Fluffy Bedding Dangers

Blockages – The material cannot be digested properly and can cause what seems like constipation.


Respiratory issues – The material can enter the lungs and cause respiratory problems, which is incurable as antibiotics don’t remove the substance itself. It is a slow and painful death.


Pouch trapping– It can become lodged in the pouch potentially leading to infection.


Choking – There have been many reports of hamsters found dead with fluffy bedding stuck in their mouth blocking their airway.


Limb trapping – It can also be too harsh to pull apart for small creatures, and when they exit their nest to get food or water, their limbs can become trapped. And with their natural instinct, they pull on it until their limbs can get dislocated. Some people have even reported their pets gnawing their own limbs off to free themselves.


The above list is taken from – https://web.archive.org – hamsteradvice.com/ban-fluffy-bedding

Animal Welfare organisations such as The RSPCA, Blue Cross and Royal Veterinary College strongly advise against the use of fluffy bedding but many retailers are either unaware or are ignoring this advice that exists from the most reputable sources available.


Furthermore, the public and retailers are being led to believe the word of the manufacturers that fluffy bedding is safe as is often claimed on the packaging, but this is contrary to the evidence and advice that exists.


In addition to The Animal Welfare advice there are many testimonials from the public saying that fluffy bedding has caused injury or death to their pet.


If you are using fluffy bedding please don’t take the risk. Do you really expect your hamster to remove every small fibre from their cheeks! As well as intestinal blockage it could cause a respiratory infection or get trapped around a limb causing serious injury.


Instead, use safe paper based bedding that looks like tissue clumps, it’s the best type that can hold up the structure of a burrow. It’s important that you give your hamster the ability to dig and build a burrow where they can sleep, just like they would in the wild.

Examples of Published Advice




Do not provide them with nesting materials that can separate into thin strands such as cotton wool or similar ‘fluffy’ bedding products. They pose a serious risk to the health and welfare of your pet. “


RSPCA Cage Advice Fluffy Bedding is Serious Risk


rspca rodents hamsters/environment


Similar Advice for Gerbils


Don’t give them nesting materials that separate into thin strands, e.g. cotton wool or similar ‘fluffy’ bedding products. They pose a serious risk to their health and welfare, due to the possibility of entanglement or ingestion.”


RSPCA gerbils/environment





“Fluffy beddings – such as cotton wool, kapok, and bamboo fluff, these are often marketed as safe for hamsters but can cause injuries by getting wrapped around their legs, and life-threatening gut blockages if ingested.” 


PDSA Hamster Guide



Blue Cross


“Avoid fluffy bedding, such as hamster wool, as this could wrap around your hamster’s limbs and cause stomach problems if eaten.”


Blue Cross Hamster Care



Royal Veterinary College


“A nest box should also be provided as a retreat, with paper or hay bedding. Fluffy Bedding should not be used as bedding material as this can be easily impacted in cheek pouches.”


rvc documents – Syrian-Hamster-Care-Advice-2020.pdf


Royal vetenary college warning against fluffy bedding for hamsters


Since being presented with the kapok bedding ingestion evidence The RVC changed their advice. The old leaflet just referred to cotton bedding, the advice from the RVC is now updated to include the wider term “fluffy bedding”. Dr Joanna Hedley has also confirmed that “fluffy bedding is not recommended and can carry a serious risk of obstruction if ingested


The RVC are also including Poppy’s Post Mortem evidence to be used in lectures to educate veterinary students.


The Royal Veterinary College have Published Poppy’s Post Mortem Evidence showing the fluffy bedding ingestion issue Here.





“Fluffy bedding is dangerous for hamsters. Plain toilet paper is also a cheap, safe option, but not straw as it is very dry and they may choke on it.”


wikipedia Hamster


“Avoid materials that separate into thin strands when chewed (such as cotton wool or similar ‘fluffy’ bedding products), as entanglement or ingestion poses a serious health risk to hamsters.”


wikipedia Roborovski_dwarf_hamster



Fluffy Bedding and The Animal Welfare Act


The RSPCA’s advice PDF saying that fluffy bedding is a “serious risk” is on a page titled “A suitable environment for hamsters”


rspca hamsters environment


Hamsters are protected by The Animal Welfare Act, it makes owners and keepers responsible for ensuring that the welfare needs of their animals are met. The Law is clearly stated on gov.uk as seen below, the need for:

  •  for a suitable environment (place to live)
  •  for a suitable diet
  •  to exhibit normal behavior patterns
  •  to be housed with, or apart from, other animals (if applicable)
  •  to be protected from pain, injury, suffering and disease



It is a criminal offence to ignore the requirements of The Animal Welfare Act: – to provide a suitable environment and to protect your pet from pain, injury and suffering. When selling unsuitable products retailers are misleading you as a customer to break the law.



