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Safe Litters

We are approached regularly about what is safe to use as a litter and bedding for rodents. Generally people are sold pine or cedar wood shavings as appropriate bedding and litter option for their small animals however these are the 2 most common bedding types that can cause illness in rats. For more information about these products and why you shouldn’t use them please see our article on Pine and Cedar.

We have used and recommend using one of the below products as litter or cage base cover:

Breeders Choice Litter –

This litter is a recycled paper pelleted litter which is one of the most favored litters for small animals. It has no small particles that could get up your pets nose and cause sneezing and allergy related effects but is great at absorbing moisture and can be used in your garden as it decomposes. Breeders Choice is also easy to obtain, generally at the local supermarket or places like City Farmers. It is available in a few sizes to suit everyone needs.


Old News Litter –

This is the same product as Breeders Choice, made by the same company but can generally only be purchased in places like City Farmers. The Water Bowl can also obtain this product for you via special order.


Wonder-Wheat Litter –

The wonder-wheat litter is another great alternative that is safe for small animals. This product is so safe that is can be eaten without any bad effects. The manufactures also say that you can safely flush this product down your toilet to dispose of it but we much prefer to place it in our garden as it is biodegradable. The Water Bowl can order this product in via special order if you would like to try it. It is available in 3 bag sizes including 4, 8 and 24 Litres.


Kitty’s Crumble

Kitty’s crumble cat litter is 100% Coconut husk (coir) and is safe for rodents. We have personally used this product and have found it to be satisfactory to be used as a litter. The rats tend to enjoy digging in it as it has an almost potting mix type consistency. It isn’t dusty and does well absorbing any moisture. This product could be used for a digging pit also, with treats hidden in it.



We have used hemp in the past and the rats seems to enjoy it, however, it does travel and embed a bit in Polar Fleece Hammocks. Mini-Hemp®, hemp hurd bedding is most definitely a safe bedding option for rats and mice. Hemp has natural oil that contains insect repellants and will prevent the hosting of mites.


Last note

There are a lot of other litters on the market, however, many are not suitable for small animals as they are either dusty (plain cat litter), have clumping agents (are not safe if eaten or have added chemicals and antibiotics that could cause illness in your rats. The products that have been listed have been trialed by us and other rat owners and have been proven time and again to be safe and well accepted with our fur babies.

If you have seen a product on the market that you would like more info on please let us know as we have researched the above products as well as others that are recommended for small animals but have found many fall short of being safe for rats.