For many years there has been an argument about whether cedar shavings are safe for rabbits. A strong odor characterizes cedar shavings. That is why some pet owners think it affects the health of their pets. Moreover, breeders avoid untreated cedar shavings because they want to ensure the safety of their pets, especially breeders who deal with baby rabbits.
Heat-treated cedar is considered safe for rabbits. The owners just need to choose and find a good brand that produces quality cedar shavings.
In this article, we listed some of the best cedar shavings you can use in your rabbits and what are the effects to guide you better. If you don’t want to miss this information, keep reading.
Cedar Shavings and Rabbits
For years, there has been an argument if it’s safe to let your rabbit sleep on cedar shavings. One reason is because of the chemical compound called phenol. This chemical is present in most softwood shaving, like cedar and is also associated with liver problems.
However, it is not always possible to deduce things about your rabbits. Thousands of studies are still needed to conduct and prove the correlation between cedar shaving and its effects on rabbits.
Here are some of the reasons to neutralize the use of cedar shaving for some rabbit owners:
- Up to this day, there is no clinical proof indicating the effects of cedar shavings on rabbits. No official records state the total figures of animals that got ill because of cedar. However, there are several cases of snuffles in many rabbits because of wood dust. But, these health issues were not acquired from exposure to cedar shavings.
- Rabbits are classified as herbivores. In a wild environment, rabbits’ diets are foddering on tree bark, including the bark of cedar. Most wild rabbits did not experience any negative reactions. This is why it is not fair to conclude immediately that cedar is the cause of sickness in their pet.
Best Brands for Cedar Shavings
1. Kaytee Cedar Bedding
If you are finding a comfortable and ammonia-free product, consider using the Kaytee cedar bedding. It is produced by a brand called Kaytee. This shaving product ensures safety in your rabbit. It also has a great smell that absorbs your pet’s urine and poop odor. Kaytee is 20 percent more absorptive, holding 4 times its weight in liquid.
Moreover, Kaytee Cedar Bedding is formulated with 100% natural cedar shavings. It is developed to the highest quality to avoid wood dust. Its unrefined cedar oils offer a fresh, clean scent and fend off fleas and other insects. This kind of cedar shaving is ideal for open and ventilated cages.
4.6 out of 5 stars
2. Brown’s Natural Aromatic Red Cedar
Brown’s Natural Aromatic Red Cedar is good as a bedding option for different animals. It can cater to dogs, cats, and small animals like rabbits. The natural aroma from their quality wood product helps your pet get comfortable. It is also absorbent, which is why some owners use it in their pet’s litter areas.
Brown’s Natural Aromatic Red Cedar uses a kiln drying process to avoid mold and bacteria growth. Since a rabbit’s cage is susceptible to parasites and germs, it is best to choose this kind of product to avoid infestation. It is also developed to minimize wood debris that often affects the rabbit’s health.
4.75 out of 5 stars
3. Natural Cedar Shavings
Natural Cedar Shavings are developed by Four Winds Trading, which offers 100 percent natural cedar wood shavings. It is good to use for indoor bedding or scattered outside to avoid odor in your household. The scent is also good for small animals because it does not upset their nose. It has a natural cedar scent which helps absorb the rabbit’s urine and poop odor.
4.5 out of 5 stars
4. Vundahboah Amish Goods Shavings
This brand uses red cedar shaving, which is why it is good as a bedding option for small animals like rabbits. They are natural and good at absorbing odor from your pet’s body excretion. Vundahboah Amish Goods only provide fresh cedars with no sprays, coatings, or chemicals included.
4.1 out of 5 stars
The Disadvantage Side of Using Cedar Shavings
House rabbit society stated that using softwood shaving like pine and cedar should be avoided in rabbits. It affects their health, especially with long exposure But this argument has been going on for years. Some pet owners use cedar shaves and do not encounter problems with their rabbits.
Like other softwood shavings, cedar contains phenols. When your rabbit’s body encounters an unfamiliar substance, its natural reaction is to defend its system. One thing their immune system does is release enzymes that fight off chemicals like phenols. However, too much phenol can disrupt their body because of overexposure.
Contrary to that, it is always advisable not to conclude everything about your rabbit. And for your peace of mind, you can always ask some rabbit expert or veterinarian what the best bedding you can use for your pet.
Common Arguments for Cedar Shavings and Rabbits
Although reliable cedar shavings brands are available in the market, it is also good to note the common arguments raised by some experts about cedar shavings. Some of the arguments are the following:
- Cedar shaving scent originates from the phenols coming from the wood. That is why it’s affecting the rabbit.
- The difference between hardwood and softwood rabbits is the presence of phenols. Softwood shavings contain more phenol chemicals than hardwood.
- Exposure to phenol disrupts the rabbit’s body system, directly affecting the lungs by breathing in the fumes.
- The body of the rabbit abruptly withdraws the phenols in its liver. That is why one of the affected body parts is the liver because of the production of enzymes. What has yet to be noted in this argument is that the releasement of enzymes is a common part of the antioxidant system of the rabbit. Depending on the release amount, it can affect the rabbit’s body directly.
- The risk of cancer is also raised. However, nothing has been proven yet.
- The use of cedar shaving has been going into argument for years. Some pet owners are worried that it affects their pets, but there’s not yet an accurate study about the correlation between your pet’s health and the use of cedar shavings.
- Phenols are present in cedar shaving, a chemical compound harmful to animals. But nowadays, heat-treated shavings are more commonly used than untreated, which is why rabbit owners still use cedar shavings because of the quality and process of how it is made.
- Here are some of the best brands you can trust if you use cedar shavings for rabbits;
- 1. Kaytee Cedar Bedding,
- 2. Brown’s Natural Aromatic Red Cedar,
- 3. Natural Cedar Shavings, and
- 4. Vundahboah Amish Good Shavings.
- When finding bedding for your rabbit, choose a quality product and absorbent shaving to ensure safety and security for your pet.
- Always consult your trusted veterinarian regarding your pet for your peace of mind. You can also ask some of the experienced breeds nearby to guide you what’s the best lifestyle and caring tips for rabbits.