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Rabbits/New Bunny uses cat's litter box, is this safe?

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Question
A month ago I found an abandoned and starving bun in the back alley of my apt building. I put 'found bunny' ads all over my neighborhood and on several local pet websites but no one claimed him and I ended up keeping him because he is very sweet and cuddly and has great habits. I've read a lot online about keeping bunnies and things are going very well.

My 5 yr old cat Onix has been very afraid of the bunny (he's a classic scaredy cat) but he has been doing better tolerating the friendly bunny every day that goes by. The bunny (I call him Casper) has free reign of the bathroom at all times and I let him into my main apartment (it's a studio) every evening.

A few days ago he started to use the cat's litter box when I would let him in my main room. I'm worried that this may be too stressful for my cat, since he's such a scaredy-cat. I'm also worried that the Fresh Step cat litter I use could be harmful to Casper if he ingests it or inhales the dust.

Is it safe for the bunny to use the kitty litter box?

Answer
Jupiter,

Thanks for taking on this new bun, and it sounds like you're doing a great job.

I would avoid letting Casper use the litter box for the very reasons you mention - if he ingests it, it will cause problems, not to mention the dust. Definitely not the best idea. You can, however, create a dig box for Casper, since it sounds like he might "dig" that. :) Link here: http://bunnyproof.com/how-to/how-to-make-a-digging-box-for-your-rabbit

Poor Onix... it sounds like he's coming around though. I would suggest rubbing your fingers along Casper's chin (where there are scent glands that will "mark" your hand) and then go and pet Onix (or if he balks at that idea, just let him sniff your hand). That might help to mix and mingle the smells a bit.

Another suggestion, and I only mention this because I also happen to have two cats... Jackson Galaxy of My Cat From Hell has a website with essential oils that can help with a range of cat maladies. Sounds crazy, but they do help. For Onix I might recommend the "Confidence" or the "Neutral Space" spray (I can't remember the actual names, but I believe you'll find those terms in the descriptions).

Hope this helps!

Christine

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Christine Whetstone

Expertise

I am not an expert on wild rabbits, only domesticated rabbits. I can answer questions regarding habitats, behavior, diet, health, pairing/bonding - pretty much anything having to do with owning a rabbit.

Experience

I've owned indoor rabbits for the last 10 years. During that time I've gained experience in areas like bonding exercises, understanding behavior, warning signs of sick bunnies, how to handle more serious illnesses (GI stasis, abscesses, eye problems, etc.) and more. It's rare that I come across an inquiry that I do not already know the answer to.

Organizations
House Rabbit Society, supporter of local rabbit rescues

Publications
http://ilovemyhouserabbit.com/

Education/Credentials
Personal experience beats the pants off of a degree, in my opinion.

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