How To Litter Train A Rabbit
- Any rabbit can be trained to use a litter tray but neutered rabbits are usually easier to teach because they are less likely to urine mark.
- Use a large litter tray, with one low side and paper-based litter, alfalfa, straw or hay. Don’t use wood shavings.
- It’s easier if you make your rabbits’ living area temporarily smaller while you’re training them.
- Be patient as it might take your rabbits some time to adjust their habits.
What you’ll need to litter train your rabbits
- A large litter tray with one low side so that they can get in and out easily. Ideally, the back would be 10-20cm high.
- Paper-based litter, alfalfa, straw or hay. Avoid wood shavings as these can cause respiratory problems.
- Barriers to temporarily limit the areas where they can toilet.
Rabbits can be litter trained at any age, but it’s usually easier if they are neutered. This is because neutered rabbits are less tempted to urine mark.
- First, use barriers to temporarily reduce your rabbits’ living space. This limits the areas where they can toilet and makes training easier.
- Work out where they already like to go to the toilet. This is usually in a corner. Put a litter tray in this space with a small amount of your chosen litter material.
- Add some of your rabbits’ poo and urine-soaked bedding to the litter tray to show them it’s a toilet.
- Put fresh hay in or near the tray, as rabbits like to eat and poo at the same time! You can also give your rabbits a treat when they are in the tray.
- Be patient! Your rabbits might take some time to learn new habits. Clean up any accidents with an unscented pet urine cleaner or biological washing powder and water.
- Once your rabbits are using their litter tray consistently, you can remove the barriers to open up their living space again.
- Can I use cat litter for rabbits?
- Can you use bedding as litter for rabbits?
- Why is my rabbit toileting outside the litter box?
- Are male or female rabbits easier to litter train?
- Will rabbits share a litter box?
- Can you litter train an older rabbit?
Can I use cat litter for rabbits?
Ideally not. Cat litter is often clumping or clay-based which can block a rabbit’s guts if eaten. We recommend using litter that is paper-based or alfalfa, straw or hay.
Can you use bedding as litter for rabbits?
Yes, shredded paper, hay, soft straw, compressed woodchip (non-clumping) or newspaper pellets can all be used as litter. Avoid wood shavings as these can cause respiratory problems.
Why is my rabbit toileting outside the litter box?
Your rabbit might stop using their litter tray if you have moved it, changed the litter type or had some other change in the environment. Make sure you are cleaning it frequently. Check with your vet if you are concerned as your rabbit might have a medical issue such as a urine infection or arthritis.
Are male or female rabbits easier to litter train?
Males and females should be equally easy to litter train as long as they are neutered. Unneutered rabbits can be more difficult to train because they mark their territory with urine and faeces.
Will rabbits share a litter box?
Ideally there should be one litter tray per rabbit, but bonded pairs tend to be fine sharing, as long as the tray is large enough for them to both be in it at the same time with space to move around.
Can you litter train an older rabbit?
Yes, it’s possible to train an older rabbit to use a litter tray, in fact, it might be easier than training a younger rabbit because they tend to toilet in predictable places.
Published: February 2023
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Written by vets and vet nurses. This advice is for UK pets only. Illustrations by Samantha Elmhurst.