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How to Train a Rabbit to Use a Litter Box

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Uploaded on Aug 25, 2010

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Did you know that rabbits can be litter-trained? Having a properly trained bunny means less mess and stress for you—and the bonus for your bunny is that she'll get more freedom around the house.

Step 1: Be patient
Shore up a good store of patience before you begin litter training your rabbit. It may take a while…

Tip
A spayed or neutered rabbit will be much easier to litter train.

Step 2: Line the small box
Litter-training a rabbit is a two-tier process. First, you’ll be training your bunny to use the litter box inside her cage. Line a small litter box with newspaper, and top the newspaper with your chosen rabbit-safe litter.

Tip
Never use 'clumping' cat litter, pine shavings, or cedar shavings in your rabbit’s litter boxes. These contain substances that can be harmful.

Step 3: Put the box in the cage
Put the litter box in one corner of the cage. Put a few rabbit droppings into the box to give Bunny a hint, and when you catch the bunny using the box, give her plenty of praise.

Step 4: Change the box
Change the litter box at least every other day; your bunny is more likely to use a clean box. Between changes, top it off with fresh litter. Whenever you remove the box, replace it to the same corner.

Tip
White vinegar is the best cleaner and deodorizer for litter boxes—just make sure to rinse the box with water after using the vinegar.

Step 5: Lure the bunny
Expect that your rabbit will want to hang out in her litter box. This is perfectly normal. In fact, many owners put a little feed hay in the box to lure their bunnies there and give them a snack while they relax.

Tip
If your bunny has been using her litter box successfully but starts to 'dribble' urine around her cage, take her to a rabbit vet. When a rabbit abandons her training, it can be a sign that she’s unwell.

Step 6: Start floor time
Once the rabbit is reliable about her cage litter box, it’s time to start letting her out of the cage for 'floor time.' Choose a small area to start with—and make sure it’s been bunny-proofed.

Tip
Puppy pens or gates are useful to confine your bunny to one area.

Step 7: Line the large box
Line the large litter box with newspaper and rabbit-safe litter. Always keep it in the same part of your house—preferably in a corner and on a floor that’s easy to clean.

Step 8: Correct mistakes
If you spot the bunny about to pee or poop away from the box, say 'NO!' in a loud voice while clapping your hands. Gently pick her up and put her into her litter box.

Step 9: Don’t scold
Never scold your bunny if she makes a mistake. Rabbits can’t learn that way. Instead, use positive reinforcement, and praise her when you see her use the box.

Tip
Use white vinegar to clean up bunny pee. It will help with odors and may prevent your rabbit from using the same spot again.

Step 10: Expand the area
Hopefully, within a few weeks your bunny should start using the litter box outside her cage as well as the one inside. Now you can expand her play area even more, leaving her cage open and accessible so she can return if she wants.

Tip
If you have room, put more than one litter box in the bunny’s play space—and if she insists on using one particular spot outside her box, move it to the spot she keeps using.

Step 11: Go slow
Keep gradually enlarging the play area. You don’t want Bunny to lose track of that box! She may mark her territory or leave a few pellets around when she’s playing—but the bulk of her business will be done in her boxes. Now enjoy your 'house bunny'!

Did You Know?
Because of their longer attention spans and calmer personalities, adult rabbits are easier to train than young ones.

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