Keeping your rabbit cage a sweet place to live
Bunnies are naturally clean, but they need a little help with their rabbit cage or rabbit hutch, since they didn't have much say in building it. A little daily maintenance and a few periodic chores are all you need to keep things smelling like a rose.
It starts from the bottom up; smooth floors are easier to clean, so if your rabbit cages have wire floors, line them with waterproof bases, then add layers of newspaper, then hay. Rabbits naturally dig, rustle, and scatter, but hay sweeps up easily and absorbs all kinds of dirt and odor.
What goes in a litter box?
Besides the obvious? The type of filler you use makes a big difference in how things smell, and whether your bunny will want to use the box at all. Avoid clay litters, which are too dusty for rabbits. Don't use clumping litter either, because bunnies often eat it, and it clumps in their insides too. Wood chips from pines, such as cedar, may emit gases that are rabbit-toxic.
Shredded newspapers make a fine, inexpensive litter, but you have to keep it clean because it doesn't fight odor. Pellets made from sawdust, such as stove fuel pellets, are affordable and work well. Some are made especially for pets, as are litter products made from recycled papers. Peat moss is a natural winner too. All of these options are clean and safe for your rabbit, and offer a bonus benefit: unlike cat litter, these rabbit litter products can be added to your compost pile.
Once you have your rabbit using the litter box, the rest of your cleaning is easy. Occasionally rub down the box with white vinegar or club soda. If it is stained, soak it. Avoid bleach, which can harm the box and irritate your rabbit's senses.
Rabbits mark territory, so it's normal to find a few droppings around the edges of the cage. You can minimize this behavior by respecting the bunny's territory. Don't disturb the cage contents, and let the rabbit come and go on his own. If you add another rabbit, expect the marking behavior to resume for a while.
If your rabbit continually drips all over the place, see your vet. It's a symptom of a bladder infection.
Rabbit cage cleaning
At least once a week, clean old food, hay, and fur. Thoroughly wash water and food dispensers.
The rabbit cage itself needs to be wiped occasionally. White vinegar or club soda works well. Rinse well with water. Rabbits usually don't like the smell of vinegar, so be sure the litter box itself doesn't smell of it.
Keep cleaning chores in mind when choosing a rabbit cage. Plastic and metal are easier to clean than wood. And don't forget: the more effort you spend on the litter box, the less you'll have to do on the indoor rabbit cage.