How To Keep A Rabbit Cage From Smelling ( Bedding & Cleaning)

boy with rabbit in a hutch

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You have probably smelled a rabbit cage before. It’s true, they can develop a bit of an odor. Fortunately, when it comes to how to keep a rabbit cage from smelling, there are just a few things you will need to consider. You can even potentially make it easier for yourself, by teaching your rabbit to use the litter box! 

First off, you will want the proper rabbit bedding material.

See our rabbit bedding recommendation here on Amazon ↗️

rabbit cage

Keep Your Rabbit Cage Fresh With The Right Bedding Material 

When it comes to eliminating odor, bedding is absolutely one of the top things to consider. The right bedding will absorb both liquid and odor… and provide a comfortable nest for your bunny as well. The improper bedding may not work at all. 

There are many bedding materials to choose from, but these are some of the most popular:

Aspen Wood Shavings

For rabbits, aspen shavings are one of the best bedding materials out there. This wood is uniquely soft and sliver-free, as well as free of any odor of its own. As bedding, it is very absorbent of both liquid and smell. 

Last but not least, aspen wood shavings are affordable and easy to find at your local pet store, or online.

Pro tip: never source your aspen wood shavings from a lumberyard. These wood shavings have not yet been sanitized and can introduce mites to your rabbit.


For rabbit bedding, many also opt to use paper. This is mainly due to its sheer availability. You can even make rabbit bedding out of blank white computer paper. Just make sure to avoid ink. This is toxic, and if they ingest some, can prove harmful. When it gets wet, ink can also get on your rabbit’s fur.

The best choices are blank white computer or brown paper if you cannot purchase suitable bedding like Carefresh. Some will use cardboard as well. To turn these into bedding, all you need to do is tear them up, until you have a homemade, fluffy, odor-eliminating bedding material.

Hay or Straw

Hay and straw are often used as rabbit bedding. However, Hay is more suitable as part of their diet and not as bedding. Straw is also not a great bedding material as it’s not very absorbent and not very comfy. Just make sure not to use the same material for their bedding as in their litter tray (this can confuse your bunny).

Hay is for eating, Straw is for bedding!

Change The Bedding At Least Twice A Week

Soiled bedding is almost always the root of rabbit cage odor. This means that changing the bedding promptly will go a long way toward eliminating cage smell. To help keep your rabbit cage hygienic, and smelling fresh, change the bedding at least twice a week. 

How? Dump it all, and refresh the cage with bedding that is nice and new!

Deep-Clean Your Rabbit Cage At Least Once A Week

Of course, tossing out the bedding will not get rid of the germs in your rabbit cage 100%. Along with changing the bedding, you will need to empty out the cage and give it a deep clean, at least once a week. Use a gentle antibacterial cleanser that will not leave its own harsh smell.

Cleaning Products

Clean Cage is a non-toxic cage cleaner and deodorizer that contains a unique combination of environmentally safe cleansing agents plus refreshing odor control properties to safely clean your bunnies home and accessories.

How To Keep A Rabbit Cage From Smelling ( Bedding & Cleaning) 1
Available on Amazon here ↗️
How To Keep A Rabbit Cage From Smelling ( Bedding & Cleaning) 2

Kaytee Clean & Cozy Extreme Odor Control

  • Fresh smelling formula safely cleans and deodorizes cages for fast-acting and long-lasting results
  • Safe to use for small animal habitats
  • Regular use of Clean Cage will contribute to the quality care your pet needs and deserves
  • Generous 32-ounce easy to hold bottle has a trigger pump action
  • Safe for small animal habitats and accessories

Give Your Rabbit Cage A Daily Spot-Clean

Your rabbit is sure to have some food spillage or some leftover. Remove these from the cage promptly, or they may begin to rot. Clearly, this is not ideal for hygiene or smell. Do a quick clean-up after every snack or meal. Also, pick up any random droppings or spills they may leave!

Make Sure Your Rabbit Cage Has The Proper Airflow

A rabbit hutch should have spaced bars, to give your rabbit some airflow. This ventilation will help keep their cage from becoming stagnant or developing a smell. 

The proper airflow will also go a long way to keeping your rabbit hygienic and healthy overall!

Train Your Rabbit To Use The Litter Box

How To Keep A Rabbit Cage From Smelling ( Bedding & Cleaning) 3
Available on Amazon here ↗️
How To Keep A Rabbit Cage From Smelling ( Bedding & Cleaning) 4

Did you know that you can litter train your bunny? You can! In fact, the process is pretty simple. All you need is a bit of time and patience, and you can have your smart little pet consistently using their own, tidy litter box.

If you start litter training your rabbit right off the bat, it will be much easier. First:

  • Spay or neuter your rabbit. Otherwise, they have a natural instinct to mark.
  • Quarantine. During litter training, your rabbit should stay in one room with their litter box. Consider this a cozy sort of training environment for your bun.
  • Set up the litter box. When creating a litter box for your bunny, never use cat litter. Your rabbit is sure to ingest some, and as it is not digestible, they will become very sick. Instead, try something like hay or paper. Some will recommend newspaper, but you actually want to avoid this due to the ink. Rabbits do not bury their droppings, so all that they will require is about 1-inch of litter. Pro tip: rabbits appreciate more than one litter box!
  • Put droppings in the litter box. Of course, your rabbit will not know how to use their litter box right away… at first, they are sure to leave droppings everywhere else as well. You can teach them where to leave the droppings by removing and placing them there yourself. 
  • Praise your bun. Scolding your rabbit will have no effect, other than to frighten them. They are naturally prey animals, and quite sensitive. Instead, praise your rabbit when they do use the litter box. Put your rabbit in the litter box and pet them… all of this will help create a positive association with the litter box.
  • Give it time. Some rabbits are more receptive to litter training than others, so it will in part depend on the inclination and capability of the individual. Those that train their rabbits as soon as they are introduced to the home are also often the most successful.

Final thoughts

As you can see, when it comes to eliminating your rabbit cage odor, it is not too much work! All that you need is consistency when it comes to clean-up, and a bit of know-how. This will not only keep your rabbit cage (and your house) smelling fresh, but it will help keep your bun in good health and spirits as well.

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