Pro Tips for Choosing Parakeet Cage Bedding

Pro Tips for Choosing Parakeet Cage Bedding

When I embarked on my journey as a parakeet owner, one of the first lessons I learned was the importance of providing a cosy and safe habitat for my feathered companions. Among the many considerations for their well-being, selecting the right cage bedding was paramount.

As a parakeet enthusiast, I’ve come to appreciate how the right choice of bedding can greatly enhance their quality of life.

What Type of Bedding Is Safe for My Parakeet?

1. Paper-Based Bedding

Paper-based bedding is a popular choice for parakeet owners due to its safety and ease of use. It includes materials like plain white paper, paper towels, and unprinted newspapers. These options are readily available and affordable.

They provide a clean and dust-free environment for your parakeet. Make sure to change the paper bedding regularly to maintain cleanliness.

2. Aspen Shavings

Aspen shavings are another safe bedding choice for parakeets. These shavings are made from the wood of aspen trees and are free from harmful aromatic oils found in other wood shavings.

They are non-toxic and low in dust, making them suitable for birds with sensitive respiratory systems. Avoid cedar or pine shavings, as they emit strong odours and can be harmful to your parakeet’s health.

3. Pelleted Bedding

Pelleted bedding is made from compressed paper pulp or similar materials. It’s an eco-friendly option that provides a stable surface for your parakeet. This type of bedding is highly absorbent, which helps control odours and moisture.

Additionally, pelleted bedding can be cost-effective, as it tends to last longer than some other bedding options.

4. Coconut Coir

Coconut coir, also known as coconut fibre or coconut husk, is a natural and safe bedding choice for parakeets. It is made from the fibres of coconut shells and is free from harmful chemicals.

Coconut coir is absorbent and can help maintain proper humidity levels in your parakeet’s cage. This material is also lightweight and easy to clean.

5. Corn Cob Bedding

Corn cob bedding is another safe and absorbent option for parakeets. It is made from crushed corn cobs and is dust-free, which is beneficial for birds with sensitive respiratory systems.

However, it’s essential to ensure that the corn cob bedding is free from any additives or pesticides that could harm your parakeet.

6. Fleece Liners

Fleece liners are a comfortable and reusable bedding option for parakeets. These liners are made from soft, non-toxic fabrics and can be easily washed and reused.

Fleece liners provide a cosy surface for your parakeet to walk and play on while reducing the need for frequent bedding changes.

7. Plain Towels or Cloth

Plain towels or cloths are simple and safe bedding materials for your parakeet. Ensure that the fabric is clean and free from loose threads or loops that could catch your bird’s feet.

These materials can be changed regularly and are easily washable.

Tips for Choosing Parakeet Cage Bedding

1. Safety First

When it comes to parakeet bedding, safety is paramount. Avoid materials that may contain harmful chemicals or fragrances. Opt for bedding that is specifically designed for birds or small pets.

One such product that’s safe and widely recommended is the Kaytee Clean & Cozy Small Pet Bedding. It’s made from natural paper, is dust-free, and provides excellent odour control.

2. Absorbency Matters

Parakeets can be messy, and their bedding needs to absorb moisture effectively. Look for bedding that can keep the cage dry, minimizing the risk of bacterial growth and odour.

A highly absorbent option is the Carefresh Small Pet Bedding, which is made from natural paper fibres and is virtually dust-free.

3. Low Dust Content

Parakeets are susceptible to respiratory issues, so it’s essential to choose bedding with minimal dust content.

Products like Oxbow Pure Comfort Small Animal Bedding offer a virtually dust-free environment, reducing the risk of respiratory problems in your birds.

4. Non-Toxic and Natural Materials

Avoid bedding materials that might contain toxins or aromatic oils. Instead, opt for bedding made from natural and non-toxic materials.

CritterCare Natural Small Pet Bedding is made from unbleached, chemical-free paper, ensuring a safe and comfortable environment for your parakeet.

5. Easy to Clean and Change

Choose bedding that is easy to clean and change regularly. This not only maintains hygiene but also reduces the risk of infections.

Paper-based beddings like Living World Fresh’n Comfy Small Animal Bedding are easy to replace and keep your parakeet’s cage clean.

6. Comfort and Enrichment

Consider your parakeet’s comfort and enrichment. Some birds enjoy foraging and digging, so you might want to try bedding with added features, like the Vitakraft Fresh World Strength Crumble Bedding.

This bedding is made with paper crumbles and encourages natural behaviours like foraging.

7. Cost-Effective Options

Budget-friendly bedding options that meet all the criteria mentioned above include the Kaytee Clean & Cozy Small Pet Bedding and Super Pet Kay-Kob Bedding. Both are safe, absorbent, and low in dust, making them ideal choices for parakeet owners on a budget.

8. Eco-Friendly Options

If you’re environmentally conscious, consider eco-friendly bedding options. The Healthy Pet Critter Care bedding is made from recycled paper and is biodegradable, making it a sustainable choice for your parakeet’s cage.

