Rabbits can be litter trained. You need a little patience and the right bedding. Spayed or neutered rabbits are much more successful at litter training, since they don’t have the desire to mark their territory.
The key is to use organic litter, such as unscented Carefresh bedding. Other brands are available. Do not use pine or cedar bedding, which have aromatic oils that can cause respiratory irritations and lead to infections. Clay litters and clumping litters have dust that can also cause respiratory infections. If you prefer to use wood chips, aspen chips are okay.
Begin by keeping your rabbit in a cage or a small room with the litter box present. You can even put some timothy hay in the litter box to encourage your rabbit to sit in the box. During the training period, sweep up any feces or soak up any urination accidents with tissue and put them in the litter box. This may help your rabbit get the idea. Once your rabbit begins to have fewer accidents, you may begin to increase the roaming area, if you are considering letting your rabbit roam free.
Cage vs free roaming rabbits
This is a very personal decision, but litter training a rabbit can make allowing your rabbit to free roam a much more appealing option. Do you have what it takes to bunny-proof your house? There are a variety of dangers for rabbits in the average household. If you choose to let your pet rabbit roam free, you must:
safely store cleaners and other household chemicals
hide cords and other temptations so your rabbit cannot chew them
be prepared for “accidents” while your rabbit is being litter box trained
If you can answer yes to these must-dos, then free roaming is a possibility for your rabbit. The key is to start small—in one small room—and then expand the range your rabbit has over time. Ask one of the staff experts at The Animal Store or consult your veterinarian for more advice.
IMPORTANT — If you have immediate health concerns about your pet, contact your veterinarian or local emergency animal hospital. The Animal Store Blog posts occasional questions to and answers from one of our favorite vets. This column is for informational purposes only, and should not be considered a substitute for regular veterinary care for your pet.