Thinking of changing litter (CareFresh to Yesterday's News or wood pellets)

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aozora

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I've got a few questions for those of you who are using a different kind of litter that is not CareFresh!

I've been using CareFresh ever since I got Mocha back in April-- originally I went with the Natural kind but found that the original brown colour of the litter made it very hard to tell what colour his urine is or even where he peed. I then switched to CareFresh Ultra and have stuck with it ever since, but lately my family has been complaining more about the odor (even though I change out the dirty bits of litter every day and give the litter pan a thorough cleaning every 3 or so days), not to mention it can be quite expensive, so I've been looking into switching to either Yesterday's News or wood pellets. So, I have some questions for you all:

- For those who have tried both CareFresh and Yesterday's News, which one is more worth it for the cost? One 50L bag of CareFresh Ultra lasts Mocha about 2 months and it retails at about $32-$40 here (including tax and shipping). How long might one bag of Yesterday's News last for a 4 lb. bunny? I know they come in different sizes but it's hard to gauge since I've never bought it before and don't know how much I'd be using each day so I was hoping for a rough estimate. If I were to go with Yesterday's News, I am planning to buy two 15 lb bags (for a total of 30 lb) from montrealcritters.com, which will come up to about $40 including shipping and taxes as well. Do you think that would last longer than a 50L bag of CareFresh Ultra?

- How are the wood pellets like for odor control in comparison to the other two types of litter that I mentioned? I know wood pellets are much cheaper and that is my main reason for considering it but that is my main priority. And is there a preference between softwood and hardwood, since they're both available at my local Canadian Tire?

- How exactly do you change the litter when you're using pellets? I've only ever used CareFresh, which is like a soft bedding-type material so it's very easy to spot the dirty spots and scoop them out since they stick together when they're damp. How do you know which pellets are soiled and which ones are not? Would you still have to scoop out the dirty litter every day or can you let it sit for 2-3 days with no noticeable odor? I hear that pellets will turn into dust in the bottom of the pan if they're in contact with urine-- so how do you get rid of that without also getting rid of the unused pellets? I'm more of a visual person so I would be really grateful if you can provide pictures of your litter boxes with the pellets: when it's just been changed, when it's been used/before you're about to change it, and generally just how the process would look like if I were to do it myself.

Mocha has a corner pan with a grate on it so the hardness of pellets and general mess issues won't be a problem. Thank you so much for reading!
 

degrassi

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I now use wood pellets for my litter. Odor control is WAY better. It did take a little while for my rabbit to get used to it but it didn't take long.

I get my pellets are Canadian tire for around 5$/40lbs bag. It lasts me a couple months with my 5lbs rabbit. To switch over I slowly added the wood pellets to his old litter which was yesterdays news. The wood pellets also have a pretty strong wood dust smell so when I get a new bag I transfer it to a rubbermaid bin and let it air out a bit in the garage for a bit.

When wood pellets get wet they puff up and turn into saw dust. I use a litter box grid so my rabbit doesn't actually touch them. I clean my litter box about every 4 days, when the poop reaches the grid. It doesn't smell, the wood is very good at keeping the odors under control. If you aren't using a grid you can just scoop out the saw dust parts daily and add a scoop of new pellets.

The best part about wood pellets for me is they are really good for odors. My rabbit lived in my room and Yesterdays news, care fresh and other pet store litters I tried were terrible for odors. I'd have to completely change the litter each day or my room reeked like urine. Now, even after 5 days it doesn't smell.
 

PaGal

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The wood pellets do turn into saw dust once they are peed on. With the grate it should not be a problem for you. For myself I place a thin layer of kiln dried pine shavings over top so the buns don't track the saw dust around. Plus the urine seems to go right through the shavings so they are never wet. Which means cleaner and dry bun feet. Plus the hardness of the pellets is not an issue. Both are inexpensive.

Usually the only issue I have with smell is with the two bonded girls. They do have a larger litter box as it's an under the bed storage box. I place just enough wooden pellets in it to cover the bottom as they really do absorb a lot. I then place a thin layer of kiln dried pine shavings over top of that. Their box due to the size gets completely emptied every other day. I only notice an odor when I pull it out to clean it on the second day. Keep in mind the girls are not spayed yet so their urine may be stronger in smell due to hormones.

Thumpers I change every day but being a flemmie he pees a lot. No problem with odors with him.

