Rabbit Litter Box: How To Potty Train A Bunny?
Often, we pass by a pet store and see those tiny adorable animals that are ideal as indoor companions.
The rabbit that we encounter in the premises is one and is mostly suited for our flurry loving heart.
However, as we buy them and welcome their presence in our homes, a struggle may be experienced, and that is training them to be as neat as they can be.
Can Rabbits be Potty Trained?
In contrary to everyone’s belief, rabbits are clean animals in nature. The common misconception may be put in mind due to the first impression of the strong odor in cages, if not taken care of properly.
See Also: How to Tell the Gender of a Rabbit?
They are not filthy rodents, and as a matter of fact, they too can be potty trained. Like cats and dogs, they can be pet animals in your household that abide by proper training, as long as it is done with tender, love, and care.
Make sure to not scold your rabbit in any way. Rabbits are easily frightened, and physical discipline is a potential set back in training them to be good pets. Instead, encourage or reward them to do the tasks that are designated, which ensures to establish a healthy relationship.
Importance of Potty Training a Rabbit
Not correctly training your rabbit can be a hassle. Leaving it be as you go on with your daily life can make you feel agitated later on, due to the little accidents that your bunny is causing.
In this case, it is not entirely the rabbit’s fault, since having a pet is a two-way process—you take care of them, and they will feel affectionate towards you. Learn to pay attention and spend time with them, and it will surely be worth it.
It is also advisable to neuter, spay or castrate your little one. As rabbits tend to urinate on things to mark their territory with their odor, the active hormones should be hindered. Not only does it make the potty training more natural, but it also helps them to remain a healthier and happier life.
Steps by Step Process in Litter Training
Keep in mind that older rabbits are easier to train than younger rabbits, depending on their attention span. The training takes patience and persistence since you need to guide them every step of the way.
Though, even with this circumstance, it will all pay off since you will have a bunny that is obedient and is a good pet!Here is the process to properly train your rabbit;
1. Restrict The Area
At the beginning of the training, it is much more suitable to confine the rabbit in an enclosed area. Starting with an open space can indeed be difficult. With this, it is much more advisable to purchase a cage.
2. Apply A Litter Box
Insert a litter box inside the cage. This would help the rabbit distinguish where to properly urinate and do its business. It is much like an introduction to potty training, teaching it to be a good pet that it can be!
3. Pay Close Attention
Taking care of pets comes with great responsibility. Pay attention to the place where the rabbit mostly spends time in the cage. Move the litter box according to your bunny’s preference.
4. Expand The Area
When the rabbit finally uses the litter pan in the cage, then you can let it out of the cage now. Provide a litter box within the area, and it is advisable to place a treat or its favorite toy in the box.
Watch out for signs wherein it is about to urinate or defecate, and quickly guide it in the box. Whenever the rabbit uses the litter box correctly, make sure to praise it or give it a little treat to encourage your pet.
5. Notice The Area Where The Rabbit Mostly Litters
Sometimes, the rabbit prefers an area to litter. In this occasion, the specific area can be more than one.
You need to pay close attention to your rabbit and stay in the room in the process of litter training. Provide several boxes for the usual spots, to avoid little accidents!
Litter Training Mistakes
In the process of litter training, there are some actions that we are not aware of but shouldn’t be done as it hinders the process. It is much better to minimize these movements, or not to be done at all, to ensure that the potty training is successful.
Not Paying Attention To The Rabbit
The rabbit needs your undivided attention, and so you can’t cook, read the newspaper, nor watch television in the process.
Once the rabbit littered without being caught and herded to its litter box, the learning process will be much slower.
Pressuring The Rabbit
Do not hurry, for the process takes time. It may seem like a hassle, but it can serve as a break from the busy schedule that you’re having.
It all pays off at the end because besides having a well-trained bunny, you will also witness the little creature entertain you.
Having An Uncastrated Or Unneutered Rabbit
In the process of maturity, the rabbit tends to mark their belongings with droppings or urine to warn the other rabbits that it is theirs for the taking.
In this time, they are most likely to express their love for their owner with jets of urine.
Since the aftermath is not desirable, most chose for their rabbits to be neutered to avoid this phenomenon.
Cleaning The Litter Thoroughly
One of the most common mistakes is cleaning the litter box all the way, removing all traces of odor that indicates this is where they should litter.
Do not leave the litter box too clean, especially for male rabbits, to indicate that it is okay for them to do their business there.
Litter Box: How To Make One?
For litter boxes, cat litter boxes can be used that are common tray-type ones. Make sure to get more than one, as most rabbits tend to have more than one spot for littering, especially in an open space.
Smaller cake pans can also work for smaller rabbits. If the rabbits tend to move their litter box, it is much more advisable to buy heavier boxes or temporarily fix its spot.
Regarding litter, it should be taken into consideration that they tend to spend most of their time in litter boxes especially when training.
They can also nibble on the litter, and that their urine has a strong odor. With this information, it is better to stay away from those that are made from softwoods and pine shaving as it is prone to liver damage for rabbits.
Cat works should also be avoided because it can cause zinc poisoning, as well as clay litter for it is prone to respiratory problems.
Instead, use recycled newspaper pellet litter, paper pulp litter, wood stove pellets, and ground corncob pet litter. You should also purchase timothy hay. Be aware to never use moldy hay, for it is bad for your bunny.
How to Dispose of?
Clean the litter boxes often, at least once or twice a week, to encourage your rabbit to use it. When there are tough stains, let the boxes soak with white vinegar.
White vinegar can also be used on furniture when an unexpected "accident" happened. To dispose of organic litters, it can be put in your composed pile, or to be used as fertilizers.
Rabbits can be a companion—for the right people. All it takes is love and affection, and you can witness them entertain you as they hop, and be adorable flurry creatures. Now that you know how to properly train them, it is a one step forward on having a bunny buddy!
There you go, this was everything I knew about the matter. Rabbits are and always will be the cutest little thing, but their habit of pooping everywhere can get to any one's nerves.
Let's take care of these little and cute animals without turning our house or apartment into one giant toilet for them. Training will take time, but once you are done, it will be worth it.