Other Resources


(Here’s some advice from old books, if you have spotted more advice in books please let us know, email: info@hamsterwelfare.com)


Fluffy Bedding Dangerous Warning Hamster book sue fox

Hamsters – Sue Fox ISBN 9780793837687


Hamsater book warning that fluffy bedding is dangerous

My Hamster – Peter Fritzsche ISBN 9780764137136


Dwarf hamster book fluffy bedding dangers

Dwarf Hamsters – Sharon Vanderlip ISBN 9780764110856


Entanglement Issue




Ingestion Issue


It is natural behaviour for a hamster to transport bedding in their cheek pouches, but as can be seen in the video below there seems to be some trouble removing the fibre. Can you really expect a hamster to remove every single fibre from their cheeks?




It is Said that Fluffy Bedding Sticks to the Inside of a Hamsters Cheeks


“”I urge people to put a small amount of this bedding into their mouth. Just a tiny bit. Then remove it. You will find that the fabric sticks to the sides, and this is no different with an animal.” change.org – 1 million + Lives put at risk


Rosewood Soft n Safe Bedding

Rosewood Soft ‘N’ Safe


Dean Barratt – The Product Manager at Rosewood Pet Products expressed that there may be an issue with Soft n Safe:


“With hindsight maybe this was a unwise choice of name – you do put the product on a pedestal but it was done for the best of reasons. Based on feedback from other people then changing the name may be sensible and we are looking at this with other changes to the packaging.”



Pets at Home – Please Publish my Review 


Email sent to: cservice@petsathome.co.uk 24th March 2021


Dear Sir / Madam


On the 7th March I submitted a review to be published on this product page https://www.petsathome.com/shop/en/pets/rosewood-naturals-soft-n-safe-bedding-20g


I received a verification email that I verified and received a confirmation of that. Your website said it would be published within 3- 7 days it has now been 17 days. The review is below:


By Mark Diner from Bournemouth on 7/3/2021


Your Rating: 1 stars


Headline: RSPCA say fluffy bedding is a “Serious Risk” my Hamster died


I have receipts to show I bought this product from Pets at Home. My Hamster Poppy died after ingesting this bedding and Cellmark Forensics confirmed it was this bedding. At Post Mortem the vet found a 1-2cm total impaction of the fibre in Poppy’s colon and their was a ruptured colon, she must have died in agony. The Royal Veterinary College Published this evidence. The RSPCA say Fluffy Bedding is a “Serious Risk” due to the possibility of entanglement or ingestion this product is “full of fluffy cellulose fibres” and sadly Poppy ingested this bedding!’


I had assumed that it was just a delay, but have since seen that you have published another (negative) review from someone who submitted after me.


It is a surprise to me that you are prepared to publish other people’s reviews (even when negative) and you won’t publish mine. I hope this is just an honest oversight at your end and that you will publish my review. I was a customer of yours (I have the receipts) and should be able to review a product like everyone else. It is also important for future customers to be able to see other people’s experience, all the facts contained in mine are verified.


Please let me know either way if you plan on publishing?


Your Sincerely


Mark Diner


Pets at Home – 1 Star Reviews have Mysteriously Vanished!


Since seeing a couple of the 1 star reviews being removed I started taking screenshots. Now these Four reviews (see below) have been removed. As a vanishing act it’s more like Paul Daniels than David Blaine!


(Written 13th April 2021) Pets at Home – If you showed your customers the truth they would see seven negative reviews in a row (including mine) on this page, it currently looks like the last three reviews were all positive, but this wasn’t the case. I think people would agree that your customers deserve to see the truth about this product, and that I deserve the justice of having my experience shown, my experience is based on verified facts i.e. the truth.  Poppy my hamster died in agony because of this product, she deserves for her story to be told on your reviews. You are thinning out the negative reviews and further giving a false impression regarding the safety of this product.


