Just like us humans, our bunnies need a place to potty! What lots of people don’t know is that bunnies are easily litter box trained! Whether you are a litter box pro or you are using a litter box for your bunnies for the first time, here are some tips and tricks just for you and more importantly, your bunny!
The first thing to do when setting up a litter box is to choose the litter box itself.
The best and most common kind of litter box is something low to the ground with low enough sides that your bunny can jump in and out. A small rectangular cat litter box is perfect. You can also use a plain rectangular plastic storage box. If you have an older bun, there are specific “senior or orthopedic” litter boxes. These have a low side opening so your bunny can walk in and out of it.
Now that you have your litter box, what should you line it with?
Newspaper is the most commonly used to line a litter tray with and one what we would recommend. Place this on the bottom of the litter box to make clean-up a breeze!
Next, let’s add some hay!
Hay is the most important food for our bunnies eat, and the good news is they like to munch away on hay while they potty. Fill up your litter box with lots and lots of hay. Always cover the newspaper to avoid your bunny’s temptation to tear it to bits.
If you know which area your bunny goes to the toilet the most in the tray then you can use some bunny-safe litter or stuffing in this area to help absorb the urine and odour. Place on top of the newspaper and cover with lots of hay. We always say ‘The more hay… the merrier’.
It is important to top up the hay once, twice, or even a few times a day. It depends if you have a super eater or… a super pooper. It’s ideal to top up the hay in your bunny’s litter box first thing in the morning and before you go to sleep.
This photo shows the perfect way to set up your rabbit’s litter tray. Many people avoid hay as they think it will make a lot of mess. It actually makes very little mess and your rabbits will really appreciate having lots of hay in their litter trays.
If you want to take a decorative approach to the litter box set up… because let’s be honest, sometimes it does not fit our aesthetics, or you just want to hide it in a convenient place, try using a litter box hide-a-way. These can be found online, just search for a “litter box enclosure”. You can spruce it up by adding hanging toys and hay racks to encourage more hay eating!
How often should you clean your litter box and where do you put the dirty hay?
It is important to keep your bunny’s litter tray as fresh as you can. We always say if you wouldn’t sit in it, then don’t expect your bunnies to. If it looks soiled, just go ahead and clean it. It takes minutes to clean. To clean the tray itself, have a spray bottle filled with half white vinegar and half water, give it a spray and let it sit for a bit, then wipe it with a paper towel and add your new liner and hay!
Other tips and tricks!
- Add in a hay rack for your bunny to graze while doing their business. You can attach this inside your “litter box enclosure” or just sit it right next to the litter tray.
- If your bunny tends to make a mess, add a rug under the litter box for easy cleanup. It’s nice to have a few so you can frequently change them out.
- If your bunny pees over the side of the box, there are some with a higher side to help them with their aim!
- Try to position your bunny’s litter box in a corner somewhere. We know bunnies are prey animals, so being in a corner allows them to relax and feel safer while doing their business. Never use litter boxes with wire floor panels.
Written by Nikki M. Fur mom to Fiona the Holland Lop.