When I didn’t clean my rabbit’s cage for a few days, the smell was unbearable! Keeping your rabbit’s cage clean should be a top priority to neutralize the smell and keep your little friend comfortable.
Though cleaning your rabbit’s entire cage may be daunting, here are 5 tips that work and are easy to follow: divide cleaning into daily and weekly cleanings, use a DIY cleaning solution, let the cage air dry in the sun, select a plastic cage, and use absorbent bedding.
Let’s go more in-depth into these tips!
At the end of each day, you will want to do a little cleaning checkup on your rabbit’s cage. This checkup will help your rabbit stay comfortable and healthy. Here is a list of things you can do daily to keep your rabbit’s cage clean:
- Clean the litter box. Believe me, when I tell you, you do not want your rabbit’s litter box to become too full. Not only does it begin to smell, but the feces and urine will stick to the litter box and your rabbit, creating more of a mess the longer you wait. Clean it every day!
- Refresh the food bowl with new pellets. Removing any old food will ensure that your rabbit is eating fresh and healthy food.
- Refresh the water bottle with new water. This is similar to the food bowl. Remove any old water from your rabbit’s water bottle to make sure your rabbit is not drinking anything distasteful.
- Vacuum around the cage. Sometimes stray poop will end up outside of the litter box or cage. I don’t know how, but it does! You may not need to vacuum every day but keep an eye on your floor and vacuum when the poop on the floor begins to become too much.
It’s that easy! Doing this daily checkup on your rabbit’s habitat should keep them healthy and happy. I know when I kept up on my rabbit’s basics needs, we were both happy that she was looking and feeling clean.
Each week you will want to do a more thorough cleaning of your rabbit’s cage. Doing a weekly cleaning will help stop the spread of any mold or bacteria that may be harmful to your furry friend. Here is a list of things you will want to do each week in your deeper cleaning:
- Remove and wash all toys. Washing any accessories or toys in your rabbit’s cage is important for their health. The items that they chew on are of particular importance. Washing them with a safe cleaner will protect your rabbit from ingesting anything they shouldn’t.
- Remove and wash any cloth bedding. My rabbit had this bright pink and orange scarf that she loved to burrow in, but it was frequently covered in fur from shedding. Cleaning any fabric that your rabbit plays in will get rid of that extra fur so that they are not ingesting it. Preventing hairballs will help prevent digestion problems in the future.
- Wash the inside of the cage. Wipe down every part of your rabbit’s cage with water or a safe cleaning agent. This will prevent any urine from soaking into the material of the cage.
- Disinfect the cage. Using a rabbit safe solution or the DIY solution below, disinfect the cage. This will prevent the spread of any mold or harmful bacteria.
- Wash food bowl and water bottle. Remove the food bowl and water bottle from your rabbit’s cage and throw them in the dishwasher. Cleaning those dishes will help prevent the spreading of mold and bacteria.
- Replace litter. Though you’ve been cleaning the litter box every day, you’ll want to empty the box, wipe it down, and replace it with new, fresh litter. This will 100% help with any smell problems you may have been having. Plus, your rabbit will love having fresh litter to sit on. I know mine did!
Now you’re finished! Though cleaning your rabbit’s cage may seem a little overwhelming, hopefully breaking it up into two parts has made it more manageable. You’ve got this! And your little friend will be grateful you do!
How to Set up a Rabbit Litter Box in 10 Steps is an article I wrote about the easiest methods you can use to set up your rabbit’s litter box. These are tips I wish someone would have told me before getting a pet rabbit!
DIY Rabbit-Safe Cleaning Solution
When cleaning your rabbit’s cage, you should be very careful with the products you use. Most pet stores will have animal-friendly cleaning products, but with this tip, you won’t even need to go to the store!
What you need:
Simply mix the water and vinegar together to have your rabbit-safe cleaning solution! There is no set measurement, but a 50/50 ratio is suggested. If you do not like the smell of vinegar, you can do a 25/75 ratio instead. To make it spread more easily, place the solution into a spray bottle.
