Best Bedding For Pet Rats (Brands Compared 2022)


When we got our first rats, we were told so much wrong information about bedding (and other things) and we had to do a lot of research to find the correct answers.


The best Bedding For Pet Rats

The best Bedding For Pet RatsPin

In the interests of helping new pet rats owners, we want to provide here what we hope is the definitive guide to the best bedding for pet rats so you can keep your rats healthy, happy, and safe!

We’ll begin by looking at the best bedding for pet rats. Then we’ll look at some acceptable but not the best options. Then we’ll end with a warning about what bedding you absolutely should avoid.

Carefresh Natural shredded paper pulp bedding: #1 Recommendation

Carefresh Natural shredded paper pulp beddingPin

Pure shredded paper without any dyes, inks, or added smells or chemicals, such as this brand from Carefresh, is our personal number one recommendation for the best bedding for pet rats.

And despite there still being confusion as to the best bedding for pet rats among first time pet rat owners, we are so relieved to see that Carefresh is the number one bestseller on Amazon.

That means a lot of pet rat owners are doing something right! And there’s a lot of happy healthy rats out there.

Please let your ratties being happy and healthy too!

You’ll have to change this bedding when it gets went from urine. But the great thing about this Carefresh brand of pet rat bedding is that it has phenomenal odour control.

Your pet rat cage simply won’t smell as bad when you use this bedding.

In addition to this bedding not stinking as much as other bedding, this bedding is also very cost effective.

You can get a big bulk of the stuff that will last a long time for a great price.

There’s no dust, nothing that will harm your rats, and it’s very easy to add to any cage. 

Kaytee Paper Bedding – Our #2 Choice!

Kaytee Paper BeddingPin

Our second choice of paper bedding comes from the Kaytee brand.

This is a good second choice.

We still recommend Carefresh above this one, but if you have to get Kaytee it’s not a bad choice.

The quality can be a bit inconsistent, but it’s safe and non-toxic.

It’s a bit thinner than Carefresh so you may have to change it more frequently but it does almost as good a job at containing odour, so it’s still a winner in our books.

Medline Sofnit Washable Pink Underpads

Medline Sofnit Washable Pink Underpads

We often see fleece recommended as rat bedding.

But we think these pads designed for people with incontinence to use on their beds are much better.

Don’t get us wrong – we love fleece. It’s pretty. It’s comfortable. There’s no danger of dust so our little ratties’ lungs are safe.

But fleece can be a bit of a pain in the backside. It soaks and holds all that rattie urine and can make the cage very smelly.

That’s not a huge problem if your rats are litter trained but if they’re not trained you’ll probably find that you have to wash your fleece a lot. I’m talking every couple of days.

The difference with these incontinence pads, however, is that they do a much better job of absorbing urine without holding the odour. Plus they’re rewashable.

And they’re every bit as comfy as fleece. If you want to enhance the comfort, you could always put some fleece underneath these pads or some cardboard.

Midwest Fleece Cage Liner

Midwest Fleece Cage LinerPin

Fleece is an excellent option for pet rat bedding.

As we mentioned above, it can get smelly and may require frequent washings if your rats aren’t litter trained. But it’s still a great choice of bedding and much better than the bedding many breeders and pet stores wrongly choose to put in their rats’ cages.

Fleece is comfortable, non-toxic, safe for rats to breathe around, and just generally a nice choice.

If you don’t mind having to rewash the fleece frequently, we highly recommend this fantastic fleece by Midwest.

It’s a bit pricey but definitely worth it.

Remember that since your washing and reusing it, it actually works out less expensive than paper bedding in the long run because you don’t have to rebuy bedding.

It comes in lots of charming colours and we’re positive your ratties will be happy, healthy, and comfortable with this fleece lining their cage. 

Pet rat bedding to AVOID


You’re going to see a lot of blogs and forum posts and probably even hear from some rat owners or breeders or pet store owners that the bedding listed below is fine for rats.

It’s not.

We’re gonna draw a line in the sand here and say you absolutely should NOT use any of the follow as bedding for your pet rats.

Don’t listen to people who just want to sell you a product, or don’t care about their rats enough to educate themselves.

It’s not acceptable to use any of the following “bedding” materials for pet rats.

  • Cedar and pine shavings. This stuff is horrid! It’s toxic to rats. We have no idea why pet stores and some breeders continue to put this crap in with their rats. This type of bedding is responsible for so much rattie pain and suffering, including upper respiratory tract infections. Rats are already prone to UTIs – why make them even more likely by using this bedding? Some people like the smell of cedar and pine shavings but those are poisonous fumes and will do your little lovelies no good. Avoid at all costs.
  • Cat litter. We’ve seen different types of litter, especially cat litter, recommended by different rat websites. We can’t help but shake our heads. It’s no good. Litter gives off a dust that will irritate rats’ throats beyond belief! It can also clump together and get trapped in your rats’ stomachs, making them very sick. Definitely avoid.
  • Shredded newspaper. Don’t use any paper that has ink printed on it. It can come off and irritate your rats – their throats, their eyes. It’s no good and if your rats constantly inhale the chemicals used to make the ink they’ll become very ill. 

We hope that helps you choose the best bedding for your rats

Your rats deserve the best bedding.

Rats are pretty easy to take care of. Once you’ve got them a nice cage, safe bedding, and a healthy selection of food, all they need is love and care.

Get the basics right (like good bedding), and then you can spend all your time just giving them all the love they deserve.

If you have any further questions about the best bedding for pet rats, or just pet rats in general, please be sure to leave a comment. We always here to help!