Getting a new pet rabbit is an exciting thing. There are many things that rabbit owners need to think about. From rabbit hutches to a nutritious diet, you’ll want to make your rabbit as healthy and happy as possible.
While it may not be the most glamorous thing to think about, you’ve probably thought about where your bunny will go to the bathroom.
Will your rabbit relieve themselves anywhere? Or do rabbits, like cats, use a litter box? Will my rabbit use a litter box?
Let’s discuss all things bunny-bathroom-routines.
Will rabbits use a litter box?
If you’ve done any reading up on having a rabbit, you’ve probably seen that it’s essential to let your bunny roam free from time to time. While rabbits are curious creatures, they should have a chaperone when hopping around outside of their hutches. Letting them out of their hutches, under supervision, is important for the rabbit’s well-being.
Your bunny is probably going to go to the bathroom outside of the hutch, it’s quite normal. All pets will have accidents where they shouldn’t at some point.
There is good news for rabbit owners: rabbits can be trained to use a litter box. Training will take time and patience, but with persistence, your bunny can be trained to go to the bathroom in a litter box.
Do rabbits need a litter box in their cage?
Now that we know that rabbits can be trained to use a litter box, where should that litter box be placed?
From their personalities to favorite snacks to bathroom preferences, all rabbits will be different. It may take some experimenting to figure out the best place for your rabbit’s litter box.
It will depend greatly on where your rabbit spends the majority of its time. Is your bunny in a hutch for long stretches at a time while you’re away at the office? Or is it free to hop around your living room as you work remotely?
Your lifestyle, and subsequently your rabbit’s lifestyle, will greatly influence the best place to put its litter box.
If your rabbit spends a great deal of time in its cage, then you’ll want to place its litter box there. Be sure to get a large hut to accommodate your bunny so that it has a separate area to go to the bathroom. You’ll also want to make the litter box look different than the rest of the hutch so that training will be easier.
Is it hard to litter train a rabbit?
Housetraining a pet can be a difficult and time-consuming task. Pets have “personalities,” and they are different from pet to pet. So, there’s no one answer to how your pet rabbit will take to litter training.
Generally speaking, litter training a rabbit will take patience and dedication. The good news is that rabbits are fairly clean animals. They have a bad reputation for being “dirty,” but they prefer to go to the bathroom in the same few places. This is ideal for litter training.
You have to get your rabbit spayed/neutered before litter training. If not, the task will be difficult. Unspayed or unneutered rabbits mark their territory with their urine and excrement. While that could occasionally happen afterward, it won’t be a common or frequent occurrence.
Once your rabbit is litter box trained, accidents may still happen outside of the box. That’s no problem. No pet bunny is going to be perfect.
If accidents start to become a common thing, then keep an eye on your rabbit for other symptoms. A litter-trained rabbit who goes to the bathroom outside of the box could be suffering from a urinary tract infection, bladder sludge, kidney stones, or bladder stones. If that’s the case, you should take your bunny to a veterinarian.
However, rabbits are skittish creatures, and other changes within the home can cause them to have accidents outside of their litter box. Things such as moved furniture, new visitors, or other household changes could be the culprits of their stress, causing them to go to the bathroom in different areas.
If external stressors are the cause of accidents, then don’t fret. With some stability and routine, your rabbit will go back to using its litter box as normal.
What do you put in a rabbit litter box?
Rabbits can be litter box trained. But now you may be wondering if you need to run out and get a rabbit litter box or if you can do it yourself.
Both options are valid. However, crafting your rabbit litter box isn’t that tricky. You can buy a litter box or use something as simple as a shallow container. The most important part is what goes into that litter box, whether it’s DIY or you bought it from a store.
Here are some rabbit litter box essentials:
- Rabbit-safe litter. You can buy specific pellets to use as litter in pet stores or use shredded newspaper, which is non-toxic and absorbent. There is even the option to buy newspaper pellet litter.
- Hay. That’s right, a rabbit owner’s best friend. Bunnies love chewing on hay. Weirdly enough, they also love chewing on hay while going to the bathroom. I know, that seems strange, but whatever it takes to encourage them to use the litter box.
- Plastic mat. You can get innovative here. But you’ll want to lay down some sort of plastic covering below your rabbit’s litter box. No rabbit is perfect, and while they can be litter trained, they could stray slightly from the box’s edges. The plastic mat helps to protect your floor from the messy overflow.
When setting up your rabbit’s litter box, you should place a layer of rabbit-safe litter on the bottom. It doesn’t have to be much, just enough to absorb your rabbit’s mess. Its droppings won’t get buried like a cat’s. You’ll need to dump the pellets completely when cleaning them out.
You can place the hay directly in the box, as previously mentioned, or you can put it in a hay feeder right next to the box.
When you begin to litter train your rabbit, you should keep the box in a confined area. This could be within its hutch, or outside of a hutch but still within a playpen. This will make training (and the inevitable accident cleanup) easier for everyone.
Rabbits will use a litter box
While litter box training your rabbit won’t be the easiest task, it’s certainly a plausible one. Many rabbits are litter box trained. However, there is no one set litter training manual that will work for every bunny. You may need to try different options.
Make sure that you have lots of patience when it comes to litter training your rabbit. Having the right litter box is important to set both you and your bunny up for housetraining success.
Remember that most things in life are messy– litter training your rabbit will be no different. Accidents are going to happen. But with persistence, your rabbit will be able to use a litter box.