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Training Your Rabbit to Use the Litter Box

By: Margie Wilson

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No need to have to clean every bit of your rabbit's cage every day. Train your pet to use a litter box and you will be the happier for it.

First you will need a large litter box. A cat litter box or a Rubbermaid 11.5-quart dish pan both work great. Place the box inside your rabbit's cage and anchor it to the side of one of the corners using a clothespin. Line the bottom (inside) of the cage with a thick layer of newspaper so the animal never walks on the cage wire. (This is bad for a rabbit's feet. They get sore feet from the wire.) Fill the litter box with a cat litter made from recycled paper, not clay. Rabbits can ingest clay cat litter and get sick from it. "Carefresh" and "Cat Country" are two readily available and suitable litters.

Place the feed area near the litter box and even put a handful of his hay in front of the box so that your rabbit is near the box as he eats. For bunnies under eight months, alfalfa is great to add as well. If you want, put some hay in the litter box. Fresh timothy and oat hay should be available.

Each time your rabbit goes somewhere else besides the box, clean up the newspaper right away and replace with fresh. In the first couple of days, your rabbit will still use the newspaper. If you can, be home often during the training period. Watch when he soils the newspaper; clean it up and replace it with fresh paper. Place a little of the soiled paper in the litter box to let the rabbit know this is the place to go. Keep the box clean morning and night, and within three days your rabbit should be trained to use the box.

Clean Litter Box Twice a Day

Make sure to clean the litter box twice a day. Rabbits are very clean animals and they will refuse to use a badly-soiled litter box. Also, rabbits sometimes like to use the litter box as a sleeping place, so keep it clean. Once the rabbit is trained, you can put more comfortable sea grass mats over the newspaper inside the cage.

Begin to train your bunny right away. Very young rabbits will have "accidents" like any young animal. To keep your rabbit trained, spay or neuter your animal after four months of age. Neutered rabbits are much easier to handle and train. After the neutering, you may have to retrain your rabbit to the box, but he will eventually learn again.

If you let your rabbit roam a room of the house outside his cage, he will use the litter box if it's available. But make certain the room has been rabbit-proofed, which means that all chewable carpet and wires are covered or hidden.

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