One complaint I often hear from people about their rabbit’s litter box is that it smells. When I press further, I find out they are using newspapers to line the litter box. Unfortunately, sheets of newspaper just don’t absorb the strong smell of rabbit urine.
Using a newspaper pellet litter like Yesterday’s News will solve the problem. Even though it’s made of newspaper, the compressed pellets somehow neutralize the odor much more effectively than sheets of newspaper.
Note: When choosing a litter or bedding for your rabbit, you should not use clay-based litter or cedar shavings because they are detrimental to rabbits’ respiratory systems. Always use a non-dusty litter/bedding made from recycled paper.
Learn more about litter training your rabbit at our article, Litter Training Your Pet Rabbit.
Here are a few tips about using a recycled paper pellet litter:
- Just put a very shallow layer of the litter in the litter box — enough so that the bottom is covered. It does not have to be deep because rabbits do not bury their droppings like cats. Furthermore, you will be discarding ALL of the litter every time you clean it, so you want to use the least amount possible to make it last and save money.
- You can buy large bags of Yesterday’s News that are marketed for cats. You don’t have to get ones marketed for rabbits. Just be sure to buy the unscented version.
- Put hay on top of the thin layer of litter. Rabbits like to eat and poop at the same time. So this encourages them to use the litter box. Just be sure your rabbit has access to clean, fresh hay at all times.
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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:
If you have any other great litter training tips or tricks, please share them!