Do I Need Bedding for My Rabbit? Essential Tips for a Cozy Bunny Home

As a rabbit owner, you want to provide the best possible care for your furry friend. One of the most important aspects of your rabbit’s habitat is their bedding.

But with so many different types of bedding available, it can be difficult to know which one is right for your rabbit.

Do you really need bedding for your rabbit, and if so, what type should you choose?

In this blog post, we’ll answer these questions and provide some tips on how to choose the best bedding for your rabbit’s needs.

So, if you’re a rabbit owner or considering getting a rabbit as a pet, keep reading to learn more about the importance of bedding for your furry friend’s health and happiness.

Understanding Rabbit Bedding

Understanding rabbit bedding is important for providing your rabbit with a comfortable and healthy living environment.

Bedding for Rabbits: What is it?

Rabbit bedding is a crucial component to a healthy and comfortable living environment for your pet rabbit.

It serves multiple purposes, such as absorbing moisture from rabbit litter, providing a soft surface for your rabbit to rest on, and helping with insulation and odor control.

Bedding material can come in various forms, including hay, paper pulp, and wood shavings.

Firstly, it’s essential to understand the difference between rabbit bedding and rabbit litter.

Bedding is primarily for your rabbit’s comfort and usually covers the entire floor of the cage or a specific resting area.

On the other hand, rabbit litter is used to line the litter tray or box where your rabbit will eliminate waste, and it aids in absorbing moisture and odors.

Importance of Rabbit Bedding

Comfort: Rabbits, by nature, love to burrow and create cozy nests. Providing them with appropriate bedding materials will allow them to indulge in this instinctive behavior and ensure they feel safe and comfortable. A good bedding will cushion your rabbit’s feet and prevent injuries or discomfort caused by walking on hard, wire-bottomed cages.

Hygiene: Rabbit bedding should be absorbent to soak up urine and effectively control odors. A healthy and clean living environment is essential for your rabbit’s well-being to prevent illnesses caused by harmful bacteria, mold, or mites that can thrive in dirty conditions.

Temperature regulation: Bedding materials such as hay or straw have insulating properties to help maintain a consistent temperature in your rabbit’s living area. Additionally, bedding can help protect your rabbit from drafts and fluctuations in temperature, especially during colder months or in outdoor hutches.

Reducing stress: A comfortable and cozy environment plays a significant role in reducing your rabbit’s stress levels. Rabbit bedding allows your pet to engage in natural nesting behaviors, enhancing their sense of security and overall happiness.

To sum up, providing proper bedding for your rabbit is crucial to ensure their comfort, well-being, and a clean and hygienic living environment.

Invest in high-quality bedding material, such as hay, paper pulp, or wood shavings, and remember to change it regularly to keep your furry friend happy and healthy.

Does your rabbit need traditional bedding?

As a rabbit owner, you might wonder if your furry friend needs traditional bedding in their cage. Rabbits are sensitive animals, and their living environment plays a significant role in their well-being.

Traditional bedding for rabbits consists of materials such as wood shavings, straw, or hay. These types of bedding are widely used because they are comfortable and help in absorbing moisture.

However, each option has its pros and cons that you should consider before choosing one for your rabbit.

Wood shavings can be a common choice as they offer good absorbency and a natural scent that aids in controlling odors. However, some types of wood shavings, such as pine or cedar, should be avoided due to the presence of volatile oils that can harm your rabbit’s respiratory system. Opt for aspen or any other shavings that are free of these harmful oils.

Straw is another traditional bedding option for rabbits. It provides excellent insulation, which can be particularly helpful during colder months. However, straw contains little nutritional value and may not be as absorbent as other materials, so it might require more frequent changes.

Hay bedding can be beneficial for your rabbit for multiple reasons. First, it serves as an essential component of your rabbit’s diet, as they need to consume hay daily for proper digestion. Second, it can be quite comfortable for your rabbit to burrow and rest on. However, hay may not be as absorbent as other bedding options and might be a bit messier.

When selecting traditional bedding, keep in mind the cleanliness and ease of maintenance.

Regularly changing and cleaning your rabbit’s bedding will promote a healthy and odor-free environment, contributing to your pet’s overall well-being.

