Wednesday, May 12, 2010

How To Litter Box Train Your Bunny Rabbit

By: Deborah M
Are you serious? What do you mean litter box train your bunny rabbit? What would ever make a bunny rabbit search out a litter box and do his deed there? Habit...that's what!

I have raised several “house bunnies” for pets and I've trained them all to use a litter box. The process is very simple but you have to be consistent. We keep our rabbits in the laundry room in a wire cage that is 5 feet long, 2 feet wide and 1 foot tall. The cage is two story with a ramp so each area has the previous mentioned dimensions.. The rabbit enjoys staying in the cage but likes to come out and explore, especially if someone comes in the room. He doesn't much like tile floor and seems to be much more agile and comfortable with an area rug to hop on.

First of all, when I first bring the rabbit home I hold it incessantly. It will be necessary to take him out of his cage because he won't come out on his own at this point. Later on you won't want to invade his space but for now, if you don't assert yourself, he will never come to you.

Anyway, I pick him up, pet him, cuddle him, set him in my lap, pick him back up, give him kisses and then put him back down. I repeat this process several times and talk to him all the while. It is imperative that the rabbit gets used to human contact so he doesn't become frightened when you come around. Once the rabbit is used to being around you, he will feel more free to come out of his cage on his own and explore the area.

Eventually, the rabbit will come out for longer periods of time. When he does, he may do number one or number two on the floor or carpet. I use a tissue or paper towel to wipe this up. (Don't put chemicals in the litter box. Dab up the mess, put it in the box and then go back and clean with chemicals). I immediately place the tissue or paper towl in the litter box I have set up for the rabbit. (I just use a small litter box that has a top with a front entrance hole. Kitty litter is okay for the rabbit. The litter box should be placed next to the rabbit's cage and always remain in the same place). Next, I pick the rabbit up and place him in the litter box through the front hole entrance. He will usually dig around in here and stay for a few minutes. I have no idea what he's doing in there but when he hops out, I take the lid off and look inside. Rabbit Raisins! What do you know. He actually dropped some in there. Woo-hoo! Leave the raisins inside the litter box. This will be a clue for him the next time he goes in there.

Let the rabbit go back into his cage for while. After a short rest, you must repeat this same process. Take him out (if he doesn't come out...and he probably still won't this soon) and let him play around and wait until he has an accident. Clean it up and place it in the little box. Again, put the rabbit back into the litter box. He will do his business and hop on out. I don't leave the soiled paper towel or tissue for more than one or two days because you are constantly adding more.
Being consistent with the process will have your rabbit eventually seeking out the litter box on his own. It is a lot easier cleaning out the litter box than the tray from the bottom of the cage. At night, I always shut the door to the rabbit cage because they are nocturnal little creatures and I don't want them chewing cords or furniture and getting into mischief while I sleep. Anyway, the first thing in the morning I open the door to the cage and he immediately comes out and hops into the litter box. Just like clockwork. Amazing!
Deborah M - About the Author:
Now that you know I am into animals, I want to share a place with you that will meet all your animal supplies needs. PetCareRX has products for dogs, cats, birds, reptiles and rodents (even my bunny rabbit). They have great prices on all their products including Hartguard and Frontline. They give Pet Points (to accumulate and use), PetBlogs, Live Pet Help and Pet Stories that you can submit. Check out this site. You won't be disappointed.

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