Can You Use Shredded Paper For Guinea Pig Bedding?

Sometimes you might need to cut down your cost and so you want some alternative guinea pig bedding ideas. Shredded paper is a very popular bedding option for a small pet.

Can you use shredded paper for guinea pig bedding? Shredded papers are the easy, safe and convenient option to make guinea pig bedding if the papers don’t contain any ink and your guinea pigs don’t eat them. However, shredded papers aren’t very absorbent and they get wet and messy soon.

Shredded newspapers are good absorbent, but there is always the risk that ink can be harmful to your guinea pigs if they decide to eat it.

So, how to use shredded paper for guinea pig bedding properly and safely and what can be a good alternative that saves your money.

Let’s find it out.

What are the Pros of using shredded paper as a guinea pig’s cage?

Can You Use Shredded Paper For Guinea Pig Bedding?

Here are the reasons for which you can use shredded paper as the guinea pig’s bedding.


If you are worried about the cost of guinea pig bedding, shredded paper can be a good solution for you. In fact, you don’t need to pay much for that. However, you may not use it for a long time and precautions should be taken for many causes that I’ll mention later in this article.

Convenient and easy to use

Shredded paper is easy and convenient bedding for guinea pigs. You just have to shred a few papers and put it over the floor of the cage.

Work well

Shredded paper works great if you use it with other liners for guinea pig’s bedding. However, it works better with a litter box than with bedding or covering the whole floor.


Guinea pigs feel safe and comfortable if you use shredded paper in their cage. Some guinea may like to play with the paper whereas some will start eating it which can be bad for them.

Not so dusty

People who are allergic to hay or other dusty bedding stuff for guinea pigs can use plan dust-free paper, as it’s non-allergic. Dust-free materials are also good for guinea pig’s lungs.

Good absorbent

If you use shredded newspaper for guinea pigs cage, you don’t have to think about absorbency. However, you need to make sure that it doesn’t contain any ink, paint, or dust, as eating the newspaper is harmful to the piggies. But, that’s hard to find.

Fun for guinea pigs

Guinea pigs like to play with the shredded papers. They nest in them or tunnel through them sometimes.

What kinds of shredded papers that you should use?

Here are the qualities of paper that you should use to make shredded paper bedding.

Plain paper without ink

Choose plain paper that doesn’t contain any ink or harmful chemicals. So that even if the piggies eat a piece of paper it doesn’t cause any issue.

Though you might be unhappy with its absorbant property, there is no other way. 

Ink free computer paper

As newspaper might be bad for guinea pigs health, You can use plain computer paper. But, make sure there is no ink or we didn’t print it.

Make sure that the paper doesn’t have stickers, staples, or glue.

Stickers, staples, glues, labels, little plastic windows, or any other subsistence that can be dangerous for your piggies if they decide to eat them. So, ensure that shredded papers don’t contain any of these.

Ensure no dust

Some papers might be very dusty that can become bad for your piggy’s lung. So, take papers that have no dust.

What kinds of shredded papers that you shouldn’t use?

Here are the types of shredded papers that you can’t use.

Shredded newspaper

Even though many people find shredded newspapers good for temporary bedding, you should stay away from it. The reason is the ink which might be harmful to the piggies if they swallow it.

Printed paper

Don’t use a computer printer paper or a paper that you have already written on. I mean, no ink, no paint, and nothing at all.

But, you can always pick an alternative that I will discuss later in this article.

How to use shredded paper for bedding?

The best way to use shredded papers is along with a fleece liner. 

Use fleece on the floor of the cage and then spread shredded papers on the top. It works great and absorbs moisture really well.

You can also use a puppy pad or mat instead of fleece in combination with using the shredded paper. Use a matt or puppy pad as a liner and put some newspapers as a secondary liner. Then, spread the shredded inkless paper over the surface.

You can also use shredded paper in combination with newspaper liner only. But, this becomes very thin bedding and is not very good.

However, be careful that your guinea pigs don’t chew the newspaper under the shredded papers. The ink of the newspaper is dangerous for them.

You need to clean this type of bedding regularly to prevent it from getting too wet. Make a daily cleaning schedule.

