Bunny Litter That Works
Fellow bunny owners, I have something of a guilty confession to make. In spite of the plethora of somewhat hysterical advice to the contrary, I recently tried Wicket on kitty litter in her cage. There were a couple of reasons for this change. The smell from that box was becoming unbearable even with regular cleaning, almost to the point that I was reconsidering her place as an indoor rabbit, and the advised litters (paper based litters, for the most part) did not absorb the urine or the smell, and she also ate everything in the cage, including the litter, which made me fear blockages if the paper mash were to clog in her digestive system.
The type of litter I am now using is non clumping attapugite clay based litter, and I have to say that so far (two weeks in) it is a huge success. The smell from her cage is much diminished, she doesn't try to eat it, and it makes cleaning the cage out far easier than wiping out sodden newspaper or other paper based litters. There are apparently some health concerns regarding the dust from clay based litters, the main one being an increased susceptibility to pneumonia, but as she lives inside and is well fed and warm, I think the likelihood of her sickening that way is fairly low. Most importantly, the fact that she doesn't try and eat the stuff is a huge bonus in my book.
If you have a house rabbit that you have to live in fairly close quarters with, this type of litter may be effective for you. It is entirely natural, contains no additives and chemicals which could harm the rabbit, but is highly absorbent with good odor control. It is also highly recyclable, you can toss it into the garden after using it, or even compost it for fertilizer later on.
Please note that there is a considerable difference between natural clay based non clumping litter and clumping litter, which can cause blockages if ingested. Though there may be some risk associated with using this type of litter, there are risks with almost all litters, to the point where rabbit owners become frustrated trying to find any litter at all. The common wood shaving litter of cedar and ash apparently releases harmful gases when wet, and cob litter, kitty litter, and paper litter can all cause deadly blockages if ingested.
Odor control is an issue even with the cleanest cage. Rabbit urine is very strong smelling, and unless you plan on changing the box every few hours, it is something you are going to have to contend with. What is the best litter? The best litter is one that controls odor, won't poison your rabbit, and one that your rabbit won't eat. (Unless you are using hay as litter, in which case, you are going to be contending with one heck of a stench.) For some people, that may mean turning to a natural cat litter, which is designed to provide good absorption and odor control at a reasonable price.
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