There is a misconception that rabbits are filthy animals which usually isn’t the case. On the contrary, bunnies make excellent indoor companions because, like cats, you can easily litter train a rabbit. This article looks at everything you need to know when it comes to bunny litter training.
Does the age of a rabbit matter when it comes to toilet training?
Older bunnies are easier to train compared to younger rabbits. As a rabbit grows older, its attention span and ability to learn also expand.
Does spaying/neutering make a difference?
Yes, indeed! The most critical aspect of litter box training a rabbit is spaying or neutering it. Rabbits’ hormones become active between 4-6 months, and they usually begin marking their territories. Therefore, it’s possible to litter train a rabbit regardless of whether they’re spayed or neutered.
What type of litter should I use?
It all depends on what’s available in your area and what kind of rabbit you have. When you pick your litter, keep the following in mind:
- Bunny’s usually spend a lot of their time in litter boxes.
- Rabbits still nibble on some of the litter
- Their urine has a strong odor
Organic/natural litters made from alfalfa, wheatgrass, oat, citrus, paper, or compressed kiln-dried sawdust are recommended for use.
For each litter box, pour a handful of hay, which you should change daily. Since rabbits frequently feed and use the litter box, this approach promotes healthy litter habits and hay consumption.
Cleaning and disposal
To allow your rabbit to use the litter box:
- Clean it often.
- Rinse bins with white vinegar; let vinegar soak in pans with tough stains. Alternatively, you can use club soda to clean up spills outside the rabbit cage.
- If your bunny’s urine has dried, use a pet urine enzyme cleaner to eliminate the stain and odor.
You can use organic litter as mulch or add it to the municipal green waste collection to dispose of. On the other hand, you can also use rabbit feces as plant fertilizer.
What kinds of cages work best?
Use a wide enough enclosure to fit a litter box, water bowl, and toys while also allowing the rabbit to hop and play. Always ensure that you strategically place the litter container in the enclosure’s corner to maintain proper hygiene and prevent your bunny from scattering the litter.
What if my cage has a top-opening entrance, making it impossible for the rabbit to enter independently?
Create a ramp or stairs if the cage is high above the ground to enable your pet to come and go freely.
What if I don’t use a cage, or I have one that’s too small for a litter box?
If you have a cage that’s too small for a litter box, always place the litter box in a different area your bunny is fond of.
How to manage bunny littering
Rabbits usually tend to leave poop around their cage as a sign of marking their territory. Therefore, this shouldn’t be interpreted as a poor litter habit.
It’s recommendable to wait until the rabbits have exited the cage before cleaning it. They’ll come over and supervise you, even helping you carry stuff outside the cell. Your bunnies won’t see your cleaning as an invasion of their territory as long as they’re not in the cage.
If a rabbit does not live in an enclosure but rather in a specific area of a room, the same technique may be used. Mark the territory with a rug, tape, or whatever you want, and prevent invasions.
Can a large enclosure prevent my rabbit from being toilet trained?
Even if your ultimate aim is to give your rabbit complete freedom, we suggest starting small. Begin with an enclosure with a small running area, and when your rabbit becomes adept at using the litter box in that room, progressively increase its space. If you give your bunnies too much freedom before they’re ready, they’ll lose track of their litter box spot.
Solution for rabbits who prefer using a different spot
If your rabbit is constantly urinating in an area with no litter box, move the cage near that particular area to make it easier to litter train them.
The most common toilet training mistake
Rabbits need someone patient with litter training them. Perhaps that’s one of their unique gifts to us in this fast-paced world. You not only get a well-trained bunny in exchange for your efforts, but you also get a small window of time per day to watch one of the cutest little creatures on the planet explore, hop and play around the house.
What do you do if your bunny ceases using the litter box and starts dribbling over the cage?
Dribbles are a sign of a bladder infection. Take your bunny to a vet, who will prescribe antibiotics.
What you need to know about bunny littering
- If a rabbit litters, clean up the pee or feces before placing them in the litter box. This reinforces the message that the litter box is the only place for them to relieve themselves.
- They also urinate over the side of their box or leave a few droppings next to it. This is common; however, putting a plastic mat under their litter box or on a tile floor makes it easier to clean.
- Have patience and perseverance. Litter training is time-consuming, mainly if your rabbit has developed bad habits. It takes time for them to retrain. If you see them about to leave their litter box, their tail may lift, or they may shimmy down in a seated position right before they go; try to pick them up and place them in the litter box or corral them in. Of course, it’s easier said than done.
- If your bunny insists on going to a specific corner of the room, it’s often easier to give in to their insistence and put a litter box there.
- If your rabbit is pooping/spraying pee all over the place, it’s most likely because it’s marking territory. To alleviate territorial feelings, it’s a good idea to get your rabbit spayed or neutered. Rabbits will sometimes pee on your sofa or bed to demonstrate who the boss is in the house. It would help if you fixed their misunderstanding right away.
Things to purchase for your rabbit’s litter
- Litter box
It’s best to use a shallow storage container. Alternatively, you can also use a medium-sized cat litter box.
You can order bulk hay on Amazon or order it from a local farmer, which will prevent your pet’s litter from spreading on the carpet or floor.
- Hay feeder
Placing a hay feeder near the litter box makes it necessary for the rabbit to hop into the box to eat. In turn, it enhances the litter training process.
- Puppy pen
Puppy pens assist your rabbit in adjusting to the new environment and becoming accustomed to using the litter box by limiting their littering space.
- Snappy trainers
These devices help keep your rabbits off the furniture or restricted areas they’re most likely to litter.
Bunnies, by default, prefer to deposit their urine and feces in one or a few locations (usually corners). How to litter train a rabbit is as simple as placing a litter box in the rabbit’s preferred area. On the other hand, poop training entails selecting a particular spot where there is less disturbance. You require a little bit of patience when litter-training your pet rabbit. Hence, when you succeed in the end, you’ll have an excellent companion to share your home with.
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