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If your rabbit is acting abnormally and you have concerns please take them to a vet immediately.
Rabbit Bedding is a hot topic in the rabbit care community, some people use litter as bedding, some use bedding as litter etc. Traditionally bedding was only used for outside hutches to keep your rabbit warm however as time has gone on this has changed for both indoors and outdoor rabbits.
Whilst you don’t actively need bedding for an indoor rabbit its perfect if you have hard flooring as it gives your rabbit an area to stay comfortable. For outdoor rabbits, bedding is used as insulation rather than comfort to keep them warm during the night or during winter.
One thing to note is that using bedding in an area that you don’t need it can actually create bad litter training habits, hence the confusion between bedding and litter. If you have an indoor rabbit, try to keep bedding to your rabbits litter box and no where else, for elsewhere use soft mats or square carpet tiles.
This is actually a more common question than you would think. You can use bedding for both sleeping and as litter in most cases, but you can’t really use specific litter as your rabbits bedding. When litter training your rabbit you should identify a spot that they like to use as a loo and put in a cat litter box with a safe litter base.
One of the more common options for both bedding and litter is Aspen Shavings or if you’ve run out, just using normal hay with some newspaper underneath.
If your rabbit is extremely well trained with litter training, you could use a blanket or old shirt for bedding instead.
Simply put, no. Your indoor rabbit doesn’t necessarily need bedding in their enclosure as they should be out of the wind and in a room temperature location constantly. You can use bedding as rabbit litter but there are lots of alternatives out there which absorb urine etc much better.
Typically, rabbit bedding would have been used for winter days, cold weather and staying warm in the winter.
If you have a pair (Male & Female), bedding is perfect for a doe which is pregnant as it allows them to create a secure nesting area.
With an indoor rabbit if you have a particularly cold room they stay in, can simply have a heatpad wrapped in a blanket or old shirt to keep them warm. These usually last a few hours and as long as they have some form of bedding they should be fine.
If you don’t have a dig-box, definitely check out some of the wood-shaving bedding alternative as these can be used along with hay, treats and shredded paper to make a fantastic dig-box boredom breaker.
Rabbits typically prefer to sleep on a flat surface, we have hundreds of photos of this as proof. This is why flat carpet tiles are perfect as it gives them a specific area to make smell their own and relax.
You’ll often find in the summer they’ll prefer a big hardwood area or ceramic tile as this will not only keep them a lot cooler but for owners is a much cheaper option to regularly cleaning out bedding!
If you do provide bedding, blankets etc be prepared for them to be thrown everywhere as not every rabbit wants it! Let them design their sleeping space and get comfortable how they want to. At the end of the day, your rabbit knows what is best for themselves and if that includes making a very big mess, so be it!
There’s quite a few reasons to avoid your standard bedding whether it’s straw, wood shavings or a blanket. It can actually confuse your rabbit into thinking that their bedding area is the same as their litter area which results in more cleaning, a terrible smell and potential attraction of bugs which can lead to fly strike and other diseases.
Here’s a list of reasons as to why you shouldn’t be using bedding indoors:
After having 3 rabbits, majority being indoors I can safely say that having an indoor rabbit is much better. Their life expectancy is much higher, they’re a lot more social and it’s nice to just have your furry friend around the house.
If you do however have an outdoor rabbit, it’s important to understand that they need bedding for cold nights and winters. There’s plenty of different types of bedding that you’ll need to consider, some insulate heat and others help keep your rabbit comfortable.
Despite what some Facebook groups say, there’s most definitely some litters & bedding that you shouldn’t be using for your rabbit as it can cause a lot of damage and extremely high vet bills.
Some of us like to pamper our rabbit a stupid amount so we’ll often be questioning how we can make them even more comfortable. Each rabbit will have its own choices and desires, ours prefers to sleep on a flat surface and chooses to ignore all the beds we’ve purchased over time.
If you can, try out some of these alternatives:
Link is an incredibly spoilt rabbit who lives completely free roam. When he's not jumping on his owners heads at 5am or digging at carpet he can often be seen loafed or eating copious amounts of hay.