I recently bought a hamster and I've been reading on different types of hamsters bedding to use on it's cage.

Currently I'm using self made paper bedding (made out of toilet paper) but it's quite time consuming to make, considering the amount needed to cover the cage. The most common and recommended paper beddings (like care fresh and cozy n' fun) doen't sell in my country. Actually, there are a very few options (I mean, very few options!) to buy hamster bedding or anything similar.

The most common one, sold in almost every petstore online (local pet store is even more scarce) is wood shavings and this is where my doubt begins. All blogs, petstores, youtube videos, hamsters owners, etc.. All of them sell/use wood shavings made from pine or eucalyptus.

When looking on blogs, youtube videos, etc. general content from outside my country, all of them have completely banned these wood types as they are toxic to the hamsters. No one seems to be using these types and do not recommend. But in my country it's widely used and no one seems to make a deal out of it or complain about any problems.

Wood shavings here is something very very easy to obtai. Some woodshop even give it for free, you just need to go there and take how much you want.

I'm not talking about using wood shaving too small or dusty, they are usually big pieces of wood shaving (considering the hamster size).

So what can I do in this case? Is it really prohibited to use these types? Should I keep only the paper bedding? A mix of these 2 types?

As a last alternative, there is cat pellets, but they are not comfy, are usually pressed wood and do not provide any habilit to dig under.

2 Answers 2


Wood chips are fine to use! I typically have the majority of the cage in about 2 inches of ASPEN chips (any kinds of softwood are harmful to their delicate respiratory systems, this includes pine and cedar) and I give a 6 inch deep side of paper bedding like Kaytee Clean and Cozy or anything unscented for burrowing. Deep bedding is important! Only use aspen chips.


For our pampered hamster who sadly passed away a few years ago (after a long and happy life), we used aspen wood chips everywhere but gave her soft paper bath tissue shreds for her bedding. She LOVED that and preferred it to arrange in her nest for sleeping, much more than the wood chips. It was soft and pliable and she'd spend hours arranging it before curling up inside.

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