So you’ve brought a new pet bunny home to meet the family, and suddenly you realize they urinate quite a lot, and your bunny hutch is now stained with urine in multiple places. With all the options available to use as litter, you may be wondering which one is best for your new little friend?
Can shredded paper be used for rabbit litter, and more importantly, is it a safe option?
Shredded paper can safely be used for rabbit litter, as long as it’s dust-free and the ink (if the paper has print on it) is non-toxic or vegetable-based. However, when it comes to odor control, shredded paper is not the best option on its own.
If you are looking for a safe option to use as litter for your floppy-eared friend, but you’re unsure of the pros and cons of using shredded paper, then this guide is perfect for you.
What Can I Use for Rabbit Litter?
Using rabbit litter is a good idea if you would like to keep your buns’ living area more hygienic and odor-free.
Potty training your bun and placing litter in a litter box is also a great way to keep your rabbit’s living environment clean, as litter (especially shredded paper) does tend to be scattered all over the hutch.
Most rabbit litter has good absorbency levels for your bun’s urine, and they also mask the smell, which can be strong as a rabbit’s urine contains ammonia. There are plenty of options to choose from when it comes to rabbit litter.
Here is a list of safe rabbit litter options for your floppy-eared friend:
- Paper-based bedding
- Aspen or wood shavings (avoid using loose sawdust)
- Compressed sawdust pellets
- Shredded newspaper
- Torn up bits of cardboard
- Commercially produced biodegradable paper litter
- Unscented and non-clumping cat litter (preferably paper-based)
- Good quality straw or hay
- Wood pellets (avoid pine and cedarwood)
Is Shredded Paper Litter Safe for Rabbits?
Shredded paper bedding or litter is safe to use for your rabbits. It’s important to remember that rabbits like to nibble, and the chances are high that they will nibble on the litter you provide them with.
For this reason, there are a few things you should look out for when choosing shredded paper as a litter option for your bun:
An essential factor to look out for when using shredded paper or shredded newspaper as a litter option for your bunny is to check where the paper has been sourced from, especially if it has print on it.
If the paper doesn’t have vegetable-based ink, it can be toxic for your bunny if ingested.
Depending on the quality of the ink, if the paper gets wet, the ink can run and stain your rabbit’s coat. Make sure that the paper you are using is environmentally friendly.
Shredded paper can have sharp edges if the paper is not thin enough. These sharp edges can give your rabbit a paper cut.
Rabbits like to rub their chins against objects and materials, and this is something to watch out for.
An untreated wound can become infected, and this can have dire consequences for your bun if it’s not treated early on.
Make sure the shredded paper you are using is dust-free. Dust can cause respiratory and choking issues for your bunny if the dust is inhaled.
An excellent way to check if the paper has dust is to pick up a handful and wave it around in the air. If you notice any floating dust particles, the paper you are using is not dust-free, and you should avoid using it.
Magazines and Fliers
Magazines and flyers should be avoided and not used as litter for your bunny.
Fliers and magazines are usually mass-produced, which means cheap ink is used, and it’s hard to guarantee that the ink is environmentally friendly.
Magazines often have a glossy finish to them which, if ingested, can cause gastrointestinal issues for your floppy-eared friend, as they have sensitive digestive tracts.
Pros and Cons of Shredded Paper for Rabbit Litter
There are various pros and cons to using shredded paper as a litter option for your bun. Let’s take a look at some of these pros and cons:
- Usually dust-free
- Has good absorbency
- A cheap alternative to other types of litter
- Safe for rabbits to use as litter
- Creates a mess in your bunny’s living environment (especially when wet)
- Isn’t very good at masking the smell of urine
- Ink can be toxic to rabbits if it isn’t environmentally friendly
- Known to attract insects if not replaced frequently
- Can develop GI stasis (gastrointestinal stasis) if the rabbit eats too much-shredded paper
Alternatives You Can Use for Rabbit Litter
There are plenty of safe options available to use as rabbit litter. If you have run out of your regular litter, you could always tear up some paper towels, which will temporarily absorb the urine.
Let’s take a closer look at some other litter alternatives for your floppy-eared friend:
Paper-based pallets are a popular alternative to use as rabbit litter. These wood pellets are made from recycled paper and then compressed into pellets. They are fantastic for absorbing urine and keeping the odor under control.
While aspen shavings are great at odor control, they don’t absorb urine very well, which means you would need to use a lot of shavings for your bunny litter for it to be effective.
It’s also essential to consider that aspen shavings do have a strong smell that can irritate your bunny’s sensitive nose.
Sawdust Pellet Litter
Sawdust litter is one of the cheapest and most readily available rabbit litter. Buying the pellets in bulk also saves money. Sawdust litter pellets also control odors.
It’s important to ensure that if you do decide to use sawdust as a litter alternative, you must only buy the pellet option, as uncompressed sawdust can irritate your bun’s skin and lungs.
Your bunny will love digging into and chewing a cardboard box, which is an added bonus when using cardboard as rabbit litter.
The bits of cardboard are great for absorbing urine, especially if you place them in your bunny’s litter box. Cardboard is also a good option to use as bedding for rabbits.
Shredded newspaper can also be used as litter or as paper bedding for your floppy-eared friend. One of the benefits of using shredded newspaper is that it’s thinner than regular shredded paper and much softer.
Shredded newspaper is also a much cheaper option to use and is excellent for insulation and absorbency of urine.
Both of these beddings are absorbent, and they are natural and biodegradable products, which is great for your bunny and the environment.
Good-quality hay is another great alternative to use as litter for rabbits or as bedding. It’s a cost-effective and safe option to use. Your bun will also enjoy eating the hay when using its litter box.
Pulped paper is a great alternative to use as rabbit litter. This type of litter is a waste product from the paper-making industry and is very absorbent.
Pulped paper is environmentally friendly and doesn’t contain dust. It’s also an affordable option.
Shredded Tea Bags
Although not as popular as other litter alternatives for rabbits, offcuts from the teabag manufacturing industry can be used as a litter option for rabbits. Teabags are soft and odorless, and they have a high absorbency level.
It’s advised, though, that bunny owners take care when using tea bags as they can contain plastic, which is dangerous if ingested by your rabbit.
What Is the Best Litter for Rabbits?
The best litter you can provide your bunny with is any litter that is:
- Controls odor
- Safe for rabbits
- Is easy to clean
The most popular type of litter for rabbits is paper-based litter such as:
- Shredded paper
- Shredded newspaper
- Pulped paper
- Paper pellets
Paper-based litter has excellent absorbency and odor control benefits, and the main reason it’s the best litter is that it’s safe for your bunny to use. This type of litter is also soft and provides excellent insulation if used for bedding.
My Last Bunny Thoughts
While there are many different options available when it comes to rabbit litter, it’s important to make sure that you make an informed decision when choosing litter for your rabbit.
Using the wrong kind of litter (such as sawdust, clumping cat litter, or scented store-bought litter) can cause health issues for your bunny, which you want to avoid.
Shredded paper makes a great option as rabbit litter; just be wary when using shredded paper from an office, as the ink might be toxic. Lining a litter box with shredded paper and adding hay or kiln-dried aspen shavings on top of the paper will help absorb and mask the odor caused by your bun’s urine.