A common concern regarding cleaning a rabbit’s cage is usually the frequency: “How often should I do so?” Well, think about it this way. How long would it take you to flush a toilet? You would do it as soon as possible, right? This toilet-flushing principle applies to your pet’s cage as well, but since time constraints are usually an issue in our lives, we recommend a quick daily clean up in the morning or at night. The important thing is to make this a routine habit, just like showering or brushing your teeth. A once-a-week thorough cleanup should work fine, unless you have more than one rabbit. Training your pet to use a litter box will make the cleaning process much easier.
Daily clean up
First, take out your pet’s bowl and water bottle. Make sure to remove any food leftovers. Wash and rinse both accessories, and refill the water bottle. Make sure to take out any soiled hay or wood shavings, this will make the clean up easier at the end of the week.
If you have a litter box with a thin layer of litter you should clean it daily. You could use a thicker layer and just scoop out the residues on a daily basis, but you should still clean out the litter every three days. If you notice any hard material that’s stuck to it, these are calcium deposits that result from rabbit urine. Vinegar will be highly effective to remove them. Keeping an eye on your pet’s residues gives you a chance to see if there’s anything wrong with his urine or feces, and notice any health issues.
Weekly clean up
Your weekly clean up should be more thorough. You will need to remove everything from inside the cage: (hay or wood shavings, any accessories, and your rabbit). Remember to never leave your pet unsupervised (a dog carrier may help). You should use hot water to rinse and wash the cage. Try to use your tub if you can, if not, simply wipe it down. All other accessories should be washed with warm water as well.
Try disinfecting your cage every other week. It is important that any disinfectant is completely rinsed, since this may cause harm to your rabbit. It is never a good idea to use disinfectant on wood, because it soaks up the chemicals. You can use bleach (one part to ten parts of water), and even then, after rinsing it we recommend letting it dry under the sun. Even on a cloudy day, ultraviolet light will act as sanitizer, breaking down any chemical residue.
Quick tips for an effective clean up
It’s a good idea to keep vinegar it in a spray bottle for a more convenient use. Letting the vinegar soak for 10 or 20 minutes will take care of those hard to remove calcium deposits.
When you buy a cage, keep in mind that you need to clean it. Getting a wood hutch for example, will be harder to clean because it soaks up rabbit urine. Also there’s no need for a tall cage (like sugar glider cages), it’s better to make it multi-level or just get a simple smaller cage you’re committed to clean.
Training your rabbit to use a litter box will make the clean up process much easier. It’s also recommended to spay or neuter your pet. It’s good for his health, and it reduces territorial urine spraying.
By following these simple guidelines, cleaning up indoor rabbit cages should be easy enough. It will also decrease the chances of your pet getting ill.