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Explaining how to

Train Pet Rabbits

to use a Litter Box

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Rabbits have a natural instinct to drop their urine and
pellets in just one or at least only a few places, so it
isn't really hard to litter box train your pet bunny, even
when it lives loose in your home rather than in a cage. It
does take patience on your part, however, since rabbits tend
to rely more on instinct and habit than on thought and
developing a habit takes time.

Baby bunnies under one year old and rabbits that have not
been spayed or neutered are slightly harder to train. (But
you don't want to keep mature whole adult rabbits in your
home anyway, they will do territorial marking with urine or
even spray, and they have more odor.) Some rabbits litter
train almost immediately and some take longer, but just be
patient and keep trying and you will succeed with most

Ideally you will have a few litter boxes ready when you
bring your new bunny home, so it won't have time to develop
habits that are hard to change. Keep the rabbit and the
boxes in one room at first to make things easier for you and
the rabbit. A small uncarpeted room is best, maybe a part of
the kitchen, hall, or bathroom. Then you can watch where it
likes to poop and put a box in that spot if possible, and
remove the boxes it doesn't use much.

For the litter boxes, buy large cat litter boxes or plastic
dog baskets, or simply adapt plastic storage boxes. The key
is for the litter trays to have high sides but easy access.
Fill the boxes with a few inches of non-toxic litter such as
the commercial paper-based liters or non-clumping cat
litter. Be sure not to use pine or cedar wood shavings or
clumping cat litter, both can harm your rabbit. Add a little
grass hay to one side of each box, as rabbits instinctively
poop and eat at the same time, plus the hay will help to
entice the bunny into the box.

Put one litter box into the rabbit's cage or near its bed
and another in a private but visible corner of the room. If
it doesn't instinctively go to the box, put a few pellets
and some urine-soaked paper or bedding into the boxes so the
rabbit will have scent clues. If your rabbit seems to like a
particular spot in the room, simply move a litter box to
that spot.

Clean up any urine or feces that are on the floor with
diluted white vinegar as soon as possible so that the scent
is gone and the rabbit isn't confused. If the bunny goes
into the litter box, give it praise and a little treat. The
more your rabbit associates the litter box with good
feelings, the more it will want to spend time in the box and
mark it with urine and feces. If the rabbit likes to lie in
its box, that is a good thing.

Whatever you do, be sure that the litter box is a happy time
for your rabbit, don't grab it and put it into the box if it
doesn't like to be handled, and don't scold it if it messes
on the floor. Rabbits are not like cats and dogs, and you
could create a lifetime fear of the litter box - and maybe
of you.

Remember that rabbits are creatures of habit, so once they
get used to what's supposed to happen, they'll be more
likely to using the litter box. Once your rabbit is using
its box consistently, you can give it more freedom in the
house if you want. Just be sure to watch it, and if you see
the training starting to fail, put it back into the small
area for more practice.

See our Cat Care Section for more information on Litters
Link is found at the top of this page.

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