What kind of Litter to use for your rabbit

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Quick Answer: What kind of Litter to use for your rabbit

Aspen shavings are a good choice of litter for rabbits because they are absorbent and help to control odors. You can also use recycled paper as a litter material, but make sure that it is unscented and dust-free.

Long description of this topic below

Table of Contents

    Introduction – What kind of Litter to use for your rabbit

    Rabbits are such wonderful pets, and they are actually quite clean pets if you have the right setup. You can train your rabbit to use litter for their bathroom habits, just as a cat would use a litter box rather than going to the bathroom all over the house or outside. 

    While there are many different cat litters on the market, these products aren’t necessarily optimal for your rabbit. Using the wrong litter product can actually cause health issues for rabbits. 

    Even if you choose a safe litter, your rabbit might not like the option you’ve provided. They can protest by not using the litter box anymore.

    The Best Litter for Rabbits

    Ideally, you want to choose a rabbit litter product that is primarily made of paper. This is quite different from cat litter, which is usually clay-based. You don’t want to purchase anything scented, and paper litter usually absorbs enough of the smell and moisture to be effective. 

    If you can’t find a paper litter that is affordable and accessible, you can also choose something that is made of wood pellets or aspen bedding shavings. A little goes a long way, so don’t be afraid to invest in something that’s healthy and effective for your rabbit. 

    If you clean the litter regularly, you won’t be using nearly as much product as you expect. The best litter for rabbits is one that holds up well for a number of days at a time.

    A Breakdown of the Best Beddings for Rabbits

    You’re probably a bit overwhelmed if you’ve already started to shop around for the best beddings for rabbits. 

    There are so many products out there, it’s difficult to discern between what a good product is and what’s not. A lot of litter companies will market their product to all small animals. 

    That doesn’t necessarily mean that a product is safe for rabbits. It’s really important that you do some research before making an investment, to ensure that you’re buying the best bedding for the rabbit litter box.

    Paper-Based Products

    carefresh - What kind of Litter to use for your rabbit

    Paper-based litter like Carefresh rabbit litter is often made of recycled natural paper and is totally dust-free. 

    These paper materials work really well as a bunny safe litter to absorb any moisture that is present. You don’t have to put a lot in the litter box, and the smell is pretty well controlled with this method. 

    You can also opt for regular strips of paper that you buy shredded or your shred yourself.

    Aspen Bedding Shavings

    aspen - What kind of Litter to use for your rabbit

    Aspen is a type of wood that’s very safe for rabbits to use as a litter option. It struggles a bit with absorbency, but it works really well to control the smell of urine. 

    Keep an eye out for any issues that your rabbit might be having with using their litter box. 

    Aspen has a strong smell, similar to what you would experience with cedar. If your rabbit is showing that they’re irritated by the smell, it’s a good idea to try something else.

    Sawdust Litter

    sawdust - What kind of Litter to use for your rabbit

    Also in pellet form, sawdust products are made from recycled material that is manufactured into a litter product.

    It’s really affordable, and rabbits tend to like this option. The odor may be a bit stronger with this product, but absorbency is quite good.

    What to Avoid for Rabbit Litter

    We’ve talked quite a bit about what you can use for rabbit litter, but it’s important to talk about what you should avoid at all costs. Rabbits have the habit of eating or chewing on anything that’s in their home. 

    Because of this, you want to make sure that their litter is safe for them to consume. Avoid products that produce a lot of dust or airborne particulates. You should also stay away from woods that can be dangerous to rabbits. This includes cedar and pine.

    Clay Litter

    clay litter - What kind of Litter to use for your rabbit

    Clay litter is used for cats, but it’s not at all appropriate for rabbits. Clay litters are designed to clump when moisture is introduced.

    This makes it easier to clean the litter. If you have a rabbit that is going to chew on its litter, a clay-based product can quickly lead to intestinal blockages. 

    This doesn’t mean you can’t purchase a product marketed for cats. There are a few different brands that sell paper-based pellets for cats as well.

    Stay Away from Scents

    Strong smells of any kind aren’t safe for rabbits. Rabbits have a very keen sense of smell, and they can be very irritated by strong odors. 

    You also want to stay away from the harsh chemicals that are typically used for these scented products.

    The Amount of Litter That You Need

    If you’ve ever owned a cat, then you know they like to cover up their poop or urine when they’re done. This is a neat little habit they have, but rabbits don’t follow this pattern of behavior. You don’t need to include enough litter in the box for anything to be covered.

    You just want a thin layer that is enough material to soak up moisture. If you don’t put enough in the litter box, this is when odors will start to creep up. You may also find that your rabbit is getting dirty from a dirty litter area.

    Use a half-inch thick layer of litter for your rabbit. If you have a larger rabbit, you may need to experiment with a little more litter than normal. If you are using a litter that has a lower absorbency rate, a little extra product may be necessary.

    What Kind of Rabbit Litter Box Should I Purchase?

    You want to provide your rabbit with enough space that they feel comfortable doing their business in their litter box.

    The box should be large enough that they can easily turn around or move around in it without hitting the sides. 

