Litter Training: Tips + Tricks
Litter training your bunny isn't a one-and-done experience. You've got to constantly reward them until they get the hang of using the box, and promote good habits by strategically placing items in their cage. But how?
The links to our favorite boxes are provided below - we don't recommend litterboxes 'made for bunnies' as these are usually way too small. Cat litterboxes are best!
We use the LURVIG litterbox from Ikea, covered with our custom-made grates.
Tip 1: Spay or neuter
If your bunny is spraying pee (typically only unfixed bucks do this, but occasionally does will) you should get them spayed/neutered (read our article on spaying and neutering here). This spraying is due to hormones that tell the bunny 'it's time to breed, make sure you mark your territory so other bunnies know it's yours!' If your bunny is already spayed/neutered and they still aren't using the box, read on.
Tip 2: Find their spot
Locate your bunny's preferred bathroom spot. Not where the litterbox fits, or where you think it's most aesthetic. It needs to be the spot they choose, as this will work much better. They're the ones using the box, after all! Usually, bunnies like to go in corners, but if the spots seem to be scattered randomly, choose the most messy corner, or the place you typically put their hay. Note: If your bun is free roam, you might want to place multiple litterboxes throughout your house.
Tip 3: Hay
Next, place your bunny's hay on top of the grate/in a hay rack above their litterbox. This will encourage them to come sit on the box, as they love hay and will do anything to get to it. Also, bunnies typically use the bathroom while eating hay, so this tip works great as accident prevention.
Note: You can also put your bun's pellets and water bowl on their box. Then, they have to be on their box to eat hay, drink water, or eat pellets - so pretty much any time they aren't relaxing!
Tip 4: Rewards
When you see your bunny step onto the box, even if they don't use the bathroom right then, reward them. If they step off the box to get the reward, don't give it to them! Continue this behavior every time your bunny uses the box, and they'll get the hang of it soon.
Tip 5: Odor
We know that bunny pee can begin to smell after a while. However, there are odor eliminators you can buy and spray onto their litter! Don't use too much, though, because your bun still needs to know that it is his/her box. Change the box frequently, every 3 days at the very most, and that will help keep the smell away.
Hope these tips help your bunny get more settled in and comfortable using the litterbox!