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Featured Rabbit Pearl Article
Pet Bunny Rabbit Litter Box Training 101
by Andrea Austin,
Many of us already know how trying it can be to litter box-train dogs. So it may come as a pleasant surprise that rabbits are actually quite easy to litter box-train! You can start training your young bunny, or you can train an older rabbit. Rabbits of all ages are receptive to training and will respond to your patient efforts to show him what to do and where to do it.
To get your pet’s litter box training off on the right foot, observe where your rabbit has been going to the bathroom so far. Then make sure to put a litter box in that area. To really get the signal across to your rabbit, you might want to put some droppings in the box.
You can certainly put multiple boxes around the play area if you wish, and I do recommend this. However, don’t let your bunny roam all around the house at this point. While training, try to keep your bunny within a smaller, confined area (the cage and a small surrounding portion of the room, for instance), as this will make your job a whole lot easier.
To encourage your bunny to visit the litter box, try putting some hay in with the litter. Why? Well, rabbits naturally tend to go to the bathroom while they are eating, so putting a food source in the litter may help stimulate this process.
Now that you have everything in place, the trick is to observe your bunny. When he starts to urinate or defecate outside of the litter box, say “No” or make a sharp noise, such as clapping your hands. Then try and encourage your bunny toward the box by motioning with your hands or putting your body in such a position that you are prompting your pet in the right direction.
Keep this up over time, and your bunny will soon get the idea! Remember to stay calm and refrain from yelling or getting flustered, as this will upset your pet.
Be patient and consistent. In the beginning you have to be watching them at all times. Your rabbit will most likely learn to urinate in the box first, as rabbits have less control over their bowels than bladder. If bunny starts to have an accident outside the box you should say "no" in a sharp voice, or clap your hands loudly, and herd it back towards the box.
Because things may be messy in the beginning, you should not rely on your bunny to make it to one of the litter boxes every time. Therefore, put out newspaper or a plastic tarp under and around all the boxes to keep your floors and rugs protected.
If for some reason you rabbit just does not seem to want to use his litter box or boxes, try this trick of the trade. Drop some droppings into the box—but not your rabbit’s own droppings. Putting in a strange rabbit’s droppings will make your pet want to stake out his territory.
by Andrea Austin
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