Home Pet Accessories & Gadgets Cages How to keep Rabbit Cage from smelling-Odor Control & Deodorizers

How to keep Rabbit Cage from smelling-Odor Control & Deodorizers

Rabbit owners always accuse rabbits of emitting pungent smells. However, this is not all true since most of the time, the bad smell arises from the unhygienic conditions the bunnies are exposed to, causing the cages to smell. There are numerous methods that you can employ to keep your rabbits cage smelling fresh. Some methods will be analyzed below.

Why do Rabbit Cages smell?

Studies show that build-up of ammonia from the pee especially the buck results to a smelly cage.

Rabbits sometimes develop Urinary Tract Infections that always emit this pungent smell, causing the cage to smell.

Failure to clean the rabbits causes their fur to soak in urine. Small, dirty cages will force rabbits to sit in their urine, thus when not cleaned, rabbits emit foul smell resulting in bad smell from the cage.

Unsanitary conditions in the cage always result in a bad smell. Lack of regular cleaning of the cage will automatically result in a foul smell. Rotten food in rabbits’ plates, spilled food and unclean water containers always attracts bacteria, fungi, and mildew that causes a pungent smell.

Old rabbits that have weak back legs and rabbits with dirty behinds are causes of bad smell in cages. When you fail to properly groom your bunnies, whether old or those experiencing health issues, your cage might end up stinking.

How to keep the Bunny Cages from smelling

Following is what you are supposed to do to keep you bunny cages and hutches free of smell.

Regular Disinfecting and Cleaning of the Cage

Ensure you clean the rabbits’ cage regularly and disinfect all items in the cage. Items such as water containers and rabbit plates should be disinfected to prevent the growth of mold, mildew, and bacteria that often cause the smell in the cage. Also ensure that you use effective cleaning products such as enzyme washes, white vinegar or mild detergents.

Use sprays

You can also spray your rabbits. This reduces the concentration of the pungent smell emitted by spilled food, feces, and the rabbits’ urine. Rabbits that remain intact often produce a strong unpleasant smell since they have changes in hormonal balance, causing the strong pee smell. Spraying the bunnies reduces the impact of smelly urine and also prevents uterine cancer.

Training the Rabbit

You can litter train your rabbits on the appropriate spot to pee and defecate.

Improve the Rabbits diet

According to Dr Nickol Finch, a Clinical Assistant Professor at the Washington State University (Veterinary Clinical Sciences Department), a good diet, especially one which is in high fibre plays a huge role in your bunny’s overall health.

Smelly feces and pee could be an indicator that your bunnies have a poor diet. When rabbits take low fiber diets, they suffer from bloating, Enteroteoxema, UTI and dirty and stinky bottoms. Some foods, collectively referred to as Brassicas (cabbage, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kohlrabi, mustard greens) are known to trigger distinct odor from bunny poop.

Refrain from giving your bunnies such meals since the effect is always the pungent smell which can be felt in the whole cage. Instead, opt for meals that are rich in fiber such as grass hay.

Look for Health problems

Odor from the cage could emanate from smelling sick rabbits. Most pet rabbit keepers will agree that healthy rabbits always smell good.

However, as Dr. Dana Krempels (University of Miami Biology Department) notes, if your bunny has not been spayed/neutered, it can smell musk. The musk is naturally made in specialized apocrine glands (glands that secrete substance at the hair follicles).  If you detect strange smell, invite a vet to examine and provide the best solution.

Provide ventilation in the cage

The use of sprays and air fresheners only serves to mask the pungent smell. Try increasing ventilation in the cage. This eliminates unpleasant smell from the cage.

Most of the health problems that cause unpleasant smell among rabbits arise from dirty cages, therefore, enhancing cleanliness will reduce such illnesses.

You can purchase air ionizers that purify the air electrically. This purification system reduces odor concentration and also prevents rabbit snuffles.

Pick the right cage material

Use the right type of cage material for construction. You can use a plastic cage instead of a wooden one. Plastic cages are easier to clean and are cheaper than wooden ones. Plastic rarely reacts with rabbits’ feces and urine; thus you will have reduced the smell emanating from the cage. Other materials such as wood retain the urine stench.

Also, give the rabbits plenty of space in the cage. Restricting them in a tiny cage will lead to the development of poor toilet habits. The rabbits often hold their pee when they are in a confined space and this leads to the development of urinary tract infections.

