Did you know that you can litter train not only cats, but rabbits too? Rabbits naturally tend to choose one area to use as their bathroom. With a little practice, you can get them to use a litter box, making it much easier to clean up after your pet. This doesn't have to be a long and drawn out process. Here's how to litter train your rabbit in one week:
- Set up the litter box. Place an old cake pan in the corner of the rabbit cage that your rabbit usually uses as a bathroom. This will require watching your rabbit for a while to determine his habits. Don't move the litter box around once you've found a spot, because this will confuse your bunny. Fill it with recycled newspaper pellets, shredded newspaper, pine shavings, or plain cat litter. Do not use the clumping kind of litter or the type with chemical deodorizers; many of these litters can be harmful or toxic for your rabbit. Do not add too much litter to the pan; rabbits have a tendency of nibbling at their litter, and too much can be harmful for them.
- Help your rabbit understand what to do. When you first place the litter pan in the cage, place a few rabbit droppings inside so that he will have an easier time understanding the purpose of the pan. Place him inside the pan and stroke his head. Most rabbits will smell their scent and understand what to do, but don't be alarmed if it takes a few days. Be patient when litter training your rabbit.
- Reward your rabbit. During the first day or two of litter training, keep your rabbit in the cage. If you notice your rabbit using the litter pan, let him out of the cage to play for a few minutes, and give him lots of praise. Repeat this every time he uses it so that he learns that it is a good thing.
- Reduce caged time. As he becomes better about always using the litter pan, lengthen the period of time he's let out of the cage to play after each time of using the litter pan.
- Expect accidents. Just like when litter training a cat or potty training a child, expect the occasional accident, especially during the first few weeks. If you rabbit does have an accident, put him back in his cage, in the litter pan. Clean up the accident immediately and place your rabbit's droppings in the litter box to remind him that this is where they go. Do not punish him or scold him, because this could make him associate the litter pan with being punished or in a bad place.
Although some rabbits never learn to use the litter pan consistently, most rabbits can be taught in about a week if you are consistent in your efforts to reward the rabbit for using the pan or place him back in the cage if he doesn't.