Best Bedding For Rats – Top 7 Picks

Does the idea of your pet being uncomfortable keep you awake at nights?

If this is the case, you have landed at the right place.

It is natural to be confused about the type of bedding you should get for your beloved friend.

Let us make things easier for you by providing you with all the information that you would need for selecting the right rat bedding.

As a rat owner, I know that understanding their requirements is not an easy feat.

A bit of guidance is required to find out what works for them, and this is what you will get here.

The best bedding options for rats

Comfort and safety are among the most vital factors when it comes to rat bedding.

We have put together seven of the best options you will find when it comes to rat bedding to make sure that your rat does not face any problems. So, without further ado, let’s dig into it.

Kaytee Clean & Cozy White Small Animal Bedding0.32 ouncesPaper Check Price
Carefresh Complete Pet Bedding8.5 poundsPaper Check Price
Small Pet Select Unbleached White Paper Bedding8 poundsPaper Check Price
Vitakraft Fresh World Strength Crumble Bedding for Small Animals13.5 poundsCrumbles from recycled paper Check Price
Kaytee Extreme Odor Control Pet Bedding;4.4 poundsWood Check Price
Healthy Pet HPCC Natural Bedding;---Wood Check Price
Small Pet Select Natural Paper Bedding 18.25 poundsPaper Check Price

Before we move on to the detailed reviews of each product, it’s vital to ensure that you have a quality cage for your rats. Without a nice cage, rat bedding is useless.

If you need some help, here are our top picks for rat cages which satisfy all requirements for rats and their owners.

1. Kaytee Clean & Cozy White Small Animal Bedding

 Key Facts 
  • Brand: Kaytee
  • Weight: 0.32 ounces
  • Dimension: 0.02 x 0.02 x 0.02 in
  • Material: paper

Animals like rats love to dive in the paper.

Thus, it indeed is among the most suitable bedding material that you can get for your little friend.

And if paper bedding is what you seek, this bedding by Kaytee would not let you down.

This soft and porous material would surely keep your pet comfortable and healthy.

It is quite cozy and clean, as well.

The best thing; it offers optimal odor control.

It is capable of absorbing nearly six times its weight in liquid.

It is dust-free and thus ensures that your little friend gets a clean cage to live in.

The material is suitable for encouraging the burrowing and nesting characteristic of rats.

You can be assured that this bedding would be completely safe for your precious pet.

 Things I really like 
  • Since it is entirely dust-free, it prevents respiratory problems in the rats.
  • It keeps the cage cleaner as the bedding is more absorbent compared to wood shavings.
  • It is provided with a fluffy and soft texture which ensures that the little animals get to burrow
  • High standard of quality is maintained with long recycled fiber strands that ensure better consistency and absorbency.
 Things I don’t like 
  • It does give a light smell. Thus, people who have rats with stronger scents might not find this to be the best bedding for rats smell.

2. Carefresh Bedding for Rats

  Key Facts 
  • Brand: Carefresh
  • Weight: 8.5 pounds
  • Dimension: 19 x 15.8 x 5 inches
  • Material: paper

Carefresh Bedding for rats is the perfect option for those pet owners who want to buy a substrate built from scratch.

The bedding material has a texture similar to a pillow.

Thus, you can be assured that it will be optimally comfortable for your little pet.

This bedding would prove to be a warm and secure home for your little friends.

There is more; the bedding is made from entirely natural fiber, which is quite a beneficial characteristic for small animals.

Furthermore, it has the feature of ten-day odor control.

Therefore, if you cannot clean your pet’s cage regularly, Carefresh bedding for rats is the one for you.

This is not all; this bedding is more absorbent and dry compared to shavings.

You will find it quite easy to clean.

 Things I really like 
  • The odor control and absorbency make sure that you do not have to worry about the cage turning smelly.
  • It is quite long-lasting, more so than shavings.
  • It is entirely dust-free and thus does not cause respiratory problems in rats.
  • No inks, dyes or chemicals have been used in the manufacture of this bedding, making it entirely safe for rats.
  • It has been processed to get rid of bacteria, fungus, and mold.
 Things I don’t like 
  • The bedding does not have a great aesthetic appeal. It might not look the best in your cage.

