Removing Large Caged Pet Odors

Grumpy’s Tips To Remove Large Pet Cage Odors

I hate the smell of pet odor in the morning. I wake up and take my first big breath of fresh air only to inhale the whiff of a weasel. No matter their size, caged animals produce strong scents. But there are some ways to control that odor.


Old Grumpy’s Quick Solution

  1. Use scented bedding that expands
  2. Sprinkle a light layer of baking soda on the bottom the cage
  3. Use an Enzyme Cleaner that naturally eats organic waste
  4. Freshen the air with activated bamboo charcoal
  5. Do not bathe Ferrets too often to prevent extra oil production
  6. Add a handful of hay on top of a rabbit’s litter box


General Odor Prevention Advice

I go over preventive maintenance solutions and cleaning tips for general cage and aquariums on the Small Pet Cage Odor Page. The concepts are basically the same, but here are some of the key points.

To maintain a quality of life, most mammals designate areas for sleeping, storage, eating, and bathrooms. If you pay attention to these patterns it will make cleaning and odor control much easier for you. Do not try to change the areas that the animal has designated.

The best way to control pet odor is to clean the cage at least once a week. Use fresh Bedding because it can build up urine and feces over time. Pet fragrance sprays act like perfume and is a quick solution to mask odors in-between baths.

Make sure to wash and scrub every part of the cage and accessories with soap and water. Don’t forget about cleaning the bowls, bedding, and toys. Aquarium’s heavy weight may not allow easily accessible water. You can use rubbing alcohol once you have taken everything out.

Odor Eliminator Solutions

Baking Soda

Household Baking Soda is always my go-to solution to clean and deodorize around the home. Sprinkle a light layer on the bottom the cage before you add fresh bedding. This will absorb odors and reduce moisture in the cage. You can also use baking soda when you are washing the cage with a sponge.


Normal White Vinegar is a natural solution to eliminate bad odors and to kill bacteria. Add a little vinegar to your sponge and thoroughly wipe the cage. Don’t worry about the vinegar smell, it will dissipate along with the bad odor.

Enzyme Cleaner

Use an Enzyme Cleaner that naturally eats away at organic waste. They are specifically good at removing tough, caked-on debris from the cage.

Expanding Scented Bedding

Don’t just use normal bedding to absorb urine. Scented Bedding that expands is better at reducing odors. It has scented bits that add a light fragrance to the air. It is more absorbent because it expands to about 3x the original size.


Consider using a Supplement that you can add to your pet’s food. They work by pumping a liquid on the food which cuts down on the odor of their waste. Just like people taking supplements, the results will vary from pet to pet. Give it a shot, it may cut down on overall odors.

Activated Charcoal

My number one recommendation for absorbing impurity odors from the air is to use activated bamboo charcoal. I usually suggest a brand that comes in little bags that you can place just about anywhere in your home. Although you could use them, I would suggest Activated Charcoal Enclosures in case your pet feels the need to rip bags open.


Grumpy Says: “Sprinkle a light layer of baking soda on the bottom the cage before you add fresh bedding.”



Ferret Specific – Pet Carnivores

I admit that I can be a grumpy old man that really hates odors. Ironically, I have a soft spot for ferrets. Most large cage animal odors can be treated the same. This section is going to focus on ferrets but the concept applies to most carnivores.

Large caged animals generally have more out of cage roaming time than smaller creatures. It may be possible that the odor you smell may not be your pet. If the smell is musty it could be mold that has developed from a missed urine spot. If you suspect mold take a look at the Mold & Mildew odor page.

Diet Tips

Food greatly impacts the odor of the stool. As carnivores pay attention if the food you are providing is heavy on corn, wheat, or fruits. You can have a pungent odor if the ferret is not digesting the type of food they were designed to eat. If you change the food mix it slowly with the current food and wait a couple weeks to notice a difference.

Litter Box

Ferrets naturally use litter boxes like cats. The difference is they will not go out of their way to find one. Ferrets will back into corners and raise their tails when they are going to use the restroom. Once they found a ferret approved corner they will continue to use it. I suggest using high back Litter Pan that is functional in a cage and around the home during exercise time.

Wash The Hammock

Ferret odors and oils will stick onto their sleeping area. Make sure to clean the bedding cloth once a week to reduce odors. You can spritz the Odor Removal Spray onto the hammock if you are in a rush for time.

Washing Schedule

Country to what seems common sense, do not bathe your ferret often. They produce a natural oil that conditions their fur. If they are washed too often they will produce the oil in overdrive and make the ferret smell worse. To reduce odors between baths use an Odor Removal Spray that you can spritz like a perfume.

Spot Cleaning

While the ferret is outside of the cage exercising there may be the occasional accident. Threat these spots just as you would a dog. Use an Enzyme Cleaner that naturally eats away at organic waste to reduce odors.


Grumpy Says: “Food greatly impacts the odor of the stool.”



Rabbit Specific

Rabbits have a few of their own nuances when it comes to odor control. Here are a few tips to consider when dealing with rabbit litter boxes.

The first thing to consider is to use a large litter box. When it comes to rabbits, larger litter areas help reduce odors. You will want to change the litter box every day. It’s a good idea to line the litter area with newspapers when you add the Litter Pellets. This will make it easy to pick up and dump on a daily basis.

Keep an eye on the soaking pattern found on the pellets. If you find that every part is saturated then you will want to add additional litter next time. Adjust the amount of litter you spread if you notice only one area is saturated compared to the entire box.

Add a handful of hay on top of the litter box. Rabbits like munch on hay while they use the restroom. This will also with the overall noticeable odor. Additionally, make sure you are adding enough hay to the cage to help with odor reduction

You will want to use White Vinegar with every other cleaning session to eliminate calcium residue.


Grumpy Says: “Rabbits like munch on hay while they use the restroom.”