In summary, while traditional bedding options like wood shavings, straw, and hay are commonly used and can provide comfort and absorbency, it’s essential to consider the specific needs and preferences of your rabbit.

Like any pet owner, your primary goal should be to ensure that your rabbit is comfortable, healthy, and safe in their environment.

Different Types of Rabbit Bedding

There are several types of bedding that can be used for rabbits. Here are some of the most common types of rabbit bedding:


Hay is not only essential for your rabbit’s diet but also makes a comfortable bedding option.

Providing a soft and cozy surface, rabbits enjoy burrowing and resting on it. Besides, it’s biodegradable and easy to clean. Make sure to replace the hay bedding regularly to avoid mold and ammonia build-up.

Aspen and Wood Shavings

Aspen and other safe wood shavings can be an excellent bedding option for your rabbit’s hutch. They are soft, absorbent, and easy to clean while providing insulation and odor control.

However, avoid using fragrant wood shavings like pine or cedar as they can cause respiratory issues in rabbits.


Straw is another bedding option that’s commonly used for its insulation properties. It’s a great choice for outdoor rabbits, especially during colder months.

However, straw has limited absorbency, so be prepared to clean and replace it more frequently to maintain a dry and comfortable environment for your rabbit.

Shredded Paper and Paper Pulp

Shredded paper and paper pulp bedding products are lightweight, comfortable, and highly absorbent.

These products are dust-free and environmentally friendly, making them an attractive choice. Ensure that you use ink-free shredded paper to avoid any potential health risks for your rabbit.

Paper Bedding

Paper bedding is soft, absorbent, and relatively dust-free.

It’s a popular choice among rabbit owners who prefer an eco-friendly and biodegradable bedding material. Make sure to replace it regularly to prevent the buildup of moisture and bacteria.

Towels and blankets

Towels and blankets can be an additional layer of comfort in your rabbit’s hutch. They are soft, cozy, and easy to clean.

However, be cautious about the type of fabric, as some materials can pose risks if your rabbit tends to chew on them. Always supervise your rabbit if you choose to use soft fabric bedding.

Grass Mat

Grass mats are natural and comfortable bedding options for your rabbit. They are soft, durable, and allow your rabbit to engage in their natural foraging behavior.

Furthermore, grass mats can be easily combined with other bedding materials for additional comfort and insulation.

Unsuitable Materials for Rabbit Bedding

As a rabbit owner, it’s essential to provide your furry friend with a comfortable and safe environment.

However, not all bedding materials are suitable for rabbits. In this section, we’ll discuss some materials that should be avoided for your rabbit’s bedding.

Cedar and Pine Shavings

Cedar and pine shavings might seem like a suitable option for rabbit bedding, but they can actually be harmful to your rabbit’s health.

These types of wood shavings contain natural chemicals called phenols, which give off a strong scent.

While this scent can be pleasant to humans, it can cause respiratory issues and liver damage in rabbits.

Additionally, the oils in cedar and pine shavings can irritate your rabbit’s skin and eyes. It’s best to avoid using these materials for your rabbit’s bedding.


Sawdust might seem like a logical choice for bedding material since it’s soft and absorbent. However, using sawdust as bedding for your rabbit is not recommended.

The fine particles in sawdust can easily become airborne, leading to respiratory issues and eye irritation for your rabbit.

Moreover, sawdust can be hard to clean up and might make a mess in your rabbit’s living area. Opt for a safer and easier-to-manage alternative, such as paper-based bedding or untreated wood shavings.

Cat Litter

Although cat litter is designed to be absorbent and control odors, it’s not a suitable bedding option for rabbits.

Cat litter can be dusty, which can irritate your rabbit’s respiratory system. Additionally, some types of cat litter could be toxic if ingested by your rabbit.

Since rabbits have a natural instinct to dig and chew, there’s a risk that they may accidentally consume the cat litter, leading to digestive issues or even poisoning.

In conclusion, when choosing bedding for your rabbit, it’s essential to select a material that is safe, comfortable, and appropriate for their needs.

Avoid materials like cedar shavings, pine shavings, sawdust, and cat litter to maintain your rabbit’s health and well-being.

Health Aspects of Rabbit Bedding

The type of bedding used for rabbits can have an impact on their health. Here are some health aspects to consider when choosing bedding for your rabbit.


