Today’s theme for Rabbit Adoptathon week will be about litter training. We get a lot of emails from people who are frustrated by stubborn, “outside-the-box” bunnies. Here are our best tips:
- Rabbits tend to poop while they eat hay. So it is always a good idea to place ample amounts of hay either in the litterbox or in a hayfeeder right next to the litterbox (so the bunny is forced to sit in the litterbox if he wants to munch on hay).
- Mop up urine with a paper towel and pick up stray poop and place both in the litterbox. This helps get the message across that the litterbox is the place that they should do their business.
- Be patient and persistent. Litter training takes time, especially if your rabbit has learned bad habits. It takes a while to retrain them. If you can see they’re about to go to the bathroom outside their litterbox (they may lift their tail or sometimes they sort of shimmy down in a seated position right before they go), try to pick them up and put them in the litterbox or corral them in. This is oftentimes easier said than done of course.
- Limit their space. If your bunny is free reign, you may want to limit their space initially using a puppy pen until your rabbit is consistently practicing good litterbox habits. Then, very gradually increase the space, ensure those good habits remain intact. Eventually, you will be able to take away the puppy pen completely.
- If your bunny is insistent on going in one corner of the room, sometimes it’s easier to give in to their stubbornness, and place a litterbox in that corner. Sometimes when rabbits consistently choose another place to go, they are trying to tell you that that’s where they want to go.
- If your rabbit is pooping/spraying pee everywhere, this is probably due to your rabbit marking his territory. It’s a good idea to get your rabbit spayed/neutered in order to ease territorial feelings.
- Sometimes rabbits deliberately pee on your couch or bed because they’re showing you who’s Top Bunny in the house. You should correct their misconception immediately. See our blog post, “Being Top Bunny” and the House Rabbit Society’s article, “FAQ: Training” for more information.
More litter training information:
- “Litter Training Your Bunny Rabbit” on My House Rabbit
- “Litterbox Training” on BinkyBunny
- “FAQ: Litter Training” on the House Rabbit Society website
- “Litterbox Encore” on the House Rabbit Society website
If you have any other great litter training tips or tricks, please share them!