Having a fluffy bunny as a pet will undoubtedly enrich your life. Rabbits are highly active, affectionate, and adorable creatures. But, rabbits need to have spacious and safe accommodations.
Most pet parents opt to keep hutches for their pet rabbits. Now, the size of the hutch depends on the size of your rabbit. The larger the rabbit, the bigger the cage needs to be. Moreover, if you have more than one rabbit, you need to make sure that all of your furry friends have enough room to move around. They should also have a designated spot for litter.
But how do you litter train a rabbit in a hutch? To litter train your rabbit, put the litter tray in a spot your rabbit likes to use as a bathroom often and place a few poop pellets inside it. If you catch your rabbit in the middle of doing its business elsewhere, calmly move the litter box to that spot.
Your rabbit will eventually get the hang of it with some patience and diligence on your part.
Many pet guardians prefer to house their bunny’s cage indoors. Anyone who has had a sniff of rabbit urine will second the fact that if you want to keep your rabbits indoors, then litter training is not a choice.
Is It Possible To Litter Train Your Rabbit?
Litter training a rabbit in a hutch isn’t a myth. It becomes essential when you decide to place your rabbit’s hutch inside the house. But, even if the hutch is placed outside, litter training is recommended.
Rabbits are relatively clean animals, but they are also quite territorial. If you want your bunny hopping around in your house or in its hutch, litter training proves to be very useful.
Rabbits tend to have favored spots when it comes to doing their business, so if your rabbit has been litter trained, there will be little chance that you find a pee patch on your Persian rug or place your hand in a pee puddle while cleaning up the hutch.
Litter training requires time, patience, and perseverance. You can litter train any rabbit breed and rabbits of any age. But, it is easier to litter train an adult rabbit than a baby rabbit or a young adult. The simple reason that baby rabbits are tough to train is that they have ridiculously short attention spans and tiny bladders.
Juvenile rabbits also don’t do too well with litter training as they reach sexual maturity at that age and are so under the influence of hormones that rational thought is out of the question. The best time to start litter training your bunny is to wait when it has reached adulthood and has been neutered or spayed.
Then you have to consider the size and shape of the litter tray and the type of litter to be used. But, before you can get to litter trays, you need to know that litter is very important for hygiene purposes.
Why Is Litter Training Necessary For Rabbits Inside A Hutch?
In the wild, rabbits are known to cover several miles a day and can go up to speeds of 35 miles per hour. And they spend a significant time digging up holes. So, it is seldom that a rabbit will eliminate in the same spot in the wild. But, when you place an active animal like a rabbit into a hutch, it will need to understand that there is only one spot to go when Nature calls.
If a rabbit eliminates into their sleeping hay, then it runs that risk of falling severely ill. Excessive exposure to urine can give your fur baby urine scald (wet tail) and even turn its tail into an ugly, blotchy shade of yellow.
Urine scald happens when rabbits sit around in their own waste. Now, a scald is not simply going to change your rabbit’s tail color. It can burn and inflame the skin. In some cases, urine scald can even lead to infections. It can be a harrowing experience for your furry friend and even lead to extreme loss of fur around the hindquarters.
What To Use For Litter Training Your Rabbit
Rabbits tend to vary in size. As mentioned earlier, the larger the size of the rabbit, the bigger the litter tray needs to be. Furthermore, most rabbits pee by lifting their tail over the edge of the tray. So, on average, the size of a litter tray should be at least 15 x 10 inches. And the litter tray should be at least 6 inches high for a medium-sized rabbit.
Now, when you consider the litter that is to be used for the litter tray, you have to keep three things in mind: your rabbit will nibble on the litter, rabbit pee smells really bad, and your rabbit is going to spend quite a bit of time relaxing in its litter tray. So, the litter you will have to use must be comfortable, non-toxic, and capable of masking potent odors.
Furthermore, you must also bear in mind that the litter cannot be the clumping kind, as that may cause a blockage in your rabbit’s intestine. You need to avoid using pine or cedar shavings, as these cause liver damage in rabbits. Moreover, clay-based litter can lead to respiratory issues in bunnies.
Many pet guardians choose to buy natural products. They prefer using hay in the litter tray for their rabbits. The only thing to remember is that you will have to place an absorbent paper under the hay to soak up the urine in the tray. The paper that you use will also have to be ingestible.
How To Teach Your Rabbit to Use The Litter Tray
Now that the litter tray is ready for your rabbit to use, you will have to handle the situation with a lot of patience and tact. Your bunny is not going to understand what you want it to do, so you will have to make the process as clear and straightforward for your furry friend as possible.
Rabbits like to play and hop around, but rabbits are somewhat habitual creatures. They do favor specific spots to attend to Nature’s call. Then they have places where they like to rest and relax.
If your rabbit has a favored spot for peeing, wait till your rabbit has gone there to eliminate recently, then keep aside some of the hay from the spot and thoroughly wash that spot.
Remember that rabbit urine is very potent, and you will have to make sure that the place doesn’t smell of urine anymore. Next, place the old hay that you kept aside into the litter tray and place the litter tray in the exact spot that your rabbit likes to go to pee.
Now, if your rabbit poops in another spot, do not throw away the poop pellet; instead, place it in the litter tray. The odor of the urine and poop pellet will induce your rabbit to use the litter tray.
Some rabbits get confused when they see a tray and try to eliminate it in another spot. It would help if you were super quick here. When your rabbit hops to another area, quickly place the litter tray there before your rabbit can do its business.
Rabbits tend to eliminate 200-300 times per day and urinate 2 -8 times. So, if you constantly try to get your rabbit to poop or pee in the litter tray and stay on top of cleaning the rest of the cage out, then eventually, your bunny will get the hang of it.
If your fur baby was smart enough to understand that it is supposed to pee or poop in the litter tray, consider yourself lucky. If not, then you will just have to persist in the attempt to litter train your fluff ball.
Never give in or lose hope and never reprimand your pet, physically or with angry words. Your bunny will not understand what you want from it, but the harshness of your attitude will shatter the trust that your pet has in you.
Not to mention, if you are severe in your attempts to litter train your rabbit, you may cause your bunny unnecessary stress and trauma, as they are sensitive creatures. You must know that no one does well under pressure, least of all your tiny, timid bunny.
Keeping a pet may be loads of fun and laughter. But, there is a lot of responsibility that comes with caring for another living creature. When you become a pet guardian, you become responsible for providing in every way possible to have a happy and fit rabbit.
Everything from the diet to the upkeep of your rabbit becomes your job. Litter training a rabbit in a hutch may not be easy and can be time-consuming. But, it is definitely possible, and it is highly recommended for a healthy bunny.
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