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Train a rabbit to use a litter box?
02-24-2012, 11:00 PM,
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Ram Offline
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Train a rabbit to use a litter box?
Anyone here with personal experience to train a rabbit to use a litter box?

My cousin recently got a cute little rabbit of 7 months old, she was cute and would lay on the floor like a cat...but the problem is the rabbit would poop on his floor whenever he let her out for a walk. There is a litter box around the corner as he did what some web sources suggested - to put food on one side of the litter box since rabbits have the habit of chewing and pooping at the same time.

It did not work. On the bright side, the rabbit would mostly poop around the same corner, and when she poops, she would leave around 20 little balls like fairly dry drops. Easy to get ride of. But no matter how my cousin tried, including relocate the litter box to where the Miss Rabbit pooped last time, she would still poop outside the box instead of on the inside.

Such headaches lol. I wonder if it has to do with the age of the rabbit. Is a 7 months old rabbit too late to be litter trained?

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07-09-2012, 09:17 AM,
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purplecapricorn Offline
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RE: Train a rabbit to use a litter box?
I trained my rabbits to use a litter box, pretty much the same way you would train a cat. It was a little bit longer of a process. One thing I did differently with my first rabbit was use a basic litter box but I put in wood chips instead of litter, then got one of those racks for putting in the bottom of your sink, the plastic coated metal ones, and put this over the wood chips. This left about an inch between the wood chips and the bottom of the rack. He seemed to prefer this. I'm not sure why but it also helped keep the mess down when he'd jump out of the box - those big feet would send stuff flying everywhere without a rack. The only problem I had was if he got to playing and racing around, sometimes a little brown missile would come flying out, but for the most part he always used the box. I did learn tho, once they know where the liter box is, don't move it. I re-arranged the room once and moved his. He would go to the old spot and go on the floor there, even tho he knew where his box was. I ended up having to put it back. I also found that of he was spending the majority of his time in a different area of the house, like the living room, it was easier to bring his box out there then having him trek back to my bedroom. He would do this if he had to but most of the time he would leave a bit of a trail along the way. Again, when I brought his box into the living room, it was always go in the same spot every time
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07-11-2012, 09:09 PM,
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Ram Offline
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RE: Train a rabbit to use a litter box?
Thanks for the reply. My cousin had given away that rabbit a while ago. A part of the reasons was he couldn't train the rabbit to use the litter box. I have Googled around a bit, some web sites say it is the best to train a rabbit at a much younger age. I guess his rabbit has passed the ideal litter training age. On the top of that, I think my cousin wasn't persistent with the training.

How old were your rabbits when you trained them?
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07-18-2012, 03:39 PM,
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mora2000 Offline
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RE: Train a rabbit to use a litter box?
I have a little Dwarf rabbit how is litter trained. It is very helpful to put some hay at one end of the box. If you want to train a rabbit your going to need a lot of patience and time. Generally a rabbit will prefer to use a corner of their hutch/cage as a bathroom. If you put the box there the rabbit might start using it automatically. If they don't, pick up the droppings with a napkin or gloves and put it in the box. Be patient and you will have a trained rabbit.

I got my rabbit when she was 5. She wasn't trained when I got her but she is now.
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09-18-2012, 04:48 AM,
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Julie Offline
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RE: Train a rabbit to use a litter box?
Rabbits tend to poo whilst eating - so put the food in front of the litter tray. This worked for me. Nadine's favourite food is clover, so I started putting clover in a bowl just outside her litter tray. She "got it" within a days or so. Now she has a huge cage on 2 levels and she has free access to the room all day. I place handfuls of freshly picked food, her favourite straw and treats in different places inside the cage - but always something special in the bowl by the litter tray. Even when she's sitting on the sofa, or binking around the room, she will go back to the litter tray when she needs to do so knowing that tere's a treat there for her.
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02-15-2013, 10:18 AM,
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4sweed Offline
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RE: Train a rabbit to use a litter box?
I find this all very interesting. I always had rabbits outside in hutches and never tried house training them to use a littler boxe. I did notice they would learn not to go in the nest area, but hop out on the wire when the need arose. I would think it would be harder than a cat, because a cat has a natural urge to look for dirt to bury his poo, while a rabbit just goes as he eats. The fact that a rabbit can be trained in this manner is amazing and thanks for sharing your methods of doing it.
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07-07-2014, 11:30 AM,
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JudyCap Offline
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RE: Train a rabbit to use a litter box?
Some friends of mine had a rabbit as a house pet, and yes he was housetrained. He would use a litter box like a cat. They started litter box training him when he was a couple months old right after they got him, so I am guessing that 7 Months old would be a bit late to teach.