Are you looking at buying wood horse stall pellets or wood stove pellets? I buy the horse stall pellets. I do know if you buy the wood stove pellets you need to make sure there is no accelerant added to the pellets. I also know some woods are reported to cause issues with buns lungs such as pine but it is fine if it has been kiln dried. Cedar is a definite no no.
 

Bville

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I have used Carefresh since getting my rabbits about three months ago. I tried Yesterday's news and I didn't like it because it left a residue from the ink in the newspaper that stuck to the bottom of the litter boxes and I couldn't get it off. It seemed like it cost about as much as Carefresh anyway because it's not compacted like the Carefresh is. It had a nice smell to it though.

I have tried wood pellets too, but the pine smell really bothered my sinuses. The rabbits didn't seem to like the smell of it either. If you are wanting to try something new, I'd suggest getting a small bag of the pine pellets first and see how you like it. They are definitely cheaper and they just might work out for you.
 

aozora

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I now use wood pellets for my litter. Odor control is WAY better. It did take a little while for my rabbit to get used to it but it didn't take long.

I get my pellets are Canadian tire for around 5$/40lbs bag. It lasts me a couple months with my 5lbs rabbit. To switch over I slowly added the wood pellets to his old litter which was yesterdays news. The wood pellets also have a pretty strong wood dust smell so when I get a new bag I transfer it to a rubbermaid bin and let it air out a bit in the garage for a bit.

When wood pellets get wet they puff up and turn into saw dust. I use a litter box grid so my rabbit doesn't actually touch them. I clean my litter box about every 4 days, when the poop reaches the grid. It doesn't smell, the wood is very good at keeping the odors under control. If you aren't using a grid you can just scoop out the saw dust parts daily and add a scoop of new pellets.

The best part about wood pellets for me is they are really good for odors. My rabbit lived in my room and Yesterdays news, care fresh and other pet store litters I tried were terrible for odors. I'd have to completely change the litter each day or my room reeked like urine. Now, even after 5 days it doesn't smell.
Thank you for replying! I'm so glad to hear that they're good for odors! I'm not finding CareFresh to be very good at controlling that, so combined with the price I decided to finally explore other options. Do you use softwood or hardwood pellets (because i noticed that Canadian Tire sells both)? And how much do you use each time? Just enough to cover the bottom of the litter box?


The wood pellets do turn into saw dust once they are peed on. With the grate it should not be a problem for you. For myself I place a thin layer of kiln dried pine shavings over top so the buns don't track the saw dust around. Plus the urine seems to go right through the shavings so they are never wet. Which means cleaner and dry bun feet. Plus the hardness of the pellets is not an issue. Both are inexpensive.

Usually the only issue I have with smell is with the two bonded girls. They do have a larger litter box as it's an under the bed storage box. I place just enough wooden pellets in it to cover the bottom as they really do absorb a lot. I then place a thin layer of kiln dried pine shavings over top of that. Their box due to the size gets completely emptied every other day. I only notice an odor when I pull it out to clean it on the second day. Keep in mind the girls are not spayed yet so their urine may be stronger in smell due to hormones.

Thumpers I change every day but being a flemmie he pees a lot. No problem with odors with him.

Are you looking at buying wood horse stall pellets or wood stove pellets? I buy the horse stall pellets. I do know if you buy the wood stove pellets you need to make sure there is no accelerant added to the pellets. I also know some woods are reported to cause issues with buns lungs such as pine but it is fine if it has been kiln dried. Cedar is a definite no no.
Thank you! I looked into horse stall pellets but it doesn't seem to be a viable option here in Downtown Toronto (and I don't have a car so it's hard to venture too far away from the city)! I've found several places nearby that all sell wood stove pellets so I will most likely go with that-- it seems that there is a hardwood option and a softwood option? I also found another place that just sold "regular wood pellets" which was listed as black spruce and grey pine so I'm assuming softwood.


I have used Carefresh since getting my rabbits about three months ago. I tried Yesterday's news and I didn't like it because it left a residue from the ink in the newspaper that stuck to the bottom of the litter boxes and I couldn't get it off. It seemed like it cost about as much as Carefresh anyway because it's not compacted like the Carefresh is. It had a nice smell to it though.

