why Should You Avoid Cedar Bedding?


Untreated cedar shavings are used as bedding because they are comfortable and absorbent. It is also a natural insect repellant, keeping the insects away from the bunny’s hutch. However, many rabbit owners observe that their pets suffer health issues. Hence, many advise preventing the bedding.

Softwoods, such as cedar shavings, are unsuitable bedding for rabbits. According to experts, cedar has natural oils called phenols that can harm your pet. Hence you should avoid cedar bedding. The phenol present in the wood may cause liver problems in your pet. Its pungent odor may also lead to respiratory problems. 

After ingesting the bedding, your pet may also experience digestive issues. It is also dusty, causing respiratory problems. Instead of choosing softwood shavings like pine and cedar, use hardwood shavings. Some of these are cottonwood, apple, hazelnut, and poplar. Raspberry and hawthorn are also safe to use.

Cedar shaving

Harmful Bedding to Rabbits


Besides cedar shaving, other kinds of bedding are harmful to your bunny. You must also avoid using them since they have poor absorption and are uncomfortable. Aside from that, they are not edible. Thus, chewing them can harm your pet. Below are some kinds of bedding you must avoid using for your rabbit.





Rabbit owners used sawdust as bedding before. But they are now discouraging new owners from using it. Since it has oils and phenols, it can irritate the bunny’s lungs and skin. The chemical can also affect the bunny’s internal organs. It may lead to low-grade liver inflammation.




Newspapers can absorb pee like shredded paper. However, they should not be used as bedding for your pet because of their ink. Once your pet ingests ink, it may suffer from severe health conditions. Instead of using newspaper, use shredded paper. Besides newspapers, you should also prevent using magazines and booklets as bedding.


Pine Shavings


Like cedar, you must also avoid using pine shavings as bedding. Although it has lower phenol content than cedar, it is still dangerous. They may also cause liver and respiratory problems for your pet. Some owners also claimed that this bedding could cause cancer in rabbits. Hence, you should not use them as bedding.


Frequently Asked Questions



What wood shaving is the best bedding for rabbits?


Many recommend aspen shavings because of their high absorption properties. Also, they can lessen the foul odor of the bunny’s urine. Unlike other wood shavings, aspen has no smell or aromatic odor harmful to bunnies. It is also environmental-friendly since it is biodegradable. 



Why should I avoid cedar bedding?


You should avoid cedar bedding because it contains phenols. This chemical can damage the bunny’s liver. Aside from that, the pungent smell of cedar can result in respiratory problems. Your bunny may also get poisoned once it ingests the cedar shavings. Instead of using softwood, you can select hardwood shavings. 



What are the best bedding for rabbits?


The best kinds of bedding for rabbits include shredded paper and aspen shavings. You can also use straw bedding and hemp bedding. These bedding are edible, and some of them are good absorbent. They are also dust-free, comfortable, and made of natural materials. 



What are the worst kinds of bedding for rabbits?


Cedar, sawdust, and newspapers are rabbits’ worst bedding types. You should not also use pine shavings. Because of the chemicals they possess, they are harmful to your bunny. 


Bunny sitting on its bedding

Finding the best bedding for rabbits


Providing the best bedding for rabbits is your responsibility as an owner. You must ensure that your pet stays comfortable and safe with the bedding you use. Avoid using cedar bedding as it harms your bunny’s health. You should also avoid most pine shavings, newspapers, and sawdust.

Rabbits like to be clean. Giving them good bedding helps ensure they stay healthy and happy! 

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