Ready to litter train your pet rabbit? Help your rabbit become a beloved member of the family by providing it with the right environment for it to go about its business.
Can I litter train my rabbit?
Yes, you can litter train your rabbit and it’s not actually that difficult. While there are some similarities to training your cat, pay special attention to the needs of your rabbit. Provide a clean, safe environment, one that will entice your rabbit to continue to visit. Give your rabbit gentle encouragement and rewards to show it how proud you are. The happier you are about litter training, the more successful your rabbit will be.
Supplies you need for litter training
Rabbits under 4 pounds should have a medium size litter box, under 10 pounds should have a large size, and over 10 pounds, or if you have two rabbits, should have an extra-large size.
If you have the space, try a corner litter box. Not only do they take up less space, but the high back in the corner gives your rabbit a firm place to push back on, which is a natural behavior when going about their business.
Yes, it may sound gross to us, but rabbits will sometimes eat their own feces. The type of rabbit litter you have is especially important as it may be accidentally ingested.
Natural litter materials are the best for your rabbit. The most common is to place a few layers of newspaper in the litter tray and then cover it with hay.
You can also use paper-based litter from shredded newspaper or cardboard.
If you plan on using store-bought litter, pay attention to the ingredients list. Don’t just use cat litter.
Clumping litters may make clean up easier but they are usually clay-based which can actually enter your rabbit’s delicate lungs.
These are a little controversial but if your rabbit just isn’t understanding how to use its litter box, you might want to consider them. Snappy trainers can be set up in any place you don’t want your rabbit to visit.
For example, if your rabbit continually urinates on the couch, place a snappy trainer on this exact spot. When your rabbit jumps up on this area, the snappy trainer will dislodge and the paddle will fling into the air.
The snappy trainer is not meant to hit your rabbit. Rather, the rapid motion produces a loud slapping noise to scare your animal.
As with any negative reinforcements, really think before using this device. Only use it exactly where the unwanted behavior is occurring.
If, for example, you place the snappy trainer further down the couch than where the bad behavior is happening, your rabbit might think that it isn’t allowed to jump on the couch at all, or even that you don’t want any cuddles from it.
To help prevent a lot of headaches, place a mat or towel under the litter box. It can take a while for your rabbit to exclusively poop and urinate in its litter box. There are also bound to be messes around the box itself.
Place a mat under the box to help mop up spills and prevent damage to your floor. Just be sure to regularly clean the mat so it doesn’t stain or smell.
Rabbit Pen or Puppy pen
Your rabbit should be placed in a small area of your house to understand where its food and litter box is. You can use a puppy pen or dog fence to enclose this area.
Rabbits poop a lot. If they are not near their litter boxes when they need to go, they will decide to just poop anywhere instead.
By having a portable fence, you can gradually increase your rabbit’s area until it has a larger, more encompassing space.
To entice your rabbit to use its litter pan, install a hay feeder on the wall next to the litter box. This way, your rabbit will stay sitting in its litter box in order to munch on its food.
Your rabbit will stay for a while eating and chances are that time will be plenty for it to relieve itself. With continued encouragement, your rabbit will learn to enjoy sitting in its litter box.
A layer of hay should be placed in your rabbit’s litter box, even if you use a different litter base. Rabbits often eat their own poop so it’s better to eat a bit of hay with that poop than other substances.
You can go a maximum of two days before needing to completely change the litter box. After one day, if messes are at a minimum, simply place fresh, clean hay on top.
Your rabbit will not be encouraged to return to its litter box if it is messy, wet, or smelly. Stay on top of cleaning to ensure a successful habit.
Steps on how to litter train rabbit
Choosing the location
To get started, prepare a rabbit area in your home, ideally a room or small area. You can use dog fences to set up the area.
A small space allows your rabbit to know where its food is and more importantly, where its litter box is. Try to keep your rabbit in this space until the litter training is over.
If you find that there are a lot of accidents, watch your rabbit’s behavior. Maybe the litter box is too confusing to reach.
Likewise, if your rabbit has naturally chosen its own corner to go in, it’s best just to put the litter box in this area.
Prepare the litter box
Under the litter box, place a towel on the ground. Your rabbit will definitely not be perfect so save yourself from aggravation and prepare for eventual misses.
Purchase a litter box that is large enough for your rabbit. It should have low sides, or even an entryway, to make it as easy as possible for your rabbit to enter the pan.
Putting the bunny
For best results, choose the right time to start litter training your rabbit. You might want to start right away but baby rabbits are far too excitable to show enough patience for litter training.
Wait until after your rabbit has been spayed or neutered, around 6 months of age. Once this has happened your rabbit will be slightly more docile and better able to understand new routines.
Expand the area
Once your rabbit has successfully become litter trained, you can expand its area in the home. Start with small increments.
Remember that your rabbit will continue to poop a lot. If it is too far from the litter box it might not have enough incentive to go back to the place.
Take your time expanding your rabbit’s area. Rabbits are small and like to feel protected. Too much freedom can actually be overwhelming.
How long does it take to litter train a rabbit?
If you follow all the steps provided, it should only take about one week to potty train your rabbit. Keep in mind that each rabbit is different. Temperament, environment, and age are all factors involved.
If your rabbit is not interested in being litter trained, wait a few weeks and try again. You want to be consistent but if it’s just not working, consider changing the litter box location and even the type of litter.
It can take a bit of time and effort but if you stick with it, your rabbit can be fully litter trained. For those hoping to have fully domesticated, house rabbits, having a rabbit who is litter box trained is essential.
What can I use for rabbit litter?
There are many natural and store-bought types of litter to use for your rabbit. Natural substances include shredded paper, hay, dried alfalfa, and even oats.
If you go the natural root, place different layers in your litter box. Put down sheets of newspaper to absorb any litter and then add hay to entice your rabbit to enter the litter box.
There are also store-bought litters that can be bought. If buying litter, choose brands that offer natural ingredients to provide as safe an environment for your rabbit.
Can you litter train an older rabbit?
Yes! It may sound counter-intuitive, but it’s actually easier to train older rabbits than younger rabbits. Baby rabbits are more excitable and have a shorter attention span. It can be hard to keep them focused enough to entice them to be litter trained.
Why do bunnies poop so much?
Bunnies eat on a continuous basis. As such, they also poop on a continuous basis. You should provide your rabbit with unlimited access to fresh, clean hay which they will then be able to eat whenever they want.
As long as your rabbit’s poop is solid pellets and not runny or sticking to its fur, then it is healthy.
How many times do rabbits poop a day?
You can expect your rabbit to poop out 100 pellets per day. You can also expect them to urinate between 2 to 8 times a day.