You are here:

Rabbits/litter box training

Advertisement


Question
QUESTION: I have 4 rabbits.  3 neutered males and 1 female.  they are all housed together with 3 litter boxes.  I am constantly sweeping up messes and wiping up mistakes with vinegar rags.  I am at a loss as to how to get them to go in the litter boxes.  I have tried different litter, adding hay, and cleaning up regularly.  Only one of the bunnies is good at going in his litter box.  

I don't know what to do.  I have plenty of time to devote to training them, I just don't know what to do.  Please help!!!

I would love for them to be trained well enough so they could have free reign of the house.

Karen

ANSWER: Hi Karen,
Is your cage/pen large enough for the 3 of them together? Sometimes if there isn't the space they need,they won't go in a particular "box" due to being cramped. If the pen is large enough and with 3 rabbits it would have to be at least 4 feet by 6 feet large,then they can'\t be properly trained. Usually when a rabbit has ample room,they will 'always' pee in one area,then that is where you put your litter box. But seeing as there are 3,I'm sure they aren't all going in the same spot,making it impossible to litter train. Make sure they have a lot of room in the pen they are confined in 1st. second,put the litter boxes where you see pee spots. only put shavings or whatever they're peeing on INSIDE the litter..and use carpet or towel in the rest of the cage. they will get accustomed to only peeing on the litter material. Also,realize that rabbits will make droppings(poop) everywhere,they can't be totally litter trained with that. Best regards,

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: the rabbits have an area about 8 x 8.  This is a dog fence that I have put up in my sunroom.  they are on a tile floor.  They are able to go outside on our deck, which is very large, when I open the door and allow them to do so.  I have noticed that they do not pee outside on the deck, they come inside the sunroom and just pee on the floor, even though I have 4 litter boxes set up.
I am going to completely clean the area today and start over.  I was wondering if it would be better to put each one in a smaller confined area with 1 litter box each until they get the idea.  
Here is one more thing (let me know what you think)  the one female that I have is not spayed, and she is the absolute worst at using a litter box.  Do you think her bad behavior and her "female" scent could be causing the neutered boys to compete and mark all the territory???  Any thoughts on this.  
I love these guys and want to do the best for them and make my life a litter easier.  They are humane society rescues and i want them to have the best life possible.  

thanks  
Karen

Answer
Hi Karen,
I understand the frustration! It could be possible that the female is being territorial being hormonal. (I have an un-spayed female rabbit that tries to 'breed' with one of my hens!) so this behavior for females is fairly common. Cleaning it down well,then use vinegar and water to de-scent. Try having the boys separated from her,that they have different area's for the time being. The boys I'm sure,will use the box,,ad this might solve the pee'er. Females are harder to litterbox train,always. neutered males do make the easiest trainable and calmer pets. However we need to fix this problem and make you life easier. try the separation,with another gate or something and keep them apart till you get the boys well trained,but that they can still see eachother Through the fence so they don't lose their compatibility. Place one box in the place where she MOSTLY pee's,then go from there,,this takes a lot of patience. Good for you for rescuing and saving these  lives,,you're a great person!
Keep me posted on the progress!

Rabbits

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Elizabeth Clinch

Expertise

I'll answer all questions for breeding,feeding,housing requirements,training,health,and behavior problems.

Experience

I was a breeder for miniature Holland lops,and due to the alarming rate of overpopulation of unwanted pets,I have become a sanctuary and rescue. I highly suggest that all rabbits,young or old be neutered or spayed,to avoid this crisis,as well as improve the general health and lifespan of your pet rabbit,and improve the behavior and bad habits your pet may otherwise develop over time.

Organizations
personal sanctuary and rescue for unwanted pets.

Education/Credentials
animal sciences with honors

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.