How to Litter Box Train Your Rabbit
Did you know that bunnies are capable of being trained to use the litter box just like cats? This month, we’re learning litter box training tips and tricks with the Arizona Humane Society’s Behavior Specialist/Project Manager Kristin Davidson, CTC, CTDI, Dip. CBST.
Rabbits naturally choose one of a few places (usually a corner) to use the bathroom. You can use this behavior to train your rabbit to use a litter box. It may take some time for your rabbit to use the litter box regularly, but if you are consistent with placement and ensure the litter box is clean, they will get the hang of it.
- Begin by placing the litter box in the corner (or corners) of the habitat they use most frequently. Fill a hay hanger or empty paper towel roll with hay and hang it nose-level above the litterbox. Rabbits often urinate and/or defecate as they eat, so hanging the hay above the litter box will encourage them to go in there.
- Since a rabbit will naturally nibble at and ingest some litter from their litter box, only use natural/organic litter made from paper (either fluffy or pelleted). Carefresh, Oxbow Pure Comfort, Yesterday’s News, Kaytee Clean & Cozy, and Small Pet Select Soft Paper Bedding are good choices. These types of litter are compostable too! *Never use standard clumping, clay, or wheat-based litter made for cats, as these products can cause severe problems for your rabbit.
Rabbits leave poop pellets around their cage to mark their territory. Although not necessarily convenient for owners, this is normal behavior. To minimize the amount of poop around the cage, ensure your rabbit feels safe, secure, and content in her space.
- One way to help her feel this way is to wait to clean her cage until she comes out on her own (i.e., do not pick her up or force her out of her cage to clean). You can entice her to come on her own by offering her a treat or a new enrichment item or toy.
Rabbits will also naturally dig in and push litter out of the box. To minimize the mess, use a high-sided litter box made for larger cats.
Have questions? We’ve got answers! Sign up for a virtual pet training lesson. It costs just $20 and is the perfect way to get answers and advice from our experienced trainers.