How to Sanitize a Rabbit Cage
So how do you sanitize a rabbit cage? Besides regular changing of the bedding and cleaning of your rabbit's cage, you'll need to sanitize it a few times per year.
Sanitizing will involve a deep cleaning that includes your rabbit's dishes, water bottle and everything else inside the cage. Sanitizing is necessary to remove possible pathogens that may be lurking about that pose a danger to your rabbit.
One thing you need to be careful of when you sanitize a rabbit cage is what chemicals you use. Rabbits are sensitive to chemicals. There are several approaches you can take to sanitizing.
You can use bleach, iodine or ultraviolet light. If you choose to use bleach, your rabbit will need to be placed elsewhere while you are cleaning and for some time afterward. Mix the bleach with water in a weak solution. You'll need about ½ cup of bleach to a gallon of water, or about 2 tablespoons to a quart.
Scrub out the cage until all residue of manure, fur and any other matter is removed. You can use wire brushes, a pressure washer, or a scrub brush to accomplish this. Spray the bleach solution all over until the surfaces are saturated. Let everything sit for about 20 minutes before you begin rinsing.
Rinse everything thoroughly several times. When you are done, set the cage out in direct sunlight. The ultraviolet light from the sun is also a sanitizer, but it helps dissipate any bleach residue that may remain.
If you cannot use bleach or prefer not to, you can try a sanitizer called Vanodine. It is well known to people who raise rabbits. This sanitizer is iodine based. The bottle contains all the dilution formulas you'll need depending on what you are using it for. One gallon will last you a long time.
Clean the cage with the Vanodine just like you would with bleach. The difference is that it is not harmful to your rabbits to be around this cleanser. You can even use it to sanitize drinking water in the right dilution. Use it to help clean your feeders, dishes and water bottles. These small items can also be sanitized in your dishwasher.
When the cage is clean, dry and aired out, you can return your rabbit to his home. It is not unusual for rabbits to sniff their cage after such a cleaning and to rub their chins on everything. They are just making everything smell like home again.
For regular maintenance cleaning, your timing will vary depending on the type of cage, where it is located and your situation. Indoor cages must be cleaned two or three times per week to keep it clean and odor free. Outdoor cages may just need the wire floors brushed weekly.
If you use trays, consider adding a product called Sweet PDZ granules to the tray. This will keep fly eggs from hatching in any droppings that accumulate between cleanings. This product also comes in a powder, but it may affect your rabbit's lungs, so use the granules instead.
Be sure to spray out trays and cage bottoms when you sanitize a rabbit cage and let them dry before returning them to your rabbit. Even though trays are dumped, without rinsing the odor of urine will still be there and you'll develop a build up inside the tray.
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