Litter Train Your Bunny Rabbit

 


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One thing a lot of people don't realize is that most rabbits can be litter box trained, just like a cat!

Basically, what you want to do is take advantage of your bunny's natural tendency to deposit their droppings in just one or two places

* Start off by confining your bunny in just one room (even if you intend to give him the run of the whole house). A tiled floor is best to start (maybe in your kitchen)

* Make sure that the litter tray is easily accessible on at least one side, but with high enough sides all around to prevent spillage.

* For the litter itself, avoid clay and clumping brands (very toxic), as well as pine and cedar scented ones (proven dangerous in many studies). Personally I've always liked ‘Yesterday's News’ brand for it's absorbancy and ease of cleaning. . . but Cell Sorb, and Gentle Touch are also good.

* A standard cat litter box works pretty well, . . . you might want a covered one if your bunny likes to push the litter out (rascals!)

* Confinement and supervision is critical for the early stages. (It's much kinder to go through this for a few weeks early on in a bunny's life so that it can have a life time of roaming about and interacting with the family). So you should start in one room, and confine your bunny to its cage (with the litter box) for a bit until you learn where (s)he likes to do the business. If it's in the litter box - great! If not, no worries, just move the box over that way.

* After you've achieved success IN the cage, it's time to provide freedom. The key here is to do it only a little at a time, step by step (and be willing to go back a step if bunny makes a mistake).

* So give bunny a limited area of freedom in the room, and make sure (s)he knows where the litter box is. (Spend some time getter bunny to come to the box with treats and praise).

* Watch for signs that ‘the business’ is going to happen soon, get bunny to the box when it's going to happen, and give ample praise and treats when it does.

* Just like you did in the cage, if bunny is making mistakes, . . . think of it as his or her way of telling you “the box belongs over here, . . . not where you put it". . . and just move the box for bunny.

* Sometimes you actually need to have two or threelitter boxes in a larger space for a while. . . then you remove one at a time

* Punishment is NOT a good idea for mistakes with rabbits. It's better to simply withold the rewards and treats and praise until you get the behavior you want. (And use a lot of patience)

* Some people have trouble because they're not really sure how to know when their bunny is about to go. Establishing regular feeding times, and other routines will help with this problem. (Mostly though, you'll get used to your bunny's signs if you pay attention for a few weeks)

* Once your bunny is using the little boxes outside of the cage, the idea is to slowly expand their allowed roaming area, until you can confidently see your bunny anywhere in the house without worrying about ‘little presents’ (and smells).

Please note that litter training is almost never perfect. . . there are usually a few pellets left near the box which can be easily wiped away. (Bunnies aren't perfect. . . and neither are we, right?)

Rabbit Care Secrets You can get the book here: http://www.rabbitsecrets.com/R.htm is the book with literally hundreds of “word of mouth" tips and tricks - secrets which are next to impossible to find in books and pet stores. This is the gold which only comes from years and years of hands on experience. . .including all the hard to find Rabbit information people just can't locate with internet searches or trips to the library!

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