3. Small Pet Select Unbleached White Paper Bedding

  Key Facts 
  • Brand: Small Pet Select
  • Weight: 8 pounds
  • Dimension: 25 x 8.5 x 16.5 in
  • Material: paper

This white bedding has been manufactured, keeping your convenience in mind.

Since it is white, it is easy for you to spot the messy area and clean it.

The bedding is quite soft and absorbent as well.

It is made from the unbleached paper along with the virgin paper.

Thus, it is devoid of any sludge.

You can be assured that it would not cause any harm to your little friend.

Furthermore, it is entirely dust-free.

No additives, dyes or irritants have been used in the manufacture of this bedding, making sure that the health of your pet is not compromised.

This bedding would not let you down.

 Things I really like 
  • It is quite soft, making it comfortable for the rat
  • It is easy to clean and is dust-free
  • It is devoid of all chemicals or irritants and thus safe for the rats
  • It is quite compact, making it quite convenient for placement in the cage.
 Things I don’t like 
  • It is a tad bit expensive

4. Vitakraft Fresh World Strength Crumble Bedding for Small Animals

  Key Facts  
  • Brand: Vitakraft
  • Weight: 13.5 pounds
  • Dimension: 14.5 x 5 x 23 inches
  • Material: crumbles from recycled paper

If you find cleaning cages of your pet a troublesome task, this is the right option for you.

With this bedding, you would not have to put in a lot of time in cleaning the cage.

Thus, you would have ample time to spend with your precious friend.

The bedding comprises of baking soda which speeds up the absorption process.

The rat is thus kept as dry as possible.

Not only does it absorb the liquid, but it also locks it up.

Thus, the liquid is not squished out when the rat steps on it.

There is more; the bedding can keep in the odor for around 24 days.

Thus, the substrate does not have to be changed ever so often.

The best thing is; the bedding material is excellent for all parties concerned.

It is eco-friendly as well.

 Things I really like 
  • It uses unbleached, non-toxic recycled paper which makes it a safe option for rats
  • The bedding is soft and comfortable.
  • It is capable of absorbing liquid three times its weight
  • It is dust-free and thus easy to clean
  • It includes baking soda which absorbs moisture quite quickly.
  • It makes for a healthy habitat for the rat
 Things I don’t like 
  • The bedding tends to crumble with not much effort required for the purpose.

5. Kaytee Extreme Odor Control Pet Bedding

 Key Facts 
  • Brand: Kaytee
  • Weight: 4.4 pounds
  • Dimension: 10 x 16 x 5 inches
  • Material: wood

This is quite an impressive bedding option you can get for your rat if you value their safety.

Kaytee is known to produce quality products for small animals, and this one is no different.

You can be assured that it would not let you down.

For one thing, it is dust-free, making it quite easy for you to clean it,

You will find it to be twice as absorbent as wood shavings and it also offers you the feature of four-day odor control.

All in all, you will find it to be quite a safe and comfortable option for your little friend.

  Things I really like 
  • It is odor-free with impressive absorption properly.
  • It is dust-free, ensuring that the rat does not have to suffer through a respiratory problem.
  • It is easy to clean
  Things I don’t like 
  • The bedding tends to lose its aesthetic appeal after a few days as the dye gets wet, which makes it look quite dirty.

6. Healthy Pet HPCC Natural Bedding

  Key Facts 
  • Brand: Healthy Pet
  • Material: Wood

Capable of absorbing thrice its weight, this is another appealing option you will find when it comes to getting the right bedding for your rat.

This bedding is capable of suppressing the ammonia odor that comes from the waste of pets.

Furthermore, the soft pieces absorb all the liquid, ensuring that your pet remains cozy and dry.

Since it is dust-free, it provides your pet with a cleaner habitat and also keeps them healthy.

The bedding is manufactured from reclaimed wood pulp.

It is compostable after use and is biodegradable.

You will find your pet having a gala time burrowing in this bedding while at the same time; it would provide your little friend with a warm nest.

