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Cleaning your bunny

It is important to know the correct techniques of maintaining your pet. Different pets require varied amounts of space within your home, alongside consistency in care and diet

How do I prevent my rabbit cage from smelling?

Rabbits don't give off odours of their own; most of the odour associated with keeping a rabbit comes from the cage. Deodorizing the cage and keeping the home smelling rabbit-free isn't difficult, and a few extra steps in the setup of the cage and training of the rabbit will make this considerably easier. A clean cage will mean a happy, healthy rabbit and will make the home free of any unwanted odours.

Rabbits are very clean animals that like to live in clean conditions. It is natural for them to poop and urinate in a corner, so they do very well with a litter box in the right type of setup. Change the litter box every day, or every other day. It is a good idea to keep white vinegar in a spray bottle, so, when you empty the litter box, you can spray it with vinegar to get it nice and clean.

Place the litter box in the area the rabbit has selected as its bathroom corner. Droppings and urine are the main source of smell in the cage and being able to remove the litter pan to clean regularly is easier than cleaning the whole cage.

Change the litter in the box frequently. Rabbits are known for eating some of the litter and bedding in their cages, so use something organic such as hay or alfalfa as litter. This will not harm the rabbit should it eat some and will also absorb odours and smell fresh.

Replace soiled bedding as needed. Litter boxes should be emptied every few days and wiped clean with soap and water. Do not use harsh cleaning chemicals, as the odour left behind can cause health problems for the rabbit.

Give the cage a thorough cleaning at least once a month. Empty out all bedding, toys and dishes. Scrub the bottom of the cage with a mild bleach solution, using no more than a capful for a gallon of water. After scrubbing with this solution, wash the cage with soap and water to remove any bleach that has been left behind. Let the cage dry completely before putting everything back inside.

Another tip is to make sure the rabbit has gone through spaying or neutering, this will stop many unwanted behaviours and eliminate a lot of odour by decreasing the hormone activity of the rabbit.

Feed a regular diet; changing the rabbit's food can also result in some unwanted smells and the mess of diarrhoea.

(Views expressed and information provided are personal. Send your questions to manekaanimallove@gmail.com)

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