Thursday, October 28, 2010

Rabbit Care: The litter box

So now that I've covered rabbit bedding, I am moving on to the litter box. Of course, you don't have to litter train your rabbit, but it is plus if your rabbit is litter trained. It keeps their cage cleaner, and you can have more peace of mind when you let them out of their cage to play. Of course, rabbits may have accidents now and then, and they do like to mark their territory.

Litter training a rabbit can take a short time or it can take a very long time. For the most part it is much much easier if your rabbit is spayed or neutered. That way they don't have as much of an urge to mark their territory.

To get your rabbit to use a litter box requires patience and consistent training. To start you must figure out which corner of their cage they use the most. You should then place the litter box there. You need to spot clean the cage more often and make sure to put any messes they make outside of the litter box into their litter box. This way they will know that they aren't supposed to do it in the cage, only in the litter box. You can also place a large amount of hay next to or inside of the litter box. Most rabbits like to eat while they do their business, so that encourages them to use the litter box. Do not use deodorizing cleaning solutions in the rabbit's litter box. If you want to encourage your rabbit to use it, you shouldn't completely deodorize it until you are completely sure your rabbit is totally litter-trained.

A few more tips and tricks:

Once you start litter training, I find it helpful to remove the bedding from the cage and only use it in the litter pan. I find that it seem to help them learn it faster. You can give them something soft to sleep in like a bed, towel, or a blanket. I did not have to litter train Munchkin, because he came to the shelter already very well litter trained. I have tried some litter training with rabbits at the shelter.

What to look for in a litter box:
Make sure it is large enough for your rabbit. Plastic ones are the most practical. You can buy corner litter pans that fit into a cage corner. I like these a lot, and I especially like the ones that have clips to lock it on to the cage. (Rabbit like to flip their litter box around sometimes so this comes in handy!). Simple rectangular plastic litter pans for cats work just fine too. You can also get a high back litter pan. This helps if your rabbit sprays a lot or doesn't do a good job of keeping everything in the litter box.

A special note: Do NOT ever use clay cat litter for a rabbit's litter box. It is extremely dangerous if ingested. Use a rabbit safe bedding instead.

Next time: Out of cage playtime

1 comment:

  1. Good information! Two questions, though - how often do you clean out the litter box and when you do clean it out, do you just pull out the yucky bits or do you just dump the whole thing?
    Love and hugs,