I’ve gone through a few litter boxes already, not because they were worn out or destroyed by the bunnies, but because I keep trying to improve on the design 🙂
The very first litter box that Buttons had was a cat litter box, roughly about 35cm x 25cm, and only 5cm deep. She was so small, I thought a shallow box would give her easier access. I put a few sheets of newspaper in the litter box, and some tissue over the newspaper so that her feet wouldn’t get dirty from the ink. It worked fine, initially… Then, as she grew, so did her pee-puddles. The tissue and newspaper weren’t absorbing her pee fast enough. I had to figure out a way to keep her feet from coming into contact with the paper & pee.
After a bit of hunting, I found some wire mesh with grids measuring 1cm x 1cm, and coated in plastic. The size of the grids allowed pee & even poop to fall though while keeping feet away from the mess below. And as the mesh was coated in plastic, it would be kind on her feet. So I bought some home, and bent it to fit snugly into the litter box. Again, it worked fine… until she grew even more and her daily poop-pile increased tremendously. Boy, can bunnies poop!
I upgraded to a similar-sized box that was deeper, and added the wire mesh to it. All was fine for a while, and then Buttons developed this habit of sticking her bum waaayyy to the edge of the litter box to pee. So then, I had to solve the problem of pee spilling over the box. I found some plastic pieces, bent them into an ‘L’ shaped urine guard and placed it to one side of the litter box. At that stage, the bunnies’ litter boxes looked like this:
Those litter boxes were placed in their cages. Their cage doors were left open all the time so that they could go back inside to feed and to answer nature’s call. After a while, I got tired of the sight of cages in my living room and decided to get rid of them (and I must say, the living room looks much neater and less cluttered without the cages there 🙂 ) Now, I needed a litter box that was as self-contained as the cage. So I went to Ikea and got some big plastic boxes, big enough to contain a few day’s worth of poop, and also to hold their water bowl, food bowl and hay.
Their current litter box looks like this:
The wire mesh is great – I can hook the food & water bowls into the mesh to keep them in place. Hay is simply placed over the mesh between the food & water bowls. At night, when they get their salad, I remove their food bowl and place the vegetables there. The box is deep enough to hold 1 week’s worth of poo 🙂 so I only clean their litter boxes every Sunday. I don’t have any problems with odor, probably because the bunnies have been spayed and neutered.
I also don’t need a urine guard anymore as the bunnies’ butts are lower than the edges of the litter box. Even though they lift their butts up to pee, its still not high enough to pee over the edge of the box.
I line the box with black garbage bags first, then newspaper, and lastly, a few handfuls of litter material over the newspaper (I’m currently using Woody Pet but I’m still experimenting with different litter materials). I tuck the sides of the garbage bag into the sides of the box, between the box and the newspaper (I hope that makes sense 🙂 ) to keep it away from their mischievous mouths. And whenever I need to empty the box, I just have to pull out the sides of the garbage bags and the entire bag can be dumped into the rubbish bin.
Well, that’s as efficient a design as I can come up with for now. I’m still looking to improve the design, so let me know if you have any ideas!