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Bunny Care Guide: The Best Litter For Your Bunny

Updated on October 12, 2007

One of the more major decisions you have to make when you decide to keep your bunny is one that may at first seem trivial. Surely you just grab some litter, any litter, toss it in the bottom of the cage and have done? Well that's a fine theory, but unfortunately there are problems with it. You see, rabbits have a tendency to put everything they can in their mouths, and many litters may either cause intestinal blockages, or be poisonous to your bunny. Still other litters won't kill your rabbit, but may not be all that good at absorbing and deodorizing that rabbit pee. Here's a wee guide (puns, I crack me up) to rabbit litter.

The Good

Compressed Sawdust Pellets - These are cheap and highly absorbent.

Aspen Bark Litter - Also good, may stick to the undercoat of long haired bunnies and make a huge mess as they tramp it around the house.

Recycled Paper Litters - Good for the environment, absorbent, and good at odor control.

The Bad

Oat and Alfalfa Litter - Might be okay, might also cause a blockage in your bunny.

Newspaper - Will soak up urine, but doesn't control the odor very well. On the plus side, not a bad way to recycle your newspapers.

Deodorizing Litter - If your rabbit eats this, it is poisonous. Can be okay if used under a wire rack and the rabbit never comes in contact with it.

The Ugly

Corn Cob Litter - Sold everywhere, this is completely useless at absorbing rabbit urine, and comes with the added bonus of being potentially lethal.

Pine /Cedar Shavings - Using Pine and Cedar shavings turns your rabbits cage into a virtual gas chamber. When the rabbit's urine comes in contact with these materials, gases are released that can cause liver damage.

The Creative

Some people use old rabbit pellets as litter. This is a great way to use old feed, and it doesn't much matter if the bunny eats it, but it strikes many as a bit wasteful.

Take your time when choosing a litter, and try out various kinds. Depending on the coat of your rabbit, some litters may be more problematic than others, especially if he or she still has his or her fuzzy baby coat. Be aware too, that your rabbit will try to eat the litter if it is possible for it to, and plan accordingly. Blockages and poisoning are no fun, and are sad ways to lose a pet. Fortunately, with a little forethought, they can be eliminated.


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      horselover123 4 years ago

      Can you put walnut shell shaving thingy mcbobby thing in for litter? We used to use that we don't know if its good now we use horse stall pellets from the horses letover ones and they work fine? Are they fine?

    • profile image

      Fallon 6 years ago

      Can bunnies eat yeaterdays news? My bunny is eating it...

    • profile image

      bunnydoc 6 years ago

      I have had a problem finding litter that is safe for my dwarf bunny. I was using the critter litter but the place I got it at doesn't carry it anymore. I tried the corn cob and all he wanted to do was eat it, it clearly states "avoid ingestion by animals" on the back. So I immediately stopped using it. I have been using my old newspapers-only for one day now- and he doesn't seem to mind it. He is also nibbling on it and I was wondering if it is okay that he ingests the newspaper? It is not in big amounts but it still worries me because I want only the best for him. I am a new bunny mom and enjoying his company and affection. I have never seen a bunny give so many kisses. So I did get a salt lick but I have come to learn that he is just affectionate. Please help with the question regarding my old newspaper as litter and if it is safe!?

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      rabbit46 6 years ago

      what does Recycled Paper mean is that a normal paper??

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      Bunny Lovers 6 years ago

      Dear Gerhard and Lea,

      I think that that a female rabbit would be better because we have one and she is so adorable! The female rabbits also tend to be more quiet and keep to themselves, I find.I got my rabbit spained, like a week or 2 after we got her. Some rabbits you can even get neutered when you get them depending on the age. My female bunny does tend to smell if I don't change the litter box everyday. Also just a tip, it does still smells after you use those spray things. (Don't try the sprays!)

      Just one note, I am a breeder of Mini- Rex bunnies so my email adress is and I am also a vet so you don't have to worry!


