How to Litter Train Your Pet Rabbit

RABBIT LITTER
Rabbits are intelligent, little furry animals that like to be clean and are capable of being trained to use a litter box. Training your pet rabbit to use a litter box may be easier than you think. Follow these simple steps and your rabbit will be litter trained:

1. Litter training works best with rabbits that are older. The older your rabbit is, the more likely your rabbit will use a litter box.

2. Rabbits that are spayed or neutered are also more likely to use a litter box.
3. Get a litter box designed especially for rabbits. A high-backed litter box is great for preventing litter from being sprayed all over the cage. One of my favorite boxes is the Enclosed Hi-Corner Litter Pan for Small Animals. This litter box takes up minimal space in your rabbitits cage and helps to keep litter contained.
4. Choose litter that is made for rabbits or small animals such as Super Pet Critter Litter. Rabbits have been known to ingest litter and using cat litter can be very harmful to your rabbit if ingested. Critter Litter is especially made for small animals and is non-toxic.
5. Once you have chosen a suitable litter box and litter. The next step is to determine where your rabbit likes to go in the cage. If your rabbit prefers a certain area, place the litter box in that area. This will help encourage your rabbit to use the box.
6. If your rabbit does not like to poop in the box, place their poop in the box until he gets the idea.
7. You may also want to place a hay or alfalfa near the box to encourage your rabbit to sit in the box.
8. If your rabbit is using the litter box in the cage and is ready to roam free in the house, designate a small area in the house with a litter box for your rabbit to use as a potty. If your rabbit has an accident outside of the litter box, place him in the litter box right away.
9. Never force your rabbit to use the box and always praise your rabbit after he uses the box.
10. Lastly, change the litter box frequently and keep the box clean by washing it with warm, soapy water.

A Rabbit is a big Responsibility!

TOP RABBIT CARE PRODUCTS

Its important to understand the nature of rabbits so that their wants and habits are known and attended to.

Often, rabbits are purchased for children and are considered to be a lessor responsibility than a cat or dog. This can be similar to an impulse purchase to in response to a child’s request. Baby rabbits can be irresistible and are easy to handle for the child. Then quickly the rabbit grows up and takes on the personality of an adult animal. Information on rabbit behavior can be found in on websites such as House Rabbit Society and Rabbit Advocates . There are many positives for kids in owning a rabbit. It is an educational experience in animal care and behavior. Gentleness and love required when interacting with a pet bunny can give your child lifelong lessons on kindness and responsibility. After educating yourself, it will be clear to you that adopting a rabbit is a family decision and not based on an impulse. 

Things to consider before adopting

  • Rabbits live about 8 to 12 years. Are you willing to take care of the rabbit after your child grows older? Children develop different interests as they grow and may show less interested in the pet.
  • Mature rabbits prefer to be on the ground and are not typically content being carried around or being held for long periods of time. A child, trying to hold his pet, may get nipped or scratched in the rabbit’s efforts to get away. The child may become frightened and not want to interact with it any further or the pet could be injured if dropped. You can watch your child interact and hold a rabbit before bringing home a rabbit to see how they respond to the pet. You can make a judgement at that point whether a rabbit appears to be an appropriate pet for your child.
  • Rabbits are very sensitive to sound. Children and their friends can be quite noisy and active. This can place the rabbit bunny in a continuously stressful situation that leads to health and temperament issues.
  • Rabbits are not low maintenance pets. Attention to their needs on a daily basis required. Cage or pen cleaning, feeding, and daily interaction are required. It is unlikely a child will be able to take on all these responsibilities themselves. Therefore, consider the rabbit as the adults responsibility which can be integrated with the child.

Supplies needed to care for a rabbit?

Below are rabbit supplies you should consider before purchasing your pet. 

  • Housing: Cages and pens are the primary choices for rabbit’s living quarters. The enclosure needs to be large enough for the rabbit to move around freely. Consider the adult size requirement if your rabbit is not fully grown. You will need space for the litter box and bowls. It may be worthwhile considering a movable pen/cage in the case that your location needs may change. 
  • Litter Box: Rabbits need to be trained to use a litter box to keep the pen clean. If you are having difficulty you can start with a flat pan to make use easy for the rabbit. Upon success you can switch to a larger litter box. 
  • Litter: The litter should be dust free and safe for the rabbit if ingested. Consider litters that are organic such as plant fiber, recycled paper and wood. 
  • Bowls: Use bowls; one each for pellets, fresh vegetables and water. Heavy, flat-bottomed bowls work best so the rabbit cannot tip them. 
  • Water: It is a good idea to use a water bottle in conjunction with a bowl. This provides a supply of fresh water if one is out of water (or knocked over).
    Cage bottom board: If the rabbits pen has a wire bottom it is necessary to have an area with a flat bottom (such as a board) for the rabbit to rest on off of the wire mesh. This should be large enough for the pet to rest, stretched out, in all directions.
  • Toys: Toys are important not only for stimulation but also to keep the rabbit out of trouble.  Toys for small pets are sold at retailers. You can also use, hard plastic baby toys (rattles, key rings), a towel to push and bunch, cardboard boxes made into forts and tunnels… Use your imagination. 
  • Feed: Pellets should be high quality and contain at least 13% fiber. Store food in an airtight container and the pellets will last approximately six months.

