|One 14l bag of Carefresh bedding will normally last 2-3 months whilst the customer using wood shavings will use 4 or more bags during the same period. Wood shavings are a very poor absorbent and need to be changed every 5-7 days, while Carefresh bedding only needs changing every 3-4 weeks. How much will 4 bags of wood shavings cost versus the one bag of Carefresh for same period? Which product is better?
Wood shavings are commonly used in South Africa as a bedding for small animals because it’s cheap, absorbent and masks the odour from urine. However, there is enough scientific evidence that proves wood shavings (even kiln dried) are toxic to the liver and respiratory system of small animals (http://www.afrma.org/pineproblem.htm). Their time as primary bedding component used by conscientious pet owners has passed.
Many pet owners are looking for safer and healthier alternatives. When you open a bag of wood shavings you will instantly smell the “aromatic” nature of the litter. That smell is where the problem lies. The smell is from the natural volatile chemicals in the wood called phenols. Thus one of your best detection methods for determining an unknown bag of shavings is your own nose! If you sniff the shavings and they smell like a freshly cut Christmas tree, those shavings are releasing phenols. That bright, crisp smell is the chemical compound evaporating from the wood. These phenols in the wood that give it insecticidal and bactericidal properties are also irritants to the lungs and upper respiratory air passages.
The main irritant in cedar wood is plicatic acid and in pine, the main irritant is abietic acid, sometimes called sylvic acid. These acids can actually destroy cells that line the lungs and trachea. Exposure to toxins is a stress on the bodies of small rodents and constant stress can result in depressed or altered immune function. A study done in 1991 found that mice kept on wood shavings for only a month had a more highly reactive immune response. Mice kept on shavings for 8 months developed abnormally enlarged livers. This same study found that mice housed on wood shavings also had a decrease in reproduction rate.
Wood shavings are often defended with the claim that customers are not forced to buy them. However, most pet owners are not aware of the toxins in wood shavings. They assume that if a product is offered for sale, it must be safe. But just because wood shavings have been traditional and popular bedding does not mean they are safe.
At Carefresh® they are devoted to small mammals, their human parents and the environment they all share. They are the only company to craft their bedding from scratch by blending naturally absorbent, reclaimed paper fibers with proprietary odour control ingredients. That’s how all of their products are made for small mammals. They could just shred plain paper or wood, but then it wouldn’t be Carefresh®.
For almost 40 years, Carefresh has been the most popular bedding used for small animals in other countries. It still is. Carefresh is the only natural solution for warmth, absorbency, odour control and it is very easy to clean up.