Your rabbits deserve a comfortable place. And bedding plays a vital part in a rabbit’s living environment. Yet, might the best bedding for rabbits be essential for your rabbits? Do your rabbits need bedding? Are there any better alternatives to bedding that suit your rabbits’ needs?
Don’t worry! Many new pet owners have the same questions as you. As a rabbit feeder for more than 3 years, I think I need to share my experience in caring for this sensitive animal.
This sharing article will include my findings on rabbit beddings, their vitality to your rabbits’ physical health, as well as the suggestion on the top-rated beddings that might suit your demand. Let’s get started!
- Is Bedding Necessary for Rabbits?
- When Do Your Rabbits Need Beddings?
- What is The Best Bedding for Rabbits?
- What Rabbit’s Bedding to Avoid?
- How Often to Change the Rabbit’s Bedding?
- Bottom Line
Is Bedding Necessary for Rabbits?
Whether rabbits need special bedding is a common misunderstanding of new rabbit feeders.
Many rabbit parents think that bedding is a must-have for their pets, like food. Some other people said bedding complicates their litter training, so they put their rabbits outdoors without bedding. So, do your rabbits need bedding?
A rabbit is a sensitive creature. Thus, you should understand its habitats to maintain life happily. A rabbit in nature often takes a nap between the afternoon and early evening. They also took a straight 8 hours of deep sleep at night like a human when the temperature is cool.
The key understanding here is to provide your rabbits a comfortable and safe place for sleeping. When your rabbits have a high-quality sleep, they will maintain good health and have enough energy to play and do other activities.
If you keep your rabbits indoors, bedding is not necessary since they are always in contact with soft flooring. Indoor bedding brings more harm than good.
- First, beddings might interrupt little training.
- Second, without proper cleaning, beddings can attract insects and bugs or leave annoying odors.
- Third, bunnies might chew their bedding.
Bedding made of toxic materials might affect their tummies and even cause serious digestive issues. For indoor rabbits, putting a soft cloth on your rabbit cage is better than special bedding. You can wash it daily or replace it with a new one when necessary.
When Do Your Rabbits Need Beddings?
If your rabbits stay outdoors all the time, bedding is highly advisable to keep rabbits safe on warm and cold days. Below are some important notices when using the best bedding for rabbits:
- Since rabbits often rub everything around them, the bedding should be soft enough to avoid unwanted accidents. Soft materials also allow them to move around easily. Hay, straw, cardboard, etc., are the softest and most flexible ones.
- Unlike a human, rabbits do not sweat that much. Their body temperature also drops down while sleeping. Thus, the bedding should be breathable to keep them cool.
- When being kept indoors, rabbits often need entertainment to avoid stress and maintain good physical health. Therefore, the bedding should also be a toy to keep them amused.
- Eco-friendly is important! We don’t want footprints on our mother Earth.
What is The Best Bedding for Rabbits?
So, for outdoor rabbits, bedding is essential to create comfort and a healthy living space. This section will list down the best bedding for rabbits that are highly recommended for new pet owners.
All of the below items are also known as the best rabbit bedding for odor control. Hence, you don’t have to deal with their annoying smell anymore!
1. Fleece Bedding/Cage Liners
Fleece bedding is the softest and most comfortable type for your rabbits. Fleece bedding for rabbits is also the simplest and quickest solution in the long run.
Adding some thick layers of fleece bedding will help your rabbits sleep better and play safely without any hurt on their feet.
Furthermore, this bedding type is easy to slide neatly to cover the whole width and length of the cage. Thus, your rabbits will have maximum space for running or playing with their friends.
In exchange for these benefits, you will have to spend extra time and effort on laundry every few days. That means you will have to wash and laundry repetitively – which might be tiresome for 9-to-5 people.
What’s more, if your rabbits haven’t litter trained, you should prepare an underlayer to absorb their urine.
When picking up fleece bedding, you should avoid those with a lot of dust since it can cause allergy and breathing issues for your rabbits and even their owners if they have daily contact with the bunnies (cleaning, feeding, etc.)
From my experience, Paw Inspired Disposable Cage Liners is the best fleece bedding for rabbits and other small animals.
The cage liner is made of C&C Coroplast, a common cage component for rabbits, guinea pigs, and small creatures. This natural polymer is non-toxic, weather-resistant, lightweight, stain-resistant, and safe to use for indoor and outdoor rabbits.
This fleece bedding is also a perfect combination of sanity and comfort. With 5 protection layers, your rabbits will be safe and sound all year long.
Even when used for baby rabbits with no litter training, there is no chance of experiencing bad smells. Equipped with the DryQuick Technology, urine will be converted into a gel, which is easy to clean and prevent odor leaking.
To extend the life of this bedding, you should use a dry brush to clean it instead of water.
2. Aspen Bedding
Aspen shavings are the #1 for pet owners who prefer wood bedding. It contains no aromatic oils or phenols that may cause harm to rabbits like pine and cedar. Since aspen bedding is 100% natural-made, you can safely dispose of it.
Depending on some brand, aspen might be dusty, which causes respiratory problems for your pet. Like paper bedding, aspen will mold if you leave it out for too long or in high humidity weather. Therefore, you should change the bedding more often to prevent mold development.
I believe this Small Pet Select bedding will be the best aspen bedding for your rabbits.
It is 100% natural aspen bedding for pet owners. Contain no additives, this bedding gives you and your rabbits a natural, neutral smell of wood. Your rabbits will enjoy playing and nesting in it like in their natural habitat.
