Can rabbits actually be trained to use a litter box? Well, the answer to this is definitely yes. Rabbits can be taught how to carry out their “business” in a litter box.
If you’ve been trying to make your rabbit use a litter box because you’re tired of having to clean up their poop from every crevice, but haven’t succeeded yet, then read along the tips shared below.
First of all, in case of rabbits, the younger ones are usually difficult to potty train as compared to the older ones. Younger rabbits have a short attention span and always want to explore their surroundings by hopping as fast as they can. So, it’s better that you start training them right after you bring them home, but bear in mind that you will not get the results you want in a day or two.
Secondly, since unneutered males tend to be busy with other things on their mind (like mating) and unspayed females may be preoccupied with a false pregnancy or an actual one, spaying or neutering them is really essential if you wish to see quicker results in their ability to make use of a litter box.
One more thing you can do while training is observe their behaviour that indicates they are about to go for potty. Few rabbits urinate in a corner, whereas others want to get done with their potty as soon as they are let out from the cage. So, always look for their tail going up and ears in a relaxing position. As soon as you see your rabbit in this position, pick them up and get them into their litter box.
Things to do with the litter box
In order to make sure your rabbit gets used to using the litter box, make their learning experience a welcoming one. Ensure that the bottom of the box is filled with rabbit-safe litter, like aspen shavings, wood pellets or layers of newspaper. It is also advised not to use clumping, cedar or clay cat litters, as these are not suitable products for a rabbit’s health. Instead, to make your rabbit feel welcomed in the litter box, keep fresh hay on the top and add a piece of fruit or herb that they like. You can also keep a toy or a pair of them in the hay.
Once your rabbit is inside the litter box, shower them with lots of praises. There are chances that your rabbit is still getting used to using the litter box and may not opt to use it all the time. In such scenarios, do not punish them, as they will only end up getting stressed.
Step by step procedure to litter train a rabbit
First things first, make sure your rabbit is being given some personal space. If they share a space with you, differentiate a part of your space in your room.
Start with placing a couple of litter boxes in your rabbit’s personal space. In the initial days of training, you might have to place your rabbit’s droppings in these boxes, but still do it as this will help your rabbit identify the place to relieve themselves. Place one box outside the cage and one inside and one more in the corner that your rabbit usually uses to do his/her “business”. You might have to change the places of boxes depending upon where your rabbit prefers to urinate.
As your rabbit learns to use the litter box, remove the extra boxes and increase its living space. Now, don’t expect your rabbit to follow the procedure perfectly. Sometimes your rabbit might drop their droppings at places other than their litter box, as they tend to hop everywhere. But, as compared to the earlier days, picking up a few droppings will be easy for you.
To make sure that your rabbit keeps using the litter box, clean it regularly in an interval of two to three days. If you find that your rabbit’s litter box habits are changing, then there might be something wrong with their health. To make sure your rabbit is perfectly healthy take them to a vet immediately. The change in using the litter box habit could have been caused by a change in environment, or maybe because the rabbit is scared of something, like other rabbits in the locality or maybe because of a change in caretaker.
Also, make sure that your rabbit’s poopy butt is clean and there is no poop stuck in their fur. Ensure this doesn’t happen with your rabbit by trimming the fur around their buns using cheap safety scissor for rabbits fur and keep checking their buns after their every visit to the litter box.