    There are litter boxes that are marketed to rabbits in particular, but they are often far too small. You can use a small litter box that’s designed for cats. If you feel like your rabbit would use it, you can purchase a covered litter box that will help contain some of the smell that’s coming from the litter.

    Cleaning the Litter

    Cleaning your rabbit’s litter box regularly will cut down on messes and odors, but this will also encourage your rabbit to use their litter box. Most animals are turned off by a dirty bathroom area, and this can lead to challenging behavior regarding using the bathroom. A rabbit’s litter box should be cleaning daily. Make sure that you remove any solids that you find. You should also scoop out any litter that has absorbed moisture.

    When you’re doing a deep clean of your rabbit’s hutch or living area, you can change the litter over completely. Washing the box can help to keep everything clean, but you don’t want to get everything too clean. That might sound confusing, but a slight urine smell in the box will keep your rabbit focused on where they’re supposed to be going to the bathroom. 

    The best thing you can use to clean is a spray made from equal parts water and vinegar. There are also some pet-safe cleaners that you can find at a local pet store. Be sure that the product you choose is safe for rabbits. Most are pretty mild, but they’ll do a good job at getting rid of any bacteria that are growing. The bedding for rabbits that you have in their cage or hutch should stay much cleaner with the right setup.

    A benefit of cleaning your rabbit’s litter on a regular basis is being able to check their waste materials. If you notice that your rabbit seems to have very loose stools or blood in their stools, it’s definitely time to make an appointment with a trusted veterinarian to see what’s going on with your pet.

    If you notice that your rabbit is acting out and using the bathroom in different places that are uncommon for them, this is another warning sign to watch out for.

    How Do I Dispose of My Rabbit’s Used Litter?

    Once you’ve cleaned out your rabbit’s litter box, where should you deposit the litter? You never want to flush the waste product down your toilet. This can cause a clogged toilet or pipe that will be expensive to fix. You can place the waste right into your garbage can if you would like. 

    You can also add it to a compost pile, or you can use it to fertilize plants that are around your yard. It’s very safe compared to cat waste products, which can carry toxoplasmosis.

    What If My Rabbit’s Litter Box Smells?

    smelling - What kind of Litter to use for your rabbit

    Despite trying to keep your rabbit’s litter box clean, there may still be an odor that’s coming from it. Some rabbits have very strong-smelling urine that resembles ammonia.

    You may find that the smell goes away after a few minutes. You’re essentially waiting for the urine to be absorbed into the litter. Most times, the smell will go away on its own.

    If you’re finding that the odors stick around, you may want to consider switching to a different litter. You can also try cleaning the litter more often. Don’t add any kind of fragrance or deodorizing products to the litter. This can be harmful to your rabbit.

    If you’re having trouble getting your rabbit to use their litter box or a specific type of litter, try placing their litter box right by their hay pile. The process of keeping the litter by the bedding for rabbits can often get a rabbit to start litter training because they will munch on the hay and bedding material when they’re using the bathroom. 

    You can even put a little bit of hay right into the litter box. Give your rabbit a few days of trying a new litter before you deem it a failure. If a week or so has gone by and your rabbit is still protesting, then it might be time to start shopping for something else.

    FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

    Can you use a cat litter box for a rabbit?

    Yes, there is nothing wrong with using a litter box that was intended for cats. Many bunny owners use a cat litter box as there is a much larger variaty. But don´t use litter itself that was meant for cats.

    Is Fresh News cat litter safe for rabbits?

    Yes, Fresh News cat litter is safe for rabbits; it’s made with recycled paper. You can also use Carefresh or wood pellets in the litter box.

    What happens if a rabbit eats cat litter?

    When rabbits ingest cat litter, they are at risk of developing digestive problems and even death. Cat litters that contain clay or silica always pose a threat to rabbit health when ingested as the ingredients can cause intestinal blockages or other complications.

    How often should I change rabbit litter?

    You’ll most likely be changing the litter every three to four days as well.

    How do I stop my rabbit from eating litter?

    If you notice your rabbit eating their bedding and not the hay, it might be time to make sure that the hay is fresh.
    It’s good to note that rabbits will most likely nibble on their bedding even with plenty of fresh hay available in a litter box.

    Do rabbits need bedding?

    If you have a pet bunny, then it’s important to make sure they are always comfortable and at home. Indoor bedding can help rabbits feel more cozy and safe inside their habitat. Some similar materials will also work as litter for your rabbit while good quality bedding is great for trapping stray smells, making the house smell nicer overall!


    Cleaning out your rabbit’s litter is a very important daily task. Make sure that you remove any solids and scoop out the wetter parts of their litter to ensure they are getting fresh, clean bedding each time. If you notice changes in behavior or blood in their stools, it may be worth visiting with a vet for an examination or changing up their diet. 

    There will typically be some odor coming from the box as long as there is urine present on occasion- this can even help them stay focused when using the toilet by giving them something familiar to sniff at while doing so! 

    When cleaning out your rabbit’s waste product, never flush it down your toilet because clogs could cause big problems for plumbing systems around your home

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    Read more about this topic

    Animalhumanesociety.org – Bunny’s litter box

    Sandiegorabbits.org – General Rabbit Care litter box training