Shredded papers clump together where they get wet. So, you can take them out easily from those areas and make them clean or put some new pieces of paper.

Another great way to use shredded papers is turning them into paper pulp.

How to make Homemade paper pulp from shredded papers?

If you are interested to make homemade paper bedding, you can do so

First, take ink-less, chemicals free and the types of paper that I have listed above. A white or brown paper bag can be a good choice.

Then, shred the paper into small pieces. You can use shredding machines to make the shredded papers quickly.

Now, soak the water into warm water in a bowl and leave it for at least 8 hours. This process helps to form paper pulp by soaking the water.

After that, take a colander and strain the paper in it. Now, it’s time to dry the paper.

Pick a cooling sheet and put the clumps on them. Leave them for a few days to make them dry.

After the drying process is completed, you need to crumble the clumps into a paper bedding pulp.

Then, put the paper pulp on a towel to dry them more.

As bedding needs the odor-controlling property, you can use baking soda for that.

Though the process seems so simple, you need to do that on a regular basis. It can be frustrating to do that regularly for guinea pig’s bedding. Moreover, it may not work well like other bedding materials. Absorbancy and odor control may not be good as well.

So, I suggest you go for other alternatives paper bedding options that I have listed later in this article.

Why shouldn’t you use shredded papers?

There are many reasons for which many guinea pig owners don’t like shredded papers as guinea pig bedding. Here are some cons of not using it as bedding.

Ink can be harmful

If you use shredded newspaper or any paper that contains ink or sticker or paints, it can be dangerous for your guinea pigs, because sometimes guinea pigs might eat those paper pieces.

Less absorbance property

Since you have to use plain shredded papers for guinea pig’s bedding, you shouldn’t expect a good absorption effect from it. It can’t even wick away urine. Newspapers have better absorption capacity than other plain papers. But, you shouldn’t use it because the ink is toxic for the health of your piggies.

Gets wet fast

Because of poor absorbent capacity, they get wet soon.


As shredded papers get wet quite easily, it’s so unhygienic. You will face trouble cleaning the bedding. Besides, wet bedding is also very unhealthy for your guinea pigs.

Become messy

Shredded papers make the floor of the guinea pigs cage and the entire room where the cage is placed very messy. Moreover, some guinea pigs may feel it uncomfortable as they like flat and clean surfaces.

Gets too smelly soon

Since the shredded papers get wet and become unhygienic easily, a foul smell comes out of the guinea pig cage.

Need to replace frequently

If you decide to use the shredded papers as bedding, you have to make yourself prepare to change the bedding frequently. One layer of shredded may not last more than one hour. I know, it’s so frustrating. But, as it’s not so absorbent, you can’t skip changing routine.

Are shredded papers safe for guinea pigs?

Shredded newspaper isn’t safe for guinea pig’s health as they might eat it that could be harmful to their health. However, many guinea pigs don’t eat the papers. Besides, plain and ink-free shredded papers can be a good option to use on the floor of the guinea pigs cage.

Why do guinea pigs eat shredded newspapers?

Guinea pigs might decide to eat the shredded paper if they are bored or don’t have anything in their cage that entertains them. However, some guinea pigs may chew and eat those paper pieces for fun or without any proper reason.

Eating shredded paper may become bad for guinea pig’s health with ink and even without ink.

If you use the shredded papers make sure they don’t chew. Provide them free space to walk and run and use all the stuff that entertains them.

Top 6 Alternative to shredded paper bedding for guinea pigs

If you like paper bedding for your guinea pigs, it’s better to go for those paper bedding that is specially processed for guinea pigs. These beddings are commonly used and very popular. Most importantly, they don’t contain any harmful inks, chemicals, or toxic substances.

These paper beddings go through various filtering processes that make them safe for guinea pigs. Moreover, they are great at controlling moisture and odor.

Here are some great alternatives to guinea pig bedding.

1. Strand paper pellets

One of the best alternatives to shredded paper bedding is strand paper bedding. This bedding is well known for its superb absorbency, though it’s heavy. It’s friendly for guinea pigs’ paws and safe for their health.

These large granule paper pellets come from reclaimed paper and are processed nicely to make them dust-free and other chemicals. You should buy an unscented variety of bedding.

