large white bird cage with paper bird cage lining

5 Bird Cage Lining Ideas – What To Put On The Bottom Of A Bird Cage?

What to put on the bottom of a birdcage? What birdcage lining is best, and which ones should you avoid? A proper birdcage lining is a dilemma, and there never seems to be a good solution. However, we are here to let you know what does and does not work for us and Coco, our African Grey Parrot.

With over 20 million households having a pet bird, it’s time we figure out a good solution for the bottom of the birdcage.

Over the years, I have tried old magazines, paper bags, newspapers, and, more recently, birdcage liners from a company.

It’sessentialt to keep the bottom of your birdcage clean; using a proper birdcage liner will help you keep the cage clean.  To learn about what our new favorite cage liner is, keep reading!

Why Do You Need To Keep The Bottom Of A Bird Cage Clean?

The cage bottom is often a place where food gets thrown; this will cause mold, bacteria, and other harmful things to grow. Mold and bacterial growth are significant to know if the cage is in a warm climate or outside. Our birdcage is indoors, in a climate-controlled room, so the opportunity for bacteria growth is slim since we clean the cage bottom 2-3 times per day.

A study of 61 healthy parrots that the American Association of Avian Pathologists did find that gram-positive bacilli like Lactobacillus, Bacillus, Corynebacterium, and Streptomyces were the most common. (Bangert, R. L., et al. “A Survey of Aerobic Bacteria and Fungi in the Feces of Healthy Psittacine Birds.” Avian Diseases, vol. 32, no. 1, [American Association of Avian Pathologists, Allen Press], 1988, pp. 46–52.) They took a culture of healthy fecal samples in Psittacine birds and found the gram-positive bacilli in 60 of the 61 birds. Escherichia coli, a gram-negative bacteria, was found in 6 of the 61 Psittacines.

What does this all mean? It means that there is a potential for bacterial contamination from the bottom of the birdcage. These bacteria can grow and spread in a warm environment with old food as a substrate.

A Cage Lining For Birds Is Important For Cleanliness!

To maintain your bird’s health, you need to clean the bottom of the cage several times a day. To illustrate, frequent cleaning and proper birdcage lining will lessen the chances of bacterial overgrowth.

Many parrots, like African Greys, forage on the ground, so you must keep the bottom of their cage clean. Keeping a clean cage bottom allows your bird to ground forage without becoming sick. Using a disposable paper-type material is the most important thing for keeping your birdcage healthy and bacteria-free.

Many people use newsprint or old magazines; however, we don’t like the print that rubs off, we have better options for you! Since most parrots have a long lifespan you’ll want to keep them healthy. The African Grey lifespan is 40 plus years.

After years of trial and experimentation on the best liner for a birdcage bottom, here are our top 5 ideas.

large white bird cage with paper bird cage lining

What To Put On The Bottom Of A Bird Cage? 5 Unique Ideas To Get You Started


BirdCageLiners – Custom Size – 100 Pre-Cut Sheets – Bird Cage Lining

BirdCageLiners - Large Cages- 100 or 150 Sheets - Custom Size - 40 or 60 Pound Paper - Up to 250 Ft of Liners
  • If you purchase one cage accessory, make it our cage liners. They will simplify your cage cleaning and promote a clean and healthy environment for your birds; keeping your birdcage clean is the most effective way to prevent illness. We offer pre-cut sizes or custom sizes (no extra charge for custom sizes.
  • We carry forty and sixty-pound Kraft Paper liners and Poly Coated white paper liners. We use raw Kraft paper made in U.S. Paper Mills. (Please note, this is not gravel paper) Our Liners are delivered rolled and will lay flat without creases
  • Our paper is made from the same material paper bags are made of and are light brown in color; the color makes inspecting bird droppings much easier. Our liners do not contain ink, gravel, grit, dyes nor wax. Birds have an extremely delicate respiratory system and must not be exposed to contaminants. . There are many articles written about the preferred birdcage liner, they all state plain paper.
  • Please measure the inside of the cage pan, not the outside of the cage for proper fitment. You can easily access our entire liner line by typing birdcage liners (all together no spaces) in the Amazon Search Bar. Our Brand is BirdCageLiners, any other brands you see are not produced or distributed by us.
  • forty pound paper, to be used for small birds like Canaries, Finches, Parakeets etc. for Medium Sized Birds use our 60 pound paper and for Large Birds use our Poly Coated Paper. Forty pound paper is 4 times thicker than packing paper.

If you wonder what to put on the bottom of a birdcage? These cage liners for birds are our favorite. By far, this is the best idea for lining your bird cage. I only recently discovered these liners and wished I had them sooner because they make life easier. 

