Did you know that bunnies can be taught to use a litter box? Potty-training your rabbit will take time and patience, but it will definitely make things easier for you in the long run. Bunnies can be stubborn, but they are also smart, and are capable of learning good ‘petiquette’. A San Jose, CA vet offers advice on how to train a bunny to use a litter box in this article.
First, you’ll have to get the proper equipment. Medium or large litter boxes for cats are great. If you have two bunnies, make sure the box is big enough so there’s room for both of them! We recommend starting out with a few boxes. Down the road, when Floppy is housetrained, you’ll be able to remove extras. Add about an inch of litter. When choosing Floppy’s litter, avoid clay or clumping litters, as well as those made from pine or cedar, as these can be dangerous to small animals. Bunnies like to eat hay while they’re doing their business, so you’ll want to either add hay on top of the litter, or set up a hayrack where Floppy has to hop into the box to reach it. If your furball has a favorite spot she uses as her bathroom, put the litter box there.
When you start training Floppy, keep her confined in one specific area. Whenever she defecates on the floor, immediately put both her and her waste into the litter box. Pet her and praise her, and tell her how she is the most fantastic, cutest, best-behaved bunny that ever lived. Sooner or later, she’ll go in the box. Again, shower her with praise, and perhaps give her a new toy. You’ll want to keep the box a little bit dirty while Floppy is learning. As your pet gets the hang of it, you’ll be able to gradually remove extra boxes, and expand her play area.
Always choose positive reinforcement, as negative reinforcement often backfires. Never, ever, punish a bunny for having an ‘accident’. Your bunny won’t understand what she’s done wrong, and she may feel afraid, confused, or even angry. Instead, focus on the positive, and reward good behavior.
Do you have any questions about your bunny’s health, care, or behavior? Contact us, your San Jose, CA vet clinic, anytime!