Litter Training Your Rabbit
People have the idea that rabbit will litter all over the house. But to the contrary, rabbits make wonderful house pets. They’re great companions, and can be litter box trained.
Keep in mind….It’s a good idea to get your rabbit spayed/neutered in order to ease territorial feelings. If you choose not to spay/neuter your rabbit. There is no way to stop the urge to mark their territory.
Below is a list of steps for litter training your new rabbit.
1. Use at least 3 topless cat litter boxes. You can also use a a shallow storage tub.
For litter, use recycled paper litter or shreded newspapers can be used as well. This litter will neutralize any unpleasant urine odors. Do not use clay-based or clumping litter because of the potential harm to your rabbits’ respiratory system. Also avoid wood shavings of any kind.
Put a thin layer of litter at the bottom of the box. It should be just enough to absorb wetness. Use just a little because you will need to dump the litter everyday and too much is a waste of litter.
Rabbits like to eat hay and potty at the same time. So to promote good litter box habits, place hay either directly in the box over the litter or place it in a hay box next to the litter box. If you use a hay box, position it so the rabbit must hop into the litter box in order to reach the hay.
It’s easiest to develop good litter box habits in rabbits by limiting their space at first. Use a puppy pen to confine your rabbit to one area, even if you intend to give him/her free reign of your home eventually. This allows your bunny to get acclimated to the area in the beginning. Once your bunny consistently uses the litter box, you can gradually expand the area. If your rabbit starts “forgetting” to use the litter box, then limit the space again until good habits resume.
Here are a few other tips for those stubborn, “outside-the-box” bunnies:
- If accidents occur, mop up urine with a paper towel and pick up stray poop and place both in the litter box. This helps get the message across that the litter box is the place that they should do their business. Keep in mind that rabbits are generally not 100% perfect with their litter box. Sometimes they leave a few droppings next to the box, or they urinate over the edge of their box. This is normal, so placing a plastic mat under their litter box or putting the litter box on a tile floor makes it easier to clean up these little mistakes.
- Be patient and persistent. Litter training takes time, especially if your rabbit has learned bad habits. It takes a while to retrain them. If you can see they’re about to go outside their litter box (they may lift their tail or sometimes they sort of shimmy down in a seated position right before they go), try to pick them up and put them in the litter box or corral them in. This is often times easier said than done of course.
- If your bunny is insistent on going in one corner of the room, sometimes it’s easier to give in to their stubbornness, and place a litter box in that corner. Sometimes when rabbits consistently choose another place to go, they are trying to tell you that that’s where they want to go.
- If your rabbit is pooping/spraying pee everywhere, this is probably due to your rabbit marking his territory. It’s a good idea to get your rabbit spayed/neutered in order to ease territorial feelings.
- Sometimes rabbits deliberately pee on your couch or bed because they’re showing you who’s Top Bunny in the house. You should correct their misconception immediately.
Litter training your pet rabbit takes patience and persistence. But in the end, you’ll have a wonderful companion to share your home with.
Litter Training Supply List
- Litter box
A few shallow storage containers works well.
Or you may opt for a few medium-sized cat litter boxes.
- Rabbit-safe litter
Opt for a recycled newspaper pellet litter such as Yesterday’s News (unscented).
Purchase hay by the bale from a local farmer or at your local Walmart
- Hay feeder
Placing a hay feeder next to the litter box so the rabbit has to hop into the box in order to eat is helpful in establishing good litter box habits.
- Puppy pen
Puppy pens help limit your rabbit’s space so that he/she can get acclimated to the area and get used to going in the litter box.
- Information in this article was taken from the following sources. We hope it’s useful!
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