Substrate for Rabbits

Have you recently decided to get a pet bunny? Rabbits are absolutely adorable, and they can make wonderful pets. Caring for a bunny is quite different than taking care of a dog or cat, however, so you’ll want to do thorough research before making a final decision. One thing that is crucial to your pet’s welfare is making sure your furball has a comfortable cage. The cage should have a solid floor, and must be large enough for Floppy to hop around, stretch out, stand up, and play in without stepping in her food dishes or litter box. Adding a proper substrate is also very important. In this article, a local Livonia veterinarian discusses substrate options for bunnies.

Paper Products

Newspaper is a good choice for substrate. You can shred it, or put hay or straw on top of it. Pelleted paper products are also suitable. Just be sure to keep an eye on Floppy to be sure she doesn’t eat too much of it!


Cardboard is a great option. It is inexpensive and, so long as there are no staples in it, quite safe. Cardboard will need to be replaced regularly, however, as your furry pal might eat it!

Blankets and Towels

Blankets and towels are both suitable options. Just make sure that Floppy’s bedding doesn’t contain any long, loose threads she could eat or get caught in.

Wood Shavings

Wood shavings are quite popular, but they aren’t necessarily the best choice. Softwood substrates have been linked to liver disease in bunnies. These materials also collect mold and dust, which can cause respiratory issues. Additionally, cedar and pine substrates contain oils that are toxic to rabbits.


Straw shouldn’t be used by itself, but can add a comfy layer to Floppy’s cage for her to sit on, and will also help keep her home insulated.


Wood and paper pellets are both safe, suitable choices for substrate and/or litter. Just make sure Floppy has a hidey-hole with softer bedding, so she has a comfy place to sleep.


Floppy’s litter box is another thing to consider. Stay away from clumping litters, as well as those made of clay, as these can be very dangerous if your furball accidentally eats any.

Do you have any questions about your bunny’s health, care, or behavior? Contact us! As your Livonia veterinary clinic, we are here to help!

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