Bunny Beds | The Best Bedding For Rabbits
A reader asked the following excellent question about bunny beds:
What do you use for a bunny bed in the cage? My daughter brought home a bunny 8 weeks old with a cage that has the pull out drawer at the bottom. But it doesn't seem very comfortable to lay on for the bunny. I put a towel in it, but the bunny immediately started eating it, so I took it out. What can we use?
First of all, if your cage is one of the small ones (which the ones with pull out draws usually are), then please make sure the rabbit gets time to stretch its legs outside the cage on a regular basis. Rabbits are just as active physically and mentally as dogs and cats and keeping them cooped up in a tiny box until they die can make them go quite mad.
But that wasn't your question, was it? Your question had to do with bedding. The best bedding for rabbits I've found is usually hay layered over newspaper - or alternatively if the cage allows for it, hay layered over a clay kitty litter. It has to be clay litter because clay is non toxic if the bunny has a bit of a nibble. Some people use newspaper, but rabbits often tear newspaper up. It is okay if they rip it up, but if they start eating it, they can get into trouble. For this reason, I recommend hay over a clay kitty litter base - or just plain hay.
Why do I say hay is the best bedding? For several reasons:
Hay is everything for a rabbit. It is an essential food. Your rabbit should always have a supply of hay to eat, a rabbit's digestive system needs to be moving pretty much constantly, and hay ensures that it does. If your rabbit stops eating or is deprived of hay for any length of time, its digestive system can seize up and it can die.
Hay is also obviously very comfortable and natural and provides an excellent soft surface for the bunny to rest on.
It is tempting to buy a bunny a proper 'bed', but most rabbits have quite a powerful nesting instinct and will spend time rearranging their home to suit their needs. Bunny DIY usually involves destroying things by chewing them or tearing them up.
If your rabbit seems overly destructive, it is possible that your rabbit is bored, rabbits do need to play and as I mentioned before, they need space to run and jump and stretch their legs. The sight of a happy rabbit 'binkying' (running about, suddenly jumping in the air and tossing their heads and bodies about) is a real reward, and one you'll never see if your bunny is caged up like Hannibal Lecter.
I've written several articles on toys for rabbits and playing with rabbits, so please do have a look at them, they'll make your new rabbit's life much more interesting and they'll make your bunny a much better pet too.
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