Since many parrots have a dust coat, the bottom of the cage needs to be vacuumed often to remove the dander. Check out this article for a list of non-dusty birds with low dander.

You need to measure the bottom of your cage then they have an option to input your numbers and get your correct size. The next time I order, I will add another inch to all sides because my liners are a tiny bit short.

Most parrots are messy eaters, therefore having a proper birdcage liner is important. To find out what to feed African Grey parrots check out our article.

large bird cage lining

How I use these liners:

I will use one big sheet to line the bottom and then add smaller, more cut-up grocery bags on top. I do this to pick up a few pieces of the smaller paper squares and still have the large birdcage liner on the bottom. (like this video shows)  

To reiterate it makes spot clean-ups easier. If I don’t have any paper grocery bags to place on top of the birdcage liner, I will cut one large liner in half and use that for adding on top of the large sheet. Basically, I put layers of paper on top of the bottom grate. For instance, doing this makes cage cleaning 95% easier.

What We Like

  • You can order any size you want for this awesome bird cage lining.
  • They make cage clean-up up easy.
  • The cage liners for birds are non-toxic and ok if your bird shreds them.
  • If you have a large cage, finding somewhere to store them may be challenging.

What We Don’t Like

  • They are expensive compared to free newspapers.
  • They are thin and will soak through if your bird drops a lot of liquids.


Paper Bags from the Grocery Store – Free Bird Cage Paper Liners

Most grocery stores nowadays offer the option for paper bags. We get these, cut them up to make them into flat sheets, then line our bird’s cage with them. Before buying the birdcage liners above, paper bags were my main birdcage liner. Now I use them to supplement the paid birdcage liner.

The main thing is that you clean your bird’s cage daily, and having a layer of paper on the bottom helps you achieve the level of cleanliness necessary for a healthy bird.

parrot with a bird cage lining


Gravel Paper for Bird Cages

Alpurple Penn Plax Calcium Plus Gravel Paper-16.5x11 Inch Gravel Paper Special for Bird Cage in sea Sand
  • 1.Package include: you will get 10 sheets gravel paper same as market, its enough for you to replace .
  • The gravel paper good for keeping your pets` beak, claws clean and healthy.
  • Perfect size:the size of the gravel paper is 16.5 x 11inch, and it could be cut to the suitable size according to your needs.
  • Warm tips: the particles in paper are sea sand, don,t worry your birds to swallow, and aids in digestion.
  • GUARANTEE: If you are not satisfied for any reason, just return for a refund of your purchase price; we promise 24 hours customer support, please feel free to contact us for any product&order problem.

What is gravel paper for bird cages? Anyone who has a bird knows that its feet are sharp. Gravel paper has a purpose for keeping their beak and claws clean and filed down. 

Sometimes it’s hard to trim your bird’s nails, so instead, you can use gravel paper for birdcages to help with the process. You would not use this gravel paper regularly. However, you can use it once a week to help file their nails.

What We Like

  • The gravel paper for bird cages are not for everyday use, due to the expense.
  • These cage liners for birds will make cage clean-up easy.
  • They are non-toxic and ok if your bird shreds them.

What We Like

  • They are expensive and are not good for every day use.


Brown Kraft Paper Roll – Construction Paper – Bird Cage Paper Liners

Bryco Goods 18" x 1,200" Brown Kraft Packing Paper - Versatile for Different Arts and Crafts Projects - Pin Up Your Work Or School Notes - Create Vision Board for Your Bedroom - Everything in A Roll
  • Ideal for Relocation: This 1 product provides a total of 1,200 inches of paper roll, making it an excellent solution for packing your entire house. This art roll is not only great for moving but also for crafting and shipping needs
  • Strong and Reliable Construction Paper Roll: This brown construction paper roll is thick, durable, and made from heavy-duty paper. It's perfect as a parcel paper roll, providing excellent protection during shipping
  • Perfect Art Craft Supplies for Children: These craft paper rolls are versatile and can accommodate a variety of mediums including acrylic and oil paints, chalk, crayon, markers, felt pens, finger painting, water color, and tempera. A great art product for kids
  • Customizable Bulletin Board Paper: This craft roll, also known as bulletin board paper roll, allows you to cut it down to any size or shape. It's the perfect bulletin board craft paper roll for arts crafts paper roll applications
  • Environmentally Friendly and Multipurpose: Crafted from recycled materials, this craft paper makes an eco-conscious choice for gift wrapping, shipping, and more. It's a versatile crafting paper that suits a variety of tasks

Before I found the pre-cut birdcage liners above, this was my go-to liner. More importantly, you do get a lot of paper for the price. There is also a thicker pink version of this same paper, and over the years, I have tried both. 