The only problem they had with him, and they soon remidied that, was the man of the house was retired, his wife still worked was in and out all day. The rabbit got really possesive of him, would hop up on his lap to be held & watch tv. lol ~ He would Pee on Everetts lap, we figured it out he was "marking" HIS PROPERTY! To remedy that they got a bunch of thick cloth diapers or burp rags, he would put on in his lap when he sat down and knew the rabbit would soon follow. Sure a good thing that rabbit pee doesn't stink like cat urine!Big Grin
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10-17-2014, 01:23 AM,
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Happyflowerlady Offline
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RE: Train a rabbit to use a litter box?
What a great story ! I would never have thought that a rabbit would be possessive like that, but I guess that this is typical of a lot of animals, more than just dogs or cats.
I have had rabbits before; but they were always outside and lived in a rabbit hutch, and not in the house. I have never tried to house train one; but I have read about other people who have had one that was house trained.
Some animals just seem naturally more inclined to be house trained than other ones. Goats seem to just go no matter where they are, and I can't really imagine being able to house train a goat. However, a llama, which is a lot like an overgrown goat, is just naturally house trained, so to speak. They will pick an area that they consider to be their "bathroom", and then they go right there, and not anywhere else unless they are left elsewhere for so long that they are forced to go somewhere else.
My llama used to come in the house, and he would lay right down in the middle of the floor, just like an enormous dog. When he needed to go out, he would get up, and stand by the door looking out and whining. (I am not sure if whining is the correct term for it, but that is about as close of a definition as can come up with.)
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10-17-2014, 01:48 AM,
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cyberpuppet Offline
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RE: Train a rabbit to use a litter box?
I am not familiar with litter training rabbits but I do know they do 2 different types of poop - one which they eat again, and it is essential for them to do this as it is part of the digestive process and it is possible for a rabbit to become malnourished if it is cleaned out too rigorously denying the eating of these.
I would guess this would have impact on litter training them as if the tray was emptied straight after use the rabbit would consider it loosing essential food.
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11-12-2015, 12:49 PM, (This post was last modified: 11-12-2015, 12:50 PM by legeipslt.)
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legeipslt Offline
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RE: Train a rabbit to use a litter box?
Yes, rabbits can usually be litter box trained. Buy a plastic cat litter pan. The size should be large enough that your rabbit can fit comfortably inside. Many times a rabbit will select a corner of its cage for elimination. Put the litter box in that corner. Place the litter box with some of the rabbits fecal pellets inside the litter box to encourage use.

Good material for the litter box can be shredded up newspaper, or recycled newspaper pellets. Add a lot of timothy hay in one corner of the box. Many rabbits will sit inside the box and chow down on the hay, and poop at the same time.

Don't use clay cat litter, corncob, aromatic wood shavings, or walnut based shells. Keep the box clean... bunnies like to stay clean! White vinegar can be used to rinse out the litter box.
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11-13-2015, 02:51 AM,
#11
CRM31 Offline
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RE: Train a rabbit to use a litter box?
I litter trained my Dutch rabbit when she was about 5. My parents bought her for my 11th birthday and I was too young to know she shouldn't live alone. When I got a bit older I pointed this out but they weren't that sympathetic and I guess it would have been hard to introduce a new friend at that point. The long and the short of it is that I brought her into our house to live with us to make sure she wasn't lonely, so it's definitely possible to litter train later in life!

I used a corner of her indoor bunny cage and just moved all her droppings/waste there and she took to using it. I think choosing somewhere that's "their" space, not too far away from where they go naturally, is key. If you need to move it then I'd move it a foot or two a day away from that location, so they follow it gradually.

Hope that helps!
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