One critical aspect of rabbit bedding involves its absorbent properties. A highly absorbent bedding material helps maintain a clean and healthy environment for your rabbit by effectively soaking up urine and controlling odor.

This contributes to better air quality within the rabbit’s living space, which is essential for maintaining overall health and preventing respiratory issues.

Certain bedding options, such as wood shavings or paper-based materials, are particularly well-suited for high absorbency.


Maintaining freshness in your rabbit’s bedding is crucial for their health and well-being. Switching out bedding materials regularly not only helps control odor but also prevents the growth of harmful bacteria, fungi, and parasites.

Rabbits, being fastidious groomers, can be affected by poor hygiene in their living space. Ensure that you clean and replace bedding materials at least once a week or more frequently if necessary.

Keep an eye on the cleanliness and consider tips to control odors to ensure your rabbit’s living space remains fresh and comfortable.


Last but not least, the comfort of your rabbit’s bedding plays a significant role in their overall well-being.

Providing a soft and comfortable surface for them to rest on helps prevent the development of pressure sores, irritation on their skin, or even worse, the painful condition known as bumblefoot.

Rabbits appreciate a comfortable spot to lie down, especially after being active and hopping around.

Some preferred bedding types for comfort include hay, which doubles as a food source, and soft paper bedding.

Additionally, ensure that your rabbit’s nails are well-trimmed to prevent any injuries on their bedding by following a guide for trimming rabbit nails.

Rabbit Bedding and Living Conditions

Rabbit bedding and living conditions go hand in hand, as the type of bedding you choose can impact your rabbit’s overall living environment.

Cage and Hutch Setup

When setting up a cage or hutch for your rabbit, it’s important to consider factors such as size, ventilation, and flooring.

Your rabbit’s cage should be spacious enough for them to move around comfortably and stretch out completely. Ideally, a cage should be at least four times the size of your rabbit.

Ventilation is crucial to ensure your rabbit remains healthy and comfortable. Proper air circulation prevents the buildup of ammonia and moisture in the cage, which can be harmful to your rabbit.

For example, wire mesh on the sides of the cage can provide adequate airflow.

Flooring is another important element in your rabbit’s living conditions. Wire net flooring is commonly used, but can be uncomfortable for rabbits and lead to problems such as sore hocks.

Using soft bedding materials like straw or paper-based bedding can provide comfort and keep your rabbit’s fur clean ^1^. Additionally, providing a solid surface or a resting board can give your rabbit a comfortable place to sit and rest.

Indoor Rabbits vs Outdoor Rabbits

Indoor and outdoor rabbits have different requirements for their living conditions. Indoor rabbits often live in cages or playpens, and some even freely roam in a specific area of the owner’s living space^2^.

For indoor rabbits, it’s essential to rabbit-proof the living area, such as covering electrical wires and removing any hazardous items. Providing a litter box is also crucial, as many indoor rabbits are litter-trained.

Outdoor rabbits typically reside in hutches placed in a secure area of the yard. These enclosures should be elevated and protected from weather elements and predators.

Proper insulation and ventilation are necessary for the hutch to maintain a comfortable and safe environment.

Outdoor rabbits also benefit from having access to a separate outdoor enclosure for exercise and playtime, ensuring they get the mental and physical stimulation they need.

In summary, providing a comfortable and clean environment is crucial for a rabbit’s wellbeing.

Considering the living conditions of your rabbit, whether they’re indoor or outdoor, will help ensure they stay healthy and comfortable.

The Role of Bedding in Rabbit Behaviour

Bedding plays an important role in the behavior of rabbits. Here are some ways bedding can impact your rabbit’s behavior.

Chewing and Digging Behaviour

Rabbits have a natural instinct to chew and dig, which is essential for their physical and mental well-being.

Providing bedding materials, such as hay or straw, can help satisfy these urges. You can also incorporate various digging toys to further encourage these behaviors.

Chewing on bedding materials can help keep your rabbit’s teeth healthy and prevent dental issues, while digging provides mental stimulation and exercise.

Sleep and Comfort

Bedding plays a crucial role in providing a comfortable place for your rabbit to rest and sleep. Rabbits need a soft, cozy, and warm area where they can feel secure and relaxed.

