Last Updated on March 5, 2023 by Rei Garnet
Cat litter should not be used as litter for rabbits. Your rabbit’s litter should be edible because rabbits will try to eat it. Cat litters are made out of clay, silica, and other minerals that are dangerous when ingested by rabbits.
If your rabbit ingests large amounts of cat litter, it could lead to obstruction in their intestines because clay clumps together and can harden, causing obstruction.
If your rabbit ingests cat litter, bring your rabbit to a veterinarian.
Your rabbit’s litter should be wood-based, like wood pellets, aspen, and cellulose.
Now that I’ve given you the gist of the article, read on as I explain in more detail why you should not use cat litter for your rabbits:
Why is it bad for cat litter to be used as rabbit litter?
Cat litter could cause an obstruction to your rabbit’s intestine that needs to be surgically removed. Cat litter is made out of clay that hardens when wet.
Your veterinarian might try to administer an enema to try to stimulate your rabbit’s GI tract into movement so that it could hopefully pass any obstruction.
But your veterinarian might also suggest a surgical route if there is no other choice.
Can eating cat litter kill a rabbit?
Yes, when your rabbit eats large amounts of cat litter, it could lead to obstructions. It could also lead to GI stasis if it’s not treated immediately. GI stasis in rabbits is fatal because it can lead to organ failure and death.
Get your rabbit to a veterinarian if your rabbit ate cat litter that tends to clump together, like pine, cedar, and other clumping cat litter. Ask for an x-ray to be sure that there are no obstructions.
Alternatives to cat litter for rabbits.
The only alternative to cat litter is using litter that is made for rabbits. The reason is that rabbits are likely to eat and ingest their litter, so it needs to be wood-based, which is safe to be ingested by rabbits.
Here are the different litters you can use for your rabbits:
- Wood pellets. Wood pellets are great for being used as litter for rabbits because they are highly absorbent, easier to clean, and cheap. Wood pellets are usually made from leftover sawdust that’s been compressed. Rabbits can safely munch on this type of litter without a problem. It has the added benefit of grinding down your rabbit’s continuously growing teeth.
- Cellulose. Another great option that’s readily available. Almost all small animals use this bedding. It’s low-cost, highly absorbent, dust-free, and can be chewed on by rabbits.
- Aspen shavings. Aspen is also a great wood-based litter. It’s dust-free and non-toxic. It also does a good job of controlling the odor because of how absorbent it is.
- Shredded paper. The cheapest litter you can get. Just make sure that the ink they use on the paper is vegetable-based. Avoid using shredded paper made from magazines or papers that are mass-produced because the companies that make them want the cheapest ink regardless of safety.
Here’s a great video on the best litter material for your rabbits:
Cat litter should not be used as litter for rabbits. Rabbits could eat the cat litter and cause blockages in their intestines that need to be removed surgically.
Cat litter is made of clay, silica, and other minerals that clump together when wet.
If your rabbit ate cat litter, you should bring your rabbit to a veterinarian immediately.
The best bedding for rabbits is that which can be ingested by rabbits safely, like wood pellets, cellulose-based litter, aspen shavings, or shredded paper.
Cite this article:
Sources and further reading
- Buseth, Marit Emilie., and Richard A. Saunders. Rabbit Behaviour, Health, and Care. CABI, 2014.
- GastroIntestinal Stasis, The Silent Killer
- How Administer an Enema to Your Rabbit
- What is Cat Litter Made of?