There are a lot of people who really love keeping rabbits as pets. Rabbits can be very cuddly pets that are a joy to have as a part of the family, but they don’t come without certain challenges.
Some new rabbit owners might note that rabbit cages will smell pretty bad unless the right steps are taken. You might not be sure how to go about getting your rabbit cage to smell okay, and this means you could use some advice.
Keep reading so that you can learn how to keep a rabbit cage from smelling. There are actually quite a few methods that you can utilize that will help you to keep the cage from getting worse over time.
If you learn how to use all of the methods below, then you’re not going to have to worry so much about your house smelling bad. You’ll simply be able to focus on enjoying your rabbit and having a good time as a pet owner.
Change the Bedding Material
The biggest mistake that people make when they’re taking care of rabbits is that they forget to change the bedding material. You could either be not changing out the bedding material often enough or using the wrong type of bedding material.
Either way, it’s going to lead to you having to deal with more odors over time. If you use good bedding material, then everything is going to go much better for you.
Take a look at the following good bedding materials that you should be using so that you can make better choices for your rabbit cage. You do have quite a few options that you can consider.
If you’re able to switch your current bedding out and start using one of the bedding options below, then you’re going to notice a difference. It might even solve your issue completely depending on other factors.
Lots of rabbit owners like to tout how good aspen shavings are for rabbit bedding. This is such a good bedding material because aspen shavings are very soft and they won’t give your rabbit any splinters.
Aside from this, it’s also good to know that aspen shavings don’t have any type of odor. It even works very well to absorb liquid and smells so that your home doesn’t have to be stinky.
Perhaps the best thing about going this route is that you’ll be able to purchase aspen shavings at a very low price. This is among the best options you will have when you want to keep your costs low.
You can easily find aspen shavings at your local pet store, and purchasing this type of bedding online is also going to be easy. Aspen bedding is easily found on sites like amazon, as well as online pet stores.
Consider whether aspen shavings could be the solution to your rabbit cage odor issues.
Straw or Hay
Some rabbit owners have noted that they prefer to use either straw or hay for rabbit cage bedding. If you’re going to go this route, then you should probably stick to straw since your rabbit is going to be more likely to eat the hay.
Also see what to do if your rabbit won’t eat hay.
Straw isn’t as good as aspen shavings when you’re trying to alleviate odors in your home, though. You can use straw as bedding for your rabbit cage, but you’ll need to change it out quite often if you’re going to do this.
If you let straw go too long without changing it, then it’s going to absorb those odors and wind up contributing to the bad rabbit smell. It’s also not the most comfortable bedding material out there.
Even so, many people do use straw as rabbit cage bedding. It’s important to try to use a different material for the litter tray than you’re using for the bedding to keep your rabbit from making mistakes as well.
Paper or Cardboard
Either paper or cardboard can be used for your rabbit’s cage as well. This is not a bad idea since either of these can be good at eliminating odors. However, you do need to make sure that you’re not using paper that has ink on it. Ink can be toxic to rabbits and you don’t want to wind up accidentally causing harm to your furry friend.
If you’re going to use paper as rabbit bedding, then you should try to use pure white paper or brown paper. All you really need to do is tear up the paper or cardboard so that it can be used as bedding.
The best part of this option is that it is quite inexpensive. If you’re looking for a decent bedding option that won’t break the bank, then paper or cardboard will be a good idea.
How Often to Change the Bedding
Now that you know more about bedding material options, it’s time to focus on how often you need to change the bedding. Even if you’re using a good material such as aspen shavings, it’s going to be best to change the bedding out from time to time.
Ideally, you should try to change the bedding in your rabbit’s cage once every three days or so. This should work out to changing the bedding twice per week to keep the odors in your home down to a minimum.
It’s also going to be more comfortable and pleasant for your rabbit if you take the time to change the bedding properly. You’ll be able to simply dump the old bedding and throw it away so that you can replace it with fresh bedding.
This isn’t hard to do, but you are going to have to keep track of how long it has been. Eventually, you’ll get into a flow of changing your rabbit’s bedding on a schedule.
You Have to Clean Your Rabbit’s Cage
It shouldn’t come as a surprise to hear that you’re going to need to clean your rabbit’s cage fairly often. If you want to keep your home from getting smelly, then you’re going to need to commit to cleaning your rabbit’s cage at least once per week.
This needs to be a very thorough cleaning as well, and you should do your best to use the right cleaning products. Read on to get some advice on what types of cleaning products to use while properly cleaning a rabbit cage.
Non-Toxic Antibacterial Cleaning Products
You want to take the time to find non-toxic antibacterial cleaning products that you can use on the cage. There are actually quite a few products on the market like this, and using something with antibacterial properties helps to get rid of more germs.
It’s also nice to find a cleaning product that doesn’t leave behind any type of harsh odors that will be an annoyance. This will allow you to safely clean the rabbit cage so that you won’t have to worry moving forward.
Soap and Water
It’s also possible to clean out a rabbit cage using good old-fashion soap and water. If you’re going to use this method, then make sure that you’re using safe soap that won’t cause harm to your rabbit.
It’s also going to be wise to keep the bunny out of the cage until everything has had time to dry. Just try to be as thorough as you can to clean the cage and get it smelling great again.
Light Daily Cleaning Can Also Help
If you want to keep the odor issue at bay, then you might need to adopt the practice of cleaning the rabbit cage daily. This doesn’t have to be a deep and thorough type of cleaning like the process mentioned above.
Instead, this is going to involve you doing a quick type of spot cleaning where you’re cleaning up little messes. You should remove food that has spilled in the cage, as well as pick up any droppings that are present.