      (I also have a cat, just saying I think before you look into buying a bunny you should also look into cats and dogs and other animals because they are also ADORABLE and you can get a lot of NON- SHEDDING cats and dogs!!!)

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      GSB 6 years ago

      Hi, I agree, great website. We are planning buying a mini Rex and my family is concerned about the smell, your advice has been great, thanks!

      I need to know whether the male of female rabbit make a better pet as I heard a neutered male mostly makes the finer pet?

      Also, please, when do you have the rabbit neutered?

      Kind regards

      Gerhard an Lea

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      agnes 6 years ago

      I had a bunny and it was not nice so we got a female to and now they had 2 liters there so adorable!!Because we followed your instructions THANKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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      Lacee 6 years ago

      Hello, This is the best website for rabbit advice!! I have tried yesterdays news, but it is really hard to see the poop and I can't really see where my bunnies pee either. My one bunny likes to dig at her litter so it makes a mess with most litters!! Thanks so much for the advice!!

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      Catlovebunnies 6 years ago

      hey bunniez! I found your articles VERY interesting and helpful that I can't help myself and read them all. I think my bunny loves me (I think!) anyway what i needed to ask is i have own this bunny for like 3 months, so I don't know if it still counts as a bunny or not and I didn't have it litter trained. Is it too late to get it litter trained or is there any alternative? really need your help here =(

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      bugzy 7 years ago

      is saw dust a good litter

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      help 8 years ago

      How do I get rid of baby bunny's without killing them.

      Last night i found a litter in my back yard and i can't have them there because of my dog.

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      Sandy  8 years ago

      I use Yesterday's News, recycled newspaper litter. I like it for many reasons, but I noticed one day that I had put the bunnies' litter into their food bowl. I think that this must occur frequently and could be a VERY severe problem if, say, an older person doesn't realize the mistake and the bunny is left with only litter in the bowl. Since their litter looks so much like bunny food, I would like to suggest to the company that they put in big brightly colored balls made of some non-toxic substance so that one can easily tell that it's litter, not food.

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      Jenny-rabbit 8 years ago

      When we got our rabbit from another owner she was using cedar shavings, so we got a big bag of them. 2 days later I read that they are toxic to rabbit (great and there is a pic of a rabbit on the bag). So I bought Yesterday's News and she wouldn't use it she would poop right next to her litter box so for the past week i have been mixing them and then adding less and less cedar and more and more yesterday's news and it's working now i fill it with yesterday's news and just sprinkle a few pieces of cedar on top of it. So by next week she should be used to the new litter and use it. (Yesterday's New's is recycled newspaper in pellet form and is not harmfull if they eat it, well that's what i have read on all sites i've seen so far with rabbits you never know one site will say it is safe and another will say things are toxic) It's not very expensive and not a all messy. I can't tell where she pee's but you can see the pile of poop in the corner, so i just empty it when i get home from work every day and i don't smell anything!

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      laura 9 years ago

      i have the same thing as sandy its called critter litter its for rabbits ... they say there is not toxic is it safe ???

    • profile image

      laura 9 years ago

      i have the same thing as sandy its called critter litter its for rabbits ... they say there is not toxic is it safe ???

    • LyndseyLou profile image

      LyndseyLou 9 years ago

      But how do you know which are soiled?

    • Bunniez profile image

      Bunniez 9 years ago

      Cat litter is toxic to bunnies. It WOULD be easier, but it would also kill them if they ate it. Bunnies are a real pain when it comes to litters, unfortunately.

      I think the best litter, certainly the safest is to use plain grass pellets. They absorb liquid and you know the bunny won't die from eating them.

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      Sandy 9 years ago

      Part of the starter kit the local pet store advised was a litter of pearl shaped pellets made from "100% all natural bentonite". It claims to be a pure, non-toxic inert clay. It absorbs and contains messes well but I got concerned for my bunny after looking up bentonite on wikipedia. Is this really safe to use?

    • LyndseyLou profile image

      LyndseyLou 9 years ago

      What about cat letter? It seems to me like it would be a lot easier to keep clean because you can scoop the droppings and messings out.