Messy litter box

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Marcelle

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Hello!! My little girl Cherry is always mixing her litter with her hay. I use a low to the ground but large all around Rubbermaid container. Her paper litter goes on one end and her hay the other. When she goes in there the first thing she does is is push all the litter from one end over to the hay end. I’ve tried lessening the amount of litter but she still does it. No matter how often I clean her litter her hay is always mixed with her poop pellets and her urine. A lot of hay is wasted because of course I won’t force her to eat the soiled hay which she clearly doesn’t want anymore. I’m struggling to figure out a diy setup so that this stops happening. She has a large enclosure (a dog x-pen) which is always open and she has free roam of my bedroom along with my other bunny who also has his own separate enclosure. She does the same to his litter/hay box as well. I’d love any suggestions. Please help!
 

bunnylove2024

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Put both hay in some type of pull setup so that if she wants hay she can pull it to eat it but she cant shove it all over!
 

Marcelle

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Put both hay in some type of pull setup so that if she wants hay she can pull it to eat it but she cant shove it all over!
Thanks for the reply but I don’t get! Could you give me an example of how I would do that? xx
 

bunnylove2024

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Ok, look up diy hay feeders for rabbits... then see which one would work best for you. Put them in the cages so they can't push the hay around and that should help. Does that make more sense, I was a little bit vague before.
 

Marcelle

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Ok, look up diy hay feeders for rabbits... then see which one would work best for you. Put them in the cages so they can't push the hay around and that should help. Does that make more sense, I was a little bit vague before.
It does. Thank you!!
 

Blue eyes

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Just be really careful about what type of hay feeder you choose. There are loads of them out there with quite small openings. Those should be avoided as it makes it just too difficult for bunny to get at the hay. That's not good! So look for ones with very large openings.

The hay feeder should go over the litter box so excess still falls in the litter box.

Another perspective is to know that wasted hay is to be expected with rabbits. They like to pick through hay for the choicest pieces. There really isn't anything wrong with what your bunny is doing. She's shoving it around and enjoying it. She won't eat soiled hay. Just add fresh hay directly on top a couple times per day. That way she'll always have fresh hay available.

Here's a 'before & after' photo of my litter box. The used one is about to get cleaned. Otherwise, it would be ready for another batch of fresh hay on top.
1591033370386.png
 

Marcelle

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Just be really careful about what type of hay feeder you choose. There are loads of them out there with quite small openings. Those should be avoided as it makes it just too difficult for bunny to get at the hay. That's not good! So look for ones with very large openings.

The hay feeder should go over the litter box so excess still falls in the litter box.

Another perspective is to know that wasted hay is to be expected with rabbits. They like to pick through hay for the choicest pieces. There really isn't anything wrong with what your bunny is doing. She's shoving it around and enjoying it. She won't eat soiled hay. Just add fresh hay directly on top a couple times per day. That way she'll always have fresh hay available.

Here's a 'before & after' photo of my litter box. The used one is about to get cleaned. Otherwise, it would be ready for another batch of fresh hay on top.
View attachment 48317
That’s very helpful thank you. I was thinking of making my own and I will definitely make big holes. I wasn’t sure about the stars hay racks as there are a lot of openings but as you said the openings are small. So the picture of the used box should get totally cleaned out once it looks like that right? She gets hers messed up like that in much less than a week. Thanks for the visual!!
 

zuppa

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Hello!! My little girl Cherry is always mixing her litter with her hay. I use a low to the ground but large all around Rubbermaid container. Her paper litter goes on one end and her hay the other. When she goes in there the first thing she does is is push all the litter from one end over to the hay end. I’ve tried lessening the amount of litter but she still does it. No matter how often I clean her litter her hay is always mixed with her poop pellets and her urine. A lot of hay is wasted because of course I won’t force her to eat the soiled hay which she clearly doesn’t want anymore. I’m struggling to figure out a diy setup so that this stops happening. She has a large enclosure (a dog x-pen) which is always open and she has free roam of my bedroom along with my other bunny who also has his own separate enclosure. She does the same to his litter/hay box as well. I’d love any suggestions. Please help!
Hi, can you post some photo of your setup? Some rabbits waste so much hay when you place feeder over their litterbox, sometimes you can find another way to feed them hay without wasting so much.
 

Blue eyes

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That’s very helpful thank you. I was thinking of making my own and I will definitely make big holes. I wasn’t sure about the stars hay racks as there are a lot of openings but as you said the openings are small. So the picture of the used box should get totally cleaned out once it looks like that right? She gets hers messed up like that in much less than a week. Thanks for the visual!!
The box on the right is ready to be cleaned, however, do not go by how it looks but by how (if) it smells. It will look like that pretty much within a day or so. But, if the right litter is being used (the wood pellets are great) there will be no odor whatsoever for a full week (one bun). [I have found paper crumbles litter (not paper pellets) to do very little for odor control.]

This provides a little more detail (my website) on the litter setup:

And this shows a couple hay-feeder options (though, as @zuppa mentioned, they can cause a mess too). I don't use them but some like to.
 

Marcelle

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The box on the right is ready to be cleaned, however, do not go by how it looks but by how (if) it smells. It will look like that pretty much within a day or so. But, if the right litter is being used (the wood pellets are great) there will be no odor whatsoever for a full week (one bun). [I have found paper crumbles litter (not paper pellets) to do very little for odor control.]

