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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > HOUSE RABBIT Q & A > Litterbox Question
Last Post by Gravehearted at 12/27/2006 11:19 AM (18 Replies)
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User is Offline Bunnies4ever
Hercules, California
368 posts Send Private Message
12/15/2006 11:53 AM

Hello Again,

I am currently fostering a bunny for HRS that was recently spayed after having her first litter. Since I already have 5 bunnies, I said "what the heck, what's one more?"   I'm not sure how old she is, but she's one of the friendliest bunnies I've fostered, but there is one problem.  She doesn't use her litterbox to go to the bathroom.  She came with a huge cage, litterbox, etc.  So, to try to get her to use her litterbox, and make the connection, I placed another smaller litterbox in the spot where she would potty.  To my amazement, when I arrived home that evening, she had moved the smaller litterbox into the larger litterbox!  I was speechless!

Any suggestions?  I managed to litter train my other bunnies using the same technique, but this one has me stumped!  Due to her recent surgery and potty problem, she's doesn't get too much time out of her cage.

Thanks.

Foster Mom to Jasmine

Proud Mom to Kahlua, Chloe, Audrey, Charlotte and Chandler (yes, 6 bunnies and I couldn't be happier!)


User is Offline Emma
4 posts Send Private Message
12/16/2006 2:45 AM

Hi all you bunny people.

Just joined this site, and hopefully some of you more experienced bunny boffs can help me out with my new bun too. Im posting in this forum coz it relates to my litter training problems too (hope the poster of this thread doesnt mind me butting in with my probs too)

Anyway, had my bun for about 1 month, he's about 2 years old, been done and is a rescue, with a lot of patience i finally got him back to his good letter trained ways and slowly gave him more run time in the lounge but, we seem to have gone back to square one in the last week as he wont go back to his tray in the kitchen to use if im in there cooking as he's frightened of all the noise so wont venture in, therefore he did his wee in the lounge and now ive got him back in a confined space and he's still managing to get out his box in this tiny area and pee over the edge of the newspaper ive put down and puts poos everywhere... everywhere but his litter box.

I seem to be permanantly cleaning up pee at the moment... HELP! my flat is feeling like a rabbit hutch only at the moment.

Now ive tried alsorts of advice from friends, but so far nothing has worked that well and i really need to get this problem under control as i cant let him out for any exercise at the moment and i feel really mean.

So anyone with any tips?

Emma.


User is Offline hooty22
Pittsburgh
606 posts Send Private Message
12/16/2006 6:17 AM
Try to train him to go in a different area if he's afraid of the kitchen. You could thinking about moving him into the lounge room and start at square one with the training.

User is Offline Lucy
Chicago, IL
379 posts Send Private Message
12/18/2006 5:49 AM
Hi!
I'm a little confused to your set up... So you have two litter boxes for her- a larger one and a smaller one. You want her to use the smaller one and you placed it in the area that she uses- and put the larger one next to it?

This is what I would do- and what I did. Fujoe came with a large litter box too- and moving him to another habitat I wanted to have a smaller litter box. He would go in the back two corners of his large litter box. So what I did was buy two smaller litter boxes- a square one and a triangular one- and placed them in the areas that he pooped with litter in them, and in the surrounding areas of the large litter box- so that way he would think it was all one. He HATED the triangular one. He would pick it up and through it- move it totally out of his area. But he used the square one. So I figured he just didn't like the triangular one for whatever reason- and after about a week removed the large litter box and left the smaller square one. He's been great ever since.

So, maybe a different shape one? that sounds so odd...but the triangular ones are the corner boxes- so it's easier for your bunny to scoot all the way back. also, maybe try to secure it to the edge of the pen. Maybe if she can't move it, she'll go in it.

hope that helped- but it seems like you have lots of bunny experence! good luck and let us know

User is Offline Bunnies4ever
Hercules, California
368 posts Send Private Message
12/18/2006 10:49 AM
Thanks for the advice. Yes, I put one very small box across from her larger one. She has peeing in the opposite corner of her cage. I think she understands now. She hasn't peed in her cage for about two days (knock wood). So far, so good.

Thanks again.

User is Offline dmh426
Syracuse, New York
435 posts Send Private Message
12/18/2006 3:05 PM
Let the bunny pick where the bathroom will be. Have you found that your bunny is going in the same corner repeatdely? I simply put the litter box there and poof! Sophie was littertrained.

