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Alternatives to Cedar Shavings as Bedding


Still using cedar shavings for your small pet? There are now many other options available.

1. CareFRESH Ultra

CareFresh Ultra
Photo © Lianne McLeod
CareFRESH, manufactured from 100% wood pulp fiber, is a light weight, fluffy bedding. The Ultra version makes a great bedding; it is not very dusty (less so than original CareFresh) and it is very absorbent and soft. CareFresh Ultra is also more attractive than its original grey counterpart (Ultra is white but can also be found in colorful versions too). It is quite expensive but is my favorite pet bedding.

2. Yesterday's News

Yesterday's News Small Animal Bedding
Photo © Lianne McLeod
Made from recycled newspaper, Yesterday's News was first marketed as a cat litter and is now available in a softer, looser pellet designed as bedding, as well as specific ferret and rabbit litter. Yesterday's News is very absorbent and not very dusty so works great to keep odors down and it is also quite economical. However, on the down side it not very soft as bedding and it isn't all that attractive. I use the Cat Litter "Softer Texture" version, which is quite similar to the pet bedding in texture but less expensive than the pet bedding version where I shop.

3. Sun Seed Fresh World Bedding

Sun Seed Fresh World Bedding
Photo © Lianne McLeod
Fresh World Bedding is made from recycled newspapers and magazines, with added baking soda for odor control. It has a slightly looser, softer texture than some other pelleted beddings, but is still very absorbent, has good odor control, and is not dusty. It comes as a basic grey with colored flecks in large packages, and colors (purple, pink) in smaller packages. The larger package is quite economical. Also biodegradable and eco-friendly.

4. Aspen Shavings

Picture of Aspen Shavings
Photo © Lianne McLeod
Compared to some of the other bedding here, aspen is not quite as absorbent or effective at odor control. However, it is widely available, usually inexpensive, and a good alternative to other wood shavings. Available from a variety of manufacturers.

5. Kaytee Soft Sorbent

Kaytee Soft Sorbent
Photo © Lianne McLeod
Kaytee Soft Sorbent is quite unique in it's texture -- it is comprised of roundish soft pellets made from wood fiber. It is very light and quite absorbent, and decent at odor control. I like the texture and the fact it is so light, but it is easy for animals to kick out of their cages because it is so light. There was also a big variation in quality between the bags I bought, with one having some very large pieces.

6. Eco-Straw Litter

This one I have not tried but have heard good things about it. These pellets are made from wheat straw and are said to absorb 300% of their weight in moisture. Dust free and heat treated to eliminate mites and other pests, this pellet from Oxbow Hay Company is completely biodegradable and can be composted or flushed down the toilet. Because it is made of natural fibres, it is also relatively safe if ingested.

7. Cell-Sorb Plus

Cell Sorb Plus Bedding
Photo © Lianne McLeod
A pelleted paper based product that is absorbent and pretty good at odor control (though I didn't find it quite as good as some others at odor control). The pellets are quite bulky in appearance but are not as firmly compacted as some other pelleted beddings or litter and they tend to soften and crumble a bit over time, but dustiness was not a problem. As with other grey paper based products Cell Sorb Plus isn't very attractive, but it does the job and is inexpensive.
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8. Critter Country

A pelleted product made from winter wheat and other plant fibers, heat treated to kill fungus, molds and insects. This pellet sounds much like Eco Straw and is touted as being absorbent, dust free, and odor controlling. It is also biodegradable and can be composted or flushed (in small quantities, of course).

9. Aspen Supreme Pelleted Pet Bedding

Aspen Supreme Pet Bedding
Photo © Lianne McLeod
A pelleted aspen product, also touted for its absorbency and odor control. The pellets are quite compacted and firm. I found the product to have a scent, which was "woody" and not unpleasant but I didn't care it much and wondered how strong it must have felt to the rats. They were absorbent and effective, though. This litter is also biodegradable and can be composted or used for mulch.
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10. Kaytee Total Comfort

Kaytee Total Comfort Bedding
Photo © Lianne McLeod
This is a soft bedding choice made from reclaimed wood fibres, this bedding has a nice texture because it so soft. However, I found it quite dusty especially by the end of the bag, and the odor control was average. It is quite economical and nice and soft, though. It can also be composted or used as mulch.
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