Surprisingly, litter box training my rabbits was extremely easy! Rabbits prefer themselves and their cages to be clean, so they will naturally prefer the use of a litter box.
The only thing you really have to do is take a few signals from your rabbit. If you already have a bunny at home in a cage, just notice the location in their cage they are already using, they are more than likely already returning to the same spot every time. Then, all you have to do is add the litter box in that spot. I also put a few of the rabbits pellets in the litter box to help the bunny realize what you are expecting from them. I used a paper towel to soak up some urine from the bottom of the cage. Placing this in the bottom of the litter box the first time puts their scent in the box, and it draws them to it. If they decide to use another section of their cage, simply move the box to that area. They will eventually figure this out. It took mine around 3 days to get it perfect, but they never urinated outside their box again. My male rabbit was about 6 months old when I trained him, the females were around 5 months old. I have never attempted training rabbits younger than this, so it may vary somewhat by age.
This is the litter that I use. It is all natural, and has a bit of a woody scent, pine. NEVER use cedar shavings this can cause respiratory issues. The neat thing about this litter is it is completely flushable and biodegradable. Since there are no chemicals in it, I am experimenting with emptying their litter pans in my garden to compost. The litter expands with the first rain, and will usually breakdown within just 1 or 2 days of rain.
I noticed one problem pretty quickly in training my bunnies! Their fur would usually carry a few ‘balls’ out of the litter box as the jumped out. This would leave the occasional rabbit pellet on the carpet. I located this neat litter box and it really helped. Instead of tracking in and out over their old litter, waste falls through the wire and is trapped underneath.
One final trick that I learned was that rabbits will sometimes eat and poop at the same time! I added a hay rack right over the litter box and I filled it with Timothy Hay! This attracts them to the area to feed on the fresh hay, and without even realizing it, they are using their litter box. (However, if you give treats or prizes outside the cage, this does not mean they will poop outside!)
Rabbits are not perfect, and litter box training is a process. Sometimes your rabbit may forget, and you have to start over with training, but don’t get frustrated with them. Also, they are very territorial and hormonal animals. They use their pellets to mark their territory. If they feel threatened by another animal, droppings will appear more frequently. If they detect the smell of another animal they are unsure of on you, they may drop pellets at your feet. This is intentional, and not a miss at using the litter box. Males are especially prone to territorial droppings. My male lion head is very specific with this. He can be out all day long, and never leave a single dropping. As soon as I get home, he will jump on my lap and leave me a couple just to say, you are mine. Luckily, rabbit pellets are small and hard, and usually do not have a smell. You will get used to cleaning up the few they may leave around.
Just pay attention to their signals. My issue is the fact that I have female rabbits in another location, as well as cats at the office. When I get home, he gets very territorial about me and where I have been! I am his, and he is determined to let theses other animals he detects know this.
If you do not have any other animals, and are not around other animals, this may not be an issue for you at all after the first few days.
Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways, The HomeAcre Hop
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