What To Put On The Bottom Of A Bird Cage

Last Updated on April 12, 2023 by

If you’re the proud owner of a feathered friend, then ensuring they have a comfortable and safe living space is essential. One important aspect of bird care is choosing what to put on the bottom of their cage. This may seem like a small detail, but it can actually have a significant impact on your bird’s health and happiness.

The type of bedding or substrate you choose will depend on several factors such as the size and species of your bird, how messy they are, and any allergies or sensitivities they may have.

In this article, we’ll explore some common options for lining the bottom of your bird cage and discuss the pros and cons of each one so that you can make an informed decision about what’s best for your feathered friend.

Importance Of Choosing The Right Bedding

Have you ever wondered why choosing the right bedding for your bird’s cage is important? It might seem like a minor detail, but the type of material you use can greatly impact your feathered friend’s health and well-being. Not only does it affect their comfort level, but it can also play a role in preventing respiratory issues or other health problems.

When selecting bedding, there are various options to consider such as paper-based products, wood shavings, sandpaper covers or natural materials like coconut husks. The key is to choose something that will absorb moisture efficiently without producing dust particles that could irritate your bird’s lungs. Additionally, the texture should provide grip so they feel secure while walking around on it.

By taking some time to research and find the best option for your pet, you’ll be ensuring they have a safe and healthy environment to live in.

As you start thinking about what type of bedding would work best for your bird, keep in mind the size and species of your feathered friend. This will determine how much space they need and whether certain textures or materials may not be suitable for them.

Let’s dive into this next step by exploring how different birds require different types of bedding depending on their characteristics.

Size And Species Of Your Bird

Size is an important factor to consider when getting a bird. It’ll determine what kind of cage you need, as well as what type of diet and environment they’ll require.

Species also matters, as some birds are more active, noisy, and require more socialization than others.

Finally, cage fit, diet, health, environment, activity, noise level, socialization, intelligence, training, grooming, toys, perches, and other accessories should all be taken into account when selecting the right bird for you.


Imagine your feathered friend happily chirping away in their cage, but as they move around, you notice the bottom of the cage is completely covered in droppings.

It’s important to choose a size appropriate for your bird species when selecting what to put on the bottom of a bird cage.

Different birds have different needs and behaviors; larger birds require more space and may need deeper bedding while smaller birds can get by with less coverage.

By taking into account the size of your bird and its specific requirements, you’ll ensure that not only will cleaning be easier but also that your pet will live comfortably.


Now that we’ve covered the importance of size when it comes to choosing bedding for your bird cage, let’s delve into another crucial factor – species.

Just like how different birds require various sizes of cages, they also have unique needs when it comes to their bedding.

Some birds prefer soft materials while others need coarser textures for their feet.

Additionally, certain species may be more prone to respiratory issues if the wrong type of material is used on the bottom of their cage.

By considering your bird’s specific requirements based on its species, you can ensure that your feathered friend will not only be comfortable but also healthy in its living environment.

Cage Fit

Now that we’ve covered the importance of bedding size and species, let’s move on to another crucial factor – cage fit.

Just like how different birds require unique sizes of cages and specific types of bedding materials, they also need their cages to be appropriately sized for their species.

A cage that is too small can cause stress, boredom, and physical health problems, while a cage that is too large may make your bird feel overwhelmed or anxious.

By selecting an appropriate-sized cage based on your bird’s needs and habits, you can create a secure environment where it feels comfortable, safe, and happy.

Messiness Level Of Your Bird

Now that you’ve determined the size and species of your bird, it’s time to consider what to put on the bottom of their cage. The type of substrate you choose will not only affect the cleanliness of your home but also the health of your feathered friend.

Firstly, let’s discuss some options for substrate:

  1. Newspaper or paper towels – This option is affordable and easy to replace frequently.

  2. Wood shavings or chips – These can be purchased at pet stores and provide a natural feel in the cage. However, avoid cedar as it can irritate your bird’s respiratory system.

  3. Pelleted bedding – Made from recycled newspaper or cardboard, this option is highly absorbent and reduces odor.

Consider the messiness level of your bird when choosing a substrate. Some birds are prone to throwing food and droppings out of their cages, making daily cleaning necessary.

Other birds may require less frequent changes but still benefit from fresh substrate regularly changed out for hygiene reasons.

It’s important to keep in mind any allergies or sensitivities when selecting a substrate for your birdcage.

Next, we’ll explore this topic further and discuss how certain materials can impact both humans and birds alike.

Allergies Or Sensitivities To Consider

Like a canary in a coal mine, some individuals may have allergies or sensitivities to certain materials commonly used at the bottom of bird cages. It is important to be aware of these potential issues and choose appropriate bedding options for both your feathered friend’s health and your own.

