Can You Use Newspaper for Chinchilla Bedding[Beware]

Chinchillas are wonderful pets that don’t require too much to raise in a happy and healthy home.

However, part of providing the best care possible is effectively using recommended, safe, and the best options possible for your chinchilla bedding.

It’s why I’m writing this post about a specific bedding option and if you should use it or not.

Can you use newspaper for chinchilla bedding?

I’ve owned a chinchilla for several years now and have tried several bedding options, and here’s what I can tell you on this topic.

So, can you use newspaper for chinchilla bedding? Yes, you can use newspaper for chinchilla bedding. If you use newspaper for bedding, it’s recommended that you have pull out trays where your chinchilla can’t access and eat the newspaper due to the ink and potential toxins contained in the newspaper.

So, while you can use newspaper as one option for chinchilla bedding, it’s certainly not the best route for a few reasons.

I plan to break down the specifics in case you do desire to use newspaper and present alternatives to consider.

I’ve also created easy to navigate links directly below that will you to skip to any specific section of this post that you desire to learn more about.


Here’s what I intend on covering in today’s post:

As stated previously, if you are in a hurry, feel free to use the links above to skip around and get the details you need.

Otherwise, feel free to check out all the details directly below.

Using Newspaper as Chinchilla Bedding

Alright, we started off by saying that yes, you can use newspaper as your chinchilla bedding.

Here’s the deal though.

It’s certainly not at the top of the list or one of my recommendations.

One of the reasons being is that it’s not safe for your chinchilla if it’s accessible to where they can eat it.

You do have a way to make to beat this issue, and that’s by using a wire bottom cage, which I also do not recommend.

The reason being is that wire bottom cages can be hard on your chinchilla’s feet and potentially cause your chinchilla to slip their feet through the cracks in the cage.

However, this would make sure that your chinchilla can’t eat the newspaper.

It’s always important to remember that chinchillas are chewers.

Newspaper would undoubtedly be something they wouldn’t mind chewing if presented with the opportunity.

I mean, they will literally eat anything else, including chewing plastic and even wires while out for playtime if they are not covered.

Better Options and What Beddings Need to Be Avoided

For any of you who read this blog often, you already know the direction I’m going to take this.

I started off when I purchased my chinchilla using Aspen shavings (Link to Amazon).

While this is a perfectly viable route to take, I still have a recommendation that’s even better.

I highly, highly recommend switching to an eco-friendly fleece liner.

I currently use the Piggy Bedspreads that are custom fit, affordable, and super easy to clean.

You can see these fleece liners here (Link to Amazon)

Seriously, you don’t have to buy shavings anymore or other bedding; they are comfortable for your chinchilla, come in several colors and designs, and are ready to go.

I currently use them for my Critter Nation 2 cage (Link to Amazon), which is, by far, one of the best chinchilla cages you can purchase.

Not to mention, the fleece liners are specifically designed for the trays inside of this cage.

It makes life easy for sure.

However, I’m only 1 chinchilla owner, and ultimately it comes down to what you want and what you prefer to spend.

If that’s the case, let’s ensure we at least cover all the bedding options that you should not use.

Not All Bedding Options Are Safe for Chinchillas

While the aspen shavings and even the fleece liners are great options you can use depending on your cage set up; you do have some options that should be avoided.

Here’s a quick breakdown of those for you:

  • Unknown Wood or Mixed Wood Shavings (Not all Wood is Safe)
  • Cat Litter (Can be Toxic if Consumed by Your Chinchilla)
  • Pine Litter
  • Cedar Shavings

All these beddings have likely been used by a chinchilla owner or two in the past, but overall, if your chinchilla does consume any of these options, it can have health impacts on your chin.

Stick to using only the recommend and safe options and never hesitate to speak to a VET qualified in chinchilla care if you have any doubts if bedding you are considering is safe or not for your furry friend.

How Much Bedding Does A Chinchilla Need?

The amount of bedding needed for your chinchilla will vary based on the type of bedding used and the size of the cage.

You want enough shavings that you cover the entire bottom tray to allow the shavings to soak up all urine.

If your using fleece liners instead, you will simply just place the liners on all platforms throughout your cage.

For example, the cage I use that I mentioned previously has 2 levels and 4 total platforms that are vertically positioned.

In this situation, all my ramps and each of those 4 platforms is covered in the custom fit fleece we discussed previously.

If you need a cage like this and need further information, you can read my full review of the Critter Nation 2 Cage here.

How Often Does Bedding Need Changed?

Once per week is the minimum.

The same applies even if you are using fleece liners as opposed to shavings.

After 1 week, urine will begin to produce an odor, and it’s also not sanitary for your chinchilla to remain in this environment after about 1 week.

I detail this more in my post about how often you should be cleaning a cage that you can see here.

If it was me in your position, I highly recommend changing the bedding twice per week.

If you use fleece liners, simply use a shop vacuum such as this one (Link to Amazon) that I use.

You can vacuum up all poop pellets in the cage.

From here, you simply need to get your chinchilla out for playtime and wash the fleece.

If you use shavings, remove discarded the old shavings and place new shavings on the pull-out tray.

It’s easy when you break it down.

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, you should be aware that you can indeed use a newspaper for your bedding, but it’s not recommended.

I highly recommend sticking to aspen shavings and the fleece liners.

It’s cleaner, looks better, and your chinchilla enjoys it more.

Not to mention, it saves you money in the long run.

I wish you the best of luck with your upcoming chinchilla adoption.

Chime In

I love it when the readers chime in and provide additional feedback and value for the readers.

Do you use a newspaper for your chinchilla bedding?

Do you have any other recommendations or precautions that you recommend?

Be sure to share your stories, thoughts, and concerns by dropping a comment below.

As always, Chili and I appreciate you stopping by, and we will see you next time.


Josh Martin

My Name is Josh and this is my 4 year-old female chinchilla "Chili". We created Planet Chinchilla to share all the stories about owning a chinchilla that you need to know. I'm the Author of the eBook "The Ultimate Chinchilla Care Guide, From Adoption and On"

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