User is Offline Gravehearted
Campbell, CA
2442 posts Send Private Message
12/18/2006 3:21 PM
bunnies4ever, wow that's one funny bunny! 

i would have done the same thing you did and add an extra litterbox or two.  Since she was recently spayed it could take some time for her litterbox habits to improve.  the other thing is with 5 bunnies that were there before her, she likely is also trying to mark her territory.  Is there a way to clip the litterbox in the spot where she's going a lot?  you may just want to add in another as well (clipped too).  the more the merrier when it comes to litterboxes during litter training.
~ bunny mom to to HRH Hareiette, Viktor the crazy Krum and Pandora, prima binky ballerina ~ Save a life, Adopt!

User is Offline Gravehearted
Campbell, CA
2442 posts Send Private Message
12/18/2006 3:31 PM
hi Emma, welcome to BinkyBunny!!

My advice to you is similar as above - add another litterbox to his house and confine his roaming space until he really gets the hang of it.

Litter training can take a while and a new home means a lot of area to mark, since bunnies tend to be territorial.  When your bunny has down litter training in one area, it's helpful to slowly increase their roaming area - you continue to slowly increase the area as long as he's being good about using the box.

I would also recommend adding  at least one box to the lounge as well, it's a good idea to have a box in ach room your bunny will be in.  If you notice a specific spot that he seems to go in, add a litterbox there.
~ bunny mom to to HRH Hareiette, Viktor the crazy Krum and Pandora, prima binky ballerina ~ Save a life, Adopt!

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
Forum Leader
8674 posts Send Private Message
12/19/2006 9:13 PM
Posted By Emma on 12/16/2006 5:45 AM

Anyway, had my bun for about 1 month, he's about 2 years old, been done and is a rescue, with a lot of patience i finally got him back to his good letter trained ways and slowly gave him more run time in the lounge but, we seem to have gone back to square one in the last week as he wont go back to his tray in the kitchen to use if im in there cooking as he's frightened of all the noise so wont venture in, therefore he did his wee in the lounge and now ive got him back in a confined space and he's still managing to get out his box in this tiny area and pee over the edge of the newspaper ive put down and puts poos everywhere... everywhere but his litter box.

So anyone with any tips?

Emma.


WELCOME EMMA!   You've gotten some great advice.  You do want to be sure he isn't suffering from a bladder problem.  Sometimes rabbits lose habits due to health issues.  So if you have any concerns regarding that, you should have him seen by a vet.

If it's not medical then what may be happening is that his litterbox has been associated with something negative.  Scary noises etc.  He doesn't have to be even in the box during a startling noise, but during his "intention" to go in the box could be interrupted by a scary or startling noise (like what may have been goiing on in the kitchen).   So now, even if there isn't a noise, his negative association could have sunk in regardless.

So now you may need to change things.   Like another member said, put the box where he is more likely to go (for now). Once his habits have improved, you can slowly inch the box in the lounge to a more preferred place.

 Add a treat in the box (be sure it's where he has to actually get inside the box)  If your bunny likes mint, rosemary, then that is healthier than treats, and you can keep larger quantities in the box.

Keep us updated

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
Forum Leader
8674 posts Send Private Message
12/19/2006 9:27 PM
Posted By bunnies4ever on 12/15/2006 2:53 PM

Hello Again,

I am currently fostering a bunny for HRS that was recently spayed after having her first litter. Since I already have 5 bunnies, I said "what the heck, what's one more?"   I'm not sure how old she is, but she's one of the friendliest bunnies I've fostered, but there is one problem.  She doesn't use her litterbox to go to the bathroom.  She came with a huge cage, litterbox, etc.  So, to try to get her to use her litterbox, and make the connection, I placed another smaller litterbox in the spot where she would potty.  To my amazement, when I arrived home that evening, she had moved the smaller litterbox into the larger litterbox!  I was speechless!

Any suggestions?  I managed to litter train my other bunnies using the same technique, but this one has me stumped!  Due to her recent surgery and potty problem, she's doesn't get too much time out of her cage.

Thanks.

Foster Mom to Jasmine

Proud Mom to Kahlua, Chloe, Audrey, Charlotte and Chandler (yes, 6 bunnies and I couldn't be happier!)


Bunnies4ever:   You have a wonderful caring heart!  Congratulations on adding a new fuzzy "foster" face to your life.

Could she be still sore, or any other problems due to her recent surgery?  Does she seem to have any problems getting in or out of the box?

Also, how old was she when she had her surgery, and how long ago was her surgery.  The reason I ask is it can take time for her hormones to die down, and IF she was older when she had surgery, then poor litter box habits could have become habitual, which can sometimes be more challenging if it was going on for sometime.

