Pine and cedar smell great to humans. It helps to prevent the smell of urine and is used sometimesĀ in large and small animal bedding. The rumor is that pine and cedar bedding is bad for pet rats.

The truth is pine and cedar bedding is TOXIC to all small animals. It is not an acceptable bedding for any animal. The chemical in pine and cedar that makes it smell is called Phenol. Phenol can burn the nasal passages, esophagus and lungs of small animals that are constantly housed on it. It makes rats more susceptible to respiratory infections and other illnesses.

The Phenol is also absorbed through breathing and creates damage to both the liver and kidney. This is not only life-threatening on its own but will also damage the immune system of the rats. It is also thought to be a possible contributor to cancer.

I have heard it before “Well, I’ve had my rats on pine or cedar bedding and never had a problem.” I’m sure there are rats that can survive on such bedding, but that doesn’t mean that their body isn’t suffering the ill effects. I believe in giving my pets the best possible chance at a healthy life.

There are healthy alternatives! Check out my post on bedding.

Pet Rat Cages Part 1 BEDDING