We also use this to make foraging boxes for our parrots. We will crumple pieces of this construction paper and add a nut to the center of each crumpled piece of paper.

What We Like

  • Depending on the cage size, you can cut it yourself.
  • They make cage clean-up easy.
  • They are non-toxic and ok if your bird shreds the bird cage lining.
  • The roll is significant and will last you a few months.

What We Don’t Like

  • Since it come in a roll, each piece is curled. Therefore you have to unroll each piece the opposite way until you can get it to lay flat. Otherwise, it will just conform to the roll shape.


BirdCageLiners – Poly Coated – Large Cages – Custom Size

Bird Cage Liners - Poly Coated - Large Cages - Custom Size - Pre-Cut Sheets - Up to 250 Ft of Paper
  • BirdCageLiners optimizing your birds comfort and health. Keep pet cages looking and smelling fresh. BirdCageliners are an easy and effective way to keep bird cages smelling fresh and comfortable. Unlike packing paper or newspaper, our cage liners offer a deeper layer of protection from odors and messes while clean soft and comfortable for your birds. Our liners are four to six times thicker than packing paper.
  • Our sheets are cut to the exact dimensions of your cage pan; no cutting and trying to make the packing paper or newspaper fit your cage pan. Make your birdcage cleaning hassle-free with BirdCcageliners. No more difficult scrubbing of the bottom tray. These liners are easy to insert and remove, saving you time on tedious cleaning.
  • Keep your feathered friends happy and healthy in a clean and hygienic cage with the help of BirdCageliners. Our poly coated liners will not to leak through; the white color will brighten up your cage and give it a clean fresh look. . Our liners do not contain ink, gravel, grit, dyes nor wax.
  • The poly coating is ideal for birds that tend to sit in one place for long periods where their droppings tend to collect and seep through to the bottom of the cage.
  • please measure the inside of the cage pan, not the outside of the cage for proper fitment.

These make excellent bird birdcage paper liners; however, they will take longer to decompose in a landfill since they are poly-coated. They have a paper side and a plastic coating side. Therefore if your bird likes to shred the paper, this might not be a good fit.

On the other hand, since the paper makes a crinkling sound, it might deter your bird from shredding it. Nevertheless, I tried one pack of these poly-coated liners, and I prefer the liners that do not have a poly coating.

I try to live an environmentally responsible life, so if you are concerned about what we put in the landfills, then these birdcage liners might not be the right choice. A good idea may be to use these alongside the paper liners. One idea is that you can place one sheet of this poly liner on the bottom of the grate, then add layers of just the birdcage paper liners on top.

What We Like

  • Cage liners for birds come in many sizes.
  • They make cage clean up easy.
  • A bird cage lining that’s non-toxic, to stand on, however your bird should not ingest the poly paper.
  • The poly backing makes the bird cage lining, so things don’t soak through.

What We Don’t Like

  • They are not eco-friendly.
  • You need to be sure your bird doesn’t eat or shred the paper.

Things You Should Not Use On The Bottom of A Bird Cage

Corn Cob Bedding

Can cause bacterial growth, fungus, and mold. Corn cob is known to be high in mold content; you do not want your bird ingesting or breathing in particles of mold.

Wood Chips or Shavings

You should not use wood chips as a birdcage liner because some have chemicals. A second reason is that they create a lot of surface area allowing food particles to get buried. If there is even a drop of food attached to a wood shaving, it can start a whole colony of microbes in your birds cage. Don’t chance it.


Even though the newspaper is now lead-free and non-toxic, the ink will still rub off. I would not want my bird to get this ink all over their feet and possibly ingest it. I do not think there have been any studies on the health effects of paper cage liners that are newsprint. So, therefore, I would just stay away from using newsprint as a birdcage lining.

Cat Litter

Many parrots are ground foragers, so cat litter is not for bird cages. Primarily, do not use cat litter on the bottom of your birdcage,; the dust can cause problems in their lungs. The cat litter can easily harbor bacteria, mold, and fungus.

Paper Pellets

Although paper pellets are non-toxic, we do not advise that you use them as a birdcage liner. Paper pellets create a lot of surface area, conducive to bacteria and mold growth. Sorting through paper pellets to remove the feces and food will not be easy.

Conclusion for 5 Bird Cage Lining Ideas

Keeping your bird’s cage clean can be tough especially if you don’t have the right tools. Not only is it essential to keep your bird’s environment clean, but it’s also crucial that you use the right materials suitable for their cage. Many traditional cage liners are made with harmful chemicals and are dangerous for your bird. Whether you’re looking for a traditional liner or something more sustainable, we’ve got you covered. So what are you waiting for? Get started today!