Pets at home delete reviews example


13th April 2021 Screenshot – Where have those reviews gone?


where have the reviews gone




Ground Breaking Evidence Showing The Fluffy Bedding Ingestion Issue


Poppy a six month old Syrian Hamster suffered a slow and painful death after ingesting a brand of fluffy bedding called Rosewood Soft ‘n’ Safe. Originally thinking it was just constipation and attending the vets five times, Poppy only did one faeces in 10 days and died at the vets whilst waiting for an operation to free a suspected blockage. The owner asked for a Post Mortem and they retrieved a 1 – 2cm sample of fibre from her colon and she had a ruptured colon, poor Poppy must have died in agony. The fibre was then collected by Cellmark Forensics who forensically tested the fibre and found it to be the fluffy bedding that was used.


The below evidence, hundreds of negative reviews, a change.org petition with over 8000 signatures. “Serious Risk” advice from The RSPCA, advice from The Blue Cross and the Royal Veterinary College. Also, a simple google search of “Fluffy Bedding Hamsters” that brings up a whole page of concerning results. The combination of all this has helped to remove fluffy bedding from being sold at many retailers, such as Jollyes, Pets Corner, Petstop Ireland, ASDA and more, but not everyone. We need to continue to share the advice and evidence to finally get fluffy bedding removed for good.


  • In September 2020, Mark Diner showed retailers Poppy’s Post Mortem Evidence and advice from The RSPCA.
  • In February 2021, Solicitors – Advocates for Animals wrote to the remaining major retailers in The UK and showed them further advice from reputable sources.


UK Retailers who have removed Fluffy Bedding:

  • ASDA
  • Jollyes
  • Sainsburys
  • Pets Corner
  • B&M
  • Amazon (Approx 15 listings)
  • Pet Stop Ireland
  • Omlet
  • Viovet
  • Pet Things
  • Farm and Pet Place
  • Pet Planet
  • The Hay Experts
  • Barks and Bunnies
  • Dike & Son
  • Pet Care by Post
  • Notcutts


It is of great concern that some of the largest retailers in the country are ignoring the welfare advice that exists from the most reputable sources possible


The below retailers continue to ignore the animal welfare advice regarding fluffy bedding:



Fluffy Bedding Letter and Evidence Sent to Retailers


(Please click on the letter to open up the full letter and evidence). This letter which contains Poppy’s Fluffy Bedding ingestion evidence, has educated many retailers and they have taken the decision to stop selling fluffy bedding for good. Retailers such as Jollyes, Petstop in Ireland, Viovet, Omlet, The Hay Experts and others have taken the decision to remove Soft n Safe and all other types of fluffy bedding. You are welcome to download this letter and evidence and email it to other retailers that you see selling fluffing bedding, this will help to share Poppy’s story and help spread awareness of the fluffy bedding ingestion issue. Alternatively, ask your local store to take a look at the advice and evidence on this page and send them the link.


After inviting Mark Diner to their offices where he had a two hour meeting, Rosewood Pet Products appointed a solicitor to write to Mark Diner, it included their opinion on the evidence and said:


For the avoidance of doubt, our client has nothing to hide from in its open and transparent correspondence with you.”


“You referred to building a website that publishes all of the evidence. As we have already mentioned, our client has set out its position in an open and transparent way and we trust that any such publication will include the balanced views of both parties.”


“Our client’s position is that you are entitled to publicise this complaint in a lawful, correct and balanced manner”


The letter tells Poppy’s Story and shows the balanced views of both parties you can also access the letter and ground breaking evidence by clicking here.




Fluffy Bedding Ingestion Clinical Notes and Post Mortem 


“Midline incision made approx 3cm through linea alba. Facecal material present in abdominal cavity. Stomach – small amount of yellow digesta.


Small intestines – NAD


Large intestines – hairball/fibrous material located in ascending colon approx 2cm x 1cm and total impaction. Gut mottled and signs of ischaemia. Rupture of colon. Sample of digesta retained.


Multiple incisions made along colon and hair present ++ at all locations.


Rest of abdomen NAD. Stitched up monocryl.


Material that was found in the colon is in a pot in the fridge.”


Please click here to access the full report







Cellmark Forensics Laboratory Report


Interpretation & Conclusions


“Kapok fibres were found within the material (AM-01, CELC00071905) recovered from the large intestine of Poppy, the hamster.


These fibres are indistinguishable in microscopic appearance to those recovered from within the packaging labelled ‘Rosewood Naturals Soft ‘N’ Safe Bedding’, (AM-02, CELC00071904), which was purchased by Mark Diner.


