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New Bunny!

November 9th, 2004, 07:55 PM
I'm really excited because I got my fiancee to cave about getting a bunny :) And he said we'd have no animals! 2 cats, and now a bunny later...
Anyway, the point of my post is to ask about litter training a bunny. I heard that it's possible. I kind of know how, wait for it to do it's business, scoop some up and put it in a litter box. Do I use just the shavings that are in the cage? Won't it then associate the shavings with bathroom business? Or do I use kitty litter? Also, both of our cats are fixed, and that calmed them down a lot, are bunnies the same? Our one cat used to meow all night, and never want attention, when we fixed her, she changed quite a bit (for the good). Do bunnies stay up all night and experience similar discomforts if they are not fixed?
Thank you!! :D
PS I'm fairly new to this site, and it was my Bday recently and I was absolutely shocked when I got a Happy Bday email from this site! It was really neat!

November 9th, 2004, 08:09 PM

This may be long since I litter trained my bunny (who recently died at the geriatric age of 13 - as people on this Board are probably tiring of hearing) but I can tell you my experience.

Bunnies CAN be litter trained. It is not as easy as say for a cat but it works.
You have to keep in mind that bunnies - like cats I suppose - like to mark their territory and they will do it with little rabbit "buttons" (which are not that objectionable anyway) so this may happen on occasion even if a bunny has been litter trained. It does not mean the training was a failure.

Bunnies spend more time in their litter boxes than cats and they will eat some of their "buttons" - which is actually good for their digestion - providing they are healthy. They will also nibble litter.

Rabbit urine is another matter. It has a very strong objectionable smell so you must clean the box often!! Clean it whrn the bunny is out of it. Never take her - him - out and then clean it. He will supervise everything you do because they are very fussy about their area.

Alfafa is a great litter tho I had a retired dad who loved woodworking so I used organic wood shavings combined with Timothy hay and alfafa.
That said, never used softwood lumber shavings like cedar or pine since they can cause liver damage.

I know they sometimes advise against it but I always used javex and cleaned it thooughly and put a ton of shavings in his litter boxes. (I always had a few around the house, especially as he aged and had difficulty jumping in them).

If your bunny came with a cage, make syre it is large enough to place a litterbox in it. Rabbits will always urinate in the same area- usually a corner - and so s/he can get used to the litterbox. Confine him to that area at first and gradually work toward giving him free roam where you have a bunnyproof area. (No cords, electrical wires and so forth).

Here is what the House Rabbit Society recommends:
Start with a box in the cage, and one or more boxes in the rabbit's running space. If she urinates in a corner of the cage not containing the box, move the box to that corner until she gets it right. Don't be concerned if your bunny curls up in his litterbox--this is natural. Once she's using the box in the cage, open her door and allow her into her running space. Watch her go in and out on her own. If she heads to a corner where there's no box, or lifts up her tail in the characteristic fashion, cry "no" in a single, sharp burst of sound. Gently herd her back to her cage and her litterbox, or into one of the boxes in her room. Be careful, however. You don't want to make the cage or the litterbox seem like punishment. A handful of hay in the box makes it a more welcoming place. After she first uses the box, praise her and give her her favorite treat. Once she uses the box in her room a couple of times, you're well on your way, as her habits will be on their way to forming. As she gets better trained in her first room, you can increase her space. Don't hurry this process. And if the area becomes very big, or includes a second floor, be sure to include more litterboxes, so as not to confuse her. Remember, as she becomes more confident and uses fewer boxes, you can start to remove some of her early, "training" boxes. Get your rabbit into a daily routine and try not to vary it. Rabbits are very habitual and once a routine is established, they usually prefer to stick with it.

I hope this helps! Enjoy your bunny - they are such wonderful intelligent creatures!!

November 10th, 2004, 07:21 AM
I also went and checked out that House Rabbit Society site, it's really good. Has some neat ideas too.


November 10th, 2004, 07:51 AM
Perhaps you could use KOE to clean with? It's full name is Kennel Odour Eater. If you ask the vet you use, they will know about it and if it is safe for bunnies. I worry about the Javex 1) because ammonia is not good for animals 2) the smell encourages more urination. May not be so for bunnies but let me tell you with puppies it makes a huge difference in where they choose to do their business.
3) it really helps keep any odours down to a minimum which makes for a more enjoyable smelling home.

