Rabbits are adorable, fluffy, cuddly and make a great pet, particularly for those who don’t have a lot of space. They generally don’t have very high care needs but are still loving and affectionate towards their owners.
However, just because they don’t take as much work as a dog or a cat, it doesn’t mean you can get away with leaving your rabbit in their dirty hutch for weeks on end! Not only do you need to regularly clean out your rabbit hutch, but you’ll also need to be cleaning your bunny every now and again to keep them fresh, hygienic and smelling sweet.
But how do you go about this? Don’t worry — we’ve got you covered. Keep reading on below to find out how to clean out your rabbit’s cage, the best supplies to use and how to clean a rabbit while you’re at it!
Cleaning Your Rabbit Cage
No bunny owner enjoys cleaning their rabbit’s hutch, but it must be done! And, truth be told, the more you do it, the easier you’ll make it on yourself.
You should be giving your rabbit’s cage a deep clean at least once a week, with daily cleaning done too to keep it in tip-top condition. Rabbit’s live, sleep, eat and go to the bathroom in their hutch and so it is very important it is kept as hygienic as possible so they don’t become sick or develop any infections from bacteria.
Daily Cage Cleaning
Do some cleaning of your rabbit’s cage every day to keep it in the best condition.
We recommend removing any uneaten fresh foods from the hutch, ideally doing this twice a day (once in the morning and once in the evening). You should also wash out your rabbit’s food bowl and wash and refill their water bottle.
Next you should spot clean any soiled parts such as urine mess or poop clumps that are outside of the litter box. You can sue wipes to do this, or some kind of cleaning spray if the mess is bigger. You can replace these areas with fresh bedding to keep it hygienic and smelling nice. You should also scoop the litter box to get rid of any waste and replace and change the litter if needs be.
Weekly Cage Cleaning
Once a week, you should deep clean your rabbit’s cage. This will keep it hygienic and will prevent your rabbit from developing infections or diseases from bacteria and other parasites that could build up.
First, you should remove all toys and accessories from the hutch and wash them using soap and water. If you have fabric bedding in the hutch, remove, wash and replace it.
You should then wipe down the cage with either hot water and vinegar or with a disinfectant spray. The material of the hutch will depend which cleaning solution you should use. Wood can soak up disinfectant if it is not properly sealed, which can then be harmful to your rabbit.
You can also use bleach diluted with 10 parts water. This can be left on the hutch surfaces for 30 minutes and you can soak any accessories in the same mixture for the same amount of time.
Remember to rinse everything extremely well before replacing them as to not harm your rabbit.
Litter Box Cleaning
As we mentioned above, spot cleaning your rabbit’s litter box should be done every day. Checking and cleaning the litter every day also helps you to monitor your rabbit’s feces. Any change may depict a health issue within your bunny.
A more thorough clean should be done once a week, just like with the cage. You should scoop out the litter, disinfect the box or tray, wipe down properly and then replace the litter.
Hutch Cleaning Tips
Some extra tips include:
- Spaying or neutering your rabbit will reduce their territorial need to mark by urinating.
- A cage with exposed wood is harder to clean because the wood will soak up urine.
- Absorbent bedding will result in you having to clean out less frequently. It will also help to keep the hutch smelling nicer!
How To Clean A Rabbit
Rabbit are generally very clean animals and happily clean themselves. You should very, very rarely wash your pet rabbit, only doing this when they are sick, dirty or have soiled themselves. As rabbits get older, they can find it harder to clean themselves and this is where you may have to step in, but this should be done very gently. Immersing your rabbit in water can send them into shock, so always be careful and follow the advice of your vet.
If you do need to bathe your rabbit, fill a bath/tub with about an inch of water. Put a towel in the bottom of the bath so the bunny has some grip. If you must, use a very gentle shampoo but water by itself will suffice. Try and hold the front half of your rabbit out of the water and protect the bottom of their spine with your hand. This will help to stop them from struggling.
Gently massage the hind leg/tail area with your fingers and to remove any poop or dirt. Then tip the water out and then replace it with clean water to rinse them. To dry them off, use a towel and gentle dry them as best you can. Your rabbit may try to lick themselves dry too, but don’t be alarmed if they sulk for a little bit afterwards!
You should never put your bunny back in their hutch or cage while they are still wet. Make sure they are completely dry before they return to their home, otherwise this can cause further health problems.
If giving your rabbit a wet bath is too traumatizing for them, you can try giving your bunny a dry bath. This involves using baby cornstarch on your rabbit’s bottom, which will help to remove any dirt or mess. The cornstarch will also help to absorb any excess moisture so you can get rid of dirt or poop more easily.
Most rabbits do not require a lot of brushing, unless you own a breed with a thick coat that easily gets tangled or matted, such as the Angora rabbit. Most rabbits only need to be brushed every one to two weeks while they aren’t shedding.