 Things I really like 
  • It is free of dust and thus easy to clean while being safe for the rats.
  • It keeps your rats clean and dry owing to its absorbency property.
  • The quality is high, ensuring that the bedding can be used for a long time.
  • The odor control is excellent.
  • It is reasonably priced
  • The material is biodegradable and can be composted.
  Things I don’t like 
  • No chemical-free guarantee is provided with the bedding
  • Some inconsistency has been noticed in the batches with some being better compared to others.

7. Small Pet Select Natural Paper Bedding

  Key Facts 
  • Brand: Small Pet Select
  • Weight: 18.25 pounds
  • Dimension: 25 x 16.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Material: paper

If you want safe and comfortable bedding for your rat, this is one that you can take a look at.

It is free of any chemicals and additives, and thus you can be assured that it would not incur any harm to your little friend.

The paper used for manufacturing the bedding is pure and unbleached, which has never been printed.

This is not all; it is highly soft, ensuring that your pet gets optimal comfort.

At the same time, it is quite absorbent as well.

Cleaning it up is quite easy, and thus you would not have to worry about maintaining it.

The bedding can expand to thrice the volume of its package.

All in all, you can be assured that your pet would get satisfaction and comfort from this bedding.

 Things I really like 
  • It maintains high standards of quality
  • It is capable of holding in odors
  • It is soft and thus highly comfortable for the rat.
  • It is dust-free and devoid of any additives or chemicals, which makes it safe for the rat.
  • It is affordable, in addition to being durable.
 Things I don’t like 
  • You might have to face some difficulty in getting it from package to the cage.

The Purpose of Rat Bedding?

Rat cages require three types of bedding.

1. Substrate

This goes in the base of your rat cage.

It serves two purposes. It lines the cage for one thing.

Furthermore, rats get something to dig in with this one.

2. Litter

This is needed for absorbing feces and urine.

It encourages good toileting habits in your little friend.

People usually use recycled paper cat litter for the purpose.

It is placed in litter trays which allow the little things to get accustomed to toilet areas.

Wooden and mineral litters should be avoided.

It is also best to stay away from anything that includes perfume.

If you’re a rat owner, you might also be worried about whether used litter or rats themselves can make you sick. Here’s the answer.

3. Nesting material for rats

These materials are needed for the rats to get a resting area

Paper kitchen towels, unscented toilet tissue, and ripped up newspaper can be used for the purpose.

Make sure that the newspaper has nontoxic ink, though.

Try to opt for something which cannot create long threads even when it is chewed or cut.

Remember; any pieces that have holes where a rat could get tangled need to be removed.

Your little friend might like taking control of his cage.

Thus, you might find him tearing things apart.

You have to be immensely careful in selecting the material and bedding for these little ones.

What is rat bedding used for?

The purpose of rat bedding is to ensure that your little friend gets optimal comfort.

The rat needs to have a place where it can nest, sleep, and do whatever it feels like.

This is where the quality of bedding becomes essential.

You would not want the comfort of your precious pet being compromised.

The best thing you can do for your rat is to mimic his natural environment.

Rats tend to build nests in closed-off spaces in the wild.

Thus, they feel safe in such areas.

When you provide the rat with a soft bedding material where they can move freely, nest and tear up, you ensure that they feel at home in the cage.

There is more; rat bedding is provided with the feature of liquid absorption and odor control.

Thus, rat cages become healthier and comfortable for everyone concerned if the right bedding is used.

The types of rat bedding?

You will come across different types of bedding in the market for your little friend.

Let us shed some light on them.

1. Wood Shavings

Including sawdust, these are usually manufactured from pine and cedar trees.

Since these types of rat beddings can cause respiratory issues in rats, it is best to avoid them.

You will find them in pet stores quite commonly.

However, if you want to ensure that the health of your friend is not impacted, you should stay away from it.

Usually found in cat litters, these can be used in combination with other bedding choices which are safe.

On its own, it is a tad bit dusty for the rat and thus not the first choice if rat owners.

2. Rat Corn Bedding

This is a tricky bedding choice.

It is susceptible to the growth of molds as it gets sodded with water or urine.

Thus, do not opt for it unless you change the top of the bedding regularly.

