By it's nature rabbits Choose one or more places (usually the corners of the cage) to use the toilet. We offer some tips for teaching rabbits to use the toilet only in specific places, such as a box (tray) for stool.
- Is there a difference in the training of young and adult rabbits?
Adult rabbits are easier to learn than young (especially newborns).
- Does castration / sterilization affect rabbit training?
Yes! This is the most important factor. When the rabbit turns 4-6 months old, his hormones are activated and he begins to mark his territory. After castration / sterilization, the rabbit will most likely go to the toilet in a stool box.
- What types of boxes should I use?
It mainly depends on the habits of your rabbit. When choosing a stool box, keep in mind:
- most rabbits spend a lot of time in stool boxes,
- rabbits always gnaw part of their litter (coprophagy),
- urine of rabbits smells very strong.
We would recommend using an organic filler made from alfalfa, citrus or paper.
Soft wood, especially pine or cedar shavings, cannot be used as filler, as they lead to liver diseases in rabbits. It is best to place a handful of hay in a box, or use hay as a filler. But in this case, you must change the hay every day, otherwise the rabbit will eat it.
- Pros and Cons of various types of fillers
- earth - not suitable as a filler, because rabbits love to dig the ground, raising dust, which can lead to pneumonia,
- garbage - not suitable as a filler, because this leads to serious health problems, up to the death of a rabbit,
- pine or cedar sawdust (shavings) - not suitable as a filler, because their pairs cause liver damage,
- grain - not suitable as a filler, because it does not absorb moisture and odors,
- alfalfa-based oat grain - suitable as a filler, has a pleasant aroma, but if the rabbit eats it too much, it leads to bloating,
- newspapers - suitable as a filler, but do not absorb the smell,
- citrus-based fillers - suitable as a filler, do not pose any danger, but in some countries of the world it is difficult to buy, expensive
- peat moss - suitable as a filler,
- recycled paper products - suitable as a filler, well absorb odor and moisture, safe for a rabbit, even if he swallows them,
- granules from sawdust - suitable as a filler, inexpensive, well absorb moisture. Made of soft wood, not toxic, because all harmful resins have been removed from them. The composition helps control the growth of bacteria and the spread of odors,
- filler from aspen bark - suitable as a filler, safe, well absorbs odors.
- Cleaning the stool box
Clean the bowel box as often as possible, this will encourage the rabbit to go to the toilet in the box. Rinse the box with white vinegar or soda.
Compiled by Guryev S.Yu., copyright holder: portal Zooclub
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The need for a separate toilet for rabbits
Despite the fact that rabbits live in a cage, they still need a separate tray, since otherwise the filler (shavings, sawdust, etc.) will smell unpleasant and will have to be changed often. It will be uncomfortable for the animal to be in the mud, and a host of time will be spent on cleaning. However, if you train a rabbit to empty in one place, then the problem will be solved.
Using the wire bottom of the cage with the pallet is unacceptable, because if there is no coating on the bottom, the animal may injure the paw (and inflammation will begin).
Which toilet is better?
For decorative rabbits, a corner tray is preferable, since it is easy to install in a fairly small cage (it is important not to choose a toilet too small, the rabbit should fit in it). For the rest of the breeds, any sufficiently deep container is suitable as a tray, into which the rabbit will conveniently climb. Even a cat tray will do.
Important! It is often difficult for older animals to find a place to defecate, so it is worthwhile to install several containers with low sides to facilitate their access to the toilet.
The special rabbit toilet has a high back wall (to prevent litter from spreading in all directions while the rabbit digs into the tank), the front wall is quite low (to make it easier for the animal to get inside).
Takes up little space. Fits well in any living conditions. The back wall is higher than the front, which allows the litter that spreads the rabbit to remain in place.
However, this capacity also has disadvantages:
Small capacity (maximum for one animal)
There is no way to put hay in the tray (rabbits often eat in the process of coping)
Fast fill rate (need to be cleaned more often)
Rectangular plastic container
Many variations (you can choose an affordable price and volume). It is convenient for a rabbit. There is a place for hay.
Need to be cleaned frequently
Part of the filler with droppings may spill over the edges of the tray
Tray with walls, ceiling and a small entry hole.
Takes up little space, no waste spills out of it. Of the shortcomings - it may be difficult to wash the tray.