9. Monitor Your Parakeet’s Preferences

Lastly, observe your parakeet’s preferences. Some birds may have specific likes and dislikes when it comes to bedding. If your parakeet appears uncomfortable or stressed with a particular type of bedding, consider trying a different option.

Are There Bedding Options That Help Control Odors in the Parakeet Cage?

1. Paper-Based Bedding

Paper-based bedding, like plain white paper or newspaper, has been my go-to option for controlling odours in my parakeet’s cage. This type of bedding is not only safe and affordable but also highly effective at absorbing and neutralizing odours.

It provides a clean and dust-free environment, making it easy to keep my bird’s space smelling fresh. I often change the paper bedding every few days to maintain optimal odour control.

2. Pelleted Bedding

Pelleted bedding, usually made from compressed paper pulp, is another fantastic choice for combating odours. These pellets are highly absorbent, trapping moisture and odour effectively.

I’ve found that this bedding option lasts longer between changes, making it a cost-effective solution. Brands like Oxbow Eco-Straw Pelleted Wheat Straw Small Animal Bedding offer excellent odour control properties.

3. Coconut Coir

Coconut coir, derived from coconut husks, is a natural and eco-friendly bedding option that works wonders in keeping odours at bay.

It is not only absorbent but also helps maintain the right humidity levels in the cage, which can prevent odours from developing. I’ve been impressed with the odour-controlling properties of coconut coir in my parakeet’s cage.

4. Baking Soda

While not a traditional bedding material, I’ve discovered that a sprinkling of baking soda can be a useful odour-controlling trick. A small amount of baking soda placed underneath the bedding or within a designated container in the cage can help neutralize odours.

However, it’s essential to use this method sparingly, as too much baking soda can be harmful to your parakeet’s respiratory system.

5. Activated Carbon Bedding

Some bedding options are specifically formulated with activated carbon, a highly effective odor-absorbing material.

Products like Kaytee Clean & Cozy Extreme Odor Control Bedding are designed to tackle even the most stubborn odours. I’ve found that this bedding goes a long way in maintaining a fresh-smelling environment.

6. Regular Cleaning

In addition to choosing the right bedding, I’ve learned that regular cleaning is paramount for odour control.

I make it a routine to clean my parakeet’s cage, toys, and accessories at least once a week. This not only helps in odour management but also ensures a clean and hygienic living space for my feathered friend.

Can My Parakeet Have Allergies to Certain Bedding Materials?

Yes, parakeets can have allergies to certain bedding materials, just like humans and other animals. Birds are particularly sensitive to dust, fragrances, and chemicals present in some bedding options.

Bedding materials that release airborne particles, such as cedar or pine shavings, can irritate a parakeet’s respiratory system, leading to allergy-like symptoms.

Symptoms of bedding allergies in parakeets may include:

  • Sneezing and coughing.
  • Wheezing or labored breathing.
  • Watery or swollen eyes.
  • Excessive grooming or scratching.
  • Changes in behaviour, like increased agitation or lethargy.

To prevent bedding-related allergies in your parakeet, it’s crucial to choose safe, low-dust bedding materials like paper-based bedding, aspen shavings, or coconut coir. Regularly cleaning and changing the bedding will also help maintain a clean and allergen-free environment.

How Can I Tell if My Parakeet Is Comfortable With the Chosen Bedding?

You can tell if your parakeet is comfortable with the chosen bedding through their behaviour and well-being.

Here are some signs to look for:

1. Relaxed Posture

A comfortable parakeet will have a relaxed posture while sitting or sleeping on the bedding. They may fluff up their feathers and tuck one foot up, which is a sign of contentment.

2. Active and Playful

A happy parakeet will engage in typical activities like playing with toys, exploring their cage, and singing or chirping.

If they are active and energetic, it’s a good indicator that they feel comfortable in their environment, including the bedding.

3. Nesting Behavior

Parakeets that are comfortable with their bedding may exhibit nesting behaviour, like shredding the bedding and rearranging it to create a cosy spot. This indicates that they are making their space their own.

4. Stress-Free

If your parakeet appears stress-free, with a regular and healthy appetite, it’s a positive sign that they are comfortable with the bedding. Stress or discomfort can lead to changes in eating habits or physical signs of distress.

5. No Signs of Irritation

If your parakeet doesn’t show signs of irritation, such as excessive scratching or sneezing, it suggests that the bedding is not causing any discomfort or respiratory issues.


I’ve come to realize that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to bedding, as each parakeet may have unique preferences. It’s important to keep an eye on my bird’s behavior and comfort, adjusting the bedding type if needed.

My parakeet’s well-being and happiness are my top priorities, and providing them with the right bedding plays a significant role in achieving that.

I’ve also learned the value of regular cleaning and maintenance to keep the cage fresh and hygienic. This, coupled with the appropriate bedding choice, ensures that my parakeet can thrive in a clean and pleasant environment.

Written by Justin Michaels

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