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.
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. “
“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.”
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.”
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.
(Here’s some advice from old books, if you have spotted more advice in books please let us know, email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Hamsters – Sue Fox ISBN 9780793837687
My Hamster – Peter Fritzsche ISBN 9780764137136
Dwarf Hamsters – Sharon Vanderlip ISBN 9780764110856
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
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: email@example.com 24th March 2021
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?
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.
13th April 2021 Screenshot – Where have those 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.
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.”
“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.”
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
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
Rosewood Soft ‘n’ Safe
Rosewood Play ‘n’ Bedding Pods
JR Farm Kapok Bedding Pods
Kaytee Kapok Nest Chew Pods
Kaytee All Natural Nesting Material
Kaytee Bamboo Nesting
You & Me Bamboo Nesting Material
Nobby Hamster Wadding
Animal Dreams Hamster Wool Bedding
Sharples Kapok Build a Nest
Zolux Cozy Bed
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 onthis page