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Good Bunny, Bad Bunny: House Bunny Litter Training

Updated on October 25, 2008

Litter Training

Rabbits are easily house trained because of their natural toileting habits which are to pick a spot and return there each time. The major mistake humans make when trying to litter train rabbits is to think that they get to choose the spot. Unfortunately, that's not how it works. Your rabbit will pick the spot that it is comfortable with, usually a corner. You do have some influence over where your rabbit decides to toilet, and you can exercise this by keeping bunny confined to a certain region, such as a small house cage whilst it is still in the choosing stage. Once the rabbit picks a spot, it is normally safe to then let them have free range of the room in which they are in. If you have particularly nice carpets and don't feel like spending time with white vinegar and a steam cleaner, then you can take the precaution of putting litter boxes in every corner of the room until it becomes clear that the rabbit has made his or her decision final.

Most of the time the rabbit will do all their droppings in the litter box, but it is not uncommon to find a few hard pellets littering the floor. This is not a sign that your rabbit is not house trained, its just a sign that he or she decided to demonstrate how comfortable she is owning the place by dropping her poo about. This is usually not too much of a problem for rabbit owners, but it may be a strong argument for keeping bunny confined to one or two rooms, unless you want to find little rabbit presents scattered randomly about your home.

Litter

Here's the hard part about litter training and house breaking your rabbit - finding a litter that won't kill them and that also doesn't leave your home smelling like one giant litter box. There are special litters designed for cats which retard odor by chemical means, but these are more often than not highly toxic to rabbits. You may reconsider using these when you realize that within a few hours of having a rabbit indoors, a pungent aroma begins to fill the room and seep throughout the house, but I would advise strongly against this.

There are many types of litters out there, here is a list of the ones to avoid.

Clumping litter - Designed to clump around urine, making it easy to clean up, these litters are full of chemicals with which to kill bunny.

Paper litter - Paper based litters are great for the environment, but not so great for rabbits who love to eat them, then often fall sick with intestinal blockages.

Cob litter - A great natural litter, but problematic for the same reason as paper based litters.

Here's my solution to this issue. Your millage may very, and other bunny owners and experts may squeal in disapproval, but in my experience, this works.

Attapugite - Attapugite is simply clay, but it has very good odor control properties, which means that your house won't smell as if the toilet exploded sometime last summer and was never cleaned up. In my experience, attapugite is also the only litter that rabbits won't try to eat. Some sources say that the dust endemic to attapugite based litters can lead to pneumonia in rabbits, and this may possibly be true, but given that quite literally every single option available on the market has some potentially lethal side effect, I believe that attapugite is probably the best choice for rabbit owners who care about their rabbits and their homes. Attapugite litters are also usually quite cheap, which is another fairly convincing selling point.

Next: Bunny Bedding and Accomodation

Back to Contents: Good Bunny, Bad Bunny

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    • profile image

      Rachel 

      6 years ago

      My rabbit seems to think that I'm it's toilet. Any suggestions so I'm no longer a walking rabbit toilet?

    • profile image

      Rachel 

      6 years ago

      My rabbit seems to think that I'm it's toilet. Any suggestions so I'm no longer a walking rabbit toilet?

    • profile image

      Shelby 

      7 years ago

      Just use the regular wood chips for their bedding in a little box. Its safe and cheap and doesn't stink

    • profile image

      Taylor 

      8 years ago

      Thankyou a lot i am thinking about getting a bunny and letting it have free-range of my room. i will have a bunny cage in my room with a litter pan in the cage. is it ok if i use just his regular bunny bedding or maybe shreded newspaper for his litter box? please respond.

      -Taylor (age 12)

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