It has always baffled us that there are so many people that complain about their rabbit cage smelling. This is because it is pretty easy to prevent the problem. Sure, it is going to take a little bit of effort a couple of times per week, but that is part of owning animals. On this page, we want to tell you exactly how you can prevent that rabbit cage from smelling ever again!
Choose the Right Cage
You are going to be doing a lot of cleaning of the rabbit cage. So, you want to make sure that you choose the right cage for your rabbits.
Always opt for plastic instead of wood. This is because all those awful smells often found in a rabbit cage will start to ‘sink’ into the wood, and the smell is going to be absolutely repulsive when that happens!
Plastic doesn’t have that problem. Sure, it probably isn’t going to look as aesthetically pleasing, but at least it isn’t going to smell.
Clean the Rabbit Cage Regularly!
At least once or twice per week, you need to be completely cleaning that rabbit cage.
This means using a rabbit safe soap (washing up liquid is good for this) and completely replacing all of the bedding.
I really do mean that you should be cleaning all of that bedding too. There are some people that will just spot clean.
However, you must remember that urine is going to soak into that bedding. You may not be able to see it, but that bacteria is going to grow. Even bedding that looks completely fresh can end up smelling so, please, please change it.
It is vital that you do not use any harsh chemicals here. This means no bleach, fragrances, etc. It will be dangerous for your rabbit, particularly the latter which can result in them suffering from breathing issues.
Just a mild soap is going to be more than enough to clean the cage if you are doing it regularly.
If your rabbit has a litter tray, then you should be cleaning that every day or so. It will prevent everything from smelling.
You can spot clean the litter tray each day. However, once per week, make sure that you are giving that litter tray a deep clean too, otherwise, it is going to end up causing a massive stench.
While I am on the subject of litter trays, it may be ideal to get your hands on one for your rabbit anyway.
You can train your rabbit to use the litter tray. This means that they will be using that as opposed to going to the bathroom inside of their cage.
This makes the clean-up job a little bit easier as you will likely not have a ton of feces and urine sitting at the bottom of the cage, making it difficult to remove.
Use a Quality Wood Litter
I seriously suggest that you get your hands on some quality wood pellets. You should not use wood shavings as bedding for your rabbit.
Not only is it going to be dangerous for the rabbit, but wood shavings are not going to be that absorbent.
This means that the cage smell will just be lingering about in the cage, and it probably isn’t going to be the most pleasant experience in the world.
With my rabbits, I tend to use a quality pine wood litter that has been specially treated. It is going to be great at absorbing all those stenches, plus pine just smells beautiful too, which adds a bit of extra flair into the mix.
Ensure that the rabbit cage is well-ventilated
If you put the rabbit cage in a room with no airflow, then it is going to smell. So, have a bit of air flowing into that room and it should deal with the vast majority of odor issues for your rabbit.
It is important that the room is so draughty that the rabbit has to deal with a draught, though.
This is going to be awful for the rabbit, and it could potentially kill them. Basically, air needs to be flowing into the room, but it shouldn’t be hitting the rabbit cage directly.
Bathe Your Rabbit
Sometimes, it may not be your rabbit cage that is smelling. It could be the rabbit leaving their lingering odor in the cage.
Now, rabbits, like most animals, do a pretty decent job at cleaning themselves. However, they can smell on occasion.
So, it may be wise to give them a bath when that stench starts. Make sure that you use a pet-safe shampoo here. This will ensure that you do not trigger any reaction in their skin.
At the end of it, not only will you have a rabbit that smells great, but you will have a rabbit that looks great too!
Check for Health Issues in the Rabbit
If you clean the rabbit cage regularly and there still seems to be a smell, then there could be a health issue with your rabbit.
Rabbits are fairly clean animals. However, they can get infections and other problems that can cause them to have foul-smelling urine or feces. If that happens, then you can take your rabbit to the vet.
They can help you out!
A lot of issues with bad-smelling urine tends to happen when your rabbit is in a cage that is too small for them and they do not have a litter tray. This is because rabbits really do not want to mess up their cage.
They will hold the urine in and, ultimately, this causes a UTI. If you have a larger cage for your rabbit or a litter tray, they will have a dedicated place to do their business, which drastically lowers the risk of any issues!
How I stop the smell from the rabbit cage
I use Feline Pine litter, it smells great and absorbs very well leaving no stink.
It is a pelleted wood litter that is kiln-dried so any harmful oils from the pine are no longer a problem. Other pelleted wood litters work well, too, or even wood stove pellets.
I really do not recommend wood shavings, on the other hand.
Cedar shavings are harmful to the rabbits health, and wood shavings of any kind do not work very well at absorbing and preventing smell, in my experience. I also had less than great experiences with paper-based litters like Carefresh or Yesterday’s News.
Preventing a rabbit cage from smelling will involve around 30-minutes of work per week. You will also need to ensure that you buy quality bedding for your rabbit. If you can do that then, I promise you, the stench will almost disappear.