There are a variety of pet bedding choices available on the market. When it comes to choosing the best bedding for your small pet, it can be difficult to decide.

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Which Bedding is Best for may Pet?

list In: Small animals

There are a variety of pet bedding choices available on the market. When it comes to choosing the best bedding for your small pet, it can be difficult to decide.

There are a variety of pet bedding choices available on the market. When it comes to choosing the best bedding for your small pet, it can be difficult to decide.

In this article, we will take a closer look at the pros and cons of common types of bedding so that you can feel informed to make the best choice for your pet.

Common types of pet bedding include:
- Wood bedding
- Hay or straw
- Paper bedding
- Cardboard
- Cat litter
- Grass mats
- Fleece or other types of fabric

Wood Bedding

Wood bedding like aspen or kiln-dried pine is quite common and easy to find. Wood bedding is moderately absorbent and is fairly good at odor control. However, it can be dusty and difficult to clean up. You also need to be careful of the type of wood you use since some have aromatic oils that can irritate fragile respiratory systems.

Important Health Note: Never use cedar shavings as bedding as it can cause serious liver complications in pets.

Hay Or Straw

At first glance, hay or straw might seem like a good bedding option for your small pet.  After all, hay is natural and a staple in the daily diets of rabbits, guinea pigs, and other herbivores.  Providing extra hay in the habitat encourages your little one to eat more – another benefit.

Upon closer consideration, however, hay and straw are not very absorbent, and they mold easily when wet.  This means that these materials would need to be changed out more often if included as bedding in your pet’s habitat.  It is also worth noting that hay and straw can also be really dusty, which can lead to respiratory issues and difficulties in cleaning.

Paper Bedding

Paper bedding is a very good bedding option for most small pets. Paper bedding is commonly available and easy to find in most pet stores.  In addition to containing very little dust, most paper bedding is highly absorbent with good odor control.

Some spot cleaning is necessary with paper bedding in order to maintain a hygienic, odor-free habitat.

Paper bedding may not be the best choice for long-haired pets as it can get tangled in their fur and it can be messy for overly rambunctious pets that like to fling their bedding around.


Some pet parents choose to utilize cardboard as bedding. Letting their pets rip it up is wonderful enrichment. Cardboard is plentiful and like paper bedding, it is quite absorbent. However, the difficulty lies in what may be on or in that cardboard. Ink printing or shipping grime is a danger to your little one, as are the tape, adhesives, and staples used to hold them together.

If you choose to recycle your cardboard as bedding, make sure it is as clean as possible and all hazards are removed.

Cat Litter

Cat litter may seem like an obvious choice, especially for litter pans, but only some types are acceptable for your small mammal. Stay away from clay cat litter because they tend to be really dusty, they also become muddy when wet and can become trapped and dry like cement on your pet’s feet. 

Crystal cat litter can be poisonous, so it’s best to stay away. Clumping litters may seem like an easy idea but if ingested they can clump and cause intestinal blockages, even just from grooming it off their feet. 

Other litters have added chemicals or scents that can cause damage to your pet’s respiratory system.

The only cat litters that are acceptable for litter pan use with small animals are paper or wood pellet litters.

Grass Mats

Grass mats are becoming more popular and can be found at many stores and online retailers. They are a great way of providing enrichment, nourishment, and a soft place to sleep. Like straw and hay, however, it is not very absorbent, and they are difficult to spot clean.

Make sure you pick a grass mat from a reputable manufacturer to ensure there are no chemicals, glue, plastic or metal used in the construction.

Fleece And Other Fabrics

Fleece is becoming a more popular option for bedding, particularly for litter-trained pets. Fleece is cozy, absorbent and comes in all sorts of fun colors and patterns. Better yet, it is washable and reusable which can really cut down on costs long term, even though they can seem expensive at first.

However, fleece is not ideal for pets that enjoy chewing their bedding. Holes in the fleece can catch paws and cause injury and if ingested it can cause blockages.

I hope that the article helped you to choose the stele you need for your pet.

Source and photos: OXBOW ANIMAL HEALTH

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