Can I Use Shredded Paper for Guinea Pig Bedding? Best Tips

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Hello, my fellow guinea pig aficionados! I’ve often wondered over the years of caring for my adorable fur babies: “Can I use shredded paper for guinea pig bedding?”

The answer is a resounding yes! But it’s not that simple.

As I’ve discovered through countless adventures in guinea pig care, while shredded paper can indeed be used, it comes with its own unique set of ups and downs.

And what about newspaper bedding, you ask? Well, it’s a similar story! So, please sit back, relax, and join me on a fun, fluff-filled journey through pet bedding.

Key Takeaways

  • You can use shredded paper and newspaper as guinea pig bedding, but they are less absorbent and less effective in odor control than other materials.
  • Choose safe bedding for your pet with absorbency, odor control, and respiratory issues risk in mind.
  • There’s no one-size-fits-all for cavy bedding. The best choice depends on your guinea pig’s needs and your lifestyle.

Why Bedding Makes Guinea Pigs Happy?

Ah, bedding, the unsung hero of guinea pig comfort and happiness! It’s more than just a soft place for our furry friends to rest. It’s their playground, their comfort zone, and their bathroom.

I’ve seen firsthand how the right bedding can turn my cavy’s cage into a palace!

Types of Guinea Pig Bedding

Here are some bedding options.

Wood Shavings

My first adventure in pet bedding was with wooden shavings. I used aspen, avoiding cedar and pine because they could cause respiratory problems. [1]

guinea with watery eyes but why do guinea pigs cry

It was a splendid choice for odor control and absorbency, but keeping a clean cage was like a never-ending treasure hunt!

Fleece Bedding

Then, I discovered fleece bedding. It was like throwing a fiesta for my guinea pigs! They loved the softness, and it being dust-free meant fewer sneezes.

But, I had to wave goodbye to my free time because of the frequent washing is required.

Paper Bedding

Next, I tried paper bedding. It is a soft, environmentally friendly, and absorbent bedding option. The love story was short-lived, though, as it didn’t quite tackle the odor as well as I would have liked.

Before we dive into the intricacies of shredded paper and newspaper as bedding materials for your guinea pigs, let’s glance at a summary table.

This will give you a quick snapshot of the pros and cons of each material based on my own experiences:

Bedding TypeProsCons
Shredded Paper1. Cost-effective. 2. Allows guinea pigs to burrow. 3. Easily available.1. Less absorbent. 2. Requires frequent changes. 3. Limited odor control.
Newspaper1. Easily available. 2. Recyclable. 3. Safe with soy-based inks.1. Less absorbent. 2. Requires frequent changes. 3. Can become compact when wet, reducing comfort.

This is a quick overview, but remember, every cavy is unique! Always watch how your furry friends react to their bedding, and don’t be afraid to switch things up if needed.

Can You Use Shredded Paper for Guinea Pig Bedding?

Absolutely! It’s budget-friendly and encourages their natural burrowing behavior. But beware of ink, limited absorbency, and strong odor.

The Upsides of Shredded Paper

Then came the shredded paper saga. It was like turning my guinea pig’s cage into a miniature paper factory!

Using shredded paper was cost-effective and allowed my cavies to indulge in their natural burrowing instincts.

The Downside of Paper Trails

But, like all good things, shredded paper bedding had its downsides.

It wasn’t as absorbent as other options, and my nose quickly became aware of this. Plus, I had to use ink-free plain paper to keep my fur babies safe.

Watch how these cavies love their new bedding:


I was donated a large sack of shredded paper which I used for enrichment for a bit of a change from sawdust. They were really excited about it. #guineapig #guineapigs #guineapigcage #guineapigenclosure #guineapighouse #guineapigsetup

♬ Whats This (From “The Nightmare Before Christmas”) – Just Kids

Can You Use Newspaper for Guinea Pig Bedding?

Yes, filling the cage with newspaper is convenient and safe with soy-based inks. But beware of messiness, limited absorbency, and potential discomfort when wet.

shredded newspaper

The Good Times with Newspaper

The newspaper was my next experiment. It was easily available, and I even felt like I was recycling in style! My guinea pigs seemed content with the setup, and soy-based inks kept them safe.

The Messy Side of Newsprint

But the shredded newspaper bedding had its messy moments. It wasn’t as absorbent as I’d hoped, and my cavies’ little palace sometimes turned into a damp fortress.

The newspaper also tended to compact when wet, making it less comfortable for my furry pals.

My Tips for Picking the Perfect Bedding

You can already see how finding the best bedding for cavies is an adventure! Here are some tips I’ve picked up along the way:

  1. Consider absorbency and bad odor control.
  2. Make sure it’s safe and healthy for your guinea pig.
  3. Look for dust-free options to prevent respiratory issues.
  4. Balance your lifestyle and environmental concerns.


What’s the best bedding for guinea pigs?

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer. The best bedding depends on your guinea pig’s needs and your preferences. Popular options include wood shavings, fleece bedding, and paper bedding.

How often should I change guinea pig bedding?

This depends on the type of bedding. Shredded paper and newspapers need frequent changes because of their limited absorbency. Other types, like wood shavings or fleece bedding, can last longer.

Are there any types of bedding to avoid for guinea pigs?

Avoid pine shavings and cedar beddings, as they can cause respiratory issues. Also, avoid any bedding that creates dust.

Wrapping It Up

So, yes, you can use shredded paper for guinea pig bedding.

But, as I’ve discovered, each option has its pros and cons. The most important thing is to keep your cavy comfy.

Watch how your pets react to your bedding choice, and be ready to switch things up if needed.

box full of shredded paper


1. Respiratory problems in guinea pigs – Net Vet [Internet]. [cited 2023 May 27]. Available from:

Alina Hartley
Alina Hartley

Alina Hartley is a small-town girl with a ginormous love of bearded dragons. It all started with Winchester, a baby bearded who was abandoned at the shelter by his former owners because of a birth defect that caused one front leg to be shorter than the other. Alina originally went to the shelter looking for a guinea pig, but one look at Winchester and it was love at first sight. From that day on, Alina has dedicated her life to learning everything she can about bearded dragons. She loves helping new beardie parents start their incredible journey with these magnificent reptiles.
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