Is Pine Bedding Safe For Rabbits?

Bedding plays an integral role in a rabbit’s life. Due to this, many owners need clarification regarding which type of bedding is safe for rabbits. Also, there has been a controversy about pine bedding for rabbits. So, is pine bedding safe for rabbits? Can we also use it as litter material? Let’s find out all your answers in this article.

Pine bedding is safe for rabbits because it is soft, absorbent, and gentle for rabbits’ delicate skin. However, sudden behavioral changes in rabbits can cause concern when using pine shaving. Buying good quality shavings such as kiln-dried and dust extracted is essential. 

This article will discuss how pine bedding can be good and bad for rabbits. Also, what are the other safe bedding options for rabbits? So, let’s find it out.

Pine Bedding for rabbits

Pine wood shavings can be used as cage bedding or litter box for rabbits. In addition, pine shavings have been traditionally used for small animals like rats, mice, rabbits, and chickens. 

Pine shavings are soft, highly absorbent, cheapest, and puffy, making your rabbit comfortable. Also, it is warm in winter and cool in summer for better comfort. 

Also, pine can be used for older rabbits or those suffering from health issues like arthritis. In addition, it can be the best option for your rabbit’s bedding.

However, according to some experts, it has been believed that using pine shaving as your rabbit bedding can cause respiratory problems and many other health issues. In addition, they said that pine and cedar material could cause cancer in small animals like rabbits.

Phenols are a toxic component in pine shavings found in pine and cedar woods. You can naturally smell the odor of phenols by opening the pine or cedar shaving bag.  

This phenols odor, present in pine and cedar, can lead to changes in the liver’s enzymes due to inhalation of these explosive chemicals in an excessive manner. 

And when the liver gets damaged, the rabbit’s body will no longer be able to handle the standard medicines, which could cause life-threatening issues, especially if your rabbit requires medication to treat sickness.

But heat drying can remove toxic oils and volatiles of pine shavings. So, heat-dried pine shavings of high quality can be the safest bedding material for your rabbit.

Pine shavings are soft, comfortable, and absorbent. It has good insulation properties and can be used for the bedding of rabbits. However, it could be messy to clean up not only pine shavings but every time of wood shavings. 

Is it safe to use pine for rabbits?

Pine shavings are safe to use as your rabbit’s bedding only if it is not chemically treated. 

The bedding of a rabbit should be warm, soft, and comfortable, and pine has all its qualities as bedding. 

Pine shaving has been used for a long time without any harm. However, every rabbit is different. Some can get allergic to pine shavings, while others may not. 

You can provide dust-free pine shavings bedding only for adult rabbits than small rabbits. Because small rabbits have a sensitive respiratory system, pine odor can cause respiratory irritation or health problem.

According to some experts, it has been said that pine or cedar shavings cause respiratory and other health problems like liver damage or cancer.  

When pine shavings are air-dried, they expose themselves to toxin-producing mold and bacteria that grow on moist wood. Also, it contains dust particles which could cause nose irritation, respiratory infection, or excessive mucus production. 

Pine bedding can be a good choice for rabbits, but the wood shavings must be processed correctly to become safe for small animals.

If you are looking for good pine shaving for your rabbit’s bedding, then it must be soft, comfortable, and kiln-dried, with no added ingredients like color or odor, dust extracted, and only shavings, not sawdust.

Also, cleaning your rabbit’s hutch once a week is essential if you use pine shavings for bedding. Using chemical-free large-sized pine shavings or litter is good because it does not contain small dust particles that can cause respiratory infections.

Is pine litter toxic to rabbits?

Some research believes that pine litter that contains phenols should be avoided for rabbits as it can cause health issues like liver damage or respiratory problems. 

However, kiln-dried pine can be safe as it contains fewer phenols and can be used for rabbit bedding or litter box material. In addition, various options are available in the market with no phenols. 

But, if your rabbit has inadequate changes in their behavior while using pine bedding or pine litter, you must consult your vet and avoid using it. 

Pine litter shavings have the fragrance to control the smell of pee and poo in your rabbit. But rabbits have a sensitive respiratory system. So they can get allergic to it, which causes irritations and infections. 

Also, we recommend not using pine shavings or litter for small rabbits. The strong smell of pine can cause serious health issues, which may also cause liver damage, respiratory problems, or cancer. 

Also read: Why Is My Rabbit Lying In Its Litter Box?

Other best beddings for rabbits?

The bedding of a rabbit should be soft, warm, and comfortable for their healthy life span. 

Bedding can be required for a litter box and in their cages. After coming from playtime or hopping around all day, rabbits need soft and comfortable bedding in their cage to sleep peacefully.

There are varieties of bedding available in the market for rabbit’s cage bedding or litter box. However, some can be safe while others may not because rabbits can eat everything, including their bedding, to explore or file their teeth. 

That is why it is essential to choose the best bedding for your rabbit so that it will not cause blockages in their intestines or other health problems.

If you want to choose the best bedding for your rabbit, you should include that it must be comfortable, flexible, warm, different from litter, edible, absorbent, and environmentally friendly.

Good quality bedding for a litter box should be different from cage bedding. Litter bedding is essential as it absorbs the moister from the rabbit’s feces and urine. 

Litter bedding also helps to control the smell of pee and poo and absorbs the urine effectively to avoid infections. Also, clumping cat litter, straw, cedar, newspaper, and sawdust are some bedding or litter materials that you must avoid.  

Here are some safe and comfortable bedding or litter materials you can provide to your rabbit:

  1. Hay: It is the safe, cheapest, and most comfortable bedding for rabbits. Most of the rabbits like to eat or sleep on hay. However, they may get confused in their bedding with litter.
  2. Fleece bedding: Fleece is the softest, cheapest, and safest material for rabbits, with high absorbent properties, and can be used for rabbit bedding and padding.
  3. Aspen: Some vets advised that aspen shavings are the safest bedding option because they are odor- and dust-free. Also, it is absorbent and soft and can be best for uncontrolled rabbits that may have sleep accidents.  
  4. Old blanket or towel: It can be the warm and cheapest option for your rabbit’s bedding. However, you must ensure that your rabbit does not ingest; otherwise, it may cause intestinal blockages and GI stasis. 
  5. Cardboard: It is an excellent option for comfortable and absorbent bedding for your rabbit, whether using cardboard box shreds or buying commercial cardboard bedding. 
  6. Crumble paper bedding: These bedding are easily available in the markets and can be an excellent option for rabbit bedding. These beddings are toxic-free, soft, eco-friendly, has a phenomenal odor blocker, and are made from recycled paper. 

Also read: Fleece vs Bedding For Rabbits?


  1. It is safe to use pine shavings for rabbits only if it is odor-free and chemical-free.
  2. Pine shavings are soft, highly absorbent, cheapest, and puffy, making your rabbit comfortable.
  3. According to some experts, it has been said that pine or cedar shavings cause respiratory and other health problems like liver damage or cancer.  
  4. Kiln-dried pine can be safe as it contains fewer phenols and can be used for rabbit bedding or litter box material.
  5. Cat litter, straw, cedar, newspaper, and sawdust should be avoided as bedding for rabbits.

Reference: NCBI, rabbit

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