- Pets and Animals
How to litter train a bunny
Rabbits make wonderful house pets and, just like cats, they can be litter trained. Our rabbit Flynn was potty trained when he was a baby, but rabbits can be litter trained at any age. In fact, more mature rabbits may be easier to train. They are creatures of habit and are very likely to choose a specific corner of their cage to designate as a bathroom. Sometimes placing a litter box in that corner is enough to potty train him or her. Younger rabbits (both males and females) do tend to mark their territory and may be a little more resistant to training.
1. Spraying or neutering a rabbit is often the key to successful litter training. When rabbits loose the urge to mark their territory, they are more likely to choose a specific corner of the cage to use as a bathroom.
2. When choosing a litter box, skip the space-saving corner litter boxes - they may be too small for your rabbit. Instead, go for a large rectangle-shaped litter box, like the inexpensive cat litter boxes sold in stores and online (see the shopping list below for an example). You may want to measure your rabbit and buy a litter box at least a few inches longer or go for the maximum length you can fit in the cage without taking up too much room. As weird as it may seem, rabbits like to take their time in the litter box. Also, rabbits like to graze and go to the bathroom at the same time, so it may be a good idea to add some hay to the litter box, especially in the initial stages of litter training.
3. Be sure to choose the right litter for your pet. Steer clear of cat litter - it is dangerous for curious rabbits who may accidentally ingest it. Skip the softwood shavings (pine and cedar) as the phenols in the soft wood can cause liver and kidney damage and increase cancer risk. I recommend CareFresh Natural litter - it's free of softwood shavings, inks, dyes, clay and chemicals and is great for odor control (see the link in the Shopping List below).
4. Once the litter box is set up, place some of your rabbit's droppings inside the litter box. Some rabbits will start using the litter box from day one. But majority will continue to leave dropping all over the cage. Be patient and continue to scoop up the droppings and wet cage bedding and place it inside the litter box. You will notice that your pet is starting to get the point of where the droppings are supposed to go.
5. Finally, be sure to change the litter at least a couple times a week. Dump out all litter, rinse out the litter box with soapy water, and fill it up with 2-3 inches of fresh litter.
6. Persistence does pay off, and you will have a litter box trained rabbit in no time! Enjoy your healthy pet and odor free home :)