Unlike their smaller guinea pig and hamster cousins, rabbits do not absolutely require bedding in their cages, since they don’t use it for burrowing or warmth. For litter training and general daily bathroom use, however, there’s no replacing the utility of a soft and comfortable material for your rabbit to get used to.
If you’ve recently run out of rabbit bedding or litter – or simply don’t feel like buying bedding in the first place – you’ll be glad to know that there are plenty of low-cost alternatives. And with just a little bit of ingenuity and effort, you’ll be able to transform common household items into useful accouterments for your fuzzy friend’s habitat. We’ve got five alternatives below, and a few alternatives you should never use.
The 5 Rabbit Bedding Alternatives
With just a tiny amount of sewing skills and a soft, fuzzy material like fleece, you can easily put together a low-cost pillow that will keep your rabbit in the lap of luxury year-round.
Even if you have no sewing skills at all, making a fleece pillow is not outside your reach. Check out this tutorial video from OnlineSewingStore on YouTube, and you can learn how to make a no-sew fleece pillow entirely from scratch.
2. Shredded Paper
Any paper that hasn’t been printed with ink or chemically treated can make a fine addition to your rabbit’s litter box. In a pinch, you can easily tear up toilet paper, paper towels, and extra napkins to make an absorbent and cost-effective solution for your rabbit’s potty breaks.
3. Shredded Cardboard
Leave any cardboard box around your bunny, and they’re very likely to do the work of making shredded cardboard bedding for you! Rabbits love to dig, chew, and tear on cardboard, and the cast-off bits do an excellent job of absorbing urine in their litter boxes.
If your rabbit is anything like ours, they likely have the ability to smell the difference between hay fresh out of the bag and anything that’s been there for more than a few hours. Instead of getting frustrated with their pickiness, why not use their leftover “stale” hay to create comfortable and warm bedding for your furry friend?
As long as your rabbit isn’t coming in contact with the ink in newspaper – or, worse yet, eating the ink – then it’s a perfectly acceptable material for their litter box. It’s not our favorite material for rabbit bedding or litter, however, as it’s not particularly absorbent.
What NOT to Use for Rabbit Bedding
With the options on the list above, you should be entirely set on finding new bedding for your rabbit. As a final warning, please do not use the following materials for rabbit bedding under any circumstance:
How to Choose Safe Bedding for Your Rabbit
While it’s true that rabbits don’t need bedding in their cages, providing them with more comfortable places to lay down and do their bathroom business can only positively contribute to their health and happiness.
With that in mind, we recommend that you look for bedding that does one of two things for your rabbit:
With those qualities in mind, and the different DIY rabbit bedding options you examined earlier, selecting the right bedding for your rabbit and you will hopefully be easier.
Even though it may not be essential to your rabbit’s health and happiness, providing them with comfortable bedding can increase their overall quality of life while safeguarding their hygiene. Before you buy another commercial bedding option, try out any of the alternatives on our list and let us know how it goes!
Featured Image Credit: onkelramirez1, Pixabay