Many people are shocked when they hear that spayed and neutered rabbits can be trained to do their business in a litter box. What’s even more surprising is that it’s relatively easy to train them. You will probably have more success potty training your rabbit than your toddler!
Step 1: Choose the appropriate size litter pan or box. They come in sizes small – extra large and there are a variety of shapes and styles. You can purchase a rectangular pan, triangular pan, high backed pan, hooded box, etc. Consider the depth of the pan when making your purchase. The rabbit needs to be able to easily hop in and out of the pan.
Step 2: Choose the litter or litter alternative you’d like to use. Create a mixture of hay and newspaper and layer it between the litter box and the litter.
Step 3: Start with a very small space. The more freedom that you allow your rabbit, the more poop you will be cleaning up. Keep her confined to a small space while you’re training, she only needs room for her bedding and the pan right now.
Step 4: Often times training a rabbit means simply observing where it already likes to go. Place the pan in the corner of the cage where you’ve seen the rabbit use the bathroom. If the rabbit chooses a different corner, move the pan each time you observe the behavior.
Step 5: If the rabbit poops outside of the litter pan, move a portion of the poop to the pan so the rabbit can see where it’s supposed to go. If you catch your rabbit in the act of not using the litter pan, clap your hands, say “no”, gently move the rabbit to the pan and then reward her with a treat.
Step 6: Clean your rabbit’s cage on a regular basis. When you’re first training, some rabbits need the reinforcement of seeing/smelling their urine and feces in the pan, while others want the pan cleaned out each time she goes. Figure out what’s best for your rabbit and clean accordingly.
Step 7: Once you’re able to rely on your rabbit using the litter pan, expand her play area and watch with pride as she makes her way back to the cage to use her pan when necessary.
That’s all there is to it! If you aren’t successful with the litter box training, it might be time to visit the vet to check if there are any health issues to be concerned about.