Below is a table outlining common allergens found in bird cage bedding and recommended alternatives:

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Allergen Alternative
Cedar chips Aspen shavings, recycled paper products
Pine shavings Softwood pulp, shredded paper
Corn cob bedding Ground walnut shells, sand

If you or someone in your household experiences respiratory reactions such as sneezing, coughing, or wheezing when near the birdcage, it may be best to avoid using any type of wood-based bedding altogether. Instead, consider using newspaper or plain paper as an alternative option that is hypoallergenic and safe for birds. In addition to being allergy-friendly, this material also allows for easy cleanup and monitoring of your pet’s droppings. Remember to change the paper frequently as it becomes soiled to maintain a clean living environment for your avian companion.

Newspaper Or Plain Paper

If you or anyone in your household has allergies or sensitivities, it’s crucial to consider the materials used in your bird cage. Some birds have sensitive respiratory systems and can develop health problems if they’re exposed to certain allergens. To avoid potential issues, always choose non-toxic materials that won’t cause any harm to your feathered friend.

When it comes to lining the bottom of a birdcage, newspaper or plain paper is an affordable and safe option. Here are four reasons why:

  1. It’s easy to clean: Simply remove soiled paper and replace with fresh sheets.

  2. It absorbs moisture: Paper helps absorb droppings and spilled water, keeping the cage cleaner for longer.

  3. It’s readily available: You don’t need to spend extra money on specialized bedding when you can use something as simple as newspaper.

  4. It’s environmentally friendly: Recycle old newspapers by using them as liners for your birdcage rather than throwing them away.

As an alternative option, some people prefer wood shavings or sawdust for their bird cages. However, it’s essential to ensure that these materials haven’t been treated with any chemicals or contain toxic substances that could be harmful to your pet bird.

Always do thorough research before selecting any material for your birdcage floor!

Wood Shavings Or Sawdust

Like a cozy bed for humans, wood shavings or sawdust can make an excellent cushion at the bottom of a birdcage. These materials provide warmth and comfort to your feathered friend, making it feel right at home. Additionally, they absorb moisture and odors effectively, keeping the cage clean and fresh.

When choosing between wood shavings or sawdust, consider the species of bird you have as well as any allergies you may experience. Some birds might be sensitive to certain types of wood, while some people may develop respiratory problems when exposed to too much dust. In general, hardwoods like pine or cedar are safe options since they do not contain harmful oils that could cause irritation.

As we move on to paper-based products, keep in mind that these alternatives offer unique benefits that might suit your needs better than traditional bedding materials.

Paper-Based Products

While wood shavings or sawdust can be a popular choice for the bottom of a bird cage, some pet owners may prefer paper-based products. These options are often made from recycled materials and come in various forms such as shredded newspaper, pelletized paper, or even cardboard bedding.

One advantage of using paper-based products is that they tend to be less dusty than wood shavings or sawdust. Additionally, birds cannot accidentally ingest large pieces of paper bedding like they might with larger wood chips. However, it’s important to note that certain types of ink used on newspapers can be toxic to birds, so it’s best to use specifically designed bird-safe paper-based products.

Transitioning into the subsequent section about ‘artificial grass or turf,’ many pet stores now offer artificial grass mats specifically designed for small animal cages.

Artificial Grass Or Turf

The advantages of artificial grass or turf is that it’s great for birds to scratch, it’s easy to clean, and it’s economical.

The main disadvantage is that it can be hard to find the right size and shape for your cage.

Maintenance wise, it’s important to clean the artificial grass or turf regularly to make sure the cage stays sanitary.


If you’re considering using artificial grass or turf on the bottom of your bird cage, there are several advantages to keep in mind.

Firstly, it’s much easier to clean than traditional bedding materials like wood chips or newspaper.

With a quick sweep and rinse, any debris can be easily removed without creating a mess in your home.

Additionally, artificial grass provides a comfortable surface for birds to walk and play on, while also reducing dust and allergens that may be present with other types of flooring.

Plus, unlike natural materials that need constant replacement due to wear and tear, artificial grass maintains its quality over time with minimal maintenance required.

Overall, using artificial grass as the base of your bird cage is a convenient and safe option for both you and your feathered friend.


However, while there are several advantages to using artificial grass or turf as the base of your bird cage, there are also some disadvantages that should be considered.

For one, it may not provide enough cushioning for birds’ feet and legs, which could lead to discomfort or even injury over time.

Additionally, synthetic materials can sometimes contain harmful chemicals or toxins that may pose a risk to your pet’s health.

It’s important to carefully research and choose a high-quality product that is safe for use in an avian environment.


Now that we’ve discussed the advantages and disadvantages of using artificial grass or turf as the base of your bird cage, let’s talk about maintenance.

One benefit of using synthetic materials is that they require very little upkeep compared to traditional options like wood shavings or sand. However, it’s still important to regularly clean and disinfect the surface to prevent bacteria buildup and ensure a healthy living environment for your feathered friend.

This can be done with mild soap and water, or specialized avian-safe cleaning products. It’s also necessary to periodically replace any damaged sections of the turf to maintain its functionality and safety for your pet.

Sand Or Gravel

As you consider what to put on the bottom of your bird cage, it’s important to think about more than just practicality. The choice of sand or gravel can actually have symbolic meaning for both your feathered friend and yourself.

