How to Clean a Rabbit Cage: Top Tips for Keeping it Fresh

Do you know there are specific steps as to how to clean a rabbit cage? It might seem straightforward but there are certain tips that will make a huge difference to c cleaning their cage or hutch.

If you’re looking to learn the easiest, quickest, and most effective ways to clean a rabbit cage or hutch, then this article is perfect for you!

We’ll go over how to keep a fresh-smelling and healthy rabbit cage by following these simple tips.

Why it’s important to clean your rabbit cage

Just like cats, rabbits are really fussy about keeping clean. That means the cleaner their cage, the happier they are!

Rabbits eat very frequently and poop just as often. That’s why you’ll always see rabbit poop (in the form of pellets) strewn all over at the bottom of the cage.

Mix that stench with the strong odor of rabbit urine and you’ll get a real unpleasant mix! So it’s best to find ways to reduce the small and always keep it clean.

How to clean a rabbit cage and stop the smell of rabbit poop and urine
Source: George Wesley & Bonita Dannells (Flickr.com)

Cleaning out your rabbit’s cage is not something you want to procrastinate. It’s very important that after every two or three days, you clean up all the feces and urine-soaked bedding at the bottom of your rabbit’s cage.

Who knows what kinds of bacteria-infested things he will be stepping onto once given access again? Cleanliness should always come first! The cleaner their cage, the less likely your furry friend will get sick from potential contaminants in the cage or hutch.

And not forgetting, it won’t stink up your home or backyard!

What tools do I need when I’m cleaning my bunny’s cage

So, before you start cleaning, you’ll need to prepare all the things you need to clean your furry friend’s little home.

Here is what you’ll generally need:

  • Small propane burner (you read that right, we’ll get to that shortly)
  • Face mask and gloves
  • Handheld vacuum cleaner
  • Rabbit-friendly disinfectant spray
  • Brush and sponge
  • Towels and newspaper (or old unused clothes)
  • Barbecue brass grill brush

It depends on how big your cage is, but most of the time you would need a broom and dustpan, scrub brush or sponge for cleaning surfaces, gloves to keep bacteria off your hands, and old towels.

You can also use a disinfectant spray like Pine-Sol if you want. To make sure that there won’t be any messes in between, you can also use newspapers or old clothes.

Find an Affordable Handheld Vacuum

Having a handheld vacuum to clean your rabbit’s cage will be a huge help! We’ve listed here the best small vacuum cleaners for rabbits in 2021.

How to clean a rabbit cage or hutch

Aside from their poop and urine, rabbits shed their fur quite often (some breeds shed a lot more wool than others). So, that’s a good place to start – to remove their fur droppings.

This is how I do it:

Step 1: Put on your mask and gloves

Safety and comfort first! Always remember to put on your face mask and gloves before you start cleaning your rabbit’s cage.

It’ll keep you from sniffing any nasty odors and accidentally inhaling their loose fur that might be all over the cage.

Step 2: Take everything out of the cage

The first thing to do is to remove everything from the cage. That means any remaining hay, their water feeder, food bowl, toys, everything! And yes, that includes their poop pellets.

Take them all out and place everything on the ground. It makes your cleaning process that much easier (and faster!)

Step 3: Burn off all the fur

If there is any excess fur that was shed by your rabbit, the easiest and quickest way to get rid of them is to burn them. That beats having to pick them up by hand or struggling to brush them out of the cage.

To do this, use a small handheld propane torch. But wait! Before you turn it on, make sure you’ve removed everything out of the cafe. Especially anything flammable.

Remove clumps of hay or straw before trying to burn. I kept thinking I could burn off the straw, but it doesn’t burn too well and I have to linger in that spot, running the risk of burning through the wire.

Use a screwdriver to pick out the straw or a hoof pick is very handy for digging in the floor wire.

The small handheld propane torch will work but it will take longer. It’s what I use and it takes me about half an hour to burn off the wool and fur on four stacker cages. Got a smaller cage? Great, it’ll take you a much shorter time to burn off all the fur!

Be careful not to let the flame linger in one area. Do not let the wire or sheet metal turn red hot! You run the risk of burning off the zinc coating (galvanizing). The zinc fumes should not be breathed in since they are toxic. You also run the risk of weakening the metal structure or burning through the wire.

Step 4: Vacuum the remaining fur and small debris

This is when a handheld vacuum cleaner will come in real handy. Use the vacuum to suck out all the burnt-off fur and any small debris left behind.

It will keep the cage spick and span before you wash the grills with soap and water. Otherwise, it’ll get grimy if the cage is still dusty when you start cleaning it with any water-based solutions.

Step 5: Use a rabbit-safe solution to clean the cage grills and bottoms

Make sure to use a cleaning product that’s safe for rabbits. Go organic if you can since that’s the safest and most environmental option.

I like to use a long-handled barbecue brass grill brush for scrubbing the cages. It also has a metal scraping bar. It’s small enough to get between stacker cage sections too.

You can also use a refrigerator coil cleaning brush, which looks like a long bottle brush on a long handle. They’re great for clearing those poopy corners.

Once you’re done with scrubbing the edges, use a sponge or wide brush to do a thorough run through the grills and bottom of the cage.

Step 6: Hose it all down with water

Now that you’ve burnt, cleaned, and brushed out all the fur, food debris, poop, and urine, it’s time to hose down the cafe with water.