A well-chosen bedding, such as soft hay or a plush blanket, can serve as the perfect spot for your furry friend to snuggle up and sleep.

Providing a comfortable environment ensures that your rabbit remains happy and stress-free.

Protection from Cold

In addition to comfort, bedding helps protect your rabbit from cold temperatures. As rabbits are sensitive to temperature changes, it is important to provide proper insulation for their living space.

A thick layer of bedding materials, like hay or straw, can help retain warmth, keeping your rabbit cozy during colder months. This added protection helps maintain your rabbit’s overall health and well-being.

Remember to consider your rabbit’s specific needs and preferences while selecting bedding materials, and ensure that it is comfortable, safe, and conducive to natural rabbit behaviors such as chewing and digging.

Safety Precautions for Bedding

When choosing bedding for your rabbit, it’s essential to prioritize their safety, comfort, and overall well-being. A few precautions will help reduce the risk of harm to your pet from predators, bugs, and other potential hazards.

Firstly, select a non-toxic bedding material that is soft and comfortable for your rabbit to rest on. Some great options include paper-based products, aspen shavings, or hay.

Avoid using materials like cedar or pine shavings, as they may release harmful chemicals that can cause respiratory problems.

To protect your rabbit from predators, ensure their living area is secure and well-enclosed.

Your rabbit’s enclosure should have sturdy walls, a roof, and small entry points to deter potential intruders. If using an outdoor enclosure, consider adding a lock to further enhance security.

Keeping the bedding clean is crucial for minimizing the risk of bug infestations. Regularly remove soiled bedding and replace it with fresh material.

Cleaning the entire cage on a weekly basis is also recommended to ensure a hygienic environment for your rabbit. Insect screens for outdoor enclosures can help protect your rabbit from bugs, especially during warmer months.

Also, be mindful of the temperature in your rabbit’s living space. Rabbits are sensitive to extreme temperatures, so provide proper insulation during colder months and ensure appropriate ventilation during warmer periods.

Lastly, a well-balanced diet and fresh water should always be available to your rabbit. This not only keeps them healthy but also contributes to a clean and safe living environment.

By following these safety precautions, you can create a comfortable, secure, and healthy home for your rabbit, minimizing potential dangers and ensuring they thrive in their living environment.

What can I use for a rabbit cage base?

When it comes to selecting a cage base for your rabbit, you have a few options to consider. Each option has its pros and cons, so take the time to think about your rabbit’s needs and preferences before making a decision.

Solid-bottom cages are popular because they provide a comfortable, stable surface for your rabbit to walk on. They’re also easier to keep clean, as they prevent urine and fecal matter from falling through the cage floor.

However, solid-bottom cages may require more frequent cleaning and regular replacement of bedding materials to maintain a healthy environment for your rabbit.

To avoid foot problems like bumblefoot, a condition that can develop from walking on unsanitary surfaces, make sure to keep your rabbit’s solid-bottom cage clean and dry 1.

Wire-bottom cages are another option to consider, but they can be less comfortable for your rabbit to walk on and can potentially lead to foot injuries if the wire mesh is too large.

You can address this issue by placing a solid, textured mat or a piece of untreated wood over part of the wire-bottom cage to provide a comfortable surface for your rabbit to rest on.

Wire-bottom cages offer better air circulation and can be easier to clean, as urine and fecal matter can fall through the cage floor, minimizing contact with the rabbit and the need for bedding 2.

When choosing a cage base, keep in mind that bedding is essential for your rabbit’s comfort and hygiene.

Common types of bedding materials include wood shavings (e.g., aspen or pine), recycled paper products, and hay. The bedding material should be absorbent, odor-controlling, and dust-free to help maintain a healthy environment for your rabbit 3.

In conclusion, both solid-bottom and wire-bottom cages can be suitable options for your rabbit. Just be sure to provide ample, comfortable bedding, and keep the cage clean to promote your pet’s well-being.

Do rabbits need something to sleep on?

Yes, rabbits do need a comfortable and soft surface to sleep on. Providing suitable bedding for your rabbit can ensure they get quality rest and maintain good health.

There are several options for bedding materials, and it’s essential to choose one that is safe and comfortable for your pet.

