Rabbit Litter Box - Everything You Need To Know From The Rabbit Pros

Rabbit Litter Box – Everything You Need To Know From The Rabbit Pros

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I asked thousands of my rabbit friends how often they cleaned their rabbit litter box. I also asked them what they use for a bunny litter box and what they put in that litter box. Below we’ll dig into what these rabbit pros shared so you can learn from their countless years of experience.

At the end of this article, you can add your own bunny litter box to this article.

This article does contain affiliate links which means that we make a small commission, at no additional cost to you, when you make a purchase through these links

How Often To Clean A Rabbit Litter Box

Hundreds of my rabbit-loving friends responded to my question “How often do you clean your rabbit litter box?” and I collected the data so we now know how often rabbit owners actually clean their bunny’s litter box.

Now let’s look at the data…

Rabbit Litter Box Cleaning Schedule from RabbitPros.com

Over 60% of rabbit owners clean out their rabbit’s litter box every two or three days. Roughly 15% of rabbit owners clean their litter boxes daily, and another 15% report cleaning their litter boxes only once a week. Of course, this can vary based upon the number of rabbits, the size of rabbits, the size of the litter box, and the material in the litter box.

Let’s look at some actual examples.

One of my rabbit friends has four bunnies and a standard-sized cat litter box with paper towels for litter. She changes her litter box at least once a day, and sometimes more.

Another rabbit friend also has four bunnies, but they have access to two litter boxes that are each six feet long (she turned old rabbit changes into litter boxes). Each of these giant litter boxes is filled with kiln-dried pine pellets. With such a huge setup, she only cleans out the litter boxes once a week or even less!

Now lets take a look at what materials people are actually using in their rabbit litter box.

The Size Of A Rabbit Litter Box

The size of your rabbit litter box depends upon the number of pet bunnies and the size of your bunnies.

A rabbit litter box needs to be large enough for your rabbit to stand entirely inside of the box and have room to turn around. In general, a small bunny needs a litter box at least 11″ by 8″ (88″ Sq), a medium rabbit needs a box at least 12″ by 9″ (108″ Sq), and a large rabbit needs a box at least 16″ by 11″ (175″ Sq).

If you have more than one rabbit, move up at least one size in the litter box. If there is any chance that your bunny is going to have to occasionally go for more than a week between litter box cleanings, get a larger litter pan.

Most Popular Rabbit Litter Material

Most Popular Rabbit Litter Material from RabbitPros.com

The majority of rabbit owners use kiln-dried pine pellets as rabbit litter material. The next most popular material is paper pellets with nearly 28% of rabbit owners using this material. Both are great choices as they are bunny-safe and can be safely composted.

Some of the less popular litter materials include aspen bedding, which is significantly more expensive than pine, and shredded paper, which can be free but you have to shred it yourself and be careful of what kinds of paper you include in your bunny’s litter box.

Pine pellets are most popular because they tend to be the most affordable store-purchased choice for rabbit litter. Most people buy these wood pellets at a local farm store like Tractor Supply.

We recommend using either the pine pellets or the paper pellets for rabbit litter material.

Are Pine Pellets Safe For Rabbits

Pine pellets and dried pine shavings are safe for rabbits because they are kiln-dried. The process of drying pine removes the phenols, which can cause health issues in rabbits. The majority of rabbit owners use pine pellets in their rabbit’s litter boxes.

To be clear, you shouldn’t give your rabbit fresh pine or cedar to chew on. Both are high in phenols which give them their distinctive smell. You can use this odor as a quick test. If any wood has a really strong aroma of pine or cedar, you should avoid using it around your bunnies.

Advantages Of Pine Pellets As Rabbit Litter

Pine pellets are cheap and really absorbent. You can buy 40-pound bags of pine pellets that have been designed as bedding for horses. If they’ll absorb a horse’s mess, your bunny is going to be fine.

You can buy pine pellets on Amazon, but it’s way less expensive at a local farm supply store. Look for big bags made for horses…it’s the same stuff found in the smaller bags. Just be sure to look at the ingredient list, a few brands add chemical stabilizers or glue to their pellets and those should be avoided.

Pine pellets are very dust free, only turning into dust as they begin to break down.

In addition, pine pellets compost really easily.