I have tried wood pellets too, but the pine smell really bothered my sinuses. The rabbits didn't seem to like the smell of it either. If you are wanting to try something new, I'd suggest getting a small bag of the pine pellets first and see how you like it. They are definitely cheaper and they just might work out for you.
Thanks for the tip! I hope they sell the pellets in smaller bags so I can give it a try. Someone suggested airing it out in the garage to lessen the smell so I think I'll try that because the price is really too good to pass up, especially considering the odor control seems to be pretty good to boot. I honestly do like CareFresh but what with the odor and the price... :S It's tough being an unemployed fresh graduate!
 

degrassi

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I buy this one http://www.canadiantire.ca/AST/browse/3/HouseHome/1/HeatingAirConditioning/FirelogsWoodPelletsFirestarters/PRD~0642778P/Firemaster+Soft+Wood+Pellet.jsp?locale=en

The wood pellets pretty much only come in big 40lbs bags. But its only 5$ so its not like you'll be wasting a ton of money and you can always give it away if it doesn't work.

I just put a thin layer in the litterbox, enough to cover the bottom. But I use a grate on my litter box so the bun isn't in there digging around or sitting in it.

But yeah, try to air it out when you first get them as they are very sawdusty smelling. I put them in a container and stir it around once a day. After a couple days the smell is lessened. Now I only really smell it when I'm actually putting it in the litterbox. Its not like my room smells like pine or sawdust from them.
 

aozora

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I buy this one http://www.canadiantire.ca/AST/browse/3/HouseHome/1/HeatingAirConditioning/FirelogsWoodPelletsFirestarters/PRD~0642778P/Firemaster+Soft+Wood+Pellet.jsp?locale=en

The wood pellets pretty much only come in big 40lbs bags. But its only 5$ so its not like you'll be wasting a ton of money and you can always give it away if it doesn't work.

I just put a thin layer in the litterbox, enough to cover the bottom. But I use a grate on my litter box so the bun isn't in there digging around or sitting in it.

But yeah, try to air it out when you first get them as they are very sawdusty smelling. I put them in a container and stir it around once a day. After a couple days the smell is lessened. Now I only really smell it when I'm actually putting it in the litterbox. Its not like my room smells like pine or sawdust from them.
Oh excellent! Those were the ones I was eyeing too, though the online site says I may have to call for availability. I think I'll just go to the store closest to me (it's a pretty large one) and see what they have in stock, since it says the hardwood kind will for sure be there so at least I won't come away empty-handed.

I was thinking of keeping the bag in the garage and using a storage bin to bring some of it at a time up to my room in order to conserve space/keep the smell down so that sounds perfect-- and I'm happy to hear that the smell doesn't take long to go away too! Thank you :D
 

Tauntz

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For those of you that use the wood pellets for your bunny litter, what litter pans do you use? Do you use litter pans with the grids/grates? Where did you find the litter pans with the grids/grates? I'm considering switching to the horse stall wood pellets or using a mixture to make the Yesterday's News litter pellets last longer. Only see the plain cat litter pans with no grid/grates.
 

degrassi

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I made a box with a grid since I couldn't find one I liked. I used a Rubbermaid bin I got at the dollar store for my litterbox. Like this one. Then I bought egg crate(light diffuser) at home depot, cut it to fit a few inches from the top. Then I drilled screws through the sides for the eggcrate to rest on and hold it up.

I used to use eggcrate supported my pieces of PVC pipe but I found that wasn't too stable and sometimes the eggcrate would shfit when my bun jumped in. Here is what that looked like http://s18.photobucket.com/user/degrassi15/media/163.jpg.html?sort=3&o=37 So now it looks similar but instead of the PVC picture 2 screws sticking out of each side to hold it up.

Also now I have cut down one of the sides about half way. My bunny is getting old and was having trouble jumping into it.

Also, just using the screws won't work for larger buns. My guy is 4-5lbs so the eggcrate alone supports his weight. If you have a larger rabbit I'd suggest using the screws along with something underneath to support the middle of the eggcrate.

I"m going to be cleaning his litter today if you'd like a new picture, not sure my description of the screws made sense.
 
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pacnw

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I'm not sure if this is the litter pan you were looking for, but I did a search on Amazon and typed in "litter pans for rabbits" and a few of them popped up in different sizes. They are plastic litter pans with a white grid on top.
 

Tauntz

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Thanks, Degrassi & Pacnw!