A popular choice for rabbit bedding is aspen shavings. This type of wood is safe for rabbits and provides a soft surface to sleep on.

Alternatively, you can use paper-based bedding like shredded paper or paper pellets. These materials are highly absorbent and can help control odors in the rabbit’s living space.

Avoid using cedar or pine shavings, as they contain harmful chemicals that can adversely affect your rabbit’s health.

Rabbits also appreciate having a designated sleeping area in their enclosure, such as a hideout or a cozy corner.

Providing them a soft blanket, small bed, or even a section lined with hay can make a big difference. Keep in mind, though, that rabbits may chew on fabric materials, so ensure they are safe and cannot be ingested.

Monitoring your rabbit’s behavior can be helpful in determining if the bedding is comfortable. Rabbits will often dig and rearrange their sleeping area to find their desired sleeping position.

If you notice your rabbit struggling to get comfortable, it may be time to try out different types of bedding.

In addition to comfortable bedding, ensure that your rabbit’s enclosure is clean and well-maintained.

Regularly remove soiled areas and replace bedding as needed, as a clean environment is essential for your rabbit’s overall well-being.

Furthermore, allow your rabbit access to a calm and quiet area where they can sleep undisturbed during their rest periods.

By providing a soft, safe, and comfortable sleeping area for your rabbit, you can help ensure they enjoy a comfortable rest and maintain a healthy, happy life.


In conclusion, providing bedding for your rabbit is an essential aspect of their care and well-being. Not only does it give them a comfortable space to rest and sleep, but it also aids in maintaining the cleanliness of their living environment.

There are several types of bedding materials available to choose from, such as paper-based bedding, wood shavings, or hay.

Each option has its pros and cons, and it is important to select one that best suits your rabbit’s needs and preferences. Remember, their bedding should be changed regularly to ensure a clean and hygienic habitat.

Additionally, proper bedding is crucial for a rabbit’s physical health, especially their delicate respiratory system.

Dust-free bedding options help reduce the risk of respiratory problems and other health issues.

Moreover, the bedding’s absorbency plays a significant role in keeping your rabbit’s living space dry, preventing excessive dampness, and minimizing the chances of developing infections.

By dedicating some time and effort to select the right bedding and maintaining your rabbit’s living space, you contribute to their overall happiness and well-being, creating a comfortable environment for them to thrive in.

Just remember to observe your rabbit’s behavior and any changes in their health, as these can be indicators if adjustments are needed in their living conditions.


Do rabbits need bedding in their cage?
Yes, rabbits require a comfortable and clean environment to thrive. Bedding plays a crucial role in meeting these needs. It provides cushioning for their delicate feet, absorbs moisture and odors, and gives them a cozy space to rest. Some popular bedding options include wood shavings, pellet-based bedding, and recycled paper pulp products. Always avoid using pine or cedar shavings, as these can be harmful to your rabbit’s respiratory system.

How often should I change the bedding for my rabbit?
It is essential to maintain a clean and hygienic environment for your bunny’s well-being. A general rule is to spot clean daily by removing soiled areas and adding fresh bedding as needed. Make sure to perform a complete change and clean the entire cage at least once a week. This practice helps prevent mold growth and keeps your rabbit’s living space fresh and healthy.

What else can I use to make my rabbit’s cage more comfortable?
In addition to bedding, provide your rabbit with items that help mimic their natural environment. Hay plays a significant role, serving as both bedding and an essential part of their diet. Add soft blankets or fleece mats to give your rabbit extra comfort and warmth, especially during colder months. Providing hiding spots or sleeping areas, such as small boxes or tunnels, can also give your rabbit a sense of security and privacy.

How can I ensure the bedding I choose is safe for my rabbit?
Select bedding that is specifically designed for small animals, preferably one that has been tested and approved by veterinarians. Avoid materials that are too dusty, have a strong odor, or contain harmful chemicals. Reading product labels and seeking advice from your veterinarian or rabbit care forums can provide valuable guidance in choosing the safest and most appropriate bedding for your rabbit.

Maurice Alice

Dr. Maurice Alice is a veterinary expert with over 10 years of experience in exotic animal medicine, specializing in dental care for rabbits and rodents. He is dedicated to providing exceptional care for his patients and is passionate about promoting animal welfare.

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