Last updated on September 21st, 2019 at 10:28 am
Rabbits are clean animals, which with patience, can be trained to be able to use their litter boxes, just like cats and dogs. This post is going to focus on the types of litter boxes and litters you can buy. Once you know the various ones available, you can then go through rabbit litter box training in our next post.
Since rabbits vary in size from dwarf to medium to large to giant ones, buying a litter box needs you to factor in the size of your bunny. Go for a larger one for a larger rabbit and vice versa.
Typical sizes for small bunnies under 5 pounds is 16″L x 12″W x 4″H, for medium under 10 pounds 18.5″L x 15″W x 6″H and for large ones 22″L x 16″W x 6.5″H.
Litter boxes, pans and trays ideas
They are various types and designs which may be made from mainly plastic, wood or metal. The metal rabbit litter boxes tend to be expensive, durable but are often cold.
Some of the common ones include the following:
Boxes, trays or pans
They come in many designs and are typically rectangular pans made of plastic with a shorter side for entry and walls around it. Some have flipflop covers.
They are affordable, easy to clean and come in varying sizes. Also, they have plenty of space where you can include hay inside them.
One drawback is as your bunnies are hopping out of them, expect some poop to be thrown out of the tray or pan and fall around it.
Go for those with closed tops to avoid poop being flung around. However, such may make your bunnies to feel trapped and uncomfortable. Having two exits may make them feel a little more secure and see what is happing around them.
Corner litter boxes or pans
They are designed to take the least space possible especially for those who may not be having enough space in their cages and will fit in most hutch designs.
As Bunny Approved notes, it is suited for bunnies that “like to push their bottoms into a corner while doing their business – urine will most likely go where it’s supposed to” go. Some have non-stick surfaces for easy cleaning, and odor controlling charcoal filters, odor blocking or built-in odor neutralizers.
Despite being space economical, their small size means only one rabbit can fit inside them and they have no space for hay for the rabbit to eat while it is doing its business.
However, you can modify them by placing hay feeder trays next to them to allow rabbits to eat while using them.
A good example is the Nature’s Miracle Advanced High Sided Corner. There is also the Oval Hooded Flip Top and Corner Hooded Cat Litter Box from the same manufacturer which you can buy.
Rabbit litter box with hay rack
Since bunnies like to eat as they are pooping or urinating, having a litter tray or box with a hay rack is a brilliant idea. Unlike putting hay directly in the tray where it is likely to be spoiled, in this case, the hay is within reach but cannot be reached by poop or urine.
A drawback of this type is if it is made of wood, which is often untreated wood for safety reasons, it can get damaged making replacing the wood expensive.
Also, rabbits can toss it around as they hop out of it since it is low.
Litter boxes with a wire floor, grid or grill
This is an easy to clean cage with a wire mesh on its floor, and often with a tray beneath it. Rabbit owners will only need to pull the underneath plastic tray and clean it. It is not recommended since it can hurt your bunny’s feet and it very uncomfortable.
Rabbit Litter box with grate or screen
They come in various designs and shapes, but they are essentially boxes which have a plastic screen or grate (that resembles the kitchen grate).
They allow urine to pass through them to the litter inside the plastic tray while droppings will stay on the screen or grate.
Since they are soft and have smaller openings, they are not as uncomfortable as those with a wire grid.
These litter boxes with screens or grate are often recommended for bunnies that tend to burrow, dig or eat their litter or substrate.
Their downside is the droppings can be flown around as the rabbit hops, get stuck on its fur especially if it has long fur like the Angora rabbits and it may be cumbersome to clean the grate or screen if some dung sticks on it.
Senior and disable rabbits litter boxes
Unlike normal bunnies that can hop in and out of their litter trays, senior and disabled ones may not be able to do so. They require geriatric litter boxes for them to enter them without having to hop or jump, which are often wedge-shaped with the entry point almost flat.
Besides the above, a shallow storage tub can also be modified and used.
Best commercial brands
- Kaytee Hi-Corner
- Erlvery DaMain Large Triangle Potty Trainer Corner Litter Bedding Box Pet Pan
- Bunny Wonder Plastic Dropping/Litter Pan for Pet
- Ware Manufacturing Plastic Scatterless Lock-N-Litter Small Pet Pan
- PuppyGoHere Dog Litter Box
Rabbit litter – pellets, shavings, and newspaper
After buying your favorite litter trays, pans or boxes, you need to have a substrate for lining them. They are the same things we discussed on the rabbit bedding alternative in details. Here is a quick summary of the various options:
Wood shavings and pellets – pine, cedar, and aspen
If you want to use wood shavings and pellets, ensure you do not go for softwood shavings since they are linked to liver damage and respiratory issues. Instead, go for Aspen and other hardwood shavings.
They are readily available, affordable and absorbent. On the downside, they may stick on your rabbits’ fur and may not control odor.
There are both commercial and DIY options you can go for. They can be in pellet form, shredded paper or just as papers.
For the DIY, you can use old newspapers or shred them. Unfortunately, these may not control odor, may be harmful if ingested excessively due to the ink. However, they are cheap and readily available.
On the other hand, the commercial ones, including paper-based options are the best rabbit litter odor control. Some popular brands include:
- Carefresh rabbit litter such as Complete All-Natural Paper Bedding – These ones are Absorbent, animal safe, odor controlling and do not clamp on your rabbit’s fur. They are only available in pet stores and will are relatively expensive.
- Yesterday’s News rabbit litter – They are dust-free, highly absorbent, unscented, controls odor but is a little harder to scoop them when cleaning your tray or pan.
- Critter Care Natural – expandable, odor control, absorbent and safe.
Others equally good include the Carefresh Custom Rabbit/Guinea Pig Pet Bedding and the Yesterday’s News Original Formula Cat Litter.
Straw and hay
They are both comfortable, warm, edible and a lot cheaper. They are often recommended by most rabbit keepers.
- Corn cob liter – Absorbent, lightweight but it may cause blockage in ingested. Not recommended by most vets.
- Clay litters – Dust clay may affect your bunny’s respiratory system. Avoid them.
- Clumping litter – not recommended since it can get stuck in their digestive systems and does not have one of the best smells.
Where to buy them?
These litter trays, pans or boxes are available in most local pet stores, at Walmart, Petsmart.com, Amazon.com, eBay.com among other places.
Cleaning a rabbit litter box
Depending on the litter you have, the design or type of your box or tray, they can be cleaned daily, after a few days. However, spot-cleaning and scooping out any parts that are dirty should be done daily.
It is recommended to replace the litter once a week and do a thorough cleanup. However, this may depend on the type you are using.