Separate hay tray
Convenient to use. The best option. There are practically no drawbacks (do not forget to choose a tray with high enough walls or with an elongated side wall so that the waste does not fall out).
A separate container for hay allows you to keep the grass dry (in the tray, the hay becomes wet and smells unpleasant).
How to make a toilet for rabbits yourself
You can make a tray yourself, for this you just need to take a box or a box, adjust its height to the height of your pet, clean and process the cut points (so that the animal does not hurt), select a filler and install a toilet in the cage.
Make sure the tray is large and deep (and your rabbit has plenty of space for the toilet).
It is not recommended to take a cardboard box, as it can get wet, and rabbits will quickly bite its walls.
How to choose a filler?
You must choose a safe filler based on paper, unprocessed aspen sawdust, special wood pellets, oat grain based on alfalfa. Cat litter is not suitable for these purposes.
Important! You can lay a newspaper or film under the filler, then the tray will be cleaned faster. Before using the newspaper, it is important to make sure that the ink does not leave stains on the rabbit's hair, as such traces can be toxic.
Pressed pallets are a good option: they are non-toxic, convenient to use, if the rabbit eats them, they will also not do any harm. Another suitable type of filler is citrus based.
- Use sawdust containing oils (pine, cedar, etc.) as filler, since fumes can irritate the rabbit's lungs.
- Fill the tray with sand (this sedimentary rock also affects the lungs of the animal).
- Covering the tray with torn newspapers - such a mass will quickly get wet and become unusable.
- Use clay as a filler: a rabbit can start to eat it and clog its intestines. The clay filler is very dusty and can cause pneumonia in the rabbit.
- The earth is also not suitable as a filler, as animals love to dig the earth, which can cause a lot of dust.
- Take unprocessed sawdust as a basis - they absorb moisture much worse, and dust from them will prevent your pet from breathing freely.
- Do not use fillers made from corn, as the rabbit will prefer to eat them and quickly gain weight.
- Deodorizing crystals can be toxic.
- Clumping fillers accumulate inside the digestive and respiratory tracts of the rabbit, cause problems and lead to the death of the animal.
Important! Rabbits, unlike cats, do not bury their waste, so there is no need to pour a thick layer of filler.
- To eliminate the smell and disinfection of space, it is recommended to use white or apple vinegar diluted in water.
- The tray needs to be cleaned often so that the animal quickly gets used to a new place. Every day, it is required to clean the used areas of the filler, and general cleaning should be done at least once a week.
- Strong chemicals are not suitable for cleaning, as they have a pungent odor that will be unpleasant to the animal. The soap is also unsuitable for use. The way out is to use a product containing chlorine, you can also use soda and mustard for washing.
- You can also use special cleaners that are harmless to small rodents - they are sold at the pet store.
How to accustom your pet to a tray
- The place for the tray should be chosen in accordance with the wishes of the pet, since rabbits usually instinctively choose a place for the toilet: just look where the rabbit leaves the most stool in the cage.
- Near the tray you need to put a sennik (these animals like to chew hay while going to the toilet).
- The cage should be about 5 times the size of the rabbit. It is necessary to arrange the tray inside so that it is opposite the feeding trough, drinking bowl and shelter, then the animal in a confined space will be forced to go into the tray so as not to pollute everything around.
- If you put a few peas of rabbit droppings in the tray, then its smell will signal to the animal that this place is suitable for the toilet.
- Adults learn faster than small ones, but at any age the animal can be accustomed to the tray.
- Be patient: first you will have to transfer the rabbit droppings to the tray several times, but gradually the animal will understand what is required of it.
- A castrated or sterilized individual is much easier to teach to go to the toilet in one place, as rabbits tend to mark their territory (leaving marks and excrement throughout the house), and after surgery this craving is reduced. They begin to mark their territory from about three to four months, so if your rabbit suddenly began to defecate in the wrong places, it may be that he has begun a transitional age and will soon reach a mature state.
- At first, do not let the rabbit out for a long time, but if you see what the animal wants in the toilet (the first sign is raising the tail), then carefully take and transfer the rabbit to the tray. This procedure must be repeated several times until the rabbit remembers that the toilet is in a cage. Later, you can let the animal walk for a longer time.
