It is important to know how to litter train a rabbit, and as with any pet it is necessary to establish a routine as soon as possible before the rabbit gets into bad habits!
Fortunately, rabbits are naturally clean animals and so are relatively simple to train.
Here's our comprehensive guide on how to litter train a rabbit!
Can you litter train young rabbits?
Baby rabbits i.e. those less than 4 months old are more difficult to train than more mature rabbits.
Once a rabbit reaches about 4 months its hormones become active and it will spray to mark its territory.
It is difficult to train a rabbit that has not been sprayed or neutered because of this, so when buying a rabbit it should be a priority to make sure it is neutered.
What equipment do you need to litter train a rabbit?
You will need a litter tray to fit in the rabbit's cage. Rabbit litter trays have a high back to prevent the litter being spread about and a lower front which makes it easier for the rabbit to get into.
In time you may decide you need more than one litter tray depending on how much freedom of movement you allow the rabbit in the house.
To start the training the rabbit should be confined to a small space: its cage or a small room.
You will need to line the litter tray with newspaper and top this with some food pellets suitable for rabbits.
On top of this should go some fresh hay as rabbits like to eat and excrete at the same time! You could also place a hay feeder next to the litter tray as well.
You could put a plastic mat under the litter tray to catch urine and poo that does not make it to the tray.
You will also need some suitable disinfectant to clean the litter tray once a week.
White vinegar in a spray bottle is useful for cleaning up any accidents.
How to Start Litter Training a Rabbit
You can start the training in the rabbit’s cage or a small room but do not let the rabbit have the run of the house before training as it is difficult to break habits once established.
Stay with your rabbit and place some of its droppings in the litter tray as the smell will encourage it to use it. If it does droppings outside the litter tray put these in the tray also.
You can tell when a rabbit is about to toilet as it will lift its tail.
Clean up any accidents as soon as possible and if the rabbit urinates outside the litter tray place him in it and also mop up the urine and put the paper in the tray too.
You should offer small treats such as carrot and apple when the rabbit uses the tray. Do not scold it as they can be nervous creatures and do not respond to this.
If the rabbit continually moves the tray clamp it to the cage.
Litter trays should be cleaned often to encourage their use. Dump all the contents in a rubbish sack daily and refill the tray. Look out for any large sticky droppings (called cecotropes) which can be re-eaten by the rabbit and are good for their health.
Once your rabbit has got the idea of using the litter tray you can gradually let it into other rooms if you want to but make sure litter trays are available here too.
Ensure your rabbit is neutered. Start training as soon as possible. To begin keep in a small space and observe its habits. You should praise and reward when it uses the litter tray.
Hopefully, you will soon have a toilet-trained rabbit!