When it comes to buying a large rabbit hutch, you will notice that the market has a lot to offer. However, you do not necessarily need to buy one, as you can also build a hutch yourself for your cute rabbit. Still, before you even go there, you need to do your homework in order to be able to offer your friend the best possible environment.
You might not know this, but there are many things to take into consideration when raising rabbits. Beginning with their dietary requirements to setting up a clean and healthy environment, you need to know how to do things right.
One of these things is the litter. If you are new with these types of animals, you might be tempted to believe that you could use cat litter for your rabbit. In this article, we are going to offer you some information regarding this aspect.
Cat Litter for Rabbits?
In order to keep a rabbit’s cage clean and pleasant, you need to use a bunny-friendly litter. You should know that many types of commercial cat litter can pose a severe risk to your pet’s health. For example, you should never use any clay cat litter in a rabbit’s cage. It does not matter if it clumps or not, this type of litter is harmful if consumed.
According to ASPCA, clay cat litter can generate digestive difficulties for your rabbits if ingested. As we all know, rabbits like munching on things. Therefore, they can consume litter and this habit can easily become life-threatening.
Moreover, compared with non-clay litter, this type also contains more dust. A rabbit would ingest a lot of dust through its mouth and nose which will cause serious breathing issues.
You should also know that litter which consists of clay or silica can be very dangerous because it can cause intestinal blockage. The direct result of eating clay or silica is often death. Therefore, this type of litter should be avoided from your bunny’s cage.
There are also pine and cedar-based cat litters available on the market. These are dangerous for rabbits, as well, because the wood chips from cedar and pine give off a toxic smell that is harmful to the pet’s liver. These natural cat litters use these wood chips in their composition so you need to be very careful and avoid them also.
As a rabbit owner, it is essential to understand that litter is one of the most important things you can buy for your pet. This product keeps your pet’s environment clean and fresh. Rabbit litter can be used inside the litter box but also as bedding. Also, the bedding can make a difference between a happy bunny or a sad one, and between a healthy bunny and a sick one.
That is why you need to choose carefully when looking for such an item. We will not tell you which product is the best on the market, as it is not the purpose of this article. However, we can tell you what features good litter has which you can also look for.
For example, you will need something with a high absorbency level. There are options that can absorb up to three times a rabbit’s mass. The advantage is that your bunny’s environment will remain fresher for a longer period.
Furthermore, you should find something that is non-toxic but also dust free. If you look at the market, you will find products that are up to 99% dust free. This will make your life easier every time you will clean your bunny’s litter box. Dust can also pose a lot of respiratory issues, so it is much better for your pet’s health to look for a product like this.
Another thing to look for is odor control. Can you imagine how bad your house could smell from your pet’s urine? Since there are many products out there that can control the foul odor, we suggest going for this type of litter. Additionally, such a product will also keep your rabbit’s environment fresher for longer.
Since we talked about the types of cat litter and their composition, we should also mention what materials rabbit litter contains. Wood, paper, and Timothy hay are recommended as they are safer than clay, for example.
Wood bedding is cheaper but it will not last you for a long time and you have to change it periodically, even daily, in some cases. Also, you need to look for larger sizes of wood shavings. Otherwise, your pet could get injured.
On the other hand, paper bedding has become more and more popular with rabbit owners. This happens because it comes at an affordable price and it is high quality. What is important to keep in mind is that the bedding should be very absorbent, as mentioned previously, and it should also provide comfort as well as a dry environment.
Beddings made of reinforced recycled paper with absorbent qualities will ensure your pet remains dry and his or her hutch will feel more like a home than a public restroom.
Of course, the choice is yours. Whatever you consider is more comfortable for your pet and for you — that is what you should select. As a suggestion, you can try more types and observe how comfortable your rabbit seems to be in each, and then stick with the one that is preferred.
This is a suggestion that you might find helpful. Since this is a product you will be purchasing frequently, getting larger bulks has its perks. Still, it is very important to test the product to make sure that your rabbit likes it, as explained earlier.
Once you notice that your cute friend is comfortable with a certain type of bedding, you can start buying in large bulks. This will help you to save a lot of money. Another recommendation is to change the entire bedding after one week or even ten days, but no more rarely than this interval.
The frequency to change your pet’s litter depends on how dirty it becomes and not on the days that passed, so make sure you check it daily.
Environmentally Friendly and Comfortable
Last but not least, we recommend using an eco-friendly litter for your rabbit, like recycled paper, which is biodegradable as well. However, the paper should not be printed, as the paint can be toxic.
Moreover, your pet needs to find the bedding comfortable. In case you notice any negative reaction to the new litter, it is possible that your little friend does not like it. That is why it is very important to observe your pet’s initial reactions in order to establish if he or she is comfortable enough.
In case you are tempted to buy cat litter for your rabbit, we suggest that you forget this idea. Instead, go for a type that is specifically made for rabbits. Nowadays it is easy to find such products and you can get them for quite affordable prices. There really is no point in risking your pet’s health, when you can get the right type of bedding that your rabbit will like and feel comfortable in.