3. Aspen bedding for rats

Unlike pine and cedar, Aspen bedding for rats is not harmful for them.

Thus, it can be used for rat bedding safely.

The hardwood works quite well with paper pellet bedding.

Rats get a diverse cage environment owing to it, thereby making Aspen bedding a popular choice for rats.

4. Rat Paper Pellet Bedding

This is what most experienced rat owners tend to opt for.

Not only is it dust-free, but it is also the most absorbent.

Furthermore, it is also cheap, and since it is made from a recycled paper, it is eco-friendly as well.

Thus, you cannot go wrong with paper pellet bedding.

What are the alternatives to rat bedding?

Some rat owners do not like the idea of purchasing rat bedding.

They look for other options.

Some find a DIY approach to be more suitable.

There are certain replacements you can think of using.

1. Shredded cardboard

This is an easily-accessible material for bedding which is not only clean but also absorbent

It can be used as a replacement to standard paper bedding.

You can use different sources for cardboard, including paper towel rolls and standard shipping boxes.

An important point to remember; the cardboard must be devoid of any toxic ink.

2. Rat paper bedding

Paper bedding is slightly different compared to be a newspaper.

These serve as a highly suitable base.

Soft papers are excellent in absorbing urine.

Examples include toilet paper, napkins, and unscented facial to tissues.

Paper bags are also quite suitable.

It is not uncommon for rat owners to shred computer be paper to use as bedding.

3. Fleece

This has become quite a popular bedding option in recent times.

Remember; fleece cannot be used as the only material for bedding.

This is because while it is quite soft, it is not very absorbent.

Thus, make sure to place some absorbent material beneath it.

It is an excellent bedding material owing to the ease it offers in cleaning.

Washing it would suffice, and thus you would find it a cost-effective option.

4. Newspaper as bedding for rats

This is one of the controversial bedding materials owing to ink.

However, if you are sure that the newspaper contains nontoxic ink, you can use the material with ease.

It can work as a replacement to paper bedding and can also be shredded up.

You can also use it as an absorbent layer and line it in the bottom of the cage.

What to look for in rat bedding?

Every bedding is not the same.

Some are not safe for rats, while others are perfect.

Therefore, while selecting bedding for your little friend, pay heed to certain characteristics.

1. Odor control – Find The Best Bedding for Rats’ Smell

Rats, albeit being adorable pets, can be quite smelly, all the more if you don’t clean their cage daily.

Therefore, it is advisable to opt for bedding which can control odor.

Some are provided with built-in odor control that eliminates odors for a significant amount of time.

2. Absorbency

This is another characteristic which is of immense importance.

A bedding that’s absorbent is surely one that’s the best bedding for rats smell ensures.

Your rat cage would feel fresher.

Furthermore, you will not have to change it frequently as bad odors and fluids are eliminated.

3. Ensure the safety of your rat

Rats are quite smart.

However, they have their limitations.

They cannot understand that their bedding is harming them.

Since your little pet would spend a lot of time in the bedding, you need to make sure that it is completely safe.

It needs to be devoid of all chemicals and toxic elements.

4. Dust-free Rat Bedding

Dust bedding can lead to respiratory problems in rats.

You would not want your pet to get sick due to your negligence.

Therefore, make sure that the bedding you get is free of dust.

There is more; dust-free bedding would be easy for you to clean as well.

5. Comfort

You would want your little friend to be comfortable.

The pet is going to spend a significant amount of time in the bedding.

Thus, it needs to be comfortable.

6. Eco-friendly Rat Bedding

Perhaps your rats are very clean.

You could have the best-behaved rats and yet have to change bedding multiple times.

Thus, it would be a better option to use natural and biodegradable materials for the purpose.

What about changing my rat’s bedding?

There is no fixed rule regarding this as it depends on the behavior and traits of your pet.

You will need to be diligent and keep an eye on the bedding of your pet.

You can then determine when it is time to change it.

If you notice the bedding is dirty or damp, do not wait.

Change the bedding immediately.

Many rat owners opt for changing the bedding weekly if they have a couple of these things.

Will rat bedding control odor?

