Last Post by Gravehearted at 9/18/2006 11:19 AM (11 Replies)
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User is Offline stephunni
2 posts Send Private Message
9/01/2006 1:12 PM
Hi people, im new to this site.

My bunny is called Elwood, I bought him 7 weeks ago and he is now about 12-13 weeks old. he is a house bunny, but i am having a lot of problems trying to litter training him. i have read lots about litter training, but most say to catch him in the act then herd him into the tray,but i cant tell when he is about to go, he poo's whilst running, laying or whenever, he doesnt lift his tail to go either, so no chance of catching him in the act.
i have placed hay and treats in the tray, and give him praise and treats when he does go in.but he tends to just go in,have something to eat, and still poo on the carpet.
he also has a tendency to jump onto our black leather sofa back up into the grooves on the sofa and go (wee and poo!).

sorry this is such a long first post!

thanks in advance


User is Offline Gravehearted
Campbell, CA
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9/04/2006 11:57 AM
welcome stephunni!!

litter training young bunnies can be really challenging! Bunnies that haven't been neutered yet often have a tough time litter training. Once he's netuered it likely will get a lot easier, but he's still too young for that. Litter training takes time and work.

there's a helpful section in the binky bunny info about litter training, that I'm not sure if you've read. Lots of great tips and suggestions are included:

It sounds like you're doing the right thing with your careful watching Elwood and encouraging him with treats and praise.

- Limit the amount of space that is his territory (aka running space). By decreasing his territory it will help - once he really has of it hang of it, you can slowlyincrease his play space. If he won't stop going on the couch, then make it a no-bunny zone.

- Add more litter boxes to his territory / cage! The more the better!

- If he seems to be going in one area of his cage or the house - add a litterbox there or move one to that space.

What kind of litter are you using? Many stores sell pine shavings and other kinds which aren't bunny safe.

also there's some help tips in this article:

let us know how it's going!! good luck :-)
~ bunny mom to to HRH Hareiette, Viktor the crazy Krum and Pandora, prima binky ballerina ~ Save a life, Adopt!

User is Offline Gina Won
110 posts Send Private Message
9/04/2006 5:07 PM
Hi! Welcome, welcome =)
Perhaps a part of the trouble is that he is still a baby... I've heard that once rabbits become a bit older they are easier to litter train, though it's probably never too early to start! I know it can be frustrating but keep at it. My bun Seamus was two years old when I adopted him and had absolutely no litter box habits.... however after about 4 weeks of work he finally became trained. What really made things easier for me was lining his cage with a towel on the bottom (to soak up pee) and then lining the top with seagrass mats. This way, every time he pooped all over his cage I could easily pick up the seagrass mat and sweep the loose poops into his litterbox. Once he saw that all of his droppings were being put in his box he eventually realized that that's where they're supposed to go.

User is Offline ea hurse
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9/06/2006 7:36 AM
hi stephunni and elwood! i'm in the same boat with the litter training. it doesnt matter where the litter trays are, they will either be moved out the way in order to toilet where they once were, or toileting will be done next to them. Of course the trays are sometimes used but i happen to think this is purely by accident not design! My doe, Blue, who i recently adopted from a rescue, was not trained when i got her and seems to view the litter tray as a fab place to lounge and if she happens to go when in it thats fine but she often gets out of it to go and then gets back in! Lollo, the buck, has total distain for the trays and like yours will only go in to pinch the food then runs back out. I have tried a lot of things but i am just going to keep on trying until it works- its such a shame because i would trust Blue (not Lollo though!) to have free run of the living room if she only just learnt to use the potty!

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Bay Area
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9/06/2006 7:46 PM

Welcome Stephunni!   You've gotten some great advice so far. 

THANKS Gravehearted, Ligeia and Loopy-Lop!    We have great members here!

Confining his running space is a good idea, and though putting several boxes in a bunnies space didn't work for Loopy-lop, doesn't mean it won't work for your bunny.  It may, and it may not.   (be sure to put poo and pieces of pee soaked paper towel in the boxes so it helps him get the idea)

The thing about bunnies is they really do have different personalities, and though there are some basics that usually work, it is not abnormal for it NOT to work for some bunnies.    So we just scratch our heads, ask some questions, figure out what's going on in the bunny's  head, like if he's bossy, territorial, passive etc,  as each of those can contribute to different kinds of habits.

I have a a few  questions.  

Is Elwood leaving trails of poo?  Or piles of poo?  or both?

When he pees, does he leave a large puddle or just a little spot?

How much freedom does he have right now?   How is he in his space/cage/pen?

I bet his age is huge factor right now.  He is just reaching sexual maturity and the hormones that drive his territorial instincts are surging.  So he will have a tendency to mark like a fence around the place as well as places that hold you and your family's  scent - like furniture or linens.

He may be just trying to fit in with the rest of herd or he may be trying to say he is dominant.  It's hard to tell since I don't know what your bunny is like.  But you will need to be sure to let him know you are the "top" bun.    Do not allow him on the couch at all right now.    The moment he jumps on, you shoosh him off.      You will have to do this over and over...and over....and!  But soon he should understand he's not allowed on. (until much later when he's got his litterbox habits down)

If you are planning to get him neutered, then these marking habits will get better, but it is still a good idea to establish desired habits.


User is Offline BB
San Francisco Bay Area
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9/06/2006 8:01 PM

Hey Loopy-lop.   So let's see if I can help you out at all. 

So we know that putting a bunch of litterboxes in their area doesn't help at all.  So that's out!

Let me first ask a couple of questions. Nothing is a wrong or right answer.  Just trying to dissect this a little to help find a solution

Have Lollo's habits improved at all? or have they gotten worse when Blue came in?

