Litter Box Training Tips for RabbitsPosted: February 15, 2017
Rabbits have the potential to be very domestic creatures given proper care and training. Like cats, rabbits can be litter trained which is why many owners choose not to cage them and allow them to run free around the house. The notion that rabbits are dirty creatures is a common misconception. By nature, rabbits are very clean creatures and prefer to do their business in one spot, and therefore litter box training is not as hard as it sounds. Follow this article for tips on how to litter box train your bunny.
Creating the perfect litter box for your rabbit is simple. Depending on the size of your rabbit you can use any 4x4 plastic container without a wired bottom. A cat litter box will fit nicely and these come in multiple sizes so you can choose the best one for your rabbit. If you wish, you can opt for a sturdier container or a more shallow option such as a plastic tray. Trays are great for smaller bunnies or if your bunny is a lot older and have bad joints. When creating this space do so in a manner that will let your rabbit know it’s a safe space for them and only them. Don’t let other pets interfere or use the litter box as your rabbit will most likely not use it. Keep in mind the older the rabbit is, the easier it is to pill and urine train it to use a litter box. If your rabbit is a baby, it requires some extra effort to point in the right direction. If possible, try keeping the litter box inside its cage if large enough before moving it elsewhere in your home. For litter, use recycled paper litter and choose the unscented version. Organic litters are safe and will neutralize any unwanted smells and odors from urine. Avoid using litters that are made out of softwoods such as pine or cedar shavings as they can potentially cause liver damage in the rabbits that use them, as they will occasionally eat their own litter. Don’t worry about filling the container too high, as rabbits don’t bury their droppings like cats do. I recommend adding a handful of hay to the box so that it has a more natural feel for your pet. Some owners use only hay with a few sheets of newspaper underneath, but litter is always great for reducing smells. Start training your rabbit to use the litter box by limiting their space at first. Use a puppy pen or build an enclosed space to confine your rabbit to one area so it recognizes and understands where the box is and how to use it. This will allow your bunny to get acclimated to the area and you can gradually expand the space to your entire home. If your rabbit slips or forgets to use it, start the process over until good habits resume.
Pets aren’t perfect when it comes to litter boxes and accidents will occur. Even if your rabbit is stubborn, sometimes its better to just give in and move the box to the space where it prefers to do its business. It may take some trial and error, but no matter what remain patient and persistent. Over time your rabbit will use the litter box regularly and will rarely have to be caged again.