Indeed. It is vital that you buy the best bedding for rats smell to control your rat’s odor within the cage.

Good rat beddings absorb urine and lock it.

This not only controls the smell but also prevents the presence of ammonia.

However, how well the odor is controlled depends on the bedding you have purchased.

Some do not give a lot of importance to odor control, while others have a specialized formula for the same.

Thus, it all comes down to the type of bedding you have selected for your little friend.

Can my rat eat its bedding?

It is unavoidable that a rat eats some of its bedding.

However, this should not be encouraged.

As long as you make sure that the bedding does not have sharp pieces, chemicals, or toxins, you do not have to worry if they eat it.

Are there any rat bedding materials that should be avoided?

Certain materials should never be used as rat bedding as they can be harmful.

1. Cat litter

Rats like to chew on stuff.

Thus, it is best to stay away from cat litter as bedding since it can be toxic.

2. Newspaper

Similarly, the regular newspaper should not be used.

You would not want your rat to ingest the ink.

Use paper which has not been printed on.

3. Wood shavings and sawdust

Sawdust is harmful to the lungs of the little things.

Furthermore, wood shavings might have sharp edges which the rat might ingest.

This could have disastrous consequences.

4. Cotton

Cotton should also not be used.

Cotton can be ingested by the rat, which can result in suffocation.

Stay away from all the materials that contain chemicals or anything artificial.

Should I change the brand of my rat bedding?

Quite often, we select a brand for a product and are then reluctant to change it.

We fail to realize that the brand is doing more harm than good.

When it comes to pets, it is crucial that every product is selected with the utmost care.

If you are not using the right brand for your pet, you will get some signs.

For instance, bedding with too much dust causes allergies in rats which can get quite severe.

This is one sign that should alert you that the bedding of the rat needs to be changed at the earliest.

Similarly, if the bedding starts to smell quickly, within three days, you need to realize that the material is not absorbent enough. Hence, it isn’t the best bedding for rats smell

Your pet is your responsibility.

Therefore, endeavor to make sure that you use bedding which is safe for them.

It would be a good idea to take a look at reviews before selecting a brand.

Related Questions

Do rats require some time to settle in their new cage?

Yes, you will need to give your pet a bit of time to settle in the new habitat.

When you get a new pet, it is natural to be eager to want to handle it in the beginning.

However, an advisable approach is to give them a couple of days to settle in and adjust to the new surroundings.

The rat takes the time to not only get used to its new home but also to the environment and the smells around.

You might find your rat sneezing during this time.

This is quite common and nothing to be worried about.

However, if the sneezing persists even after a few days, your pet might have incurred an infection.

A trip to the vet can take care of this.

Are puddy pads fine for rats?

Puddy pad lines are not the best option for lining the cage if your rat has the tendency to chew on stuff aggressively.

If you have one of those relaxed rats, you can give the lining a try to see how they work for you.

However, keep this in mind. Puddy pads can be dangerous for the rats if used as the sole liner.

The rats are at the danger of inhaling SAPs owing to these.

If you want to use the liners, make sure that you cover them with fleece.

This makes sure that the danger of inhaling the particles is minimized.

Do rats need light at night?

It is vital to make sure that your pet is optimally comfortable at all times.

For this, the conditions of the cage need to be given attention to.

The place where you house the rat should not be too bright or exposed to direct sunlight.

Similarly, it should not be wholly dark during the night since rats are most active during this time.

Remember; rats are quite sensitive to light.

Bright light can lead to stress and harm their eyes, and thus, the intensity of light is something you will need to be careful about.

At the same time, make sure that the temperature and humidity are appropriate as well.

The area should not be too damp or dry or without ventilation as such conditions increase the chances of the rat falling ill.

What should be in a rat cage?

You would want to make sure that your rat feels truly at home in the cage.

Thus, make sure that you fill the cage with everything that they require.

Considering that rats love to climb, you should include ropes and ladders in their cage.

Rats also need mental stimulation. Therefore, toys such as toilet rolls and mazes would be perfect.

A rat cage should include dry bedding, hammocks, small water bottle, a food bowl, and toys.

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