Degrassi, thanks for the ideas! I was sort of hoping there was an already made version but you've given me some ideas. Need to check out my Lowe's or Home Depot/hardware store as well as the dollar stores to see what I can find! Would love to see another new pic of it if it is convenient.

Pacnw, thanks for the Amazon suggestion. My bunny girls have been using a large cat litter pan. The bunny litter pans are all corner pans & too small for my girls' liking. They do have some expensive cat litter pan systems that are similar to what I was looking for but they are very expensive. Amazon is usually my first place to check to find things. lol
 

pacnw

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You're welcome! I was just on Dr. Foster and Smith's website and they have the litter pans as well.
 

aozora

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For those of you that use the wood pellets for your bunny litter, what litter pans do you use? Do you use litter pans with the grids/grates? Where did you find the litter pans with the grids/grates? I'm considering switching to the horse stall wood pellets or using a mixture to make the Yesterday's News litter pellets last longer. Only see the plain cat litter pans with no grid/grates.
You might also be interested in the sifting cat litter pans-- something like this one? http://www.walmart.com/ip/Lift-n-Sift-Cat-Litter-Box-Slate-Blue/24553392 I saw a few tutorials on Youtube for them that looked easier to use, such as this one to just show how the pieces can come apart and how you might change the litter:

[ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rZ3KcMhrCI[/ame]

I'm considering switching to one in the future. I currently have the Jumbo corner litter pan from Amazon that comes with a metal grate, but it's starting to corrode a bit and one of the wires is coming loose so I may be exploring other options in the near future myself.
 

funnybunnymummy

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Give the wood pellets a shot. You'll probably want to mix them with the Carefresh at first, so your bunny doesn't go into litter-shock. ;) But he'll most likely switch over no problem. And if he doesn't like them (or you don't), contact local rescues and offer to donate the bag to them.

If Cdn Tire doesn't have them, you can also get the wood pellets at Rona, Home Hardware, Home Depot, and most other hardware/building supply retailers.

Hope that helps!

Rue
 

Tauntz

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Thanks, Aozora! Darn! My local Walmart doesn't have it nor is it available to order for store pickup. Will check Amazon & some other online places for prices on it. Not a bad price at the Walmart link! Also, need to check the size of my bunnies current litter pans. Want something at least close to the size they already have.
 

aozora

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Give the wood pellets a shot. You'll probably want to mix them with the Carefresh at first, so your bunny doesn't go into litter-shock. ;) But he'll most likely switch over no problem. And if he doesn't like them (or you don't), contact local rescues and offer to donate the bag to them.

If Cdn Tire doesn't have them, you can also get the wood pellets at Rona, Home Hardware, Home Depot, and most other hardware/building supply retailers.

Hope that helps!

Rue
I'm planning to head off to Canadian Tire this Friday so hopefully they'll have some. I was just wondering what I was going to do if he doesn't take to the new litter since I don't own a wood stove so your suggestion was absolutely perfect! I can already think of a couple of places I can donate to off the top of my head. Thank you so much!!


Thanks, Aozora! Darn! My local Walmart doesn't have it nor is it available to order for store pickup. Will check Amazon & some other online places for prices on it. Not a bad price at the Walmart link! Also, need to check the size of my bunnies current litter pans. Want something at least close to the size they already have.
I saw a few on Amazon that aren't much more expensive! About $20-$25ish? The same Van Ness one in that video (I think) is going for $20.37 with free shipping if your order is over $35 here but I'm sure there are other options available for you. Good luck!
 
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degrassi

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The thing I didn't like about the cat boxes with grids is that the grid sits directly over the bottom of the pan, good for sifting, not so good for having poops and pee fall through so your bun isn't sitting in it.

I did find some rabbit litter boxes with grids but they were either corner boxes, too small or too expensive. Mine cost a few dollars to make.

Here is what mine looks like now. This is it with the cut down side for easier access

And this is what the screws look like that hold it up. There is also a washer on the other side of the screw to make it stronger. You don't have to worry about it poking the rabbit as its on the bottom.


I use a thin layer of pellets just to cover the bottom and its good for 4-5days. Even longer as I have left it over a week when I've been sick. The poops piled up to the grid but it still didn't smell. Plus the rabbit isn't sitting in the litter. I never liked the idea of him sitting in his own pee. It also keeps his feet clean.
 

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