Rabbit Bedding vs Litter – What is the Difference?

When it comes to keeping rabbits as pets, there are a lot of important factors to consider, including their habitat and living conditions.

One of the key elements of a rabbit’s living space is the type of litter or bedding used. While these terms are often used interchangeably, as are the products, they actually refer to two different things.

Understanding the difference between rabbit bedding vs litter helps ensure the health and comfort of your bunny.

Rabbit Litter vs Bedding – What is the Difference?

Rabbit litter refers to the material used to absorb urine and control odor in your rabbit’s enclosure. This is typically a granular substance, such as wood shavings or paper pellets, that is spread on the bottom of the cage or litter box.

Rabbit bedding is the material used to provide a soft and comfortable resting area for your bunny. This can include items like hay, straw, or shredded paper, and is typically placed in a separate area of the enclosure.

By choosing the right litter and bedding for your rabbit, you can create a clean, comfortable living space that promotes their overall well-being.

Understanding Rabbit Litter

Rabbit litter is a type of bedding specifically designed for a rabbit’s litter box. It is typically made from recycled paper, wood, or grass, and is formulated to be highly absorbent and odor-neutralizing.

Pelleted rabbit litter is less messy than loose bedding, as it is less likely to scatter outside of the litter box.

However, it is important to note that not all rabbits may use a litter box right away, and some may prefer to use their bedding as a bathroom instead.

Choosing the Right Litter for Your Bunny

If you’re a new bunny owner, it’s important to understand which type of litter will work best for your bunny’s needs. Choosing the right litter can make a big difference in your rabbit’s health and happiness.

There are a few factors to consider when selecting the right litter for your bunny, including absorbency, dust level, and odor control.

When it comes to absorbency, paper-based litters tend to be the most effective. They are able to soak up moisture quickly, which can help prevent the growth of bacteria and other harmful microorganisms. In addition, paper-based litters tend to be low-dust, which is important for rabbits with respiratory issues.

Some popular types of litter include recycled paper pellets, shredded paper, and paper pulp bedding. However, it’s important to note that paper-based litters can be more expensive than other options.

Ultimately, the best litter for your bunny will depend on their individual needs and preferences! That’s right, sometimes, your bunny might refuse to use a certain type of litter, so start by buying a small amount until you find one they like.

The Benefits of Rabbit Bedding

Using soft, fluffy bedding for your bunny can create a cozy and comfortable environment that mimics the feeling of burrowing in a meadow on a warm Summer day. Rabbit bedding is typically made from natural materials such as hay, straw, wood shavings, or paper products.

If you are keeping your rabbit indoors in a temperature controlled environment, there is no need to spread rabbit bedding materials all over their cage. This will confuse them as to where they should go to the bathroom, and won’t help with litter training.

If you are keeping your rabbit outside, you will need bedding to help keep your bunny’s living space clean and dry. Bedding also provides insulation and helps regulate temperature, ensuring that your bunny stays warm in colder and cool in warmer months.

In addition to providing comfort and insulation, rabbit bedding can promote your bunny’s natural behaviors. Bunnies love to dig and burrow, and bedding that allows them to do so can help prevent boredom and stress.

Types of Bedding for Your Rabbit’s Enclosure

When it comes to your bunny’s enclosure, there are plenty of options for creating a cozy and comfortable environment using different types of bedding. Here are some suggestions:

Paper Bedding

This type of bedding is highly absorbent, which can be great for keeping your rabbit’s enclosure clean and dry. It is also dust-free, which can be beneficial for rabbits with respiratory issues. Paper pulp bedding can be found in both pellet and loose form, and is usually made from recycled materials.

Newspaper can be used to line your rabbit’s cage or hutch, then provide bedding over the top.

Wood Bedding

Another popular type of rabbit bedding is made from wood shavings. These shavings can come from various types of wood. Pine or cedar shavings should be avoided, as they emit a phenolic gas which is toxic. You can use wood shavings after they have been kiln dried.

Aspen shavings are typically more expensive, but they are generally considered to be safer for rabbits due to their lower levels of aromatic oils.

Household Linen

You can also use blankets, old sheets, towels and/or rugs to line your bunny’s cage. Be mindful that rabbits like to chew, so check for loose threads, worn edges or anything they may try to sink their teeth into!

Horse Bedding

Some bedding for horses are also suitable for bunnies. Products such as Aubiose is made from hemp, which is also safe for rabbits. It’s also economical to buy in bulk.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I change the litter in my rabbit’s litter box?

To maintain your rabbit’s hygiene, daily spot cleaning of their bedding and daily litter box cleaning is recommended.

Is it safe to use scented litter or bedding for rabbits?

You can purchase commercially made scented litter and bedding for rabbits such as Kaytee Lavendar scented bedding. Wait until your rabbit is at least 12 months old before using scented bedding, and always start with a small amount to test the sensitivity of your bunny.

Can I use hay as both litter and bedding for my rabbit?

Using hay as litter and bedding for rabbits is a common practice. More than hay alone may be required as a litter material, as it does not absorb moisture or control odor as effectively as other options. It is recommended to use paper-based or wood-based pellets and then layer hay on top.


Understanding the difference between rabbit litter and bedding is essential for providing a comfortable and healthy living space for your bunny.

Litter is explicitly used for waste management, while bedding is a cushioning material for your rabbit to rest on. They can be the same material, but it is best to separate the two.

Regularly cleaning and replacing litter and bedding is essential. Providing ample space and enrichment for your bunny can go a long way in promoting a healthy and happy lifestyle for your beloved pet.

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