How to Litter Train a Rabbit

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Last Updated: June 19, 2019

Rabbits have some very comparative behaviors to cats and dogs. They can be friendly, social and companionable animals that love being around humans. Just like with cats and dogs rabbits are great to have around your home, with the right training. If you don’t house train your rabbit properly, you risk them destroying your possessions, marking their territory and being a nightmare to have around the house. Giving them the right training will help you trust them, and give them the freedom to roam around your house.

How To Litter Train Your Rabbit

So now you know how house training your rabbit can help you and your bun, the next question is where do you start? Litter training is key to ensuring your house remains clean, hygienic and safe for humans and bunnies to live. Here are a few steps for litter training your rabbit. 

1. Bunny Proof Your House Before Litter Training

Before the litter training of your rabbit commences, make sure that your house is safe for a bunny to roam around.

This process can be relatively straight forward but have a big impact on your rabbits and your own livelihood. The process can include:

  •  Hiding and securing electrical cords. These are one of the main targets for bunnies.
  • Guarding walls and furniture, for example, use a cover on your sofa.
  • Removing cords from curtains or blinds. Out of sight out of mind, this will prevent your bunny from mischievously attacking your curtains.
  • Moving flowers and house trees out of reach

You can buy chew toys that are rabbit friendly. They improve your rabbits chewing behavior. You can use cardboard boxes filled with dried out pine cones, cardboard rollers from paper towels and shredded paper. Giving your rabbit toys to exercise chewing makes it much less likely they will chew something they shouldn’t.

2. Invest in a Litter Box and Rabbit Litter

Just like with house pets such as cats or dogs, when it’s time to go they need to know where to go. Use a rabbit litter box to house train your rabbit. An effective and easy way for this procedure is as follows:

  1. Inside the cage of the rabbit put 2 or 1 smaller boxes
  2. Using a chosen litter fill in the boxes. 
  3. You can use newspaper to line the rest of the box. When the rabbit urinates or defecates on the paper, take it to where the litter box is so that it understands where it is supposed to defecate.
  4. Repeat the above step two times in a day. Make adjustment depending on how your bunny behaves. For example, move the litter box to where the rabbit normally urinates.
  5. You should house-train your rabbit if after several days the newspaper is not soiled.

the moment your rabbit knows to litter inside the box. Increase the area he moves around once he understands the concept. Be observant. The rabbits will use the litter box with no difficulties once they have been house trained. You should be watchful because you can find a mess anytime. If your pet goes back to his old habits, take him in the cage and start the process above again. We’d also recommend investing in a purpose-built rabbit litter. These help you to control the stench of urine and keep your bunnies litter tray smelling fresh. 

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3. Be cautious

When your rabbit uses the latrine you have provided often, they can become sick. Symptoms of the illness include:

    1. Incontinence
    2. Runny nose
    3. Diarrhea
    4. Loss of appetite
    5. Heavy breathing

If you notice your rabbit is falling sick, seek veterinary assistance immediately. 

4. Extend the area

After confirming your rabbit is urinating inside the box, you can now extend the area. You can use various boxes in different rooms until when your rabbit knows how to use them by itself. Be careful and clean any mess. Remember, your rabbit is trying to learn so never mistreat your rabbit when it urinates outside the litter box.

5. Praise them

Put the rabbit inside the litter box and heap praise on them. Treat the pet to something there are not used to every time they urinate inside the box. You can buy a new food or treats for the purpose of this. As time goes by, extend the time it takes for your rabbit to urinate on the litter box. Praise, patience, time, and being consistent are key to ensuring your rabbit understands what you are teaching them.

Final Thoughts on How to Litter Train a Rabbit 

Rabbits are funny, cute, and smart pets. It is much better when you leave them to roam freely inside your house. When properly trained, you will not have to worry about the rabbit causing any trouble in your home. We always recommend buying comfortable bedding and a good quality litter box. For tips on what makes a good rabbit litter tray check this post out