How to litter train a rabbit in a hutch?
March 19, 2018
Many rabbit owners prefer to keep their rabbits in a hutch. But what if your rabbits in the hutch are not litter trained yet?
Your rabbits consider the hutch as their home yet they scatter poops around the running space or your house when you allow them to run around. However, it is extremely easy to train a rabbit to go back to the hutch every time he/she wants to poop and pee.
As a result, you don’t have to clean poops and urine from every corner of the house, instead just remove the tray beneath the hutch every once in a while and easily clean it.
Continue reading to learn how to litter train a rabbit in a hutch.
What kind of hutch is perfect for litter training?
Having a big cage or hutch is vital to litter train a rabbit. A hutch that can accommodate a food dish, some toys, and a litter box/tray, as well as enough space for the rabbit to stretch and relax.
A rabbits hutch can’t be too cozy because that will be uncomfortable for your rabbit.
Why does this matter?
Because the main purpose for the hutch should be that the rabbit believes it is his/her home. If space is too tight your rabbit will hesitate to consider it as their home.
Also, a hutch with a removable tray is a must. The removable tray is not for the rabbits’ comfort instead it will help you to reduce your hassle as a rabbit guardian. Did you think the removable tray didn’t have a purpose?
Avoid buying hutch which is only accessible from the top. If a hutch is not accessible from the side using a door, then your rabbit won’t be able to come out and get into the hutch as he/she desires.
How can this actually be useful?
Because once your rabbit is litter trained in the hutch, she will always run back to the hutch when she needs to dump her droppings or urinates.
So when you are not around and left your rabbit out in the running space, how would your rabbit enter the hutch if the hutch does not have a door?
But for anyone who already has a hutch which is only accessible from the top, you can make it accessible for your rabbit by constructing stairs and keeping the ceiling open. The stairs will allow your rabbits to climb up and down the hutch as required.
Nonetheless, The best enclosure for training:
A hutch with a door surrounded by a playpen to litter train your rabbits. As in the beginning, you have to keep your rabbits restricted in a smaller zone.
A bigger space will overwhelm your rabbits and your rabbits will lose the location of their hutch and forget where to go to for using the toilet.
A smaller space helps the rabbit to slowly adapt to the new habit of going to the hutch when necessary.
Designing something like this is great, once the rabbit learns to use the hutch as his/her home, you can slowly increase his/her running space by allowing them to play in a bigger world.
How to litter train a rabbit in a hutch?
Litter training a rabbit in a hutch is very similar to litter training a rabbit in the house or room. When you are training your rabbit to use to litter box/tray usually you have to restrict your rabbit in a small space like a room or an enclosure.
Here’s the deal:
In case of litter training your rabbit in the hutch, you have to constraint your rabbit in the cage with a running space.
So that your rabbits learn that the hutch is their go-to place for the toilet. Hutch with removable tray is best for this purpose.
If your rabbits get used to with running to the hutch every time they need to drop their poops and pee, then it’s great because they are already building their habit of using the hutch as their own litter box.
However, if your rabbits do not use the hutch as their litter box and litter around within the running space, it is time you must teach them how to use a litter box/tray.
You have to assist them to build their habit.
How can you do that?
It is very simple! But you have to be very patient during the process. You must observe your rabbits and find when they are about to answer to their call of nature.
The simple indication of this is when you see your rabbit raise their tail slightly. They raise their tail when they are about to relieve their stress.
Once you see them doing that outside of their hutch in the open/running space, quickly yet gently herd them back into their hutch.
As rabbits are habitual animals, by doing this every time when you find them littering, your rabbits will learn to build this new habit of going to the hutch when it is toilet time.
That’s not all:
Whenever you see your rabbits littering within the running space, you should not chase them or lift them to place them back in the hutch. Your rabbits will not like you for doing so.
What is worse?
As rabbits are prey animals and easily gets stressed, lifting them off the ground will make your rabbit feel like a punishment. No one likes punishments and same goes for your rabbits.
Once they think of going to the hutch as a punishment they will not consider the hutch their home anymore.
If they do not believe the hutch is their home, they will always avoid going back in their especially when it is toilet time.
So you must remember this:
You must slowly herd them back in their hutch, and pet them once they are inside of the hutch. Also to remind your rabbits that the hutch is their go-to place, you can leave some of the rabbit poops in the removable tray.
Litter training a rabbit in a hutch using a litter box.
What if you do not want your rabbit to use the hutch as their litter box?
In that case, you have to place litterboxes/trays within the hutch and maybe the running space.
To comprehend your rabbits of the litter boxes/potty you have to apply the same techniques which I have explained in this article here >>> Techniques to potty train your rabbits.
By applying the techniques I have explained above on how to litter train a rabbit in a hutch, you can teach your rabbits some good manners.
As well as in the other article you can learn how to increase the restricted space slowly and do not overwhelm your rabbits. Or else these small animals will forget about their hutch and litter box and will start to litter around your house or wherever they think it’s right.