There are so many litter and bedding choices, which one should I use and why?
Like a lot of people who keep and care for rabbits, especially indoor bunnies, this was one of the first questions I had when we started caring for and rescuing rabbits.
So here is what I have learned so far about bunny bedding and litter:
Newspaper makes a good liner for the floor of your cage or hutch preferably under another bedding. But so far over here bunnies with nothing to do it will rip it up (probably to get your attention, which works). The only problem is that some inks are harmful to bunnies if they eat too much. And since it is hard to tell which inks are safe. I just try to avoid newspaper.
Softwood, Pine Shavings, Cedar Shavings or Sawdust
Softwood shavings and sawdust are the most used beddings for both rabbits and chicks. Unfortunately wood shavings and wood dust cause problems. Studies have shown wood shavings can cause liver disease in rabbits and other small animals. And wood dust can also affect the respiratory system. So I try to avoid to wood shavings or sawdust for bunny bedding.
We like paper pulp because it is recycled so it’s environmentally healthy and it is super absorbent. It can soak up more than 3 times its weight, which means you don’t need to use a lot saving you money. It also helps controls odor and is almost dust free. Good for indoor cages.
We have not yet used wood pellets but I’m thinking that if we did we would want to ensure that they are Aspen pellets. What I am learning about Aspen pellets: they are affordable, super absorbent and they help control bacterial growth and odors. The good news, because Aspen is a hardwood the toxic stuff is removed during the processing.
Paper pellets are super light weight and absorbent plus they doesn’t expand like wood pellets They look and feel is a lot like wood pellets but we love the recycled paper. Paper Pellets are a safe and eco-friendly bedding.
Shredded cardboard is a recycled eco-friendly product too, so we love that. We haven’t tired it yet, but we hear it provides good insulation and some absorbency, a better alternative to newspaper. But we have not yet tried it so we’ll have to report back later.
Not super absorbent but provides good insulation and can create nice cushy spot for bunny to curl up. I would use it in outdoor hutches in combination with hay.
Left-field sidenote — > Chickens do not like straw in their nesting boxes.
Hay is a favorite over here. And since hay should always be available for bunny to eat, is makes the perfect, soft, comfy bedding and potty box litter that also provides unlimited midnight snacks! Awesome right?
And so you know hay is way cheaper if you buy a bale. So find (or build) a hay box to keep your hay clean and dry. Hay can get moldy once it gets wet.
With bunny love,