What Do You Put In The Bottom Of a Rabbit Cage? (All You Need To Know)

Every owner wants their rabbit to have a comfortable and healthy lifestyle. So, the next step after constructing a cage for your rabbit is to build the cage’s base and fill it with the necessary items. So, what should you put in the bottom of a rabbit cage? Which material is safe and secure for rabbits? Let’s find it out in this article.

Rabbits require soft and comfortable bedding at the bottom of their cage. However, some beddings, like cedar, and sawdust, contain dust particles and harmful content, which causes respiratory and health problems. Instead, consider buying paper-based bedding, hay, and aspen shavings as their bedding.

This article will discuss how to layer a rabbit’s cage bottom, How often you should change it, and things to consider while selecting rabbit’s cage bedding. So let’s get into it.

What can I put in the bottom of my rabbit cage?

Rabbits require soft, warm, and comfortable proper liners as bedding in their cage to avoid foot sores. 

Also, the bottom of the rabbit’s cage requires a bedding material that absorbs the urine to maintain a clean and comfortable environment.

If you have a wired cage, it is essential to provide your rabbit with soft bedding, which could also help keep them warm and cosy in winter.

However, it is essential to select bedding that is non-toxic because rabbits have a habit of chewing on everything, including their cage bedding.

Rabbits have gentle and sensitive feet, and because of that, they require a flat, smooth bottom surface to protect their feet.

Fleece blankets, carpets, old towels, hay, newspapers, paper-based and aspen wood shavings are some options that can be used as bedding for rabbit’s cage bottom.

Avoid providing those bedding that has toxic material and can block your rabbit’s intestines.

In addition, this includes anything that can potentially cause their stomach to grow. 

It is natural for a rabbit to nibble on its bedding occasionally.

However, intervene if your rabbit seems like eating the bedding has become a compulsion because it could make them unwell in no time.

To prevent your rabbit from eating its bedding, provide toys in your rabbit’s hutch or cage.

Also, you can add extra hay so your rabbit can file its teeth by eating it and getting a high-fibre diet.

Also read: Do Rabbits Need Hay For Bedding? 

How to select the best bedding for rabbits?

There are general things to consider while selecting bedding for your rabbit’s cage. 

Rabbits, however, have different needs depending on their various life stages. 

It’s crucial to understand what to provide and avoid when choosing bedding for them because it can affect their health.

In addition, choosing the ideal bedding for your rabbit is beneficial for their healthy life span.

Rabbits occasionally require unique bedding to aid in establishing their territory.

It would be best if you offered something on the bottom to protect those adorable paws since rabbits have soft, petite, and sensitive feet. 

They will get sick if it is not healthy and safe for them.

Proper bedding provides rabbits with several habitat zones where they feel at home.

So, here are some things to consider while selecting bedding for your rabbit’s cage bottom:

1) Warm and Comfortable

It is essential to provide comfortable and safe bedding for your rabbit so it can lie or sleep on it peacefully.

Rabbits enjoy being in a cosy cage environment to sleep. 

So, we must ensure that the cage and its bottom are as comfy as possible.

In addition, rabbits adore soft fabrics or materials. They enjoy a material’s texture as soothing and comforting as their mother’s animal hug.

Providing soft and comfortable bedding also makes them understand where to sleep after dinner and where to eliminate their pee and poop.

2) Absorbent

You must ensure that the bedding of your rabbit’s cage is highly absorbent to absorb its urine.

Although rabbits can be litter trained, they can have toilet-related accidents, which might be challenging to manage moisture in their cages. 

Therefore, you must ensure the bottom liners can effectively contain the moisture so your rabbit remains dry.

3) Safe to ingest

Rabbits like to explore and chew on everything, including their bedding.

So, it is essential to provide toxic-free material as their bedding for your rabbit’s health.

Wrong bedding can cause health issues, block the intestines and even stop the gastrointestinal system.

In addition, rabbits can find comfort in a variety of dangerous substances.

Therefore, ensure their bedding is secure if they consume it or breathe it in.

Natural materials used to make rabbit bedding are free of the toxins you might encounter in other kinds of bedding.

4) Dust-free and fragrance-free

It is essential to select dust-free and scented-free bedding for your rabbit. Otherwise, it could cause respiratory issues.

In addition, due to their tendency for upper respiratory diseases like snuffles, rabbits require bedding free of dust.

