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Can you use cat litter for rabbits? The short answer is a BIG FAT NO you should not use any of the different types of cat litter! Now I don’t mean that to sound condescending but rather a huge warning of how bad it could be for your rabbit if you do.
Rabbits have very prone to digestive problems and most often litter boxes allow rabbits to sit in the litter box which is really bad for them. Rabbits are clean animals (as I am sure you know) and groom themselves. If any of the clay litter gets in their fur and the rabbit ingests any of it that can cause intestinal blockages and kill your rabbit.
Beyond that, anything out of the ordinary in the rabbit’s gut gives them issues which is why I am not a fan of keeping house rabbits simply because of the dangers it can bring to them. Outdoor rabbits are much healthier.
But IF you have a house rabbit I want you to consider the right cage and litter box situation over choosing the right litter because it’s not good for rabbits to ingest any of them.
The Best Housing Situation
You want to find a cage that either has a litter tray underneath the floor and the rabbit’s waste can fall through. This is going to be your healthiest option for your rabbits.
OR if you are determined to do litter training with your rabbit find a rabbit litter box that has wire over the top of where the waste would fall through.
Absolutely no solid flooring. I will not budge on this one. It is so bad for your rabbit’s health when it comes to respiratory issues.
When your rabbit’s cage has solid floors because the waste can not go anywhere. Your rabbit’s feet will get covered in pee and depending on the breed that is A LOT of waste that will be produced in just one day.
My rabbit hutches are shown below with no tray. The waist falls to the ground about 3 feet from where the rabbits are providing GREAT circulation and airflow. I get so many great compliments about the lack of smell when friends and colleagues come over.
Best Type Of Litter
There really are only two different types of litter that I would recommend. The rest either turn into a mess when it’s time to clean the dirty litter box or they are really dangerous for your rabbit.
Wood pellets are going to be my number one recommendation IF you are not going to let your rabbits in a cage that has access to the bedding. DO NOT use it if you are putting it in a rabbit’s litter box that they will sit on the actual litter. If they eat one pellet it could be deadly because it swells when wet and it would swell inside their intestines.
Otherwise, this is going to be the best litter option because it has little to no dust and will help prevent respiratory problems in your rabbit. They also absorb way more of the urine than any other bedding.
It is also great for odor control.
Bonus Tip: If your pet rabbit is not going to have access to the litter pan you can put a few drops of lavender essential oil in the tray and it will cut down on the rabbit urine odors as well as put off a good smell.
Next would be pine bedding shavings. This is the most common and is fine but it doesn’t absorb the pee like the pellets do. They will do a good job slowing down the order but you will want to change the litter tray every 5-7 days if your rabbit is living in your house.
Worst Types Of Litter
There are all kinds of litter options coming out at pet stores and most times when they say rabbit-safe litters it simply means it is fine for rabbits to be around it and doesn’t have harmful chemicals. It doesn’t mean it can be ingested.
Any kind of paper litter, newspaper pellets, or fluffy paper bedding, is at the bottom of the list. It’s really dangerous for your rabbit to ingest and more than that the paper just turns into a gooey mess when it’s time to clean out your rabbit’s litter box.
Corn cob litter is ok but it doesn’t absorb hardly anything.
Rabbit LItter Tools
Lavender Essential Oil
Here is an affordable brand that would work well for keeping the smell down and controlling the bacteria. I would not use it for wound care. I would get a better quality oil for that. – Get On Amazon
LItter Box With Tray
I still do not think litter boxes are necessary but this is the style you should have if you are set on using one or having a house rabbit. This will keep the rabbit off the waste and litter while going to the bathroom. – Get It On Amazon
8 pounds of wood litter pellets
Here are wood pellets that you can use for rabbit litter if you need to. But if you have a farm supply store you can get a 50-pound bag in the horse section for about $6. – Get On Amazon
Do Rabbits Need A Litter Box
The answer is no. I am not shy about this one. The stores are trying to sell you more products and if they can make it look necessary and cause rabbit owners to buy it they have done their job. They do it by pulling at your heartstrings making you feel like your small animals need to have all the things.
Rabbits naturally go in one spot anyway. However, they do leave a trail of poo because this is one way they “mark their territory” for other rabbits. So this is something to consider when letting your rabbit run loose in your home.
If your rabbit has a cage with a wire floor the litter box is an unnecessary extra.
Clay cat litter should never be used around your rabbit because it will cause damage to its digestive tract. Natural materials are going to be the best option and should be put in the bottom of the litter box if you are set on using one.
As a good rule of thumb natural wood is going to be the best choice when it comes to the best rabbit litter. Cedar-based litters are ok as well but you want to make sure your rabbit can’t eat it because it can cause liver damage.