Do rabbits need bedding?

Discussion in 'Housing and Environment' started by sappyditz, Jun 17, 2013.

  1. Jun 17, 2013 #1

    sappyditz

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    I'm a new owner of two 8 week old female does, and I'm not sure if I should provide bedding for them. I've read on rabbit websites that bunnies love having some sort of bedding to arrange and sleep in, but when I tried lining the cage with hay, they just pooped and peed everywhere and it was really unhygienic, so I stopped that. In other threads, some people suggested putting the hay in a box, but they'll still confuse that with the litter box, right? Is there perhaps some sort of bedding I can use that they won't confuse for a pee-place?
     
  2. Jun 17, 2013 #2

    mochajoe

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    I do not have bedding in my bunnies' cages. What I have done with all my bunnies, I have given them a litter box and that's it. You will find out pretty quickly which corner they prefer and put the litter box there...I know lots of people who put their hay in the litter box...I have never done that before. If the bunnies are housed together, box training is a bit trickier and you may need to get a second litter box. Good luck!
     
  3. Jun 17, 2013 #3

    majorv

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    When I put hay on the floor ours just spread it around and then eat it. None of our rabbits like to lay on hay unless it's cold (they're outside). You could try putting a blanket down and see if they'll lay on that, but until they're better litter trained they'll probably poop/pee just about everywhere, including on the blanket.
     
  4. Jun 17, 2013 #4

    Ilovemyrabbit

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    My Ash doesn't have any bedding. I don't think he would even use it if he had it.He seems to like sleeping on our big cold tiles. Good advice already given! If you do give your bunnies a blanket make sure they don't chew and ingest any of it.
     
  5. Jun 17, 2013 #5

    Azerane

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    If you put the same thing down as in the litter box then they will get confused. So confine hay and litter to the litter box, and if you're going to use bedding, perhaps try a fleece blanket. I have tried using bedding for Bandit, a pile of hay or a towel, but all he always does is push it aside and lie on the clear flat surface instead, silly bunny. :p
     
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  6. Jun 17, 2013 #6

    MatherRabbit

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    I like my house really, really cold. When my bunnies sleep, if I have the "ice conditioner" on at my prefered setting, they sleep in a cat bed or ferret bed. They use it for their hide-out too. I found the flat ones (round with about a 1" roll around it) clearanced at ***co for $1 each. I bought all they had. My "very small wild bunny" Gizmo, sleeps in round furry circle with sides about 3 or 4 inches high. When he flattens out, you cannot see him unless you go and look in from the top. My mini-rex, Gypsy, is about twice his size. She likes a "cat-cube." It has smooth cotton on the outside and fake fleece on the inside. In both cases, the move them around the cage daily. Both of them turn them over if and sleep on them as a "pad" when my husband goes on a rant about the electric bill. But both bunnies use their bed every day!
     
  7. Jun 17, 2013 #7

    Jayombie

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    After owning three rabbits now I have found they seem to prefer to sleep on a smooth service, and ignore the fluffy pillows and blankets I used to lay down. So now I just situate there den on top of a rough towel and leave it at that as the floor is the slippy plastic kind so this keeps the den in one place and doesn't allow the rabbit to slide it about.

    I keep all hay located one end of the litter tray and in one place, as indeed when they eat they just pop it out the other end at the same time.

    Also its again down to the individual rabbit so give them a choice and see what they do.

    Happy Rabbiting.
     
  8. Jun 17, 2013 #8

    PaGal

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    Usually buns will pick a corner of their pen to potty in. Place a litter box there. You can hang a hay rack next to the litter box to encourage your bun to use the litter box.

    You can try a cat bed or a fleece blanket for your buns comfort but watch for chewing. My bun will not lay on anything other than the plastic tray in his cage so I don't provide him with a bed or blanket.
     
  9. Jun 17, 2013 #9

    sappyditz

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    Hmm, my main reason for wanting to use bedding is really because I want to discourage them from peeing and pooping all over. See, my buns aren't picking a corner of the litter to pee and poo in. They seem to use at least 3 corners. I wonder if this is because their cage has a tray that allows any urine and poop to fall through to the litter below, and so they don't see the need to pick one specific corner? So I thought that bedding might negate this problem. Also, it's really hard to catch them when they do it right in the litter box, so positive reinforcement is difficult. And punishment is out of the question.. So I'm really at a loss.
     
  10. Jun 17, 2013 #10

    Jayombie

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    "a tray that allows any urine and poop to fall through to the litter below"

    Maybe this I believe is the issue with regards to why the rabbit does not stick to one place. Its constantly trying to mark its place of origins. Although they choose a corner they do like to be able to smell they been there before. Reassurance so to speak they have there best corner.. :p
     
  11. Jun 17, 2013 #11

    majorv

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    At 8 weeks of age you'll have limited success at training until they're a little older. It's instinct to go to a corner to pee/poop. They also learn it by watching Mom. If you put some type of bedding down you might try putting it in the middle of the cage...
     
  12. Jun 18, 2013 #12

    beccabeau

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    I use some bedding hay that I got from Pets at Home, it says 'medium' hay on the packet, and spread that around so that he can do as he pleases with it (he eats it, mostly) and it gets all mixed in with his timothy hay.
    For Pip's litter box, I use wooden cat litter pellets in the corner he uses (and usually some underneath his litterbox in the corner, as he mis judges the corner sometimes!) this helps with the smell/ soaks it up a little bit better, then sawdust, then some Timothy hay at the other end to encourage him to use it when he's eating.

    I also put a thin layer of sawdust (rabbit friendly type) on the bottom of his cage, and he likes to move it around/ dig through it/ lie in the holes he's dug. He seems to enjoy himself.

    I did also have an upside down cardboard box, which I put paper bedding in, but he just turned the box upside down and ignored the bedding, he prefers to snooze in a hole he's 'dug' himself. Like some sort of bunny flower. :p
     
  13. Jun 22, 2013 #13

    Blue eyes

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    Bedding all over the cage actually encourages them to pee everywhere. Having bedding (or litter) that is only in a litter box with hay is what encourages them to go potty in there. But they are so young still. Older buns (and neutered ones) are much easier to train. For now, there's nothing wrong with having multiple litter boxes. Once they consistently use them, you can also scale down on the number of boxes. I wouldn't worry about positive reinforcement (catching them in the act). They will readily go in the box eventually because rabbits like to have a neat home. So if they are going in 3 corners, then there's nothing wrong with putting a litter box in each of those corners. Making the floor solid should also help because bunnies don't like to sit in their own urine. I think having a solid floor with litter boxes makes training easier.
     

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