Rabbits are curious, active, and rambunctious creatures. With all that energy, they tend to require quite a decent amount of sleep to keep them energized.
Your rabbit will take the occasional nap and require a more extended amount of continuous sleep. Like you, your furry friend will do its best with an eight-hour snooze.
But what do bunnies like to sleep on? Are they content to just plop down anywhere? Or do they require certain things to ensure the best night’s rest?
Do rabbits need bedding?
I know what you’re thinking; wild rabbits aren’t out there dumpster diving in the hopes of grabbing the latest therapeutic mattress.
So, does my pet rabbit need bedding?
Well, wild rabbits sleep underground. The ideal sleeping environment for your rabbit will mimic those conditions: dark, quiet, warm, and soft.
The very basic answer to the question “Do rabbits need bedding?” is no. Technically, no, your rabbit doesn’t require bedding to sleep on.
If tired enough from playing, running around, or causing mischief, your bunny will be able to fall asleep anywhere.
However, your rabbit will be at its healthiest if you create ideal sleeping conditions for it. And yes, that would mean obtaining some sort of bedding so that your rabbit can be its happiest and best-rested self.
OK, so, while not absolutely, technically required, your pet rabbit should have bedding. So let’s just call it a yes. As a loving, responsible rabbit owner, you should invest in some bedding.
As mentioned previously, a rabbit will be at its healthiest if its needs are met. When it comes to sleeping, that means having a specific sleeping area that will keep it comfortable and warm. A rabbit’s body temperature will drop when it sleeps, so bedding is required to keep them warm.
Your rabbit will also like having a designated sleeping area with special bedding. It will make it more comfortable.
It is a good idea to have a separate sleeping area within your rabbit’s hutch (or wherever it is living) that is enclosed. This will allow your rabbit to hide away and get sufficient sleep during the day since their sleeping hours aren’t the same as ours.
It doesn’t have to be anything fancy; even a cardboard box would do if in a pinch. But your rabbit will thrive with a special area for sleeping with its own bedding.
What do bunnies like to sleep on?
Now that we’ve established that while not vital to their survival, your pet rabbit should ideally have some bedding to sleep on.
But what exactly is their preferred bedding? What do bunnies like to sleep on?
Hay is a classic choice for your rabbit, and it can be a comfortable option. The common problem with hay, however, is that if you have hay in the rest of their hutch (which you likely will), your rabbit may confuse their bedroom with their bathroom. This will cause a problem for their hygiene if they are sleeping in their feces or urine.
Aspen flakes’ being an odorless and nontoxic wood bedding option makes them a popular choice as rabbit bedding. They also have the advantage of being absorbent in case your rabbit makes the mistake of using its bedding as a bathroom. It means easier clean-up for you while you are training your rabbit to respect different parts of its home.
This is another popular choice for rabbit bedding. Like aspen flakes, it’s an absorbent option and is also dust free. Rabbits tend to chew on everything, so this is another safe, nontoxic option. Cellulose bedding can be found in most pet stores.
This is a nice, soft, and affordable option for your rabbit. Be sure that your shredded paper doesn’t have any sharp corners. You’ll also want to use paper without ink. That will be the best, bunny-safe option.
This is a convenient and affordable option. However, be careful about using a towel or blanket as bedding for your rabbit. Your rabbit will love the comfort of a towel as it will keep it soft and warm, but a towel can be dangerous if your bunny ingests its fibers.
There are specific bedding pellets that you can buy for your rabbit. They are often pricey, but are a good, safe option. These pellets are usually made from wood or paper. They are absorbent and tend to help reduce odor if your rabbit has any accidents in their bedding.
How to choose your rabbit’s bedding
The most important thing to consider when choosing your rabbit bedding is whether it is safe for your rabbit. Rabbits will enjoy a comfy place to rest, but they also tend to get mischievous. As a responsible rabbit owner, you need to be on the defense when it comes to the items you place in your rabbit’s home.
Your bunny will love and appreciate you for providing them with extra comfort. Just make sure that it is safe for them. So, what are the important things to keep in mind?
This needs to be at the top of your list of qualifiers when choosing your rabbit’s bedding. Your rabbit bedding needs to be non-toxic.
In the case of using a towel or something that’s a slightly higher risk of causing issues should your rabbit ingest it, you need to be more attentive to your rabbit. If they are chewing and eating the item, get rid of it.
You can attempt to train your rabbit to keep them from chewing on things they shouldn’t. However, rabbits love to chew on everything, so this task, while not impossible, will require a lot of patience on your end.
The easiest way to make sure your rabbit stays safe is to remove dangerous items from its vicinity. This requires you to be vigilant when letting your rabbit roam free, and be especially mindful of what items you place in their hutch.
To avoid any accidents when it comes to rabbit bedding and toxicity to your bunny, double check on the safety of any questionable items that you place in their hutch.
With a little internet investigation, you are bound to find all the bunny resources you need to make sure that your rabbit is safe and healthy. Just do a quick Google search on the item in question, and if you aren’t finding a consensus, triple-check with a veterinarian.
There’s no shame in asking an expert about what is safe for your new pet. Your rabbit will thank you, and you will have some peace of mind knowing that you haven’t unknowingly endangered your furry friend.
Where should rabbits sleep at night?
I’ve mentioned a few times now that it’s important to have a designated resting or sleeping area for your rabbit within their hutch (or wherever you keep your bunny). Rabbits like to have a place to hide. They will feel comfort in having a secluded area of their own.
Wild rabbits sleep in burrows underneath the ground. While your rabbit is domesticated, its instincts are still there. That means it will want a warm, enclosed, and soft space to sleep in.
Many rabbit hutches will offer a little “rabbit house” which will serve as the rabbit’s sleeping area. You should use a different material as bedding in this area as opposed to what you’ve used in the rest of the hutch.
Having bedding that is different from the material in the rest of your rabbit hutch will ease confusion between the rabbit’s litter and their sleeping area. This will make for a much more hygienic home.
If you’re using the same material as bedding as you’ve used elsewhere, you’ll need to change it often so that it doesn’t affect the rabbit’s health or fur.
Many bedding options are absorbent enough for rabbits who don’t catch on to having a specific litter area. Absorbent bedding options will protect your rabbit’s fur and help with odor.
As for the space in which your rabbit should sleep, it should be dark and warm. If you’ve decided not to have a rabbit hutch (which will likely have a designated rabbit resting area), you can use something as simple as a turned-over cardboard box for your bunny’s bedroom.
You could even get creative and make it another way, but just be sure that you use non-toxic materials as we know that rabbits are chewers.
Rabbits keep different sleeping hours than we do. They will often have their longest and deepest sleep in the afternoon. They may also sleep again in the middle of the night. Rabbits tend to be at their most active at dusk and dawn.
Providing a separate and comfy sleeping area allows your rabbit a quiet, dark, warm place to get their much-needed sleep. This way, it won’t be disturbed by the activity in your home during its prime slumber hours.
Final Thoughts: Give your bunny some bedding
While not 100% vital to a rabbit’s survival, bedding will certainly provide some comfort to your rabbit. This makes me say that bedding is a must for your pet bunny.
When choosing your rabbit’s bedding, make sure that you choose something non-toxic as it is in a rabbit’s nature to chew everything.
Yes, that’s right, everything.
Our list provides many options with which your bunny would be happy to sleep.
In the end, the perfect bedding for your bunny will be comfortable and safe. Have fun stocking up and cozying up your pet rabbit’s bedroom with some bedding.