Up next in How to Care for a Pet Rabbit (8 videos)
So fluffy, so adorable, and so much responsibility! Learn how to care for pet bunnies and rabbits with these videos.
You Will Need
- A rabbit in need of training
- A litter box for the rabbit’s cage, about 9” by 12”
- A litter box for outside the cage, as large as possible
- Newspapers to line the litter boxes
- Rabbit-safe litter, such as hay, aspen shavings, or pelleted paper
- Plenty of time and patience
- White vinegar
- Puppy pens or gates
- Extra litter boxes for outside the cage
- Feed-quality timothy hay
Shore up a good store of patience before you begin litter training your rabbit. It may take a while…
Line the small box
Litter-training a rabbit is a two-tier process. First, you’ll be training your bunny to use the litter box inside her cage. Line a small litter box with newspaper, and top the newspaper with your chosen rabbit-safe litter.
Put the box in the cage
Put the litter box in one corner of the cage. Put a few rabbit droppings into the box to give Bunny a hint, and when you catch the bunny using the box, give her plenty of praise.
Change the box
Change the litter box at least every other day; your bunny is more likely to use a clean box. Between changes, top it off with fresh litter. Whenever you remove the box, replace it to the same corner.
Lure the bunny
Expect that your rabbit will want to hang out in her litter box. This is perfectly normal. In fact, many owners put a little feed hay in the box to lure their bunnies there and give them a snack while they relax.
Start floor time
Once the rabbit is reliable about her cage litter box, it’s time to start letting her out of the cage for 'floor time.' Choose a small area to start with—and make sure it’s been bunny-proofed.
Line the large box
Line the large litter box with newspaper and rabbit-safe litter. Always keep it in the same part of your house—preferably in a corner and on a floor that’s easy to clean.
If you spot the bunny about to pee or poop away from the box, say 'NO!' in a loud voice while clapping your hands. Gently pick her up and put her into her litter box.
Never scold your bunny if she makes a mistake. Rabbits can’t learn that way. Instead, use positive reinforcement, and praise her when you see her use the box.
Expand the area
Hopefully, within a few weeks your bunny should start using the litter box outside her cage as well as the one inside. Now you can expand her play area even more, leaving her cage open and accessible so she can return if she wants.
Keep gradually enlarging the play area. You don’t want Bunny to lose track of that box! She may mark her territory or leave a few pellets around when she’s playing—but the bulk of her business will be done in her boxes. Now enjoy your 'house bunny'!