How do they get along right now?  Are they best friends fully bonded or do they still need to be watched? (sorry if you spoke about this in another post, I'm making my rounds)

What kind of litter to do you use?  Do you put any of their pee and/or poo in the boxes?

What do you clean the litterboxes with?  How often do you clean their litterboxes?

How much time do they have to for freedom? 

User is Offline bugsy
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9/13/2006 7:13 AM


Hows it been going with litter training, i have just posted a query and realised that my question was virtually the same as yours.  In my old house Bugsy (my lop earred dwarf) started pooing and weeing on the sofa but now i have moved and he now lives in the bedroom and thinks it is great doing his business on my bed!!  not nice, he does use his litter tray but  as he is a younster he thinks he can get away with it.  If you have any tips you think might help it would be great as i don't fancy leaving him in his hutch all day while i go to work.   take care sam

User is Offline ea hurse
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9/13/2006 11:59 AM
OK, short version, the other one i spent an hour (honest) typing has disappeared.....

Lollo and Blue not yet bonded, they have only met through the cage but seem to like each other and no territorial stuff in response, other than Lollo's initial spraying for which he is now living back outside in his dutch-bungalow and Blue is inside. i do think that was because his hormones were still rampant - they have SO very much calmed down now! i'm starting the proper bonding process this weekend.

Blue now puts up with her multiple litter trays mainly because i have wedged them so she cant move them but when out in the living room toilets wherever she likes and if i try to catch her in the act - literally - she does a running wee.
she has wood shavings (the safe ones), i've tried lots (recycled paper cat-litter, shredded paper etc) but everything else gets shovelled/ thrown out the trays.

Lollo's habits havent really changed though he isnt rearranging his tray now. he has just straw and hay in his trays, again process of elimination- he really hates wood shavings even to sit on. however it is still 50% hit/miss, he still likes to go just next to the tray a lot- it doesnt matter where i move the tray to. He always goes in his bedding compartment, never in the yard or house (other than the spraying incidents). so other than filling it up with litter trays i'm a bit stumped - if everything is a litter tray how will he know the difference??!

i do put wee/poo back in the boxes, seems to have worked well for Chino! Despite her meager age she is pretty good with the wee in the box (not the poo though). for the trays i use disinfectant wipes then a clean damp cloth then a piece of kitchen towel to dry the trays.

they all get between 2 1/2 hours on a bad day (if i work late) to up to 4 or 5 hours on a good day, sometimes longer on a weekend.

any help and suggestions would be SO great, i'd love for them to eventually be all together inside- toiletting permitting!

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Bay Area
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9/15/2006 9:38 PM

Loopy-Lop - How frustrating to have your information disappear!!  I have had that happen to me on other sites!  Sometimes it happens if there is a time out set-up for security purposes, (so I usually copy and paste to word to keep it)  but BinkyBunny's timeout is set-up longer than an hour because I know in forums, people can spend much longer typing up a message. 
So, can you describe to me what happened?  When you went to post did it disappear or ??

So when you say they get 2.5. hours on a bad day and more on a good day, do you mean time out?

I think that you may need to limit the freedom. And during training, you have to be diligent about following watching and catching them in the act.    Even if a bunny "pees" on the run, he is doing so because you are basically saying no right in the middle of it.  So that will just happen sometimes during training.  

When you catch a bunny in the act, what do you exactly - I mean where does the bunny run to? And do you insist the bunny be herded back to the litterbox or pen?

The amount of freedom is increased as litterbox habits improve. 

IF the space they have during freedom is too large you may need to consider decreasing it somehow - closing doors, fence off certain areas, etc.   And of course, my mantra  -  x-pens are a great way to give more space while confining.  They can also help you slowly increase the running area.

Regarding all the trays in one place -  Is your bunny starting to use one or two more than the others?  If so, you can begin to take out the trays that are used less.

Also, how long has it been so far since you have been doing the multiple boxes?

User is Offline redestarrosa
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9/17/2006 5:34 AM
i got multiple boxes they go in the boxes, but still leaving a trail of poo, at times small pile of poo, i think i started out with too much freedom for them... as for peeing, it is hard to tell, mainly cause my apt have ratty old carpets, but fortunally they pee mainly in the litterboxes, except for in the kitchen, for some reason they love to pee in the kitchen i guess i need to get another box and put it in that one area or better yet, keep them out of the kitchen... honeybun, the alpha rabbit, he recently started to pee on my bed a couple of times, i never get to catch him in the act ... just after the fact... but fortunally it was small pee...

what odor killing spray is safe with rabbits and other animals?? i don't want to use freebeez cause i heard about some animals dies from the spray... i ususally use vingar and water spray, but i think i need more than that tho


User is Offline BB
San Francisco Bay Area
Forum Leader
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9/18/2006 1:29 AM

Out of curiosity, what type of litter do you use?  (you might have already mentioned it, if so just remind me)

Some litter is better than others in covering smell.  I also add mint and rosemary to the litterbox.  It smells nice and it's a healthy treat.

I really don't need to cover smell, but I usually have some scented candles, and those little pots where you put scented wax in the top, and a candle below, which melts the scented candle and it smells nice without being too strong.

You could also try potpourri - just make sure the rabbits can't get to it.

User is Offline Gravehearted
Campbell, CA
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9/18/2006 11:19 AM
Wow - Binky - that's all stuff I've never thought of!

I used to put a little baking soda at the bottom of the litterbox to help with odor. Someone on livejournal was just singing the praises of the kaytee litter that's similar to carefresh. She was saying it's much better at covering odors, but I haven't tried it myself.
~ bunny mom to to HRH Hareiette, Viktor the crazy Krum and Pandora, prima binky ballerina ~ Save a life, Adopt!