Rabbits make great house pets! They are quiet, cute and cuddly! These fluffy little cuties are also easy to maintain. You can keep rabbits both indoors and outdoors, but it’s better to keep them inside your home with you. This way your rabbit will trust you and you will become fast friends.
However, the only reason people tend to avoid keeping rabbits as house pets is that they think rabbits smell. So the question remains, do rabbits smell? The simpler answer to that is No! Rabbits themselves don’t smell!
Rabbits are very clean and have odorless fur. They have no scent of their own. But, if your rabbit smells, it may be because of how you have been maintaining it. It’s very easy to keep your house odorless while living with bunnies.
I’m here to help clear the misconception about rabbits being smelly. And also provide some tips on how to control unwanted odors from your rabbit cage.
Do Rabbits Smell?
As I said, rabbits are not smelly, they have no scent of their own. They are very clean and have odorless fur as they precisely keep grooming themselves all day. If they have an unwanted stench with them, it may be because of improper maintenance.
In case you wanted a rabbit but didn’t get one because you’ve been told they smell. Just go get one already! If you take proper care of your bunny and keep them their cage clean and hygienic, your house will be completely odorless.
What Causes the Smell?
The following are the reasons your rabbit may cause some unwanted odor around your home.
All animal feces live a stench. But, a healthy rabbit should have nearly odorless feces. Rabbits have two types of poop – one is firm dry small round brown pellets – these are odorless. But the other type is not as dry or firm – these however smells, smells bad!
These soft cow patties like feces are highly nutritious and bunnies usually re-eat them straightaway. You should hardly ever find them around.
But, if you notice your rabbit has watery, smelly feces, it may have intestinal pests or other illnesses like diarrhea. In that case, contact your vet immediately and get your pet checked up.
The strong rabbit smell in the house is,in fact, the smell of your rabbit’s urine. It contains ammonia and leaves a strong ammonia-tinged odor. The smell is especially strong right after urination.
If your rabbit is not litter trained they will urinate right about everywhere to mark their territory. So do not leave them running around the house untrained without supervision. But it is best to litter train them as soon as you get them home.
If your rabbit is litter trained and urinates on the litter box, you need to scoop out the urinated litter. It’s recommended to clean out the pellets and urinated litter once every day or every other day. And, you must clear out all and re-setup the litter box once every week.
Litter boxes are an easy way to keep your rabbit urine or feces causing your living space from smelling bad. Litter training your rabbit to do its business on the litter tray is considerably easy. But, if not properly maintained, this could be counterproductive. A litter box may cause a strong unwanted scent in your house.
To keep the litter box odorless use natural ingredients, like baking soda with the litter that works as a rabbit odor neutralizer. You can also find scented litters, but I recommend you avoid these. It’s not a good choice for rabbits as it irritates their noses.
Male rabbits that are not neutered – bucks – will start to spray or express sexually aggressive behavior. The spraying may cause this male rabbit urine smell in your house.
A healthy rabbit usually does not have any odors. But, if your rabbit is giving off an unusual scent, you should be concerned.
Often the unpleasant odor comes from a bunny’s ear. If your rabbit’s ear has a foul, yeasty, unpleasant smell, it may have an ear infection. These infections are very difficult and risky to treat on your own. So, take the rabbit to the vet to have it checked immediately.
How to Control the Smell?
Now that you know what causes the smell in your house, stop blaming the rabbit! They don’t have any odor on themselves! And the external smells caused by their wastes or litter box can be controlled. Here’s a list that suggests how to control the rabbit smell in your house.
The first and most important measure you should take to reduce the unwanted smell is to litter train your bunny. An untrained rabbit is more likely to drop waste pellets while running around or urinate anywhere around the house. If you train your rabbit to use a litter box to do its business, it will cut a lot of odor.
Once your rabbit is litter trained it will not release stool or urine anywhere else but the tray in their cage. You can place a litter box in your rabbit’s cage, or even get a cage that has a built-in pull-out tray to store the litter. The litter on your tray will cover the feces or urine and reduce the smell.
Scoop out the wastes from the litter tray daily or every other day to ensure proper maintenance. And, clean out the litter box empty, wash it, and re-setup the litter box every week. A well-maintained litter box will reduce almost all the unwanted odor from your home.
Cleaning your rabbit’s cage is vital. Once every week clean the cage inside out. Clean the bottom well. It may have ammonia built on the surfaces, which may be causing an untreatable smell.
Wash your rabbit’s food bowl and remove all the leftover treats from the cage twice daily. Wash the water feeder and refill it once daily.
Get the litter box out or the litter tray, and clean the cage spotless at least once every week. You may find cages with a built-in pull-out litter tray that will hold all the wastes, uneaten food droppings, and hay. Take the tray out and clean it regularly.
Getting top quality, high functioning cage for your rabbit saves you a lot of trouble. And it also aids in your rabbits’ comfort. This guide on choosing the best cage for your rabbit will help you buy the best cage for your rabbit.
There have been plenty of debates over neutering rabbits. Yet, this is one of the ways to keep your rabbit odorless. Neutering bucks will prevent them from spraying to mark territory. It will also bring a positive change to their aggressive sexual behavior.
You can get your rabbit neutered at any age, it is commonly done when their testicles drop – usually at the age of 3 to 4 months. It’s ideal to do it earlier as once rabbits hit puberty, they develop unwanted behavior that may stay back even after being neutered.
Contrary to popular belief, neutering is, in fact, safe and beneficial to your rabbit. It keeps them happy, healthy, and also adds up a few years to their lifespan. Unlike spaying, neutering is a much simpler operation.
The rabbit’s stable food – hay – has a strong smell of its own. Most owners that maintain proper cleanliness of their rabbit’s cage and litter, state their house smells of hay. Well, the solution is to store the hay in a cool, dry place – perhaps your laundry, garage, or basement.
Balance pH Level
There is one simple way to reduce the smell from rabbit urine. Add a few drops of apple cider vinegar to your rabbit’s water. It helps balance the pH level and reduces the urine smell.
Your rabbit’s feces may be smelly because of its diet. If you find your rabbit feces smelling unusual, it’s time to change its diet. Reduce the amount of fruit and vegetable, or any processed food you feed your rabbit. Make sure your rabbit’s diet consists of 80% hay, this keeps their digestive system function properly.
Another way to deodorize your house of that unwanted rabbit smell is to use a mild air freshener. Use something natural and organic. And make sure the scent is not harmful to your bunnies.
By now you should know all the reasons why your rabbit may cause a smell, and know how to prevent it. As I said, rabbits make great house pets, and there’s no reason to worry about your house having a bad smell.
So, do rabbits smell? No! And in case they do, you know how to control it. It’s your responsibility to take good care of that little thing. Maintain and clean the cage regularly and get your rabbit litter trained.Also, check your rabbit regularly to know if it’s healthy.
Follow the instructions mentioned above, and take your rabbit to the vet when you’re concerned, and you should be good to go! Your rabbit will be happy and won’t cause any unwanted lingering smell around your house!
Give my love to your fluffy friend! Happy petting!