The LITTER BOX doesn't have to be a battle ground...
Rabbits can truly use litter boxes very nicely. Those litter boxes can be a problem from time to time, however, especially if you have added a new rescue bunny to your family. If your bun isn’t cooperating, there are a few things that may be contributing to the problems.
1. Make sure the box is roomy. Rabbits don’t like squeezing into too-small litter boxes, or backing a rear end into one of those corner boxes. Give your rabbit a nice big rectangular box. Most buns want their hay in the box, and many of them will even nap in there. Your rabbit might just want a bigger space! A large cat little box works well.
2. Your rabbit gets to choose the box location, not you. Rabbits do choose a particular place they want to do their business, and hopefully there is a box in that place. Rabbits are also superior interior decorators, and want their space the way they want it. If your rabbit shoves that box someplace other than where YOU want it, leave it alone. And if your rabbit is peeing in a particular space, just move a box to that space.
3. Rabbits love to eat hay while in their boxes, and they do poo a lot as they eat. Arranging the boxes with lots of clean soft litter, and the hay on one end, works well. (They tend to prefer to have the hay along on short side of the box, so if you have a hay feeder, hang it along the short side.)
4. Clean like a maniac. Get rid of any damp litter at least once per day, but twice is even better. This will not only help your rabbit like the litter box more, but will also help prevent sore hocks.
"Rabbits are particularly picky about interior design. Don't fight your rabbit's choices about 'furniture' placement - you'll lose! "
If your rabbit has unlearned how to use a litter box, there is a really simple way to retrain box use. It takes some time and patience, but it isn't hard. You'll just need a few big litter boxes and your ex-pen.
Make sure you are using nice big litter boxes. The huge ones.
Arrange your ex-pen in a long rectangle formation, and place the nice big boxes in a row as shown above. First step is to put 3 boxes in there, so basically your rabbit is always in a litter box. You’ll have to put the water in one of the boxes, but that is OK for now. Keep this up for 5-7 days.
Make sure you have a nice soft absorbent litter in there, and that you keep all the boxes super clean so your rabbit isn’t standing on wet litter.
Next, remove that middle box and give your rabbit a bit of floor space. Move water out of the boxes and onto the open floor.
No accidents? Great! Remove that second box and see how it goes! If you do end up with some accidents, go back to three boxes and start again, a little more slowly this time.
"Rabbits can be re-trained to use the litter box if something has upset the routine. It isn't hard, it just takes a little time."
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