You have to change them in 5-7 days.

The price is a little bit high, but it’s worth your money.

Product name

Purina Yesterday’s News Unscented Paper Cat Litter

2. Confetti paper bedding

If you are looking for an alternative to shredded papers that’s cheap in price, confetti paper bedding is the best one.

This popular bedding product is 100% biodegradable. They not only look like cotton pellets but also soft and comfortable like them. Though they are cheaper, they can provide great value.

That means, confetti paper beddings are good absorbent and can control odor well.

The fun fact is they are available in different colors.

Product name

Carefresh Complete Confetti Bedding

3. Natural paper bedding

Another great alternative to shredded papers is natural paper bedding. This is also very popular. Natural paper bedding is very expandable. So, one pack provides you with a lot of paper materials. The bedding is comfortable and safe for piggies. They help control bad odor and absorb well.

Though they are pricey, they last much longer than shredded paper.

Product name

Small Pet Select Premium Soft Paper Bedding 

4. Crumble paper bedding

An amazing alternative to shredded paper bedding is crumbled paper bedding that’s made of recycled paper. These beddings are soft and cozy and your piggies will like them. Crumble paper bedding is eco-friendly and super expandable. It’s free from harmful chemicals and dust.

Though it’s heavy, it can control odor and absorb moisture greatly.  

This product is also very affordable. But it needs to change bedding more frequently than other beddings on the list.

Product name

Vitakraft Fresh World Strength Crumble Bedding

5. Unbleached white paper bedding

White unbleached paper is made from natural paper and is also a great alternative to shredded paper. It’s 100% biodegradable and super expandable. This paper bedding is a good absorbent and great to control odor.

However, some brands may have a strong odor. So, when you buy choose an unscented variety for your piggies. Besides, ensure the product has a good absorbency rate.

It’s also safe and comfortable for your guinea pigs.

Product name

Small Pet Select Unbleached White Paper Bedding

6. Soft granule paper bedding

Soft paper granules are made of wood fibers that are processed into soft paper granules that make them highly absorbent. Soft granules are really comfortable for your piggies.

This can be a good substitute for shredded papers.

Also, these paper granules can prevent bad smells from the bedding.

The interesting fact is it comes in a variety of colors.

Get it from a good brand if you want a dust-free product.

Product name

Kaytee Soft Granule Blend Bedding

Is there more bedding than paper bedding?

Paper beddings are just one variety of guinea pigs’ bedding. So, that’s not the end. There are more bedding options besides paper bedding such as aspen shavings, kiln-dried pine, wood shavings, fleece, and others. You may also consider those as well.

Can you use shredded paper for the litter box?

You can use shredded paper for the guinea pigs’ litter box. In fact, it works better as a litter box than as bedding. If you are using fleece as bedding, this technique can be effective to keep fleece dry. They are easy to use and also very cheap.

You can put the shredded paper piece under the water bottle in the litter box.

Should you use shredded paper or paper bedding for guinea pigs?

You may want to use shredded paper to cut down costs for guinea pig bedding. But, this bedding has a lot of downsides. It can’t absorb moisture well and get wet soon. So, you need to replace it frequently. Moreover, it gets messy after a while.

If we compare it with other paper bedding that I have discussed above, it’s so poor in terms of absorbency and longevity.

Natural paper bedding or paper pellets last for 4-5 days. You don’t need to replace them or do much cleaning like shredded papers that need to clean in every few hours. Besides, they are much better absorbent than shredded papers.

So, if you want to use paper bedding, I recommend using natural paper bedding such as Carefresh or small pet select natural papers instead of shredded papers. It’s really worth your money and work.

You can also go for fleece bedding if you want a clean environment and provide soft bedding to your piggies.


You can shred any papers that don’t contain ink and make guinea pigs’ bedding. Ink or any type of chemical that may be used in the newspapers or any type of paper can be risky for guinea pigs’ health because sometimes they like to eat paper pieces. You can go with plain paper such as computer papers that haven’t been printed yet, though you may not be happy due to absorbent property and frequent changes. Si, you can try other alternatives that I have mentioned above to get better results.

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