If you mix your soiled pine pellets into your compost pile, within six months it will have broken down into sawdust and nutrients; improving both the nutrient profile and texture of your compost.

Some people apply it directly to their garden, but we only use the pellets after composting. However, we do sometimes apply rabbit poop directly to our garden as it a great fertilizer.

Advantages Of Paper Pellets As Rabbit Litter

Paper pellets are made out of recycled paper and are safe to use with rabbits. Some brands have a texture that more like fiber than pellets, which makes it able to clump so that you can spot clean your litter box and not have to dump the whole thing.

Paper pellets are super absorbent, even more so than the pine pellets.

Paper composts really well and will easily break down within six months when mixed into your healthy compost pile.

Finally, paper litter is pretty dust free which helps contain any litter mess.

The two brands most often mentioned by my bunny friends are CareFresh and Breeder’s Choice (both link to Amazon).

I honestly don’t have personal experience with either (we use pine pellets and hay), but the Carefresh brand was the most popular among my rabbit friends.

Rabbit Litter Box Liner

Most rabbit owners place some kind of lining in their bunny’s little box before they put in the actual litter. A liner helps keep waste from sticking to the bottom of the litter box and makes cleanup much easier. There are several options for litter pan liners, including newspaper, plain paper, cardboard, and puppy pads.

In my opinion, you should follow the lead of the majority of rabbit owners and line your litter box every time you change the litter.

While I’m a big fan of composting our rabbits’ soiled litter material, composting the lining can be more difficult because it’s a solid piece instead of being shredded. That means that the bigger chunks of lining material tend to ball up in your compost and take a long time to actually break down.

That means you’ll probably be throwing away these liners unless you’re comfortable tearing up soggy litter lining.

Most people use either use newspaper or cardboard, and I suggest you do the same. Both are free, and if you don’t have enough at your place see if your neighbors or family will save more for you.

Grates Over A Rabbit Litter Box

Many rabbit owners like to have a grate over the litter material. This litter box grate has two advantages; it keeps your bunny’s feed cleaner and keeps your bunny from digging in the litter and making a mess. The downside is that not all bunnies will use a litter box if there is a grate on it.

Sadly, the only way to know if your rabbit will use a litter box with a grate is to try it.

Fortunately, a small litter box with a grate isn’t terribly expensive and is really easy to find. { Click here to a grated litter box on Amazon. >>> }

Steps To Setup A Rabbit Litter Box

1. Get An Appropriate Sized Litter Box

Your litter box needs to be large enough that your bunny can fully stand inside of it and turn around inside of it.

You should consider the following factors when choosing a rabbit litter box:

  • The Size Of The Litter Box
  • Do You Want A Grate? (You can always remove it.)
  • Do You Want An Integrated Feeder & Hay Rack?

If you are looking for a budget option for a small to medium rabbit, consider something like this one linked on Amazon.

If it fits within your budget, we highly recommend a custom rabbit litter box like this one on Etsy. A unit like this will keep your rabbit from pooping on the floor while eating, limit the hay mess, and keep your rabbit from flipping it’s food or water bowl.

Image of A rabbit Feeder
Photo Credit – PhillyCreations On Etsy

They are pricey, but do make bunny life better. { Click Here to see this on Etsy. >>> }

2. Place The Rabbit Litter Box Correctly

You need to find a location for your litter box that is near where your rabbit will be hanging out and is a spot that is quiet and protected enough that your bun will feel safe while doing their business.

3. Line The Litter Box

Placing a liner of paper or cardboard in your litter box is going to make cleanup a lot easier because it will help prevent stuff from sticking to the bottom of the rabbit’s litter pan.

4. Fill With Good Rabbit Litter Material

As we talked about above, we recommend pine pellets or paper pellets.

If you are going to use pine pellets, we highly recommend that you visit your local farm supply store and buy them in 40-pound bags made for horses. That will save you a lot of money.

If you are going with paper pellets, we recommend the brand used by the majority of our paper pellet using rabbit friends, CareFresh. { Click here to see CareFresh on Amazon. >>> }

5. Place Some Bunny Poop In The Litter Box

Placing some of your bunny’s own poop in the litter box will help her learn that is where she’s supposed to go…to go.

