How to Litter Train a Rabbit

Did you ever think rabbits could be litter box trained just like cats? Well, they can be and here is how you do it!

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You'll need a cat litter box with low sides (or you may want to purchase a rabbit litter box from your local pet store or Amazon.) Place the litter box in an area where the rabbit won't be disturbed. If using a cage, make sure the cage is large enough for the litter box, food, and all the bunny's things as well as ample room for your rabbit to stretch.

Best Litter Types

The best litter to use is litter made from recycled paper like Fresh News, Cats Pride or Yesterday's News, preferably the unscented brand. These litters will neutralize those strong urine odors. Never use clay based or clumping litters because as the rabbits dig, the dust from the litter is harmful to the rabbit's respiratory system. Wood shavings of any type should also be avoided.

Litter Placement

Place some litter at the bottom of the box to absorb any wetness. Don't fill the box to the top with the litter. Rabbits don't bury their poop like cats. You'll be wasting litter unnecessary when you clean your box and dump out the contents if you fill it to the top.

Hay! What's Up Doc?

Place some hay in or near the litter box (rabbits like eating and pooping simultaneously.) If you place the hay near the litter box, make sure the rabbit has to hop into the litter box to reach the hay. All this preparation will promote good litter box habits.

Limiting Space

A puppy pen will be useful at first to limit the space and confine your rabbit's area for using the litter box. When your rabbit becomes acclaimed to using the box, you can expand the area gradually, unless your bunny forgets using the box. If so, you'll have to return to limiting more of the rabbit's space.

Messy Wabbit!

If 'accidents' occur, mop up urine and pick up poop promptly and place it in the litter box, thus demonstrating that is the place for the bunny to 'go.' Rabbits do not have perfect litter box etiquette but this is a normal occurrence. They may miss some of the box or overshoot an edge, so it's a good idea to place the litter box on a plastic mat.

Thinking Outside of The Box

If your rabbit is insistent about going outside the box, as soon as you see him ready to poop or pee, try picking up the rabbit and place it in the litter box. If your rabbit constantly heads to a certain corner of the room, you may have to place the box in that corner. Sometimes rabbits will tell you where they want to go!

Spay or Neuter

Keep in mind that spraying and pooping everywhere may be due to your rabbit marking his area. Territorial domination can usually be eased by having your rabbit spayed or neutered.

Patience Pays Off!

Always be patient with your rabbit. Litter box training takes a fair amount of time and persistence, especially if your rabbit has learned some bad habits. In the end, you'll have a wonderful pet that will always have a proper place to 'go' when needed!

Further information on litter box training and other bunny topics can be found at: Binky Bunny and House Rabbit Society.

By Tom Matteo