Do You Use Shredded Paper For Hamster Bedding

By | June 30, 2021

Do You Use Shredded Paper For Hamster Bedding?

Whether you're a seasoned hamster owner or a newbie, providing a comfortable and healthy environment for your furry friend is paramount. Bedding plays a crucial role in your hamster's well-being, offering warmth, comfort, and privacy. One commonly used bedding material is shredded paper, but is it an ideal choice for hamsters? Let's delve into the pros and cons to help you make an informed decision.

Pros of Using Shredded Paper for Hamster Bedding

  1. Cost-Effective: Shredded paper, especially newspaper, is readily available and inexpensive, making it a budget-friendly bedding option for hamster owners.
  2. Absorbent: Paper is highly absorbent, effectively soaking up moisture and urine, reducing the risk of ammonia buildup and unpleasant odors.
  3. Comfortable: When shredded into small pieces, paper provides hamsters with a soft and comfortable nesting material, allowing them to burrow and create a cozy environment.
  4. Biodegradable: Unlike some other bedding materials, shredded paper is biodegradable, making it an eco-friendly choice that can be easily composted or disposed of.

Cons of Using Shredded Paper for Hamster Bedding

  1. Can Be Dusty: Shredded paper can generate dust particles, which can irritate your hamster's respiratory system, especially if they have allergies or sensitivities.
  2. May Not Hold Burrowing Shape: Unlike materials such as shredded aspen or fleece, shredded paper lacks structure and may not retain burrows well, making it less suitable for hamsters who enjoy digging and tunneling.
  3. Can Tear Easily: Shredded paper is susceptible to tearing, which can make it difficult for hamsters to create a sturdy and secure nest.
  4. Potential for Ink Toxicity: Some types of paper, especially glossy or colorful paper, may contain ink that can be toxic to hamsters if ingested.

Safer Alternatives to Shredded Paper

If you are concerned about the potential drawbacks of using shredded paper, consider these alternative bedding materials:

  • Shredded Aspen: A natural and absorbent material that provides excellent insulation and burrowing opportunities.
  • Fleece: A soft and comfortable fabric that can be washed and reused, reducing waste and odor.
  • Paper Pellets: Made from recycled paper and compressed into pellets, providing absorbency and a structured environment for burrowing.


Shredded paper can be a viable bedding option for hamsters, offering cost-effectiveness, absorbency, and comfort. However, it is crucial to consider potential drawbacks such as dustiness, lack of burrowing structure, and ink toxicity. If these concerns outweigh the benefits, explore alternative bedding materials that better suit your hamster's needs and provide a safe and healthy environment.

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