Does your Rabbit Have a Litter Box?

Among the many reasons why rabbits make good pets, a great reason is because you can potty train them!  Rabbits are smart creatures, and they realize they should not be going to the bathroom in the same place they eat and sleep.  So whether your bunny lives in a cage or a hutch, he will seek out a place to use the restroom.  If you have not already provided your rabbit with a litter box, you need to!

The key to training your rabbit to use the litter box is to start training them when they are young.  It will take them a while to become potty trained, so the earlier you start the better!  When training your rabbit, you should always use positive reinforcement.  Praise your rabbit when he or she uses the litter box.  If your rabbit has an accident, you should never yell or scold him.  It is ineffective and can scare your rabbit, which will hamper the potty training process!

Before starting to potty train, you need to first purchase a litter box!  If you have not already noticed, rabbits urinate horizontally, as opposed to cats and dogs who urinate vertically.  Make sure the litter box is tall enough to catch their spray.  You need to get a small enough litter box so it fits in your rabbits cage, but big enough so that your rabbit will fit in it!  Buying a litter box specifically made for the specific size of your rabbit is the best.  A small rabbit will not be able to use a litter box designed for a large rabbit.  I purchased the Scatterless Lock-N-Litter Pan for Rabbits – Jumbo Size, pictured above, and I have to say I am very happy with it.  It is perfect for large rabbits, but if you have a smaller rabbit I would recommend the Large Hi-Corner Litter Pan for Small Animals.

You will also need litter box materials.  You need to make sure that you use a material that is very absorbent, and also is safe for the rabbit to consume (rabbits sometime eat litter box materials).  A safe choice is Carefresh Natural Pet Litter, which is made from wood pulp waste.  You also may want to get a litter scooper, such as the Bunny Corner Litter Scoop for Small Animals.  This scoop is designed to pick up waste in a corner-shaped litter box, which is the shape of most litter boxes!

Make Cleaning Your Rabbit’s Litter Box and Cage Easier with a Litter Scoop

TOP RABBIT CARE PRODUCTS

If you are lucky enough to have your pet rabbit litter trained, then you most likely know the convenience of using a litter scoop to clean out the litter box.  However, a litter scoop also comes in handy when cleaning out your rabbit’s cage and makes picking waste, old food and anything else you don’t want to touch easy and convenient.  Most litter scoops are designed to pick up small size debris, but a litter scooop for rabbits or small animals is made especially for picking up small animal pet waste, which can fall through the scoop if the slots are too big.  Here are a few scoops that are made for small animals and help to make your cage or litter box cleaning job easier and quicker:

  • The Bunny Corner Litter Scoop for Small Animals has a special angled head that is perfect for cleaning out corner litter boxes or picking up small animal debris around the cage or hutch.  You can also use this scoop to pick up food particles, dirty bedding and anything else that needs to be removed from your rabbit’s cage or hutch.
  • Similar to the Bunny Corner Litter Scoop is the Corner Litter Scoop for Ferrets and has angled shape that makes getting into a corner easy and makes waste removal easy.  This litter scoop is great for picking up waste in any type of litter.  It is made of stain and odor resistant plastic that is easy to clean.  This litter scoop is made for ferrets, but also works great in rabbit litter boxes and cleaning up the cage.
  • For cleaner larger rabbit cages or hutches, use the Marchioro Pala 11 Litter Scoop, which is a square shape and has smaller slots to pick up more debris.  Not only is this litter scoop great for cleaning out your rabbit’s litter box, but it is also ideal for cleaning out rabbit bedding, hay and more.  Wash the scoop in warm, soapy water to help keep it clean. 

Keep Your Rabbit’s Litter Clean and Keep Your Rabbit Healthy

TOP RABBIT CARE PRODUCTS

Rabbit waste can contaminate your rabbit’s food and water if not cleaned up on a regular basis, which can make your rabbit really sick.  Therefore, it is important for you to have a schedule for cleaning up your rabbit’s litter box and replacing the litter in the box. If your rabbit is not litter box trained, then you may want to take the time to train your rabbit to use a litter box.  Maintaining your rabbit’s litter box on a regular basis will help to keep your rabbit healthy and also makes cleaning out your rabbit’s cage much easier. 

