How To Potty Train Your House Rabbit
Bringing a rabbit into your home can be daunting. There are many things to consider such as the added responsibility, rabbit proofing your house, learning to live with a small creature in his small world, and how to get your rabbit to do his business in the litter box an not on the floor.
Here are some helpful tips to get you and your bun through the potty training process, which by the way, is quite simple. You will find that rabbits are easy to potty train. They like to be clean and like their personal space to be clean.
Remember that every rabbit has his own personality. The following ten steps will provide the basics on how to potty train your rabbit. However, it is important to know the personality of your bun and teach him accordingly. We all have our own way of walking through life, so do rabbits.
1) The Litter Box
A large litter box is best even if your rabbit is a mini bun. A large litter box will give the bun the room to dig in his hay and to choose a corner that he will designate, the bathroom. You can find a popper litter box at your local House Rabbit Society or local pet store. A cat’s litter box will do nicely, again large in size.
2) The Ingredients & Where to Find Them
The best sorted hays and grasses I have found through my local House Rabbit Society or animal shelter for about half the price of a pet store. The quality is also better. You can then purchase toys for your bun with the extra money you save. Otherwise, you can check with your local farming supply company to see if they sell boxes of sorted hays and grasses. If you decide to get grass and hay from the pet store, make sure the quality is good.
You will also need bedding for the bottom of the litter box. Bedding called CareFresh is the safest bedding to use. CareFresh is made of recycled paper, contains no chemicals, and is absorbent, which you will appreciate later.
3) Prepare the Litter Box for Use
Line the litter box with a plastic bag liner. Liners designed for cats work great. Fill the box with Carefresh about two inches deep. Then, fill the litter box full of hays and grasses. I will explain why in step 6.
4) Put the Litter Box in the Bathroom
Some breeders suggest potty training in the kitchen. However, I find that the bathroom provides just enough space to concentrate on the process. Not to mention, I would rather not have breakfast with my rabbits business.
Put the litter box in the bathroom along with a towel on the floor for the bun to lie on and a bowl of water. A few toys would be nice as well. Make sure to block the door so that the bunny cannot escape. The point is to limit the buns choices of where to use the potty.
5) How This Works
Your rabbit most likely will lie on the towel for a while, groom himself, and play with the toys you bought with that extra money you saved. But when he feels the urge, he will hop into his litter box and do his business in one corner of his choice. He will use that corner to deposit his droppings from that point forward. As I have already pointed out, rabbits like to be clean.
6) Eat and Do Your Business
Rabbits like to save time by eating hay and doing their business at the same time. Odd as it may sound, it works for them. You will continue to find small round droppings, or what I like to call bio marbles, in only one corner of the litter box. The rest of the area is open for grazing. He will eat the rest of the hay, dig in it, and play in it. This is other reason why having the litter box close by will help the bun learn to use it and not the floor.
7) Go to the Bathroom
Depending on your rabbit’s personality, the potty training process may take a few days to a couple of weeks. Make sure that you spend time in the bathroom with the bun. You want to continue developing your relationship with your new friend. You will also have the opportunity to commend your rabbit for doing a good job. When not in training, put the box back it its designated area, such as near or in his cage. When bunny is use to seeing his litter box where it belongs, he will know where it is when in need and what to do with it.
8) Don’t Give in to the Bunny Nose
If your bun has a little accident outside of the litter box, you will want to teach him that’s a no, no. Your bunny will look at you with that little twitchy nose, looking so cute, but don’t give in to the bunny nose. In a calm voice point to the droppings or puddle and share your feelings. They might not understand the words, but they understand the tone of your voice. Under no circumstances should you ever strike your bun.
At that point, the droppings need to be placed back in the litter box. The rabbit will smell that his mark has been moved back into the litter box. This will encourage him to hop back into the litter box to take care of business.
9) Exercise is Healthy
Throughout the potty training process, it’s important to let your bunny run free and play. Keeping him locked up in the bathroom all day is not good. Work on potty training several hours of the day only. At night, he needs to sleep in his cage. Exercise will always be important to a long bunny life.
10) Have Fun
Potty training your bun, takes patience and time. Don’t feel pressured because your rabbit will pick up on that. We all move at our own pace, just enjoy being together.
Rabbits make great house pets and friends. They are fun to watch as they play and will enjoy you just as much. They are not as destructive as dogs or as moody as cats. Most of all have fun with your bun.