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Sand is a popular option that provides birds with plenty of benefits beyond simply absorbing droppings. It represents stability and grounding, reminding us to stay grounded in our own lives as we care for our pets. Additionally, many species enjoy digging around in sand, which encourages natural behaviors and keeps them mentally stimulated. If you choose sand for your bird cage floor, be sure to opt for fine-grain options like play sand or washed masonry sand.

On the other hand, gravel symbolizes strength and durability. Birds that spend time walking on rough surfaces build up their leg muscles and develop a stronger grip – something that comes in handy when they’re exploring new environments outside of the cage! Opt for pea-sized or smaller pebbles if you go this route, as larger rocks can pose a choking hazard.

No matter which option you choose, make sure to clean out the bottom of the cage regularly and replace any soiled material promptly to keep your pet healthy and happy.

Cleaning And Maintenance Tips

Keeping a bird cage clean is essential for the health and well-being of your feathered friend. One important aspect of cleaning is knowing what to put on the bottom of the cage.

There are several options, including newspaper, paper towels, or specialized bedding made from recycled materials.

Newspaper and paper towels are inexpensive choices that can be easily replaced daily. However, they may not provide enough cushioning for birds who spend extended periods in their cages. Specialized bedding can offer both comfort and absorbency, but it should be changed regularly to prevent mold growth and odor buildup.

Whichever option you choose, always make sure to remove any soiled or wet material promptly to maintain a hygienic environment for your pet bird.

When cleaning your bird’s cage, remember to also wash any toys, perches, and dishes with hot water and soap. It’s important to establish a regular cleaning routine to keep your bird healthy and happy.

By following these simple tips, you can ensure that your feathered companion has a comfortable living space while minimizing the risk of illness caused by unsanitary conditions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use Regular Dirt Or Soil As Bedding For My Bird’s Cage?

You might be wondering if you can use regular dirt or soil as bedding for your bird’s cage. Well, the answer is no.

It’s not safe to use these materials because they can contain harmful bacteria and parasites that could make your feathered friend sick. Instead, it’s best to choose a commercial bird bedding made specifically for pet birds.

These products are typically made from natural materials like wood shavings or paper fibers and have been treated to eliminate any potential hazards. So don’t take any chances with your bird’s health – stick with a safe option when choosing bedding for their cage.

Is It Safe To Use Scented Bedding Or Litter For My Bird?

Is it safe to use scented bedding or litter for your bird?

The answer is no. Birds have delicate respiratory systems and can be harmed by strong fragrances found in scented products like candles, air fresheners, and even cleaning supplies.

In fact, any type of softwood shavings or cedar chips should also be avoided as they contain aromatic oils that can cause harm to birds.

It’s important to prioritize the health and safety of our feathered friends when choosing what goes into their cages.

How Often Should I Completely Replace The Bedding In My Bird’s Cage?

How often you should replace the bedding in your bird’s cage depends on various factors, including the type of bird you have and how messy it is.

Generally, it’s a good idea to do a complete replacement every one or two weeks.

However, if your bird makes a lot of mess or has health issues that require frequent cleaning, then you may need to change the bedding more frequently than that.

Keep an eye out for signs of dirty or soiled bedding, such as foul odors and mold growth.

It’s important to use safe and non-toxic materials when choosing bedding for your bird’s cage to ensure their well-being.

Can I Use Recycled Paper Products As Bedding For My Bird?

Yes, recycled paper products can be used as bedding for your bird.

Not only is it environmentally friendly but it also provides a soft and absorbent surface for your feathered friend.

However, it’s important to make sure that the product you’re using doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals or additives that could harm your bird.

Additionally, it’s recommended to change the bedding at least once a week to keep the cage clean and hygienic.

By opting for recycled paper products as bedding, not only are you providing a comfortable home for your pet but also making an eco-conscious choice.

Are There Any Natural Or Eco-Friendly Options For Bird Cage Bedding?

Looking for natural or eco-friendly options for bird cage bedding?

There are plenty of options to choose from!

Some popular choices include wood shavings, corn cob bedding, and hemp fibers.

These types of bedding are biodegradable and compostable, making them an excellent choice for environmentally conscious pet owners.

Additionally, they offer a soft and comfortable surface for birds to rest on.

Overall, there are many great alternatives to traditional paper-based bedding that can help make your bird’s home more sustainable.


In conclusion, choosing the right bedding for your bird’s cage is crucial for their health and well-being.

Regular dirt or soil should not be used as it may contain harmful bacteria and toxins. Scented bedding or litter can also be dangerous for birds as they have sensitive respiratory systems.

It is important to regularly replace the bedding in your bird’s cage to prevent the buildup of bacteria and mold.

Recycled paper products are a safe option for bird cage bedding, but there are also natural and eco-friendly options available such as hemp bedding or coconut coir.

By selecting the appropriate bedding material for your feathered friend, you can ensure that they will live a happy and healthy life in their home sweet home!

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