Pick the right bedding

Pick the right type of bedding. It is advisable to use absorbent bedding such as paper pellets for the rabbits. The beddings are easily disposable and emit minimum stench as opposed to the regular fiber-based beddings. Other types of bedding often make the odor worse.

You can also use hardwood stove pellets that are chemical-free. These are cheaper bedding materials and have a high absorption rate.

The third method that you can employ is stacking hay in the newspaper. When placed alone, the newspaper is not as absorbent, but when placed on top of the hay, the combination is effective. Hay provides a distinct smell, hence it would cover the bad smell. The method might be ineffective if you want an odorless bedding for the rabbits.

Avoid certain types of bedding

Some beddings should be avoided since they make the odor worse. Avoid pine or cedar shavings since they cause respiratory issues to rabbits and never aid in odor control. Also, avoid Scented litter since they only mask the pee smell and in some cases, make the smell even worse.

Place the Litter bin away from water

Water that has spilled can make the cage smell bad, so ensure you place all water sources away from the litter bin. You can use a water bowl that would be hard to overturn, causing spillage.

Build accessible corners

Ensure that the cage you build can easily be accessed for cleaning. Tough spots to reach such as corners and crevices can be the source of the pungent smell.

Best rabbit Cage litter odor control Deodorizers

There is a variety of odor control deodorants available in the market, but not all of them awork effectively. Here are a few effective deodorants that have powerful odor control that various bunny owners and experts  recommend for your cage or hutch

Kaytee Extreme Odor Litter Control

This deodorant is extremely soft and offers high absorption. The litter neutralizes ammonia odors in the cage for as long as 14 days. It keeps the cage dry and clean and absorbs six times its weight in fluids.

It does not have toxic chemicals that may harm your bunny and it never stains the cages. Besides, it is dust-free, thus prevents respiratory complications for the bunnies.

Phresh Paper Pellet Litter

This is a paper-based rabbit litter that you can employ. The pellets are natural since they are made from recycled papers that are packed tightly hence provides higher absorption. Phresh has baking powder that controls odor and eliminates stains at the source thus ensuring your cage remains odorless.

Phresh has no added fragrances, therefore worry not about the harm it would have on the bunnies. It is also dust-free, biodegradable and eco-friendly.

Purina Non –Clumping Paper Litter

I would recommend this for your bunnies due to its superior odor control and absorbent properties. The paper litter is made from recycled paper pellets that lack harmful chemicals and dust particles.

You won’t have to worry about odor problems or absorbency since you will rarely change the litter box. The paper litter also lacks added scents and oils that may be harmful to the rabbits.

Kaytee Potty Litter Training

This is made from non-toxic bentonite that contains natural minerals that are safe for rabbits. The litter training absorbs moisture upon contact and carries up to ten times its weight.

It ensures the cage remains dry and reduces odors. It is also dust-free.

Oxbow Ecostraw Litter

This method is highly recommended by veterinaries for bunnies. It is made from straw pellet wheat. It is safe when accidentally consumed by the bunnies since it is made from high fiber plant material.

The pellets can absorb twice the amount the newspaper based litters can. It is effective in naturally controlling rabbit odor. It is also eco-friendly considering that the litter is biodegradable and you can flush it. It lacks chemicals and fragrances that may harm or irritate your bunnies.

Critter Care Litter

This litter bedding is natural and made from biodegradable wood pulp. This method suppresses ammonia odor leaving the cage smelling fresh. It has a soft texture that provides comfort and absorbs three times its weight.

It is also dust-free and can expand to twice its volume hence can provide liter services for a longer duration.

Marshall Ferret Litter

This litter is also recommended by most pet owners since it is natural and made from paper fibers. This is effective in absorbing urine and maintaining the bunny’s shape.

It has special odor ingredients that fight ammonia in rabbit urine. The litter has no chemicals and is dust-free. This reduces infections the bunnies might be exposed to.

See also…


  • https://rabbit.org/gastrointestinal-stasis-the-silent-killer-2/
  • http://www.bio.miami.edu/hare/buttbath.html
  • https://www.petmd.com/rabbit/conditions/urinary/c_rb_lower_urinary_tract_infection
  • https://www.thesprucepets.com/signs-that-your-rabbit-is-sick-1835739
  • http://wisconsinhrs.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/WHRS-Library_RabbitScents.pdf


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