Teaching Rabbits Good Rest Room Manners
It’s not difficult to house-train a rabbit, but it takes a little time and dedication. It’s best to start with a young rabbit that is between 6 and 13 weeks old, as this age group adjusts to indoor living easier than older rabbits.
Put the new rabbit in its cage for 24 hours. Do not disturb or handle. Observe in which corner the rabbit urinates. Once a rabbit has scented out one spot to use as its toilet, it will always use the same spot.
Put your litter box (a cat litter box will do) over the toilet corner. Once you are sure the rabbit is using the box, you may start handling your new pet. Start by removing the bunny for 10-15 minutes several times a day. The rabbit, if treated gently, will soon enjoy its trips outside its cage.
You may then leave the rabbit out of its cage for longer periods of time, but watch carefully and return it to its cage if it shows signs of lifting its tail to urinate. If you spot this, spray the rabbit with a water bottle and return it to its cage. By the end of the third week, you should be able to leave the door of its cage open when you are home.
If “accidents” occur and your rabbit does not use the box immediately, place a small piece of wood that has been soaked in a small amount of rabbit urine in the litter box and it will get the idea very quickly. Spraying apple bitters on the spot will prevent the rabbit from returning. NEVER hit your rabbit. This will only make it mean and aggressive.
If you move the litter box, your rabbit may return to the litter box’s former location to eliminate, even though the box is no longer there. It may be necessary to again place a piece of urine soaked wood in the box to get the rabbit to use the box in a new location.
The bunny may still leave small fecal droppings here and there. Whisk them up with your dustpan and broom. Do not leave droppings on the floor. This will only encourage the bunny to keep using the same area for a toilet.
Un-neutered males and un-spayed females may “mark” their territory. Spaying or neutering your rabbit will help to improve litter box habits.