Litter training is an important stage if you are going to keep house rabbits. Thankfully they are naturally clean animals and in most cases can be taught to use a litter tray in about a month without much encouragement. Don’t expect miracles, you’re always going to find a few stray poops but they’re easily swept or hover up and they will always use the tray to wee in. It will take a bit of time, but if you keep it clean your rabbit will naturally want to return to the same spot.
When to start litter training
It is important to start litter training right from the start. If a rabbit is allowed to pee and poo wherever it likes from the beginning, it will be much harder to train later on. They also get much better at it once they are neutered/spayed. Unneutered male rabbits tend to spray urine which can get very messy.
Most house rabbit start life living in a cage and it’s important to get them used using a litter tray so you can keep it clean and to make it easier if you are going to let it roam around in a room or your home. To do this start by seeing if they favour a corner, if not choose a corner they faces a wall or corner as this will help orientate them later on.
Next place a litter in this corner and put a few droppings in there to start things off. You will need to this every time you clean it out till you are confident it has been adopted. You can also put some hay in there put a water feeder over it to help encourage them to spent time in there. Don’t put too much poo in there and avoid any smelly urine spots as this will cause the rabbit to abandon the box.
Choose a corner litter tray with a low side and a high back as this will stop it being tipped over. Some rabbit don’t like litter trays with a cover over them. The bigger the tray the better, you can always get a smaller one later. They may sometimes kick the litter out so it is worth putting a bit of paper down underneath to make it easy to clean up. Make sure you keep the rest of the cage totally clean from droppings. Use a paper based litter and don’t use this anywhere else in the cage, if you rabbit is really not getting the hang of it a trick is to stretch a normal cotton bed sheet over the floor of the cage, just be careful the rabbit doesn’t start eating the fabric.
After about a month or two they will understand and only ever goes to the toilet in his litter box.
litter training a rabbit into a room
If you have littered trained you rabbit in a cage first then you will have a head start when it comes to moving the litter tray into a room. If not you should follow much of the common sense instructions above.
Next remove the litter tray from the cage and move it to the area of the room you want it to use. If your rabbit dose not readopt it there and starts going in another part of the room you will have move the litter tray there or it may go off the litter box completely. Then get a second litter tray to replace it. Then once your rabbit is fully comfortable using it replace the second litter tray with it leaving only one litter tray and hope for the best.
What to do if your rabbit does not like litter training or goes of it.
What to do if you rabbit goes goes to the toilet on your floor or sofa.
If your house rabbit strays away from the litter tray this may be because he is trying to mark his territory. Male rabbits give off their scent by both urinating (*Spraying) and droppings and if they have access to an area that has its own strong smell they may try and compete with this. Avoid placing their litter tray in such an are, for instance the kitchen as this may put them off. If you rabbit does pees on the sofa or a rug this will need to be cleaned immediately or the bunny will keep going back to mark their scent in that area. Use a throw on a sofa so it can be washed or use some fabric refresher.