Also, she may not like a particular type of litter.  How are her feet?  Is she  rex?   The reason I ask THAT is because Rexes or Rex mixes can have senstive feet, and are not fond of harder litters.

Keep us updated! 

User is Offline Bunnies4ever
Hercules, California
368 posts Send Private Message
12/21/2006 12:20 PM
I'm not sure how old she is or her breed. Her previous foster mom didn't tell me. She did show me her surgery scar and it's a nasty one, but the vet says it will heal with out any problems. I also thought her box was high also, so I switched to a smaller, lower one, but I don't think she liked it, so I switched back. I thought she was getting better, but when I got home, she peed in both corners of her cage. She lives in one of the Marchiano cages (did I spell that right?), with the plastic floor, so I can't clip her box to it. I'm hoping she'll calm down. She's pretty active, greets me when I come home and eats like a horse. She's not use to veggies, (runny poo's), so I'm slowly introducing them to her diet.

User is Offline osprey
Los Altos, California
2093 posts Send Private Message
12/21/2006 12:48 PM
Do you think she could be marking with her pee because of the other buns?  A few weeks ago we were fostering two girls in separate pens, and the pens were right next to each other.  One of the buns, a little white dwarf named Deanna, was peeing like crazy all over the bottom of her Marchiaro.  When I moved her pen to be on the other side of the room, and not in sight of the other bunny, she became a perfect litter box user.  Might this new girl be trying to mark off territory because she sees or smells another bun?

User is Offline Bunnies4ever
Hercules, California
368 posts Send Private Message
12/21/2006 12:59 PM
She might be marking her territory. It never occurred to me. I remember her former foster mom saying something about her litterbox habits, so I thought she needed training. It's a bunny sanctuary in my home right now. I've got my bonded threesome living in the same room with her. Do you think I should move her? I thought it might be good for her to have some bunny company, even though they aren't next to one another. My threesome is fine...no problems with them. My 2 lionheads live in my office upstairs, so they are clueless.

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
Forum Leader
8674 posts Send Private Message
12/21/2006 9:11 PM
I think Osprey's observations may be right on!  Now that I think about it, this seems to happen at the rescue I volunteer for.   When a bunny comes in and marks his cage with vigor, it seems as if the bunnies around that area follow suit.  It can become the "smelly" area.  It seems as if habits can get worse in the area of the messy bunny.   

I thinky your idea of moving her sure wouldn't hurt. 

Keep us updated!

User is Offline osprey
Los Altos, California
2093 posts Send Private Message
12/22/2006 4:03 AM
Posted By BinkyBunny on 12/22/2006 12:11 AM
When a bunny comes in and marks his cage with vigor, it seems as if the bunnies around that area follow suit.


We call that a "Poopy Party", with everyone trying to outmark everyone else. It gets really bad if there is an unneutered male in the mix, for some reason that seems to really set off the other buns.


User is Offline Bunnies4ever
Hercules, California
368 posts Send Private Message
12/22/2006 6:38 AM
Thanks so much for the advice! I'll see if I can move her cage out of sight of the other buns. This morning her cage was a mess. It took me a while to clean it up. My other buns don't seem to be phased at all by Jasmine. It's business as usual.

I'll kee you posted! I'll try to post a pic so you can see her.

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
Forum Leader
8674 posts Send Private Message
12/24/2006 10:32 AM
That's funny.  When I was trying to bond my bunnies and they were marking more than normal, I called it the poopfest!   Or the Poop Pez Dispensers!   

User is Offline Bunnies4ever
Hercules, California
368 posts Send Private Message
12/26/2006 3:30 PM
The Latest Update! !!

First, I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and second, Jasmine has "excellent" potty habits since I moved her cage. Thanks to everyone for their advice! I moved her cage across the room, separated by boxes, so she couldn't see my other buns and the buns couldn't see her. In a matter of days, she is going in her litterbox without any problems! I'll be taking her to HRS on weekends in the hopes of getting her adopted soon. Her surgery scar has completely healed and she is a happy, healthy bunny!

Thanks again! I'm so grateful for finding BinkyBunny and all my bunny loving friends!


User is Offline Gravehearted
Campbell, CA
2442 posts Send Private Message
12/27/2006 11:19 AM
ooo that's wonderful news and I'm so glad to hear her scar is healing well.

we're happy that you're here too!
~ bunny mom to to HRH Hareiette, Viktor the crazy Krum and Pandora, prima binky ballerina ~ Save a life, Adopt!
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