November 11th, 2004, 05:13 PM
I used javex because of the strong smell of rabbit urine. But you have if you wash it out really well. Except for winter months, I would take it outside and hose it down. I actually had a few litter pans around the house as he got older but he was always good about his litter box. :)

November 13th, 2004, 09:40 PM
My mini-lop bunny, Quaffle , is allergic to Aspen, and other types of wood based litter. I recently went to Yesterday's News, which is a recycled paper pellet litter, and that works well for her.

Bunnies are pretty smart , mine is like a small dog, she's never chewed anything, or peed outside of her box. I don't know if I just got lucky, or what. But she's my cute little ball of fluff. :)

November 16th, 2004, 08:27 PM
Well, the update with the bunny is this:
He only goes to the bathroom in his cage, which is fine. Not exactly confined to one corner, but he doesn't go when he's out hopping around, chasing my cats. :evil: They're so funny!
Here's the other question I now have...I use shavings, short of cleaning out the ENTIRE box and putting new shavings in, how the heck do you clean out the cage?! It's a silly question, I know, but I'm kind of lost. I just use a scoop right now and kind of get what I can find. Is this the best way?
Also, what ARE pellets? I now notice the difference between pellets and poop, but actually are they?

Thanks again!

November 16th, 2004, 08:59 PM
I always cleaned out the ENTIRE box every few days. I was fortunate in the sense that my father, a retired engineer, has taken up woodworking as a hobby. So I had access to huge bags of leftover wood chips. But in a pinch, you could take out the offensive stuff. Bunnies are like cats (or is it vice cersa, lol). They like to be clean and will balk if their living conditions are less than clean.

I usually think of pellets as the green coloured food that you purchase to feed the bunny - though mine developed quite a repotoire of favourite foods - carrots, celery, yogurt, banana. He also loved junk food - potato chips and Lucky Charms. He knew the sound of the cereal box and would come running and beg for them, sigh!! Given how old he lived, the fact I gave them to him on occasion probably did not hurt him. But the pellets provide the proper nutrients. Bunnies should always have fresh pellets in a dish and water available.

Good lcuk! What have you named your bunny?

November 21st, 2004, 12:56 PM
Acutally, he WAS remaining unnamed until my fiancee got home, then he escaped his cage and the area I had blocked off for him, which I am positive that my cats helped him out! :rolleyes: But anyway, I've named him "Houdini" now :) He's getting along really, really well with my two cats, the mommy cat kinda curls up with him. I've given up trying to contain him to a room, let a lone a cage. I was worried about where he'd do his bathroom business...turns out he does it in the cat's litter box! I'm completely baffled, but happy none the less.
Which brings me to my question, is this ok? Is this even normal? I never trained him or showed him where the kitty's litter was! Is it unhealthy in any way?
I really do think I have crazy cat thinks he's a dog, the other cat has adopted a rabbit as her own...the bunny uses cat litter!

November 21st, 2004, 01:31 PM
It's probbaly OK forthe bunny to use the cat's litter but every animal should have his own litter box so maybe you can try to encourage him to us ehis at some point. :)

He sounds fine!

louie's mum
November 21st, 2004, 07:52 PM
will all cats get along with bunnies or do some of them try to capture (and maime) them?
i saw video on the news the other day ... a rottie with a cat riding on his back with a leash on with a live little mouse riding on the cat! it was so bizarre looking and so darned cute. :D the 3 muskateers.
ur houdini sounds wonderful.
all ur babies do. ;-)

November 22nd, 2004, 07:17 AM
That is so cool and cute! I can't believe your cat has adopted the rabbit aaw! :p When my mum got her bunnies she was worried about the cats attacking them but it has gone the other way! If the cats go near the rabbits the rabbits charge at them and start making this hilarious grunting noise, the cats are terrified! Now the cats have the sense to stay out of the way when the buns are in the house. :D

November 22nd, 2004, 07:54 AM
My bunny was like that with a family beagle. HE was the one who chased the beagle, it was TOO funny, lol