Last Updated on
Fluffy tail, long floppy ears, soft black eyes and the cutest, the most wriggly nose you’ve ever seen! Yep, your pet rabbit is probably the cutest thing… ever. So it goes without saying that your favorite little fur baby deserves the perfect home with the best bedding for rabbits around. Because when you’re not snuggling them close, they need a warm home to go sleep easy in.
What is the best bedding for rabbits?
Well, there’s a lot to consider.
Rabbits can live a full life of 10 years or more, so you’ll want to provide them with a special space to set their fluffy feet in. Especially because some rabbit bedding options are actually harmful to rabbits.
Don’t worry! We’ve gathered together all the important information that you need to create the perfect environment for your bunny. Let’s take a look at the best bedding for rabbits to ensure your little furball of love gets plenty of quality rest and relaxation!
Safety First – What Rabbit Bedding to Avoid
You may already have noticed that bunnies like to chew, a lot. When it comes to their bedding, there’s no exception. Therefore, you want to be sure that the bedding you put in their cage is non-toxic.
This way, you can let them munch to their heart’s content!
- Although it is up for debate, studies have shown that softwood shavings including pine and cedar have caused liver damage due to the chemicals in the woods called phenols that create the aromatic smell.
- In addition, ponderosa pine needles have also been linked to toxicity for domestic species so it should be avoided.
- Using newspaper as a liner is considered acceptable rabbit bedding for added absorption. But be sure your rabbit is not ingesting the paper because the ink can make them ill.
- Sawdust is also not a good option for rabbits, because it can easily be breathed in and affect your pet’s respiratory system.
What is the Best Bedding for Rabbits? Features to Consider
When choosing the best bedding for your rabbit, you want to consider how comfortable it will be for them to stand in, as well as its absorption abilities.
Your rabbit should feel secure and safe in its cage since they are prey animals and are easily startled.
Rabbits feel most comfortable in a climate that is between 60-70 degrees. Keep them protected from the elements including direct sunlight, wind, and rain or snow.
You may be tempted to buy something with an aroma that smells nice, but these added scents can contain additives and toxins that are harmful to your rabbit. You will need to clean it often to avoid dangerous molds from growing and also to keep your bunny warm and dry.
8 Types of the Best Bedding for Rabbits
Now that you know what to avoid and what features to look for. Let’s hop through the list of the best bedding for your rabbit’s cage!
This type of bedding comes highly recommended. It is safe for your rabbit to eat and it also provides a comfortable place for them to rest.
Hay is also something that your rabbit will enjoy nibbling on and it’s completely safe and healthy for them to eat! It also holds heat well, so it can provide added warmth for your rabbit’s comfort.
Be sure to change the hay daily, as it can grow moldy quickly. This is especially true if it is in contact with moisture.
Straw bedding makes for a great option to use in your rabbit’s cage. This is because it is edible and also great for keeping your rabbit warm, especially if they live in an outdoor cage.
Rabbits like to have something to nibble on when they’re bored, so straw will keep them busy. Straw and hay are also dust free, so they are safe for your rabbit’s health.
This type of bedding is a safe alternative to pine and cedar. It also is considered an economical option for rabbit bedding.
Many rabbit owners feel it is the most odor-free option and is extra absorbent. Be sure to choose a brand that removes the dust and wood debris. Aspen is safe for your rabbit to chew on.
Using shredded paper for bedding is another great option to consider. Paper bedding for rabbits is highly absorbent and works for indoor rabbits. They are also virtually dust free.
The paper bedding is also recycled so it is environmentally friendly, and safe for your rabbit to chew on. It can absorb three times its weight in liquid, which will keep your rabbit comfy and dry for longer!
This is also great bedding for other small animals such as guinea pigs.
Cardboard is an option that you can use to line your rabbit’s cage for added absorption. Since it can be readily available, it won’t be an added cost which makes it economical.
It’s safe for your rabbit to chew on, just be sure to remove any staples or toxic tape from the pieces you place in your pet’s cage.
You can always use things like cardboard and newspaper in combination with some of the other choices listed above to add to your rabbit’s bedding absorption!
Using wood pellets is another option that offers high absorption. However, it can be too heavy for larger cages. It also will expand and turn into dust once it gets wet, which requires cleaning. This is more often used as cat litter.
Similar to the wood pellets in appearance, the paper pellets are made of recycled paper. They are environmentally friendly and are lighter than wood pellets. They also expand when wet, but not as much.
This type of bedding for rabbits is typically used more like a soft cushion than as actual absorption. While this makes for a cozy surface, it is high maintenance and will need to be changed and washed often.
You will want to be sure your rabbit is using a litter box before placing fleece into their cage.
How to Clean Rabbit Bedding
Once you look through the different types of rabbit bedding, be sure you set up a home for your rabbit this is comfortable and clean.
Set Things up for Success
Decide on a tray that will allow space for your rabbit to eliminate, while also having a separate area to sleep. They are clean animals and definitely won’t want to do both in the same place!
Also, you will need to clean up after your rabbit regularly so he or she is never sitting in a messy cage for long. Then, be sure to clean out the entire cage once a week.
Never put soiled bedding back into the cage. This must be replaced often for your rabbit’s overall health.
Here’s a quick video to help you out:
The Right Habitat
In addition, make sure your rabbit’s home is wide enough for them to lay down and stretch completely without touching the sides. They should also be able to stand on their back legs to their full height without their ears hitting the top of the cage.
Include a shelter that they can run into and hide when they are feeling scared. This will provide a safe place where they can feel at ease.
The length of the cage should give them plenty of room to forage and hop around. Good judgment of length is about three hops from one end to the other.
To learn more about this, check out our articles on indoor rabbit cages and outdoor hutches.
Best Rabbit Bedding: How Will You Decide?
As you can already tell, there are a lot of options when it comes to choosing between different types of bedding for rabbits.
When you are trying to decide between all the different options, you’ll want to keep the following key elements in mind:
- Indoors or Outdoors
- Will your rabbit be living outdoors or indoors? If they are outdoors you might want to include straw or hay for warmth and food. Then, you can add underneath that some more absorbent material like paper pulp or aspen shavings to soak up moisture.
- If your rabbit is indoors, you may only need some cardboard or paper to line the bottom of the tray with some softer material like recycled paper on top.
- Next, what material will be the easiest to clean up after? Make sure the type of material will be efficient to clean. Also, cost-effectiveness should be considered since the cage will require cleaning often.
- You may choose to combine more expensive bedding with cardboard and paper. As mentioned earlier, make sure the bedding is not toxic and dust free to protect your rabbit’s lungs.
- Lastly, consider how well the bedding will eliminate odor. No matter what, you should change your rabbit’s bedding often to avoid the build-up of ammonia fumes, which can cause lung inflammation and respiratory diseases.
Ready to Hop to it?
Now that you know our tips for the best bedding for rabbits, we hope you’re ready to choose the perfect rabbit bedding for you and your four-legged friend.