This provides a little more detail (my website) on the litter setup:

And this shows a couple hay-feeder options (though, as @zuppa mentioned, they can cause a mess too). I don't use them but some like to.
That’s awesome thank you. Yeah the paper litter stinks I just thought it was best for the rabbits. I’ve always noticed wood shavings which I stay clear of. I’m going to try the pellets I had no idea! Thanks again!!
 

Marcelle

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The box on the right is ready to be cleaned, however, do not go by how it looks but by how (if) it smells. It will look like that pretty much within a day or so. But, if the right litter is being used (the wood pellets are great) there will be no odor whatsoever for a full week (one bun). [I have found paper crumbles litter (not paper pellets) to do very little for odor control.]

This provides a little more detail (my website) on the litter setup:

And this shows a couple hay-feeder options (though, as @zuppa mentioned, they can cause a mess too). I don't use them but some like to.
Ps. I love your website can’t wait to explore it more!
 

Marcelle

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I really like those hay racks. They have a top so the rabbits can sit on top but can’t pee or poo on the hay and the hay gets stored away neatly and with easy access for the rabbits to eat.
That looks like a great setup I’ll look on Canadian amazon hopefully I’ll find that one!
 

Marcelle

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Hi, can you post some photo of your setup? Some rabbits waste so much hay when you place feeder over their litterbox, sometimes you can find another way to feed them hay without wasting so much.
This is the setup I have. Now I put the hay in a separate litter box that I placed inside that larger box until I get a better permanent solution.
 

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Blue eyes

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Oh... see that now. No wonder she pushes it around. It looks like a wonderfully fun playground the way it appears in the photo! 😁 All of that paper on one side and hay on the other, on the slick plastic, is just begging to be pushed about. 😃
 

Marcelle

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Oh... see that now. No wonder she pushes it around. It looks like a wonderfully fun playground the way it appears in the photo! 😁 All of that paper on one side and hay on the other, on the slick plastic, is just begging to be pushed about. 😃
Yeah she has a ball stretching out and pushing it around. Seems to satisfy her 😀
 

Allen Wrider

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Hey there! I had this same problem until just recently. I was having a hard time litter training my rabbits because of it; they would just sit on the fresh hay and scoot their butts over the lip of the litter box to pee on the side. It got really messy and hard to maintain quickly, and I have really bad anxiety so my energy for dealing with these things can get low. I will be the first to admit my bunnies didn't have the quality of life that I wanted for them-- but when I was looking for DIY feeders, I found a tutorial about making one out of plastic storage bins:


A couple things I found: you are going to need power tools like is mentioned in the video. Trying to cut with an exacto-knife or scissors is not gonna do it. I personally had to have my dad assist me.

You'll need to test the holes as you cut, so you can see what size your bun really needs. Stick some hay in, and offer it to them. All you need is for the rabbit to make a quick attempt, you'll know by their hesitance and the size of their face whether or not the hole is a good fit.

Make sure the boxes aren't too deep, because your rabbit WILL stick their head in to try and get hay, and even try to dig it out. If the boxes go too far back, your rabbit will not be able to get it all and will be digging at the box a lot more, which is LOUD.

Get boxes with locking lids! The snap on plastic lid boxes may be cheap and appealing, but the lids have more of a change of snapping off with any excessive pulling. Locking lids cost more but are worth it in the long run.
 

Marcelle

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Hey there! I had this same problem until just recently. I was having a hard time litter training my rabbits because of it; they would just sit on the fresh hay and scoot their butts over the lip of the litter box to pee on the side. It got really messy and hard to maintain quickly, and I have really bad anxiety so my energy for dealing with these things can get low. I will be the first to admit my bunnies didn't have the quality of life that I wanted for them-- but when I was looking for DIY feeders, I found a tutorial about making one out of plastic storage bins:


A couple things I found: you are going to need power tools like is mentioned in the video. Trying to cut with an exacto-knife or scissors is not gonna do it. I personally had to have my dad assist me.

You'll need to test the holes as you cut, so you can see what size your bun really needs. Stick some hay in, and offer it to them. All you need is for the rabbit to make a quick attempt, you'll know by their hesitance and the size of their face whether or not the hole is a good fit.

Make sure the boxes aren't too deep, because your rabbit WILL stick their head in to try and get hay, and even try to dig it out. If the boxes go too far back, your rabbit will not be able to get it all and will be digging at the box a lot more, which is LOUD.

Get boxes with locking lids! The snap on plastic lid boxes may be cheap and appealing, but the lids have more of a change of snapping off with any excessive pulling. Locking lids cost more but are worth it in the long run.
That looks totally doable and actually perfect for what I need. The options that come up when you look online are so overwhelming. The litter boxes I use now look pretty much the same as that feeder with locks where the handles are. I can go back to the store and just get the smaller size. It’s good to know I’m not the only one with this struggle and it is totally a struggle. Thanks for posting your first hand knowledge. It looks like you gave me my answer ❤❤😀😀
 

Eve84

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Be careful that the plastic won’t be to sharp! I would be worried as it is so bendy and thin that they would be able to squeeze their head through and try to pull it out again and than the plastic might be very sharp that they injure themselves badly.... also once they eaten the first hay quickly they can’t reach the rest of the hay from the design the box is.

I have an maybe easier idea but need to get a picture up first to be able to explain
 
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