If you are working on a harder stain and the solution doesn’t seem to be working, put some baking soda on the stain with the DIY solution. The fizzing will help break up the hard stain.
Air Dry Cage in the Sun
After cleaning and disinfecting your rabbit’s cage, consider letting it air dry outside in the sun. Letting it air dry in the sun will remove any remaining bacteria. Additionally, the sun will warm up the cage a little and be extremely comfortable for your rabbit.
Sometimes, I would hose down my rabbit’s cage and leave it to dry in the sun. During the dry time, my siblings and I would play with my rabbit for a long time. Afterward, she would be so tired and ready for a warm nap in her newly cleaned cage. Letting her cage air dry in the sun was the best!
Choosing the right cage is a big responsibility. Do you get the wood one or the plastic one? If you’re looking for a cage that is easy to keep cleaning, plastic is the one for you!
Though a wood cage may look nicer, it is much more difficult to clean. Water, urine, and feces can stain, stick, and become absorbed into the wood. As everything becomes absorbed into the wood, your rabbit’s cage will begin to smell and bacteria may begin to build up.
Plastic will be much easier to clean as any wet substances will not stick and will wipe off with ease. The only trouble a plastic cage may present is stained plastic. If the cage is not cleaned every week, your rabbit’s urine may stain the plastic. However, using the DIY solution above or a rabbit-safe cleaning spray, the stain should not be too hard to get off.
Not only does bedding make your rabbit feel more comfortable, but it will also absorb liquids and prevent stains and unpleasant smells. Rabbits often burrow in their bedding, keeping them warm and happy. If your rabbit uses hay as bedding, it will also be nutritional!
Additionally, rabbits will not exclusively use their litter box. Unneutered rabbits will often mark their territory with urine, while some will urinate or poop as they eat or sometimes sleep. Having bedding inside their cage and in the tray of the cage will help control any urine or poop that does not make it in the litter box.
TIP: Many people aren’t sure where to start when choosing the right bedding for their pet rabbit. Ask the Vet: Is Newspaper Safe for a Rabbit Cage? is a great article to read if you are wondering if you can use up those stacks of newspapers from your sunroom.
When choosing bedding, be sure that whatever you chose will not be toxic for your rabbit as they will often chew or feed on the bedding. Here are some great options for bedding:
- Hay. Great for the nutritional value! Not so good for absorbing liquids.
- Straw. Although this is a cheaper option than hay, it does not have as much nutritional value.
- Blank paper. An easy choice as you probably have some on hand! Avoid papers with ink as they can be toxic.
- Brown paper bags. Like paper, easy option! This one might be good to tear up for easier burrowing.
- Cardboard. Great for absorbing! Same as paper bags. You may want to cut this up.
- Aspen wood shavings. This springy wood is a fantastic absorbent. Make sure you get it from a pet store. If you get it from a lumber yard, it may not have been sanitized yet.
- Wood pellets. Although this may be more expensive than the wood shavings, they do absorb more urine and odor.
- Old sheets. A great option for absorbing! But if you place this in your rabbit’s cage, make sure they are not ingesting any string when they chew on the sheets.
- Old towels. Same as the sheets. Fantastic for absorbing! Watch out for strings.
- Old rugs. Same as sheets and towels. Watch for strings.
Placing bedding in your rabbit’s cage or in the bottom tray of the cage will absorb any stray liquids, control the odor, and is easy to clean up. When cleaning your rabbit’s cage each week, be sure to remove, wash, and replace any bedding. Doing so will prevent bacteria from spreading.
Believe me when I say bedding is a requirement for a happy rabbit! My rabbit loved when I brought hay home for her to eat and burrow in and I loved not having to scrub too hard on her cage!
- Concrete vs. Grass: What Is Best for a Rabbit Run? – Now that you have your rabbit’s cage squared away, it’s time to consider having an outdoor rabbit run to help your rabbit stay healthy and safe. This article helps you with the very first (and very important) decision you’ll have to make about building their run—picking the substrate to use. This article also covers some really cool things to put inside the rabbit run once it’s built!