Simply taking the time to do this each day can actually eliminate many of the odors that you will encounter. It won’t keep the rabbit cage from smelling at all, but it will keep things at a much more reasonable level.
If you combine this practice with giving the rabbit cage a deep cleaning once per week, then you’ll be in a far better position. You can defeat the odor that is coming from your rabbit’s cage with vigilance.
Another issue to take some time to think about is whether or not your rabbit cage has the proper airflow. If a cage doesn’t have good airflow, then it can cause things to become very stagnant over time.
This situation could allow odors to form, and it’s going to make the area of your home that houses the rabbit cage much more pungent than you would like for it to be. Do your best to situate your rabbit cage in a spot where it will have the proper airflow.
If you have good airflow, then things will air out more, and you won’t have to deal with your rabbit cage being so odoriferous. Try to be mindful of this when you’re planning out where to position your rabbit cage.
Often, rabbit owners will find that they try to choose a spot for the cage that is out of the way thinking that this will keep the odor from being a big problem. If that out of the way spot doesn’t have good airflow, then you could be shooting yourself in the foot, so to speak.
Spay or Neuter Your Rabbit
Does your rabbit seem to try to mark the cage and other things in your home? This can be a big problem that will make things rather nasty in your home.
If your rabbit is marking things and making your home smell really bad, then all the cleaning in the world isn’t going to solve that problem. The best thing for you to do is to go ahead and get the rabbit spayed or neutered.
When a rabbit is spayed or neutered, it’s going to be far less likely to feel the urge to mark things. It eliminates that natural instinct that makes a rabbit want to mark territory, and it’s well worth doing.
If you’re going to keep a rabbit in your home, then you’re almost certainly going to want to get it spayed or neutered. Otherwise, the cage is likely going to continue to smell bad due to the marking being a fairly constant thing.
Litter Training Is a Must
If your rabbit is not litter trained, then it’s likely going to keep urinating in the corner of its cage. Generally, rabbits will urinate in the same corner each time, but it still isn’t going to be easy to keep cleaning this up all the time.
The urine is going to make the rabbit cage much smellier than it should be, too. It would be a lot better if your rabbit was using the litter pan as intended, and this is why you need to try to go through with litter training.
One method for litter training is to try to place the litter pan on top of the area where the rabbit keeps urinating. You could also put urine-soaked bedding on the pan to try to get your rabbit to understand that it needs to use the litter pan.
Leave the rabbit alone for a few hours and see if this produces results. Rabbit owners have also found that praising their rabbits for doing things right has been an effective way to encourage good results.
When your rabbit defecates outside of the litter pan, you’re going to want to take the time to place the droppings in the litter pan. Over time, your rabbit should come to understand that using the pan is the right thing to do.
Wondering why rabbits poop so much?
Rabbits are generally very clean animals by nature, and they’re going to thrive when the cage is tidy. Certain rabbits might take longer to litter train than others, but your rabbit will eventually start using the litter pan like it should.
The Rabbit Cage Could Be Too Small
It’s also possible that your rabbit cage could be too small for the rabbit that you’re trying to keep as a pet. In this situation, your rabbit could be keeping the cage dirty due to not having enough room to get comfortable.
Your rabbit could even be lashing out because it is not happy with the cage and how small it is. Trying to find a cage that is appropriately-sized could solve all of your problems.
If you need help figuring out the right size, then try to ask your veterinarian or local rabbit expert. You can easily get advice from someone who knows about rabbits once they’ve seen the size of your rabbit. Just know that cage size can be a contributing factor to odor issues.
When your rabbit cage is stinky even after taking the above steps, it might be because your rabbit has some health problems. Some rabbits might wind up having smellier urine and droppings than usual due to health issues or diet problems.
It could be a good idea to get your rabbit checked out by your local veterinarian just in case something is up. Your veterinarian is going to be able to recognize any issues with your rabbit, and they will also be able to give you advice about adjustments that you can make.
Sometimes solving a problem like this will be as simple as changing the diet up a little bit. You could be feeding your rabbit too much or allowing it to eat something that it shouldn’t eat. Just try to give your veterinarian honest information so that you can get things on track.
If all goes well, then you’ll be able to get your rabbit feeling better and the odor issue should become less noticeable.
Should You Bathe Your Rabbit?
Some people who are worried about the smell coming from a rabbit’s cage will wonder if bathing the rabbit is a good solution. For the most part, rabbits are capable of grooming themselves and will not need to be bathed.
They’re similar to cats in this fashion, but there are some situations where rabbits might need a bath. If a rabbit is very dirty and at risk for a condition called flystrike, then you might need to bathe them for the sake of health.
Sometimes rabbits will need help when they get old and weak as well. A rabbit with weak back legs might need grooming assistance, and this would make baths appropriate for that rabbit.
However, a healthy rabbit that is in its prime is not likely going to need a bath. Most rabbits will not like or tolerate being bathed in a wet bath either, so this can be a problematic situation for some rabbit owners.
If your rabbit really needs to be bathed, it might be easier to allow your veterinarian to do it for you. It could also be a good idea to take your rabbit to see a professional rabbit groomer.
Doing something like this could make it easier to alleviate the overall smelliness of the rabbit. Just keep in mind that this won’t be an issue that you’ll have to deal with when you’re taking care of an average rabbit that is in its prime.
I have a bachelor’s degree in Film/Video/Media Studies, as well as an associates degree in Communications. I began producing videos and musical recordings nearly 15 years ago. I am a guitarist and bassist in Southwest MI and have been in a few different bands since 2009, and in 2012 I began building custom guitars and basses in my home workshop as well. When I’m home, I love spending time with my three pets (a dog, cat, and snake) and gardening in my backyard. I also like photographing wild birds, especially birds of prey.