Rabbits are naturally clean and will use one area to go to the loo if encouraged.
So there’s nothing like making life easier for yourself in making their habitat as clean as possible. It’s well worth the effort, as your bunny may live to a ripe old age of 10 years or more, if you are fortunate.
Here is the method we used which has been quite effective and quick, so you might like to try it or use your own variation. Rabbits are individuals, so don’t expect them all to succeed in being toilet trained at the same pace.
- Starting early in the evening, confine bunny in a small space with his bed (e.g.. a soft cat/dog bed) lined with plastic and a soft towel (reserved especially for him). Over this bed, put a cardboard box, sideways, covering half of his bed, so he has a dark spot to crawl into.
- Next to his bed, put a litter tray, (which can consist of a large one with a grate). Put kitty litter on the bottom, THEN place the grate over the top. It then doesn’t matter what type of kitty litter is used, as the bedding straw is placed on top of the grate. This stops the bunny from eating any of the kitty litter which could be harmful.
- Place his feed and water bowls next to his TOILET leaving a tiny space for him jump out of the bed or go the toilet (the loo).
- Because our family prefers baths, we confined bunny in the shower bay!! which was lined with plastic garbage bags and then a layer of linoleum demo square off-cuts (4 in total at a grand cost of $1 each). On top of the linoleum, newspaper, then, a wool demo sample carpet square (for warmth) was placed underneath his bed. – creating a cosy nest environment for bunny. If he is quite young, and you have only one rabbit to train, place a small furry fluffy toy in his bed. – he will snuggle up to it at night for comfort. Another variation for a confined area is the laundry with a pet barrier to reduce the space.
- Give bunny a small 5 minute feed and water, then place him into his toilet and leave him there. Close the door. If he doesn’t want to go, he will jump into his bed to rest or sleep.
- Check on him in half an hour or so and see if he is still hungry
- Repeat this process until ALL his night-time feed is gone.
Rabbits will go the loo very soon after a good feed. When he has had enough to eat and drink, he will want a good sleep!
- Let bunny have a good night’s sleep with ONLY his water available.
- Repeat the same feeding process, early next morning. Hopefully, he will be reluctant to use his bed as a toilet and the soft, dry straw will entice him to dig his manure & urine in it.
Accidents will happen, so be persistent!
Soon, bunny will associate ‘Straw in a Box’ as his private toilet.
NOTE: instead of straw, paper shredded into strips may be used but make certain, he doesn’t eat any of it! (Straw/hay safer, as it is edible)