You don’t need anything fancy, just a hose would do. Got no hose? No worries, just grab a pail of water and wash down the cage a few rounds.

How to make it smell fresh and clean

There are many ways to keep your rabbit cage smelling fresh and clean.

The easiest and most cost-effective method is to use a good type of bedding and replace it often.

The most common type of rabbit cage bedding is hay. This gives your pet something comfortable and soft to sit on while it eats, poops, or just hangs out inside its cage.

Clean a rabbit cage from food leftovers
Source: Nikchick (Flickr)

And because rabbits eat so much, you’ll find that there will be a lot of leftovers all over their cages that could start smelling after some time. So when this happens, simply replace the hay with new ones!

Hay does not cost very much nor take up too much space in the storage area. It can last for months before needing replacement again depending on how often your rabbit uses his cage or hutch daily.

Aside from hay, you can also use other types of beddings like cedar or pine shavings.

Cedar bedding as a replacement for hay

If you prefer using wood shavings instead like pine or cedar chips which are usually much cheaper to buy, do not use too much because it could become toxic in excess.

You might have heard how cedar is a natural moth repellant but when used excessively in your pet’s living space, the scent can be overpowering for them!

Use pine shavings as bedding to keep the cage fresh

You don’t need to worry so much about these since they are usually more environmentally friendly and also naturally absorb bad odors quite well.

But if you find yourself replacing with new ones every week or two (instead of monthly like hay), this one will definitely cost you more money over time compared to using hay as bedding material altogether.

The only real downside with using wood chips is that rabbits tend to eat them which could lead to blockages in their digestive system.

So if you really want to use this material, make sure they are eating other more suitable foods besides the shavings so it won’t cause any problems later down the line!

Other types of beddings

There are also commercial beddings made out of recycled paper or vegetable pulp which can be used inside your rabbit’s cage instead.

These tend to last longer than hay since rabbits don’t tend to nibble on them very often.

It will still need replacement every now and then because of how quickly these items break apart, especially when wetted by urine over time (compared to wood chips for example).

Get a Good Type of Bedding

There are many types of bedding you can use in your rabbit’s cage or hutch. But do you know the best ones? We’ve listed here some good options for rabbit bedding in 2021.

What cleaning products can be used to clean a rabbit cage?

You should only use cleaning products which are specifically made for this task. Using normal household detergents or disinfectants such as bleach is not recommended because rabbits lick themselves very often.

If any soap and other chemicals that were used to clean their cage were left as residue, it can be harmful to their health. They cannot metabolize certain substances (like chlorine) found commonly used in most bleaches and cleaners.

It’s best if you stick with commercially available rabbit-safe items that will effectively kill the bacteria but won’t harm your furry friend at all!

When using these types of merchandise though, make sure none of it comes into direct contact with your pet. Before using it, it’s best to mix together it with water to reduce the cleaning product’s acidity levels.

How to remove urine stains from the flooring and walls of the cage

Most rabbits will urinate inside their cage but how can we clean those unsightly yellow stains off the walls and flooring?

Here are some materials and products you can use:

  • Paper towel or newspaper
  • Small sponge or long brush
  • Baking soda
  • Lemons

What not to use:

  • Bleach
  • Vinegar

The safest way to go about it is by using a paper towel or something similar such as newspaper.

For hard-to-reach type of spots in the cage, a small sponge or a long brush can also be used instead but please be sure not to use anything with any harsh chemicals such as bleach if possible because how rabbits will most likely lick those spots later on.

For the flooring, you can sprinkle some baking soda over it before wiping to keep urine odor away for longer-lasting freshness inside their cage!

To get rid of any stain marks left behind after cleaning up how about using lemon juice? Simply squeeze out some fresh lemon into a bowl or cup then add water. Dip a cotton ball or paper towel in the mixture and dab it on the stains you want to remove.

Don’t use vinegar! Although how rabbits are not affected by how acidic or harsh how white distilled malt vinegar is, you should still avoid using it as much as possible inside their cage if at all possible because of how strong how vinegar is.

How often to clean a rabbit’s cage

Ideally, you should be cleaning your rabbit’s cage once every 2-3 days.

Since rabbits poop and urinate very often, it’s a good idea to make it a habit to clean their cage or hutch on a regular basis.

They are very sensitive to any strong odors including how most cleaning products smell.

If how the cage is dirty, smelly, and hasn’t been cleaned for a long time, your rabbit may suffer from respiratory problems.

They could also be affected with digestive issues due to how dirty their home is with all of that humidity hanging around inside their living space!

How can you keep your rabbits’ cages cleaner for longer periods of time

The easiest way how to keep the hutch or cage clean for longer is by placing how an old towel underneath their living quarters.

You can also use add hay on top of a thick layer of newspaper which you should then change every day.

If there are any old food leftovers stuck to its flooring no matter how small, also take time to remove them because these could rot quickly over time which can cause foul odor inside your pet’s living quarters.

If possible, do this chore outside since rabbits tend to kick their pellets everywhere when they’re done pooping making a mess within their cage area. Plus, if it rains during the cleaning day, you wouldn’t have to worry about how to rinse all these residues off.

If there are any cuts or scratches on its flooring, try to cover them up with some pieces of paper towel so it won’t worsen and get infected later due to constant contact with feces and urine.

Lastly, if your rabbit is out running around in his pen one day but then decides that he wants back into his cage during nighttime, please keep your bunny inside for the night only after properly cleaning up its living space first.