Rabbits will shed twice a year, during which time more brushing is required. This is very important if your rabbit has a lot of fur or long fur, because they can end up ingesting too much fur while trying to groom themselves during shedding season. This can cause woolblock, which a deadly and often fatal condition where fur get’s trapped in the stomach.
Brushing can also help you keep an eye on your rabbits coat and check for mites and other pests like fleas. You can buy treatments from pet shops or online, or you can visit your vet for treatment.
Your rabbit may need their nails trimmed from time to time. Either you can do this or you can take them to the vet. Indoor rabbits will wear their nails down much less than rabbits who live outside and have access to digging and moving around on grass.
Check your bunny’s ears regularly to make sure there isn’t a build-up of wax or anything else. Rabbit’s can also be prone to ear mites, so you should look out for these and take them to the vet if you suspect your bunny has them.
Best Rabbit And Hutch Cleaning Supplies
There are many different products out there to help keep your rabbit and their environment clean. Below we have picked some of our favorite and most popular supplies on Amazon that will ensure your bunny and their home stays today and smelling it’s best!
Best Hutch Cleaning SprayBUY ON AMAZON
This Stain and Odor Eliminator from Rocco & Roxie tackles all kinds of dirt, build-up, waste and soiled areas in your rabbit’s home. This spray contains natural enzymatic bacteria that are activated on contact with odors and stains, feeding on ammonia crystals and organic matter until they are completely eliminated. It is chlorine free and color safe, making it completely safe to use around your pets and can be used on any surface.
Best Hutch WipesBUY ON AMAZON
The Nature’s Miracle Scrubbing Wipes are extra thick and help to remove stubborn and caked on dirt and mess from your rabbit’s cage or hutch. Perfect for spot cleaning or for using as a deep clean, these wipes use plant derived enzymatic odor control to help eliminate tough cage odors and to keep your rabbit’s home smelling sweet! These wipes can also be used to wipe down your rabbit if they are dirty or just need a little tidy. Made in the USA, they are 100% safe and safe for pets.
Best BeddingBUY ON AMAZON
This paper bedding from Kaytee is an extremely absorbent bedding that absorbs six times it’s weight in liquid, making it two times more absorbent than wood shavings. With odor control guaranteed, you can be sure that your rabbit’s hutch will stay sweeter smelling for longer. This paper bedding doesn’t contain harmful ingredients or toxins and is 100% safe for your rabbit. It is also 99.9% dust free for extra safety and a cleaner cage!
Best Litter BoxBUY ON AMAZON
This large litter box from Kathson is made of durable, stain and odor resistant plastic and is reinforced to withstand small animals between 3 to 8 kg in weight. With a convenient design, there is a tray that you can pull out for easy cleaning, meaning you don’t need to pick up the whole box to get rid of any waste. This litter tray buckles to your rabbit’s hutch or cage so it doesn’t move around, either. The design is strong and sturdy, and is easy to clean with a disinfectant or cleaning spray when needs be.
Best LitterBUY ON AMAZON
This litter from Kaytee is 100% natural wood based bedding and is recommended for all types of small animals. The pellets expand to hold wetness while controlling odor and therefore leave your rabbit with a more comfortable and cleaner litter tray and hutch. When cleaning out your rabbit’s hutch, the pellets will not stick or cling to the box or tray and make for an easy clean-up. They are made in the USA and are completely natural and safe for your bunny.
Best BrushBUY ON AMAZON
This Ruff ‘n Ruffus Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush helps to remove knots, dander, and loose hair from your rabbit’s fur. This is a soft brush and won’t hurt your rabbit. Self-cleaning, all you need to do is press the button on the slicker brush after you’re done and the bristles will retract and the hair will fall right off!
Included with this brush is a stainless steel grooming comb and heavy-duty pet nail clippers. The comb is great for dematting your rabbit’s coat, especially if you own a bunny with a thicker or longer coat. The nail clippers are sturdy and durable and even have a safety stop that prevents your from cutting nails their nails too short.
Best ShampooBUY ON AMAZON
The Johnson’s Small Animal Cleansing Shampoo is specially formulated to be a mild, non-irritant shampoo for your rabbit (and other small animals). It gently cleans and deodorises your pet while also ensuring their pH balance is maintained. You can use this shampoo on your rabbit over the age of 12 weeks, but always use sparingly and only if you really need to.
While cleaning out your rabbit’s hutch and cleaning your smelly bunny’s bottom probably isn’t what you envisioned when deciding to home one of these fluffy and adorable little pets, it must be done! The more often you clean your rabbit’s cage the easier it will become and you won’t need to worry about a nasty build up of smells, bacteria or other harmful organisms your bunny may have to deal with. Remember to only bathe your rabbit when they really need it, but keep on top of their brushing and nail clipping to keep them healthy. If you are unsure about anything when it comes to knowing how to clean a rabbit or cage, you can always contact your vet.