Those who prefer cats to bunnies assume cats are clean animals and bunnies only litter around. They forget that you can litter train a bunny the same way you would a cat.
Bunnies choose one or two spots to deposit their excrement. These spots are always private and hidden as they don’t like invasions.
You could mimic this natural act and potty train your rabbit to enjoy her companionship in the house. Don’t know where to start? We’ve got you. It answers your question on potty training rabbits and guides you on how to do it.
Without further ado, let’s get started!
Does My Rabbit Pet Need Potty Training, or is it Naturally Potty Trained?
Rabbits are, by nature, clean animals and don’t like contaminating their food or water with poop and urine. As a result, they naturally find specific places away from their food to collect their droppings.
However, this doesn’t mean you won’t notice several droppings here and there. They are not perfect, so sometimes they litter around.
If you are housing a bunny, you can’t afford to be walking on their urine and poop all over. That’s why you need to potty train your bunny, so she can perfect her bathroom habits.
You can do this by identifying where she collects her droppings and adding the litter box there. This is a good idea because, naturally, rabbits pick places to collect their droppings based on privacy.
So if she picks a specific corner, she considers it private and secure. Another thing, it makes litter training easier since your bunny will only need to excrete in the litter box but not adapt to a new place altogether.
But I understand sometimes the place they pick can be unfavorable, especially if it’s inside the house. And to avoid the whole house stinking of rabbit urine and poop, you need to adjust where she excretes.
In such a case, pick a private place, preferably in a corner, and place the litter box. Ensure your bunny notices it, so she doesn’t go to a different place altogether. To be more specific, you can use a newspaper to soak up the pee on the floor and place it in the litter box.
The strong scent will help her mark the spot. Another thing, consider fixing your bunny, as neutered or spayed animals are easier to house train than intact ones.
At what age should I potty train my bunny?
It’s recommended at four months when your bunny has been fixed. But this doesn’t mean younger rabbits can’t be potty trained.
In fact, some owners start as early as one month, so the bunny grows up embracing good bathroom habits.
But since the suggested age to spay or neuter your bunny is four months, most owners prefer to wait. Like I said, fixed animals are easy to potty train, so such owners have an easier time potty training than those who opt to train intact rabbits.
Another thing, older rabbits have a higher attention span, so they can learn faster than young ones. A rabbit’s attention span grows with age, so your baby rabbit might take more time to potty train than an older rabbit.
Step by Step Guide on Potty Training your Bunny
- Start by spaying or neutering your bunny. This is not just for birth control but also helps with potty training. Spayed or neutered animals have fewer hormones, this means less spraying and scent marking.
- Get a well-sized litter box. You can opt for a cat litter box if the available bunny litter boxes are too small. Alternatively, use a shallow storage tub and cut a doorway on the side if it’s too tall.
- Fill the litter box or tray with a thin layer of litter, just enough to absorb the wetness. There’s no need to fill the box as bunnies don’t bury their excrement like cats. Furthermore, you will be throwing the litter box’s content away when cleaning it. You can use outdated newspapers as your litter to neutralize the unpleasant odor.
- Identify where your bunny dumps her droppings and set the litter box there. You can even set two if she has two spots. In case you want to change the spot, pick one that mimics her initial choice.
- Get a hay box and place it right next to the litter box. Bunnies like to snack on hay while excreting, so this will do the trick. Remember, we are trying to mimic what she does naturally so she can easily adapt.
- Since you are just starting, limit your bunny’s space using a pen. The pen confines her in one place so she can adjust to good potty habits. Expand the area and monitor how she responds when she has mastered it well. Continue doing so until you are comfortable letting her out. Track her bathroom habits when out, and in case she forgets to use the litter box, limit her space again.
Be patient with your bunny and give her time to learn. Also, keep in mind that rabbits are different, so don’t compare the learning processes in case you are training two of them.
It’s also important to note that your bunny may still forget and drop her excrement away from the litter box even when she is perfectly trained. This happens, so don’t give up on her because she made several mistakes.
In case she forgets the litter box, pick up the droppings and place them in the litter box to remind her that it’s the right place.
Another thing is to always keep vinegar in the house for the random blob of pee. Soak it with vinegar, then clean it up. This discourages your bunny from peeing on that spot again.
In addition, get rid of any unpleasant urine odor so the litter box is the only place your bunny can locate when following the smell.
Is it hard to potty train a rabbit?
It’s not. As I said, bunnies are naturally clean, so they pick one spot to collect their droppings. This means they are naturally potty trained, so your task is to help perfect their bathroom habits.
Again, picking an old rabbit and fixing it before anything else makes potty training easier. They will learn faster, and since they have fewer hormones, there will be less scent marking.
Potty training needs patience and understanding that every bunny is different. Your job is to encourage the bunny and help in any way possible.
Besides, if you mimic its natural behavior and provide a favorable environment, your bunny will learn good bathroom habits in a short time.
Male or female bunny, which is easier to potty train?
Rumor has it that male rabbits are generally better pets because they crave the owner’s attention. This extends to litter training as they are considered less stubborn.
You could also assume that, like human females, they do maintain higher hygiene standards and hence are easier to potty train.
All these are just assumptions because, of course, there are cleaner males than some females in humans. It all depends on individuals.
In the same way, it would be unfair to assume a male bunny is easier to potty train than a doe.
Besides, it’s advised to neuter or spay them first before potty training. This means a desexed female has fewer hormones, so it’s less stubborn. This applies to a buck as well. He will have fewer male instincts once neutered.
All this to say, gender doesn’t matter when potty training. It comes down to your techniques and the individual rabbit.
How Long Does it Take to Potty Train a Bunny?
How long depends on age, the rabbit’s personality, and whether they are neutered.
Some rabbits adapt more easily than others. In addition, older rabbits learn potty training quicker than kits because they have a longer concentration span.
Another thing, desexing plays a role in how fast your bunny will adapt to good bathroom habits. An intact bunny will take longer because they can scent marks and are more aggressive.
Neutered ones, on the other hand, aren’t perfect in scent marking and are less aggressive due to controlled hormones.
If your bunny is of age and is neutered, it can take approximately one week to potty train it. However, this also depends on the bunny’s personality. Is it stubborn or more reserved?
I’ve heard some owners say it took them less than a week to potty train their bunnies, which can happen if the bunny is a fast learner and more reserved.
That’s why you should ignore the duration and focus more on how you are potty training. Incorporate any action you think will help your bunny learn faster rather than give it a time limit.
You can ask your vet for professional advice on how to go about your potty training. They might know a few tricks to speed up the process or make it easier for your bunny.
The important thing is that your bunny maintains good habits after training, so you don’t keep redoing the task. So you better focus on helping her learn better so she doesn’t forget.
Bunnies need to be potty trained so you can comfortably share your home with them in case you want to house one.
They might have natural potty training habits, but this isn’t perfect, so you need to assist them in doing better. If you put in the work, understand your bunny and mimic their natural behavior, you can do it successfully.
Be patient and follow the above steps on your potty training journey.
All the best!