6. Give Your Bunny Some Time

It’s going to take some time for your rabbit to figure out where they are supposed to be going. Give them some time.

P.S. If you have your hay rack above the litter box, your bunny is going to learn where she’s supposed to go much faster.

7. If Needed, Take Bunny To The Litter Box

Some bunnies, like all kids, have a harder time figuring out where they need to go than others. If your bun falls into that category, regularly move them back to their litter box to remind them where the poo spot is. Rabbits can be trained!

Steps To Clean A Rabbit Litter Box

Cleaning out a rabbit litter box isn’t difficult, just follow these simple steps.

1. Dump Soiled Litter Material It A Bucket Every 2 or 3 Days

Most people change their rabbit litter box every two or three days. However, you might need to clean your more or less often based upon the number of bunnies, the size of your rabbits, the size of your litter box, and the litter material that you use.

We recommend using either Pine Pellets or Paper Pellets in your rabbit litter box.

Simply dump the rabbit litter when it starts getting wet or stinky…it will probably be about every 2 or 3 days.

We dump it into a bucket so we can compost the waste later.

2. Put The Litter Box Liner In The Trash

We recommend using either newspaper, paper, or cardboard as a liner, and none of these things compost really well unless you shred them. Shredding soiled paper is not a pleasant task, so we usually just toss it in the trash.

If you’re up the task of shredding soiled paper or cardboard, then go ahead and add it to your compost pile. It’s going to make great compost!

3. Examine The Empty Pan For Sticking Litter & Wash As Needed

If there are clumps of litter and waste stuck to your litter tray, you’re going to have to decide if it’s bad enough to need washing.

If it needs to be washed, take it outside and give it a good washing. Soap and water will get it clean, though I’d avoid any heavily scented soaps which might bug your bunny and make them look for a better place to go.

Be sure to dry it thoroughly before proceeding; you don’t want to start with wet litter.

4. Add New Lining

Newspaper, paper, or cardboard covering the entire bottom of the litter pan and preferable an inch or so up the side.

5. Add New Bunny Litter

Don’t get crazy carried away with the amount of litter material you put in your bunny’s litter box. Just two to three inches is plenty.

6. Put The Litter Box Back In Place

7. Let Your Bunny Check Out Your Work

8. Compost The Soiled Litter

Carry your bucket of dirty bunny litter to your compost pile. Dig a hole in the middle of the pile and dump the waste in it before covering the hole back up.

In the heat of summer, you’ll have trouble finding the waste in just 6 weeks or so, and within six months it will all just be amazing soil.

9. Clean Your Litter Bucket

I wash my bucket out with a hose and dump the water on my compost pile. Then I store my bucket in the greenhouse until it’s time to clean out the litter box again.

Photo by Eva Elijas from Pexels

Composting Rabbit Litter & Waste

Rabbit manure is outstanding fertilizer. Rabbit manure can even be sold to gardeners in raw form at premium prices or already composted at ultra-premium prices.

Now whether you decide to sell your bunny poop to offset the expenses of keeping a bunny is up to you. Regardless, you should not just toss these valuable resources in the trash.

Both pine pellets and paper pellet rabbit litter is perfectly safe to compost. This bunny litter & waste composts incredibly easily and creates amazing nutritious dirt for your garden and house plants.

The litter material adds valuable carbon to your compost pile and as each breaks down it adds organic material to your dirt to give it the perfect texture for growing plants.

With the bunny mana you’ll have the healthiest plants ever.

Add Your Data To The Rabbit Litter Box Database

The form below is a one-hundred-percent anonymous and is created using Google Forms. You’ll just be adding your data to help other rabbit lovers get a more complete feel for what other people do with their rabbit litter boxes.

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My name is Stacey Davis and my family has kept rabbits for decades. Here on RabbitPros.com we share our love of rabbits, our experience, and lots of research to help you enjoy your pet bunny even more.

One thought on “Rabbit Litter Box – Everything You Need To Know From The Rabbit Pros

  1. A trick I do is I break down the wood pellets first. I fill a Rubbermaid tub 1/3 of the pine pellets. I then add water, just enough to that I can see the water coming up under the pellets. This of course breaks down the pellets. Wait 24 hours and you have dry sawdust and THREE times as much litter!

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