A small pitfall of this bedding is that it can’t handle absorbent as well as fleece bedding. Hence, you will have to change and refill new bedding more often to maintain the dryness and comfort of your cottontail.
3. Wood Pellet Bedding
Wood pellets are the best bedding for rabbits in winter for rabbits, horses, cats, and guinea pigs. Using wood pellet bedding brings many health benefits for both pets and their owners.
First, highly compressed pellets contain less dust than other bedding products like wood or straw. Besides health benefits, less dust in the air also means that your home will be cleaner if you leave your rabbit indoors on cold winter days.
Second, compressed products like pelleted wood are more absorbent than uncompressed ones. For example, pelleted wood is 2.5 times more absorbent than wood shavings.
When being kept fresh and clean, this rabbit bedding also helps prevent insects and bugs from the cage. Furthermore, wood pellets provide a warm and fuzzy environment for rabbits in cold weather.
This bedding is also dry and easy to store inside your house. You can buy a bulk of bedding during the cold winter months.
Last but not least, you can recycle used pelleted wood bedding as a compost or soil conditioner. Compared to wood shavings and straw, pelleted wood needs less time to break down into the soil.
Kaytee Wood Pellets is my first choice for this type of bedding. This product is appropriate to use for all life stages of bunnies, birds, and small pets.
Made in America, this bedding is guaranteed to be 100% natural wood and contains no toxic chemicals. To maximize its benefit, you should cover the cage with a layer from 1 to 3 inches.
If your priority when choosing rabbit bedding is its ability to absorb the urine and control the odor, I suggest giving this Kaytee item a try. You will just need to clean it once a week, so have more time for other things.
There is only one downside that you should consider: the wood smell is a bit strong. For me, that slightly heavy odor does not really matter. But if it bothers you, you might switch back to the Aspen bedding.
4. Paper Bedding
Paper bedding for rabbits is extremely smell-absorbent and moisture-absorbent, making it a versatile option for rabbits or small caged animals.
Additionally, it is unscented and non-clumping, so you can clean up the mess effortlessly.
As for the paper bedding type, I raise my hand for the Carefresh Small Pet Bedding.
This paper bedding by Carefresh is the ultimate choice for busy pet owners. This item is made of Comfy fluff with odor resistance for up to 10 days, excellent absorptivity, and soft texture. Therefore, you don’t have to spend much maintenance effort and time maintaining a fresh and clean environment for your pets.
With Carefresh bedding, you don’t have to worry about any hygiene issues. Your bunnies will have a relaxing playtime and good sleep on this bedding item.
5. Straw Bedding
The uncompressed straw should be avoided due to its low absorbability. Besides, its hard ends can hurt bunnies’ sensitive eyes, nose, ears, and paws. The appropriate straw bedding for rabbits should be the one that has been compressed.
This nature-made bedding is safe to eat and downy for bunnies’ feet and paws. Likewise, it can absorb their urine well without leaving an annoying odor. You can keep your bunnies inside on rainy and snowy days with no bad scent.
I believe your fluffy friends will love this Hamiledyi Grass Mat Woven bedding much! Nature-made from grass, this material is gentle yet sturdy, so you can save a lot of money on bedding replacement. Napping on this grass mat is like being on the cloud – comfortable, soft, smell great, and safe.
This bedding is packed in small pieces and can be fitted inside a cage for small animals like bunnies, chinchillas, hamsters, etc. They can also be replaced easier than straw or wood shaving.
What Rabbit’s Bedding to Avoid?
Apart from those above best beddings for rabbits, you will find some cheaper materials advertised as ‘safe’ for your rabbits. To keep your little friends safe and comfortable in their house, you should avoid the following bedding’s materials:
1. Cedar bedding & pine bedding
There is an online debate on whether cedar and pine beddings are safe for bunnies. According to some studies, pine, cedar, and some softwood shavings light cause serious liver damage issues for rabbits.
This damage is due to a high concentration of phenols, which causes a strong aroma in the wood. Similarly, ponderosa pine needles or any types of wood with a strong smell are also not recommended for rabbit bedding.
2. Old newspaper
It is good to recycle old newspapers and printed papers in our house, except for rabbit bedding. The printing ink in newspapers and other print materials can lead to serious health problems if rabbits swallow it.
3. Sawdust and any dusty things
When looking for the best bedding for rabbits, you should avoid sawdust and other dusty materials and choose only marked dust-free items. Since a rabbit’s respiratory system is sensitive, it can easily be damaged by these particulates.
How Often to Change the Rabbit’s Bedding?
To maintain good hygiene for your rabbits, you should often clean their bedding. First, refill extra clean bedding and remove dirty ones weekly. Second, maybe once per month or after bathing your rabbits, you should do a deep cleanse of the bedding.
In spring, during their shedding season, you should clean their house more often so that they are less likely to ingest their hair.
So you have got my top best bedding for rabbits that you can consider for your rabbits. As mentioned above, not all rabbits need special bedding. If you keep your rabbits outside, bedding is a must-have. Otherwise, you can use a soft cloth or something that is quick-dry, soft, and easy to clean up.
You should understand your rabbit’s lifestyle to pick up the bedding that they love most. And in all cases, you should clean their cage as frequently as you can.
Thank you for taking your time to read through my sharing. I hope that you and your cottontail will have a great time!