Litter training your rabbit!

Probably the number one thing you can do to make sure you have a happy and well-behaved rabbit it to have it spayed or neutered. Locally, I get my rabbits fixed at the Plainview Vet Clinic as they will fix male or femle rabbits at a price that is about one-fourth of any of the Rochester vets. When I last used these services it was around $50 for either male or female, but it may have gone up since then. The clinic is at 685 North Wabasha Street, Plainview, MN, (507) 534-3181. (Locally for all other health issues, I take my rabbits to Heritage Pet Hospital as Dr. Laura Toddie is a rabbit-savvy vet). You can have your rabbit fixed at around 6 months of age. Spaying/neutering your rabbit...

  • Will extend the life of your rabbit. Females have a much lower risk of reproductive cancers (common in rabbits).
  • Will allow you to have two rabbits that can safely bond or become friends.
  • Will make it much easier to litter train the rabbit.
  • Will make your rabbit a better companion by reducing or eliminating agressive or destructive behaviors.
  • Reduces rabbit overpopulation in general. There are hundreds of neglected and unwanted rabbits so there is no need to breed.
There are two main ingredients in any rabbit litter box - the litter and the hay. I have tried virtually every product on the market to use as litter over the years. The best by far is Marth Animal and Reptile Pellet Bedding for several reasons:

1. It's much cheaper than cat litter (a 40 lb. bag is less than $10).

2. It's much safer than cat litter (it's not dusty and won't make the bun sick).

3. It is super absorbant and controls odor well.

I get mine at Fleet Farm in Rochester, but it should be available elsewhere at other farm supply stores.

You can give your rabbit lots of different kinds of hay for treats, but only give them unlimited access to timothy hay. This is the best hay for rabbits and they will stay heathy by eating it everyday. You can buy large bags of it at farm supply stores and pet stores.

I get my top quality food and hay from:
Small Pet Select and Oxbow.
Here is a closeup of what the litter looks like. It looks almost like rabbit food, but the rabbits won't eat it (not that I have noticed).
Put the pellets in half of of the box, and hay in the other half. The rabbit likes to have the litter side in a corner or against a wall so he/she can sit facing forward in the box. While litter training your rabbit you may want to use a smaller kitten-sized litter box that fits in their cage. However, once your rabbit has graduated to using a box outside of a cage, get your rabbit a normal sized cat litter box. A normal sized litter box gives the rabbit more room to move and less litter is accidentally kicked out of the box when the rabbit jumps in and out.

I use an empty tennis ball can to measure the litter - 2.5 cans per litter box and throw in a handfull of hay.
Here are Chatfield and Buff using their twin litter boxes early on. They later graduated to regular cat-sized boxes. These are small rabbits, so for a medium or large rabbit you would start with a full sized box. Start with a small box for a young rabbit. If your rabbit is in a cage, you can put the small box in the cage so the rabbit will learn to use it. Try not to disturb the rabbit while he/she is in the box. That way the rabbit sees the box as a safe place to be. 

I recommend changing the litter every three days. You can just dump it in the trash and if you do it often enough rinsing with hot water usually works. If there are any urine stains on the box just pour in some white vinegar and let it sit for 10 minutes and it should rinse away. The more often you change the litter, the easier the box is to clean (most of the time you can just rinse it out quickly). Buy a couple of boxes so that when you take one box out, you have a new one ready to set down in its place. If you move the box and don't replace it, the rabbit may just do its business in the corner where the box was. It is important to carefully choose a good spot for the litter box as the rabbit will always return to that location.

Buff in her full-sized litter box. I put an old towel on the floor under the boxes to catch any hay or litter that might get kicked out. You can just take the towel outside and shake it out and wash it if it gets dirty.
Chatfield near his litter box. Buns LOVE cardboard boxes with holes cut in the side. I usually put an old towel in the box too. They love to play and sleep in their boxes!!