One of the most important parts of rabbit is care is keeping your bunny’s cage or pen clean. While well-trained rabbits aren’t particularly messy, over the course of the day their food, litter, and feces clutter the cage and can create unhealthy conditions. To properly care for your pet rabbit, you’ll need to spend a little time each day cleaning up their cage and then give it a “deep clean” once a week. While it may seem like a chore, if you regularly keep up with the habit you’ll find it’s easy to do. Follow these cleaning steps and you’ll create a healthy, happy home for your bunnies.
How to a Clean a Rabbit’s Cage
Bunny Safe Cleaning Supplies
You’ll find that many general household cleaning supplies and tools work perfectly to clean your rabbit’s cage and pen, but there are some that make the job a little easier.
- Handheld or Floor Vacuum – to suck up poops, hay, and fur from rugs and carpets
- Broom and dustpan – for sweeping floors and inside cages. I love this mini dustpan for tight corners.
- A rabbit safe disinfecting cleaner (check out our DIY solution below).
- Paper towels – for wiping.
- Bottle brush – for cleaning water bottles.
Do not just grab any multi-purpose cleaner you have around the house. You want to avoid using any toxic chemicals in your rabbit’s cage. Since bunnies are known to be chewers, they will inevitably ingest any cleaner you use on their home and accessories. Buy a pet safe spray or make your own cheap and non-toxic rabbit cleaner.
DIY Rabbit Cleaning Spray
While you can easily buy a pet safe cleaning spray, you can make a cheap, effective, non-toxic cleaner yourself. Vinegar is like a miracle fluid–it’s non-toxic, deodorizes, breaks up urine, and disinfects. It’s cheap to buy at any grocery store and safe for both people and pets.
- Spray Bottle
- White Vinegar
- Optional: Baking Soda
Mix white vinegar with water in the spray bottle. A 50/50 mixture is recommended, but if the smell of vinegar bothers you, a try 25% vinegar.
If you’re working on tough stains or need extra deodorizing power, spread baking soda on the area, spray it with the mixture and let it sit for a few minutes. The baking soda will fizz and help break up the mess and neutralize the smell.
The DIY vinegar cleaner is safe to use on metal, plastic, wood, and cloth accessories and cage parts.
For non-wood cages and supplies, you can use a diluted bleach mixture to clean the items. Use a ratio of 1 part bleach to 10 parts water. Make sure to thoroughly rinse the item after disinfecting to remove any residue. Never use bleach and vinegar together. They will create a toxic mixture. Use one or the other, NOT BOTH.
Daily Rabbit Cage Cleaning
Each day you will want to tidy up your rabbit’s cage or pen. If your bun is properly litter trained, this will be especially easy. If your rabbits are neat and tidy, you may be able to do some of these chores every other day.
- Spray and wipe up any urine accidents outside the litter box (must do daily).
- Replace and clean any towels, blankets, or other cloth items that are soiled.
- Sweep up stray poops, hay, pellets, and any veggies or fruit leftover from the previous day (2x daily).
- Remove wet litter from the litter tray and replace.
- Empty and refill pellet bowl.
- Empty, rinse, and refill water bottle or crock (2x daily).
Weekly Rabbit Cage Deep Clean
Once a week you should give your rabbit’s cage and litter box a deep clean. Let your bunnies loose for playtime or put them in an exercise pen. These tasks will help your rabbit’s cage stay neat and tidy.
- Replace and wash and fabric within the cage or pen (towels, blankets, etc).
- Sweep up stray poops, food, and hay.
- Empty the litter box and wipe down with cleaning spray. If needed, soak with vinegar to remove built-up urine.
- Remove all cage accessories like crocks, water bottles, and toys. Food dishes and water bottles can be run through the dishwasher or soaked in vinegar and water. Toys and other accessories can be spot cleaned.
- Replace destroyed toys.
- Spray down the floor and levels of the cage and wipe down.
- Optional: If you can disassemble your cage and take it outside, you may want to rinse it down with a hose or soak it in a bathtub.
The Importance of Daily Litter Box Cleaning
One of the least pleasant parts of rabbit parenting is dealing with litter boxes. The smells and the psychological ick factor of dealing with urine and feces turns off a lot of people. But regular cleaning is more than just an annoying chore. It’s actually a very important way to monitor the health of your pet.
Because rabbits are a prey animal, they hide illness and injury. Often the first sign of sickness is a change in eating habits or in urine and feces output. If you’re spot cleaning your rabbit’s cage and litter box every day, it will be easier to notice color changes in urine or any change in poop quality or quantity. If your bunny’s appetite or waste output changes, contact your vet immediately to rule out any serious health issues. (Learn more about health and sickness with rabbits.)
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Now that you know how to keep your rabbit’s cage clean, learn about Bunny Grooming 101.