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How to Potty Train a Rabbit

Naomi Sarah Mar 5, 2020
Acquiring knowledge on how to train a rabbit is a breeze, but it can be quite troublesome to have your pet bunny fall into such a habitual way of doing its business. Here's how to do this and have your bunny littering in one designated spot in your home / its cage.
Rabbits aren't easy to train like cats or dogs - it takes patience when it comes to their potty habits. When I first got our rabbit, my sister's biggest mistake was placing it on the couch which it got used to and of course littered on incessantly.
No matter what we did, how much we strained our vocal cords in a fit of rage - our baby rabbit was learning zilch. After a lot of tedious tries we got it to do its business in one secluded corner of the house. The best way to train it is to make sure

Litter Training a Rabbit

We now look into how to train a rabbit with some simple tips and tricks that will have it littering in a single spot.

☑ Setting Up Its Home

The first thing you need to do is set up either a rabbit cage / hutch before your rabbit is introduced into your home.
In the cage / hutch place layers of newspaper to line its bottom, and pile together a good helping of hay / alfalfa grass (you can't find this kind, any type will do) to one spot in a shallow tray lined with soft cloth (must be changed frequently along with soaked hay / grass). It should be big enough for the rabbit to use when it gets older.
Another thing you can do is observe your rabbit when it passes urine or defecates and accordingly make that particularly spot its littering area. Rabbits tend to use the same area more than once when they get a good whiff of their droppings / urine, thus making it a habit over time.

☑ Keeping It Inside for a Couple of Weeks

It's better for you to pet your rabbit and tend to its needs without removing it from the cage. Don't sett it loose for at least two weeks. That way you avoid the chances of letting your rabbit find a new spot to do its litter, making it hard for you to make it stop.
Let it get used to the cage / hutch space since it won't be able to hold it in very long. Choose a cage / hutch that is slightly above ground level for him / her to easily jump out and into, should it feel the need to litter once you let it out post two weeks.

☑ If You Notice Litter Elsewhere in Your Home

Keep an eye on your rabbit and watch out for any mess that it may make once it is outside its cage / hutch.
Stop it from littering that spot by shooing it away. If it does make a mess, use ½ a cup of ordinary white vinegar or a strong scented cleaning liquid to clean the spot, which confuses its sense of smell.
Mix it up with water and scrub down the area so that your rabbit moves away and goes back to littering in the cage / hutch. Do this for all the spots in your home that it litters, so that it is accustomed to only defecating / urinating in its enclosure.

☑ Close-Off Cornered Spaces and Use Protective Covering for Furniture

Rabbits tend to look for niches where they can get comfortable in and litter.
Make sure you place something in its path so that it cannot squeeze through this and do its thing. Spaces for example would be open areas around the refrigerator, cornered spaces around furniture, under washing basins, behind / under the bed and so on.
If he / she tends to make a mess on the furniture (which happens if it gets moody after being trained to litter in its cage / hutch), cover them with plastic tops or tuck one into it before you let him / her out.
Avoid entertaining them on your couch and gently push them off if they hop onto it. Later when it is older, you can probably let it come close to you on the couch.
Just follow these helpful guidelines right down to a tee and you should slowly help get your rabbit familiarized with where to do its business, and where not to.