So, providing dust and fragrance-free bedding for your rabbit’s cage or even litter box is essential.

5) Different from the litter

Your rabbit can get confused about where to eliminate and where to sleep if you have the same bedding as its cage and litter box.

So, providing different bedding for their cage and litter box is essential.

In addition, the bedding you use for your rabbit should be distinct from the material you use to line the litter box.

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

Types of bedding for rabbit’s cage?

A rabbit should have nice, warm bedding that is cosy for them in winter. 

It must also be highly absorbent, edible, and non-toxic ( if your rabbit tries to eat it).

Also, the bedding for the enclosure and the litter should differ.

Otherwise, your rabbit may get confused about where to eat, drink, or relieve itself.

So, you can provide your rabbit with the following items that you can put in the bottom of your rabbit’s cage or litter as bedding that are secure and comfortable:

Straw bedding

The best bedding for warmth and comfort, especially for rabbits kept outside, is high-quality soft straw.

In addition, it’s warm and absorbent because the hollow strands hold warm air.

Hay and straw are similar. However, they differ from one another. Hay, or dried grass, is a crucial part of a rabbit’s diet.

Straw, made from the dried stalks of grain plants, is considerably more suitable for bedding than other materials since it is warmer and less prone to be eaten.

Rabbits can consume straws without any issues, but you must feed high-quality hay because straw is low in nutrition.

Like hay, straw bedding is natural, secure, and relatively inexpensive.

However, the only drawback of straw shavings is that they are less absorbent and hold dust. 

So, buying dust-free and compressed straw shavings is essential for your rabbit’s health.

Hay bedding

Hay is a good food source that should always be available to your rabbit, and it also works well as bedding to keep hutch rabbits warm and comfortable.

In addition, hay is the staple food for rabbits and can be used in their cage’s bottom bedding.

It will be relatively less expensive to buy hay by the bale from a riding stable or nearby farmer if you have storage space and want it as the primary bedding.

However, the main drawback of hay bedding is that it is not highly absorbent, doesn’t control odour, and must be removed or replaced frequently.

Also, make sure the hay you choose has a pleasant scent, isn’t very dusty, and doesn’t contain mould.

Also read: Do Rabbits Need Hay Rack?

Paper-based bedding

These beddings are manufactured from recycled paper, are soft, environmentally friendly, and have an excellent odour-blocking ability.

Whether you use compressed paper, shredded paper bedding, or packed paper pellets, it can be great for your rabbit’s cage bedding or litter box after layering it with hay.

We recommend using Carefresh Natural Paper Bedding for your rabbit’s cage or litter, which you can easily find on amazon.

It is soft, comfortable, dust-free, highly absorbent, has odour control properties, toxic free, and eco-friendly, which is ideal for rabbit bedding.

Paper-based bedding is suitable for indoor and outdoor rabbits, has high absorbent properties, and is dust-free, which is excellent for a rabbit’s health.

Also, it is economical, soft, and readily available at home, even though some commercial paper bedding might be pricey.

However, avoid using newspapers as bedding because they could contain hazardous inks, dyes, tape, glue, or labels that your rabbit could consume and become ill.

As a substitute, you might use paper pulp or shreds as bedding for them.

Aspen wood shavings

Wooden aspen shavings are soft, highly absorbent, and can be the most excellent option for untrained rabbits with sleeping accidents.

Also, several veterinarians suggest aspen shavings, which are odour- and dust-free, as the safest bedding for a rabbit’s cage or litter box.

In addition, aspen is the ideal choice for wood bedding since, unlike pine and cedar, it is free of dust, has no smell, and contains no aromatic oils or phenols that could damage your rabbit’s health.

Aspen shavings are a safe option, despite occasionally being slightly more expensive than other kinds of bedding. 

Aspen has exceptionally soft and absorbent shavings for outdoor and indoor rabbits to keep them warm and comfortable.

The aspen wood shavings are kiln-dried, making them more absorbent, less likely to mold, and safer for rabbits because the kiln-drying process extracts most of the oils inherent in the wood. 

They are also devoid of hazardous compounds and can greatly work as your rabbit’s bedding.

Fleece bedding

As opposed to traditional bedding materials like paper or wood shavings, fleeces are warmer, softer, and more comfortable.

