As we’ve explained in our recent article, a rabbit needs lots of toys in its habitat to maintain its wellbeing. But that’s not all that is required from the rabbit enclosure in order to maintain your pet’s health and happiness.
One of the main factors contributing to your bunny’s health is the state of its habitat and its hygiene. While they are sensitive to cleanliness, rabbits and their enclosures tend to get quite messy. This is why keeping the rabbit’s hutch or cage clean is essential in order for it to not get sick or start feeling stressed.
Obviously, this also helps with the odors in your house – if you fail to clean your pet’s cage regularly, then it will start smelling and soon enough your whole house will smell like a rabbit’s toilet. You don’t want that, trust us!
This article will cover a list of five tips and advice that will help you clean your bunny’s cage better.
Do some daily maintenance
You don’t necessarily need to do a full wipe of the rabbit’s enclosure every day, but it’s best if you do at least some maintenance work daily for a better long-term hygiene of the habitat. Soiled bedding and leftover food can quickly transform a clean hutch into a messy and dirty enclosure. It’s best then to remove these as soon as you notice them.
Make sure to use gloves whenever cleaning your bunny’s cage. It’s essential to maintain your rabbit’s health and hygiene, but yours are pretty important as well.
Your little fluffy friend’s water supply also needs to be changed daily. Fresh water is evidently essential to any pet’s health. If your rabbit’s water is starting to turn green, it means that it’s starting to develop algae.
In this case, it is very important that you immediately throw out the water and scrub the bottle with vinegar and hot water. If the algae can’t be removed, then you should throw away the bottle and buy a new one.
Clean your rabbit’s cage weekly
Along with the daily maintenance, you should also make time for a more in-depth, weekly clean.
The first thing that you will want to do is prepare a temporary holding pen for your bunny to stay in while you clean its hutch. It’s better to put some toys and hay in the temporary location. You don’t want your little fluffy friend to get bored waiting for you. Make sure that the temporary pen is safe from any predators and sturdy enough for your bunny to not be able to run away.
Remove old or dirty materials from the rabbit’s cage – everything from litter to hay and fur. You shouldn’t discard literally everything from your bunny’s enclosure though. It’s better to leave one small corner untouched, without cleaning it.
Rabbits like to mark their environment with scents. If, when returning to the freshly-cleaned hutch, your bunny feels like it just entered a new habitat, it might become stressed and this can affect its wellbeing. Make sure you alternate the corners that you leave untouched when cleaning.
Next, you should clean the litter area. Remove and replace all the litter and hay to reduce the risk of bacterial infection for your rabbit. You should then wipe any spots from the floor or wall areas if needed.
While your small and fluffy pet likes to have a clean and tidy enclosure, it doesn’t do too much to help with this. On the contrary – because of its very active nature, your bunny will probably kick some litter, hay or bedding outside its cage. Make sure you sweep all the areas around the hutch at least weekly. This will help prevent any bacteria growth and repel any bad odor.
Schedule a bi-weekly or monthly deep-clean
I know, this might sound excessive – daily maintenance, weekly clean AND a monthly deep-clean?! Trust us, a little bit of precaution can go a long way for both the hutch and your rabbit’s health.
For this more in-depth clean, you should use some cleaning supplies – a disinfectant mixture of four parts water to one part vinegar, a sponge, some paper towels, a broom, and a dustpan. You should follow all the steps of a weekly clean, and then some more.
It is recommended to wipe down the floor, the roof, and the walls of the cage, using the disinfectant mixture. The bunny’s water bottle should be sterilized, while the food bowl and litter tray are also to be washed with hot, soapy water. It’s also good to regularly disinfect your pet’s toys, in order to avoid any bacterial infections.
Before returning your bunny back to its habitat, make sure that everything inside it is all dried up.
Use appropriate lining for easier cleaning
As you can probably tell by now, cleaning your rabbit’s hutch is not necessarily difficult, but it can take quite a significant chunk of your time. Fortunately, there are a few options that can anticipate a more efficient cleaning.
One of the most important ones is lining the floor of your bunny’s hutch with newspaper or other paper padding that can absorb dampness and moisture. This lining should also be easy and affordable to remove and replace.
As an alternative, you can also use a drop tray for your hutch. This should be placed underneath the litter area to make for an easier clean up.
Build up a cleaning routine
The best way to maintain the pretty rigorous cleaning schedule of a rabbit’s hutch is to establish a routine. This way, it will become quicker and easier for you to clean up your furry friend’s habitat.
Decide on a time of day and a day of the week that work best for your schedule and be careful to stick to this habit.
To make this task seem like less of a chore, you can transform it into a fun family activity. Try to get your children involved as well in the cleaning of the bunny’s enclosure. This way, they will not only give you a helping hand but also learn a thing or two about the importance of keeping a tidy bedroom.