In my opinion, the findings are entirely as I might expect if Poppy the hamster had ingested the bedding material purchased and used by her owner, Mark Diner.”




The full report can be accessed here.








Change.org Petition Asking Wilko to Stop Killing Hamsters with 8000+ Signatures


A Petition was started before Poppy’s evidence asking Wilko who also sell Soft ‘n’ Safe to stop killing hamsters, it has many thousands of signatures but Wilko continue to sell this fluffy bedding product. It has a different label with Wilko’s branding but it is the same kapok bedding distributed by Rosewood Pet Products.









A Similar Ingestion Case Showing the Same Wet Tail Symptoms as Poppy is Discussed on mumsnet



“Riv12345 Mon 10-Feb-20 00:14:03


Hi I would just like to warn people of the fluffy hamster bedding you get in pet shops.


My gorgeous little golden teddy bear hamster passed away yesterday due to eating the fluffy bedding and it getting stuck she was unable to pass it, even with vet treatment and laxatives. She was only 7 months old.

Took her to vets last week as I noticed she was very quiet not coming out day or night. Also few hours behold vet appointment I noticed her tail was wet. Vet treated her for wet tail. I was still worried after about a day she still wasn’t eating and drinking, seeing or pooping! Took her bk to vets saw a head vet who examined her and said she is bunged up she said it is prolapse or she’s eaten something. Gave her an anaesthetic – Result was the hamster bedding inside her. Sent home with laxatives. 3 days later she was gone!!! It’s awful I am so upset can’t believe my little lady has gone. Please beware everyone about this fluffy bedding I would hate for your hamsters to go through what my gorgeous little girl went through.
RIP Tilley xx






Some Brands Have Now Discontinued Fluffy Bedding


In addition to communicating with shops we have also communicated with some manufacturers of fluffy bedding. After speaking to some brands and showing them the welfare advice and evidence that exists regarding fluffy bedding there has been some success, and brands such as Pettex, Lazy Bones and Petlife Safebed have decided to stop producing fluffy bedding. Instead the brands are producing safe paper bedding.




Fluffy Bedding That is Still Produced


Walter Harrisons Snuggle Wool Dangerous Hamster Bedding

Walter Harrisons Snuggle Wool




Rosewood Soft n Safe Dangerous hamster bedding

Rosewood Soft ‘n’ Safe


Rosewood Play n Bedding Pods dangerous hamster bedding

Rosewood Play ‘n’ Bedding Pods


JR Farm Kapok bedding for rodents

JR Farm Kapok Bedding Pods



Kaytee Kapok Nest Chew Pods

Kaytee Kapok Nest Chew Pods



kaytee-all-natural-nesting-material-kapok dangerous hamster bedding

Kaytee All Natural Nesting Material


Kaytee Bamboo Nesting dangerous Hamster Bedding

Kaytee Bamboo Nesting



You & Me Bamboo Dangerous Nesting Material

You & Me Bamboo Nesting Material



Nobby Hamster Wadding Dangerous Fluffy Bedding

Nobby Hamster Wadding


animal dreams dangerous hamster wool bedding

Animal Dreams Hamster Wool Bedding



Sharples Kapok Build a Nest Dangerous Hamster Bedding

Sharples Kapok Build a Nest


zolux cozy bed dangerous hamster bedding

Zolux Cozy Bed



Penn Plax Bed Fluff Dangerous Hamster Bedding

Penn Plax Bed Fluff




The Pets at Home and RSPCA “Working Together” Leaflet does not contain the “Serious Risk” advice about Fluffy Bedding from The RSPCA website


When Mark Diner purchased Poppy he was given a leaflet titled “The Pets at Home and RSPCA Guide to caring for your Syrian Hamster” which said they are “Working Together”. Sadly though, it didn’t contain the “Serious Risk” advice about fluffy bedding from The RSPCA website. Mark read that leaflet and relied on it’s advice and if it had contained the serious risk regarding fluffy bedding then he would have known to not give Poppy fluffy bedding. Sadly though Mark continued to purchase fluffy bedding from Pets at Home which Poppy ingested and suffered an exhausting death.


Since Mark highlighted the leaflet issue to both Pets at Home and The RSPCA the leaflet has been changed two times but still continues to deceive the public.



More Information about the Pets at Home RSPCA Leaflet Issue can be seen on this page