Most rabbits like to have a soft, smooth surface. It is also wonderfully cosy for their sensitive, delicate body.

The sensitive feet of rabbits make them vulnerable to infections like bumblefoot and hock foot. 

And since fleece is comfortable, soft, and gentle to a rabbit’s feet, it is ideal.

If your rabbit has allergies, fleece is an excellent material choice. 

Because there is no dust, your rabbit won’t have any respiratory problems.

Also, it is pocket-friendly because we can reuse it after washing.

However, the main drawbacks of fleece are that it is pretty expensive, not ideal for outdoor rabbits, indigestible, less durable, and could smell bad if not washed properly.

Also read: Fleece vs Bedding For Rabbits?

Wood pellets

Because it is highly absorbent and safe for rabbits to gnaw on, it is the perfect material for their enclosure’s bedding.

The potentially hazardous phenols and oils are also removed when the pellets are heated to compress them. 

Additionally, wood pellets nearly never create dust.

Remember, though, that the bedding in the rabbit’s enclosure should be different from the material in the litter box.

Cat litter made of wood pellets is a great and affordable alternative for bedding for rabbits. 

You might also use it in the litter box for your rabbit.

Also read: How To Train a Rabbit?

Pine shavings

For rabbits, pine shavings are cosy, soft, and comfy. Additionally, it effectively absorbs fluids. 

However, a rabbit’s liver enzymes can fluctuate due to the phenols in pine wood, which can alter how the body processes medicines.

But heat drying removes the harmful violates and oil.

So your rabbit might feel safe in heat-dried pine shavings of high quality as a bedding alternative.

Also read: Is Pine Bedding Safe For Rabbits?

An old blanket, towel, or carpet

You could roll up an old towel, blanket, or carpet if you don’t want to spend enough money on your rabbit’s bedding. 

Make sure your rabbit doesn’t gnaw on the material and suffocate.

It can be the most affordable and cosy choice for your rabbit’s bedding.

But it would be best to watch out that your rabbit doesn’t eat because doing so could result in intestinal obstructions and GI stasis.

Things to avoid for rabbit’s cage bottom bedding?

It is better to completely avoid using certain types of bedding and litter around rabbits.

Although some types of bedding may have been traditionally used on small animals like rabbits, they are unsafe and may have adverse health effects.

So, here are some materials that you should avoid putting in your rabbit’s cage or litter:

  1. Saw-dust: Rabbits’ respiratory tracts may wind up becoming irritated by sawdust or even by dusty, old hay. In addition, it has been said many times that sawdust can irritates rabbits’ lungs and skin.
  2. Cedar or pine shavings: Some experts claim that breathing in pine or cedar shavings might lead to cancer, liver damage, and other health issues for rabbits. When pine shavings are dried by air, they are exposed to mold and bacteria that thrive on moist wood and produce toxins. Additionally, it contains dust particles that could irritate the nose, lead to respiratory illness, or create excessive mucus.
  3. Clumping cat litter: This product will “clump” in the gut when consumed by rabbits, leading to significant issues. It contains harmful chemicals that can even cause life-threatening problems. In addition to being dusty and perhaps creating respiratory issues, rabbits who have the propensity to consume their litter may experience digestive issues due to the clumping nature of cat litter.

How often should you change the rabbit’s cage bedding?

It is essential to clean your rabbit’s cage every day and clean its bedding in two to three days, depending on your pet’s urine.

At least once every week, change any fabric bedding by removing, washing, and replacing it.

Your rabbit’s health and hygiene depend on having clean bedding. 

In addition to luring rodents, flies, and other pests, dirty bedding can promote mould formation and mildew.

So, you should regularly check and clean the enclosure and its bedding accordingly.


  1. Rabbits require soft, warm, and comfortable proper liners as bedding in their cage to avoid foot sores. 
  2. Rabbits have gentle and sensitive feet, and because of that, they require a flat, smooth bottom surface to protect their feet.
  3. Fleece blankets, carpets, old towels, hay, newspapers, paper-based and aspen wood shavings are some options that can be used as bedding for rabbit’s cage bottom.
  4. Avoid providing those bedding that has toxic material and can block your rabbit’s intestines.
  5. Some beddings, like cedar, cat litter, and sawdust, contain dust particles and harmful content, which causes respiratory and health problems.

Reference: NCBI, NCBI

Recent Posts