American Fancy Rat & Mouse Association

Cedar & Pine Information

American Fancy Rat and Mouse Association
* October 1993 * NEWS FLASH

Cedar and Pine Shavings are
Toxic to ALL Small Animals!

Cedar and pine shavings, the bedding choices most commonly
used for small animals, have been found to contain toxins!

The news in a nutshell

AFRMA - Both cedar and pine contain phenols-that's the stuff that makes them smell good. Phenols are caustic, poisonous, acidic compounds. These compounds cause constant irritation to the nasal passages, throat, and lungs of small animals giving bacteria an easy opening, thus commonly causing pneumonia. Phenols also affect organs such as the liver and kidneys, because these organs are responsible for filtering toxins out of the body. When presented with a large amount of toxins over time, they are unable to filter it all out and begin to fail. An animal with a damaged liver will have a depressed immune system, which can lead to other medical conditions.

Bedding Alternatives!

Fortunately there are a number of good products on the market which take the place of traditional bedding.

Hardwood Shavings:

  • Sani-Chips® - PJ Murphy Forest Products - (201) 316-0800 [Aspen chips]
  • Aspen Shavings - Northeastern Products Corp. (518) 623-3803
  • Shredded Aspen - Aspen Bed I, American Excelsior Co. (817) 640-1555
  • Shredded Aspen - Harlan Teklad [now Envigo] (800) 483-5523

Paper Products:

Pelleted Beddings:

If nothing else is available, less desirable products such as rabbit pellets or corn cob bedding also work. Please ask for additional information.

Updated May 9, 2020