What do I put in the litterbox?
Use a bunny safe litter. No clay cat litter! Rabbits are nibblers and clay litter can cause
blockages in bunny’s tummy if she eats it. A cat litterbox works great. Choose a size big
enough for your bunny and a pile of hay; many like to lounge in the cozy box, too, so a little
extra room is preferred. The box won’t have to be cleaned quite as often if it is larger.
Safe bunny litters include Carefresh, Yesterday’s News, WoodyPet or Feline Pine compressed
wood pellets, aspen shavings (no pine or cedar shavings!), newspaper, and plain old hay.
Newspaper and bulk hay are the most inexpensive choice, but they aren’t as absorbent as other
litters so must be changed frequently. You can also use compressed wood stove pellets as
litter, often sold during heating season at feed stores.
Put down a thick layer of litter to cover the bottom of the box. On top of the litter at one end of
the box, place a nice big pile of hay. You will probably need to refresh the litter each day and
dump the contents every couple of days to once a week, depending on the size of the box and
your rabbit’s output. Rabbits are very prolific poopers!
Many rabbits will use droppings to mark territory. This habit is significantly reduced or
eliminated with spaying and neutering, but is more likely to be a problem if there are other
bunnies around. Some rabbits who are perfect with their litterbox will start leaving droppings
when their environment changes or they are stressed — did you move the furniture? Move
bunny to a new cage, room, or house? Rearrange her cage contents? Take her to the vet?
She needs to re-establish her territory until she’s comfortable with the new situation!
Some rabbits leave droppings in their cage all around the litterbox (as well as in it) to signal it’s
their space. Respect bunny’s territory by cleaning only when she is out to play rather than
taking her out of the cage or cleaning around her. She might grunt or lunge at you for invading
Tips to remember
When choosing a cage and litterbox, make sure the box will fit through the door of the cage! If
your cage floor area is too small for a litterbox, your cage is too small for your rabbit.
A box with higher sides will keep litter, hay, and waste in better. As rabbits jump in and out of
the litterbox, they can scatter droppings and litter. Rabbits also lift their tails to urinate, so if the
sides of the box aren’t high enough, they will pee right over the edge! This might also happen
as litter absorbs and swells and fills the litterbox more; the rabbit will be up higher when on dirty
litter and might go over the edge. Cat litterboxes in the larger sizes usually serve well for
rabbits; litterboxes designed for rabbits are usually fine for smaller breeds but are rather small
for medium and large bunnies.
White vinegar is a favorite rabbit urine cleaner. Rinse or soak litterboxes with it, or use to spot
treat carpet stains. Many other pet stain products also work well on rabbit urine; experiment to
find what works best for you. Nature’s Miracle enzyme cleaner and Woolite Pet Stain and Odor
Eliminator usually do a good job.