  • Larger Litter Boxes:  To help keep the litter box clean on a regular basis, use a litter scoop like the Marchioro Pala 12 Litter Scoop to make removing rabbit waste much easier.  This litter scoop is great because it has holes that catch lumps of feces and urine and allows clean litter to pass through the holes and is perfect for use in a larger size litter box.  It is made of a durable plastic and is easy to clean with a wipe.  Keep this litter scoop next to your rabbit’s cage for convenience.  It is not a good idea to store the litter scoop in your rabbit’s cage.
  • Smaller litter boxes:  The Marchioro Pala 11 Litter Scoop is similar to the Pala 12 above, but it has smaller slats to make scooping up smaller rabbit feces easier.  It is also made of durable, easy-to-clean plastic and is ideal for use in litter boxes that are square shape. 
  • Corner Litter Boxes:  Another litter scoop that is especially designed for use in a rabbit’s cage is the Bunny Corner Litter Scoop for Small Animals.  This litter scoop has a bunny on the handle and is made especially for use in a corner litter box.  The tip of this litter scoop is pointed and perfect for getting into tight spaces, which makes it easier to get the waste out of the litter box.

Caring for a Rabbit with Special Needs

TOP RABBIT CARE PRODUCTS

Taking extra care of your rabbit with special needs is very important for helping your rabbit to live a long, healthy life.  While this can be a big commitment for both you and your family, it is very rewarding to see your rabbit thrive and live a comfortable life.  If you rabbit has a special medical condition or has become disabled due to an accident or old age, it is a good idea to access your rabbit’s current living conditions and look for ways to improve or make your rabbit’s life easier.  For example, if your rabbit is having problems with his legs, consider all of the objects in his cage that make life more difficult.  With fewer things to hop over or get to, your rabbit’s leg discomfort will be lessened.  Here are some easy, general tips to follow to make your rabbit’s life more comfortable and enjoyable:

  • Provide your rabbit with a soft, warm resting place for times when his in pain.  A heated pad, such as the Small Animal Heated Pad and Cover, can make a great place for your rabbit to rest when in pain.  This heated pad is thermostatically controlled to stay at a temperature that is perfect for your rabbit.  The soothing heat helps to relieve any joint or muscle pain that your rabbit may have.
  • Help your rabbit with all aspects of grooming.  It is important to maintain your rabbits grooming to help prevent other problems from occurring.  Use a soft brush on your rabbit’s coat to help keep any tangles or mats from occurring and keep your rabbit’s nails trim with a rabbit clipper like the Super Nail Clipper for Small Pets by Super Pet to help prevent sores from developing. 
  • In addition, it is important to make sure that your rabbit’s food, water and litter box are all easily accessible.  Choose items that are lower in height to avoid having your rabbit stretch or stand to get to them.  If your rabbit is litter trained, use a litter box that has lower sides like the Long John Hi-Corner Litter Pan.  This rabbit litter box is lower in the front and much easier for your rabbit to get in and out of, while the high back still helps to keep the litter inside.

Making little changes in your rabbit’s living conditions can make a big difference in your rabbit’s daily life.  For more great rabbit products that will make your rabbit’s life easier, check out RabbitMart.

Prevent Your Rabbit’s Feet from Becoming Inflamed

TOP RABBIT CARE PRODUCTS

While most rabbit cages are designed with a wire floor for easy cleaning, the wire floor in the cage can be hard on your rabbit’s feet.  Keeping your rabbit’s feet healthy and in good condition is important to the overall health and well-being of your rabbit.  To prevent your rabbit’s feet from being inflamed, here are some simple solutions:

  1. Provide your rabbit with a large space to easily move around.  If your rabbit is stuck in a tight, cramped space, it will be hard for your rabbit to move around and get the blood flowing to the feet.
  2. Spend some time with your rabbit outside of the cage.  Rabbits need to spend some time, whether it is in your home or yard, hopping around and touching a solid surface with their feet.  Time spent outside of the cage is also great for getting in some great exercise.
  3. Offer your rabbit a solid surface to rest on while inside the cage.  A mat is great for offering your rabbit a nice foot resting spot.  Use a mat like the Small Animal Multi-Mat for a comfortable place to stand or sit.  Another great option for a resting place is to place a soft bed or hammock for your rabbit to rest in.  The Fuzz-E-Bed for Small Animals is easy for your pet to rest in and comes in three sizes to fit your cage and rabbit.
  4. It is also important to keep the flooring clean and free of waste.   Waste can cause bacterial infections in your rabbit’s feet when not properly cleaned.  Use a litter box to help keep the cage free of your rabbit’s waste.  A great litter box to have is the Enclosed Hi-Corner Litter Pan, which is made especially for use by rabbits.  The cover also helps to keep the cage cleaner by helping to prevent the litter from being scattered around.
  5. Lastly, is important to monitor your rabbit’s diet to keep the weight in check.  Offer your rabbit low calorie, high fiber foods, such as timothy hay and low calorie treats. Give your rabbit treats sparingly.  Obese rabbits tend to have more foot problems due to the excess weight on the feet.