Housing a rat in a healthy environment includes finding the best bedding for rats that will keep their respiratory systems and their tender feet happy and clear. Bedding comes in so many different types that it can be very hard to choose one based on packaging alone. On top of this, every rat breeder, rescuer, and owner will always have something different to say about the wide varieties of bedding. Everything I am listing here is absolutely WONDERFUL as a bedding choice.
I would use (and DO use) these items regularly. Currently, my beddings of choice include the Carefresh bedding and the Kaytee paper bedding. You will find that, across the web, these bedding options tend to get the BEST reviews from rat owners, and have been used for years by these individuals. Sometimes, their are hiccups with the manufacturer, like the latest Carefresh rebellion that occurred due to a stinky additive that was very short lived.
Carefresh: Considered the #1 Best Bedding for Rats
Of all of the rat litters available, this is probably the one that you have heard about the most. It is my ABSOLUTE favorite. Several months ago, many pet owners along with myself struck out against Carefresh, as they changed their formula to a funky chemical laced product; after several angry emails (I was one of many who emailed them), the company WENT BACK TO THE SAFE, ORIGINAL FORMULA! I say this with confidence, as I bought a bulk amount of 5 60 liter bags about a month after I heard that they were finally returning to the original. Sure enough, they were all the same old Carefresh that I was using before going on strike!
Now that I have discussed the recent problem with Carefresh, I’d like to discuss the bedding! So plainly put, it is my FAVORITE. I was one of many who demanded the return to the formula, as I feel no other bedding comes close to the odor control, absorbency, safety, and longevity of Carefresh Natural bedding. It may not be the prettiest or the softest bedding, but it gets the job done at an affordable price. It is also made of recycled pulp waste, meaning it is an environmentally friendly bedding. It can also be composted when cage changing time comes! I found that I can get it cheapest online when it goes on sale. My local pet shop costs about $4 more per bag, and because I have many rats, I buy in bulk and get free shipping through online shopping. Therefore, I can save about $20 on a 2 month supply. That’s nearly a free bag for me.
Kaytee Paper Bedding
Kaytee paper bedding is another great choice, and this is one that I have used before as well. I actually have two large bags waiting to be used! We caught an awesome deal on them, and I’d rather cut down on my $60+/mo bedding costs whenever possible. Anyways, this bedding is a softer, thinner, lighter paper, unlike the thicker, sturdier Carefresh. It is definitely more attractive looking, which is great for those with just a couple of rats. The absorption is fairly average, not horrible. Odor control is average as well. It is so incredibly soft, and it makes for a fluffy bedding. It’s also easier for the rats to tunnel in. It comes in a variety of colors as well. Some of them are scented- I am giving the lavender scent a try soon to see how it combats odors.
Recycled Yesterday’s News Newspaper Bedding
Yesterday’s Newspaper is loved by many, and I can see why. However, it doesn’t meet my needs with the several rats that I have. It has great absorption, thus providing amazing odor control. It is a recycled product as well, so it is environmentally friendly. A little can go a long way with this stuff. It is a slightly hard bedding. It will not hurt rats, but I have a thing for making sure that the bedding that I use in my rats’ cages is either somewhat soft OR super soft. Because let’s face it: if I was a rat, I’d want to live in a cozy, fluffy, super soft cloud.
Rabbit Food as Rat Cage Bedding
This is what I would consider as another one of the best bedding for rats. Rabbit food is composed of dehydrated alfalfa and timothy hay that is compressed into a pellet form. When wet, it expands. It is highly absorbent so it wicks away moisture and odor quickly. The odor control is fabulous due to the wonderful timothy and alfalfa scent. I don’t know about everyone else, but I LOVE the smell of hay, so the scent gets an A+ for me. Rabbit food is also very cheap, so it will not break the bank like carefresh will. It can be bought in massive 50 lb bulk bags in many department stores, farmer coops, and pet supply stores.