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Toilet-Training Rabbits. Yes it can be done!

 Yes, it can be done!

People are often surprised to learn that rabbits are more than capable of learning how to use a litter tray.  Rabbits are naturally very clean and will instinctively use a designated place as a toilet, just like cats.  The advantage of toilet training your rabbit is that you will be able to let it roam free around the house without worrying about accidents.

Rabbits need at least 30 hours per week to run and explore outside of their cage. This socialisation, while out of their cage also makes training easier.  Start with a designated toilet area, preferably a corner, with a tray filled with a suitable litter.  This may be straw, hay, natural fibre or paper pellets. Do not put litter anywhere else as it can cause confusion as to where the bunny loo is. 

In the first week only change the litter when it is really dirty-it needs to be impregnated with your rabbits smell to encourage your him to use the same place in the future.  Initially your bunny will be shy and hide, but then become more curious and want to explore its environment.

In the beginning, it is important to limit your rabbit’s territory and the amount of time he is allowed to roam.  20-30 minutes, in a small zone is enough so that there is no confusion with the living room being a giant litter tray. During these exploring periods place the rabbit on the litter tray every 10 minutes, this will teach them to go back regularly.  If you see him raise his tail, tell him firmly “in the tray” and direct them to the toilet. The quicker you do this, the quicker he shall learn.

If you notice an accident, put the faeces and the rabbit in the littler tray.  It will show them where they need to go next time.  You will need to practice this “poop-patrol” behaviour for the first 1-2 weeks until your rabbit is trained. 

If you’ve adopted a young rabbit, after a few months they may seem to forget their toilet training a little.  This is normal and not you rabbit’s fault, it is merely their hormones taking over. They have reached sexual maturity and have started marking their territory, normally between 3-6 months of age.  In this situation, desexing will help solve the problem.

Rabbit breeds vary dramatically in size and their personalities are also so individual. They can make great house pets and respond well to human contact.