Can Rabbits Eat Aspen Shavings?

Categorized as Bunny Diet, Bunny Facts

Last Updated on December 21, 2021 by Rei Garnet

Aspen shavings are one of the safest litters for rabbits because they can eat or nibble on them without experiencing physiological damage. Unlike other common litters like cedar or pine, which can cause liver problems if eaten by rabbits.

Just make sure that your rabbit has a normal diet and not eating aspen as their last option because they don’t have any other choice. Always fill your rabbit’s hay rack with a lot of hay so that they won’t resort to eating their litter shavings.

Now that I’ve given you the gist of the article, read on why rabbits can eat aspen shavings:

Why is aspen shavings safe for rabbits?

The reason why aspen shavings are safer for rabbits is that they don’t have the natural chemical called phenols which are available in other popular litter shavings like pine and cedar.

Phenols can lead to changes in your rabbit’s liver enzymes, which can alter your rabbit’s liver in its ability to remove standard drugs that veterinarians give them like xylazine and ketamine. Remember, when we give drugs to our rabbits, we want the drugs to do their job and be removed from our rabbit’s body.

You can read more about the effects of phenols on rabbits here.

How to stop your rabbit from eating aspen shavings?

If your rabbit is eating aspen shavings, the likely cause is because they’re hungry and aspen shavings are the only option they have. Make sure that your rabbit has enough hay so that they won’t resort to eating aspen shavings.

It’s also possible that your rabbit is eating aspen shavings instead of their food because they’re picky. This is common to rabbits that are fed pellets. Some rabbits dislike certain brands of pellets and would rather eat aspen shavings.

If this is the case for you, change the brand of pellets you’re giving your rabbits or buy high-quality hay like alfalfa or timothy.

Can aspen shavings cause any health problems in rabbits if eaten?

As long as your rabbit is eating the right kind of diet then eating or nibbling on aspen shavings would not cause any major health problems. If your rabbit did develop health problems due to aspen shavings, it’s more likely due to the fact that they are not eating enough hay, to begin with.

If notice that your rabbit is eating their litter bedding a lot, it’s likely due to the fact that your rabbit is craving fiber, and aspen shavings are the only available high-quality fiber in their vicinity.

If you’re sure that your giving your rabbit enough hay and they’re still having health problems from eating aspen shavings, bring your rabbit to a veterinarian. Your veterinarian would know if there are underlying conditions why your rabbits are having health problems from eating aspen shavings.

Cite this article:

Bunny Horde (January 28, 2022) Can Rabbits Eat Aspen Shavings?. Retrieved from
"Can Rabbits Eat Aspen Shavings?." Bunny Horde - January 28, 2022,

By Rei Garnet

I’ve loved and cared for rabbits since I was 9 years old, and I’m here to share my passion for rabbits. My objective is to help rabbit owners give their rabbits the best life possible.