How to train your rabbit to use a litterbox

by Global Pet Foods NB

rabbitlitterbox-sleepyNow that we’ve expanded our product lines to include more products for small animals, including reptiles, birds, and small furries, it’s time to get back to posting about them. All of our stores in Greater Moncton, Saint John and Fredericton now carry lines that include the best in nutrition, treats, hay, bedding, dishes, toys, litter pans, carriers, and species-specific grooming supplies.

We’re also happy to have small animal specialist, Micalah Douglas, who works mainly in our Moncton store. Micalah is travelling to all of our stores to teach staff about small animals, so no matter where you go, you’ll be able to ask questions and get advice.

Micalah especially loves rabbits, and says they make excellent pets (here are 7 endearing rabbit traits for you understand why). We asked her if it’s possible to litterbox train rabbits, and she tells us it’s actually very easy. “Rabbits are one of the cleanest animals you’ll find and it’s their natural inclination to drop their pellets and urinate in the same spots each time.”

Whether kits (the proper term for baby rabbits, we thought it was bunnies too!) or adults, if you want to train your rabbit in his cage or hutch, simply put a litter pan in the spot where your rabbit does his business. “Don’t be impatient if your rabbit still drops his pellets in other places, simply pick them up and put them into the litter, so he begins to associate the smell with the litter box. Eventually he’ll get it.”

If your rabbit is not kept in a hutch or cage, you will need to put litter pans down in several spots, then gradually reduce the number of litter trays. And if he decides to go back to a spot, move the litter box back to the spot he prefers (he may always have more than one spot in a larger space).

rabbitlitterbox-lunaruby

Meet Luna and Ruby!

As for the box size, you can start with a smaller one if your kit can’t get in and out easily, but then switch to the adult size as he gets bigger.

One important thing about rabbits and litter is that they cannot tolerate any dust, or heavy scents, so no clay or pine shavings. Micalah recommends newspaper pellets. Her favourite brand is called Fresh News, which we carry in-store for cats as well. Clean your rabbit’s litter box each day, using a litter scoop and change the litter completely each week. Like cats, rabbits are very sensitive to scents and chemicals, so wash the tray with vinegar water and use our enzyme spray, Odor Out, to completely remove the scent. “Rabbit urine is very acidic, so it really is important to keep the tray as clean as you can.”

If you have any questions about small furry animals, Micalah is your gal. And don’t forget JP Rioux is your reptile guy. If you’re outside of Moncton, our staff have also been trained in small animal nutrition and care.