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Litter training your pet rabbit is not a myth, it’s fairly easy to potty train your rabbit. Learn tips on how to successfully litter train your pet rabbit. Step-by-step guide. Pet rabbits, just like cats or dogs can be litter trained and make great indoor companions. Rabbits usually pick one corner spot as toilet area and owners can use that spot as their litter placement. You need to pay careful attention to litter box size, type of litter to use, placement of the litter box and litter cleaning routine. Here are are few tips for litter training your bunny:
1. Litter Box Size:
Litter box size depends on your bunny breed. While many litter box advertised for rabbits work for small breeds like Netherland Dwarf or Rex, larger rabbit breeds actually do better with a cat litter box. When using a cat litter box for rabbit, you will need to make some modifications. Don’t try to use automatic cat litter box. For the purpose of this article, we’ll focus on Netherland Dwarf rabbits and recommend a medium to large size commercially available rabbit litter box. You may need to start with small or medium when you first start training your young rabbit but as it grows bigger, you would need to switch to medium or large size litter box.
Size of the litter is especially important if you plan to place it inside a cage or out in open. Obviously, the size of litter would need to accommodate the cage leaving enough space for the rabbit to roam around in the cage.
2. Litter For Rabbits:
You can use recycled paper as litter but better option would be to get standard unscented critter litter or cat litter as it will neutralize any unpleasant urine odors. Since rabbits don’t bury their droppings you don’t need a lot of litter in the box, just enough to soak the urine and make sure the level is well below the wire line. Avoid commercial clumping clay-based cat litter as they could be harmful to rabbits. Better to avoid wood shavings or any other kids of cotton or paper-based commercial pads and litter alternatives.
3. Placement of Litter Box:
Finding the right location for the litter box is key to successfully training your pet rabbit. If your rabbit spends most time in the cage or hutch, place the litter box in the hutch. Rabbits will typically use one of the two back corner spots in the hutch, observe for a day or two and notice which area your rabbit is using as toilet and place the litter box there. you can also encourage the rabbit by picking some of the droppings and placing it in the litter box prior to positioning it inside the cage. Monitor for the next few days and adjust placement. It will take 5-7 days for rabbit to fully litter. Accidents occur, just clean the urine and pick up dropping if that happens. Don’t be disappointed and continue using the litter box till your rabbit is
For rabbits who roam free in the house, it would be recommended to put them in a confined area like a dog or cat play pen when you are first starting to litter train your rabbit. It will help the rabbit to understand where to go when nature calls. You can slowly increase the play area as the rabbit starts using only the litter box. Early days of rabbit litter training will have times when you have to deal with accidents. Best way would be to clean it immediately, making sure there is no odor left on that spot (rabbits tend to pee where they smell the urine).
Some may suggest to put hay in the litter box, but we don’t recommend placing hay in the litter box or placing the litter box under or closer to the hay dispenser. Hay will fill your litter box making it undesirable for your rabbit to use.
4. Litter Cleaning:
Since rabbits don’t bury their droppings like cats, a small amount of litter is needed in the litter box to absorb the urine. You should replace the litter every day simply by dumping the entire content and washing it out. There is no need to scrape litter and try to use it again. Don’t try to use automatic litter box or similar.
Rabbit buck (male) and doe (female) both can be trained easily using the same process. Spayed or neutered rabbits tend to stick better to a routine and may be easier to train. Netherland dwarf rabbits can be spayed or neutered around 4-5 months age as soon as they are sexually mature. Bucks can be neutered as soon as their testicles descend, this could be anywhere from 8-12 weeks.
So, in closing litter training your pet rabbit is beneficial for the rabbit and rewarding for the pet owner. It takes some effort upfront but is well worth your time in the long run. If you like to share some tips or your experience training your rabbit, please share your story in the comments.
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