- It is better to arrange walks for a rabbit before, and not after a meal.
- You should not use the same filler for the cage and the tray, because the rabbit must learn to clearly distinguish between the house and the toilet.
- Encourage the animal every time he goes into the tray (for example, a piece of fruit or vegetable).
- Never scold the animal, because it will not bring any benefit.
Sometimes rabbits leave excrement near the cage to show that it is their territory. To train an animal, it is necessary to convince him that the cage is only his personal territory.
- You should not take the rabbit out of the cage on your own, let it come in and go out.
- It’s best not to clean the cage while the rabbit is inside.
- Do not remove large wet peas of litter from semi-digested food from the tray - their rabbits eat, because it is important for the digestion of the animal. Rabbits usually do this in the morning.
- The tray must be firmly fixed in one place so that the rabbit mg comes in and out freely.
- When the rabbit is just learning to go to the toilet in a new place, you should not wash the tray often, as the familiar smell will rather lead the animal to the right place. It is important that the animal can recognize the tray as its personal toilet area.
- If the rabbit, despite looking at the tray, continues to stubbornly defecate in other places, you should observe it: as a rule, rodents choose several places for the toilet. Then it only remains to do a redevelopment, placing several trays where the animal usually does its job. Gradually, the animal will understand why a tray is needed.
- Sterilization is an important part of preparing a rabbit; if your rabbit is not neutered, you are unlikely to achieve perfect results in training for the tray.
- Rabbit feces can be used as fertilizer.
- To remove an unpleasant odor and remove a stain from an unauthorized toilet will help soda or white vinegar.
- In addition to vinegar, you can use potassium permanganate (half a teaspoon per glass of water) or peroxide (mixing it with soda and detergent). For light surfaces, it is better to choose the second method, since potassium permanganate can leave traces.
- Do not remove urine from upholstered furniture or carpets with a wet rag (then the liquid will leak even more inside and it will be difficult to remove the smell). Take a slightly damp cloth or napkin for these purposes.
- If the rabbit leaves droplets of feces throughout the cage, you need to show it to the vet. Perhaps the cause is a bladder infection. The doctor will prescribe a special antibiotic for the animal. If your pet turns out to be completely healthy, then the reason may be in stress: perhaps he was frightened by other pets, new people, etc. (and he just marks the territory).
- Males can be sterilized at 12-18 weeks, females at about 6 months. After the operation, everything will gradually return to normal and the animals will stop tagging everything around (usually, hormone restructuring takes several weeks).
- If the rabbit has relieved itself outside the cage, then you can soak up the rest of the urine with a napkin or cloth and put it all in the tray. A familiar smell will help the pet navigate in the future.
- Castrated rabbits living together usually share a tray, but if there is a problem, just put another container with a filler. Animals that have just begun to live together must first get used to each other: as soon as they spend enough time together, the difficulties with mutual understanding will disappear.
- If several rabbits live in neighboring cages, even if they are neutered, they can continue to mark territory. Just put them a few long containers with filler along the border, and then it will be more convenient for you to clean the cage.
So, everything is provided, the rabbit is sterilized, the tray is installed, the training is done, but for some reason the result is still far from expectations. Here are some tips to help you deal with your problems.
What to do if a rabbit walks by?
First, it’s important to ensure that the bottom of the cell is protected from leaks. This problem is easily solved with a special pallet. Next, you need to adjust the toilet itself: is it possible that the walls at the tray are too low or there is too much filler?
If the rabbit still partially misses, then a rubber mat can be placed near the tray - this will greatly simplify cleaning.
What to do if a rabbit is spoiling a sofa?
Even a sterilized individual can continue to leave marks on upholstered furniture, since such places always smell like a person, so rabbits thus mark their borders (perhaps a strong human smell acts on them as a trigger).
You can place an additional tray on the couch and gradually move it, moving the toilet to a more suitable place.
If this does not work, then restricting access will be the only right decision. It is very difficult to teach a rabbit not to jump on the sofa, if he is already used to it, therefore a physical barrier may be necessary. If it is not possible to install a fence, place something above the sofa to protect it, such as a plastic cover. Gradually, the animal will break the habit of climbing on furniture and marking the territory.
Watch the video on teaching the rabbit to the tray:
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