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Litter box and hay

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Hello, I have 2 little female Havana ( I think ) rabbits. They are only 3 months old. I've been trying to encourage them to use the litter box. I've read that if you put the hay feeder at the end of the box they will poop whilst they eat and this will make them associate the box with where to do their business. I've also been sweeping up their poops and putting them into the box and mopping up pee with paper towels and putting those in the box too.

I fill the litter box with a layer of non clumping wood litter and sprinkle wood shavings over the top. I started out with straw on top of that, but they were using the litter box as a bed, so my friend suggested I just use the litter and sawdust.

But the rabbits like to pull all of their hay out of the hay feeder and spread it around their litter box. It's wasting so much hay!

I do see them munching on the hay, they are eating it.

But will they get confused about where to pee and poop if their litter box is full of food?

They prefer to pee on the rug I have laid out for them. They live in my hallway and only pee and poop near their litter box thankfully. They seem to feel that in the general vicinity of the litter box is the place to go.

Not sure if I'm doing things right and they'll get there eventually. Any advice would be welcome.
 

Augustus&HazelGrace

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Don't use wood shavings unless they are Aspen. They are toxic to rabbits otherwise. Sawdust is not good for them either.
Wasted hay is to be expected that is why I recommend buying a bale if possible. No, they don't get confused if there is food in the litterbox. It is true that they like to eat and poop at the same time. Until you get them fully litterbox trained you will need to remove the rug. a lot of buns like to pee on soft things litterbox trained or not. A lot of people on here don't use hay racks as they need way more hay than most hay racks can hold. Those people place the hay directly in the litterbox. They won't eat soiled hay.
What you have been doing so far is good by sweeping them up and putting it in there same with the pee. How big is your litter box?
Next thing is.. Are you sure you have 2 females? And even though they get along now when hormones set in (which will be very soon) they may begin to fight and you will have to separate if you want any chance of bonding them in the future. Baby bonds don't count. They do both need to be spayed if you want to bond them and females have an 80% chance of developing uterine cancer by age 3-4. Also, the spaying will MAJORLY help with litterbox habits.
 
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Thanks. I didn't know that about wood shavings. My mum always had wood shavings in her outdoor rabbits hutches. She doesn't keep rabbits now

I'm taking them to the vet tomorrow to have their first check up and find out when they can be spayed. I found a specialist rabbit vet.

I'm going to ask if they are definitely female. I don't want any more bunnies!

I put the rug down because I have a linoleum floor. I don't want their little feet to get sore.

The litter box uncovered and is
  • Width: 35cm
  • Height: 45cm
  • Material: Plastic
  • Depth: 11cm
 

Mariam+Theo

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I use pine pellets (https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/tractor-supply-pine-pellet-stall-bedding-40-lb?cm_vc=-10005) for Theo and get a big bale of hay (https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/standlee-premium-western-forage-premium-timothy-grab-go-compressed-bale?solr=1&cm_vc=-10005&st=timothy) so that I save money. I recommend getting a large litter box because the one you have is too small. Get one like this: https://www.lowes.com/pd/Creative-Plastic-Concepts-Small-Mixing-Tub-20-in-W-x-28-in-L-x-6-in-D-Drywall-Mud-Pan/1000608719.

I would reduce the space they have to a small area, such as a dog kennel. Once they start using the litter box you can slowly add on some space to run, but if they start pooping an peeing everywhere remove the space again. When they poop and pee on the ground put the poops in the box and soak the pee up with a paper towel and put it in the box. Then clean the area with distilled white vinegar to keep them from going there again. Is there a certain corner that they prefer to use the bathroom? Try moving the litter box to that corner. Here is a link on litter training: https://rabbitsindoors.weebly.com/litter-training.html. I used this way for Theo and it worked perfectly. He was trained in one day. I still use the litter pan set up because it works so well.

I agree with getting them spayed, and making sure they are both girls. Once they get spayed you will need to separate them for 2 weeks and then house them in cages 6 inches apart so that they can't get to one another for another 2 weeks. After those 4 weeks their hormones will have calmed down and they will have fully healed from surgery. You can start the bonding process now. Bonding can be treacherous so if the bond does not work out don't beat yourself up about it. Here is a link and video on bonding:https://rabbitsindoors.weebly.com/bonding-bunnies.html
 
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Oh wow. I bought the biggest litter tray in the shop. I'll look for a bigger one. I do have a dog cage. That's where their litter tray sits. I don't keep them in it. I leave the door open so they can hop in and out when they want to. I have a cover over the top of the cage to give them a feeling of safety. I only shut the door if I have visitors like say the plumber doing some work. How long do you think I should leave them in the cage at a time?

They've actually been good today. I've come home to hardly any poops and no puddle marks on the rug.
 

Mariam+Theo

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Oh wow. I bought the biggest litter tray in the shop. I'll look for a bigger one. I do have a dog cage. That's where their litter tray sits. I don't keep them in it. I leave the door open so they can hop in and out when they want to. I have a cover over the top of the cage to give them a feeling of safety. I only shut the door if I have visitors like say the plumber doing some work. How long do you think I should leave them in the cage at a time?

They've actually been good today. I've come home to hardly any poops and no puddle marks on the rug.
I would only leave them in the cage until they start using the litter box consistently. Depending on how long they take to get the idea I would let them out for 30 minutes-1 hour every day. That is great that they have been good today:)!
 

Blue eyes

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Since they are only 3 months old, their hormones may not have kicked in yet. When they do, it is possible that they will "forget" any progress they make with litter training. So don't be discouraged if this happens. Hormonal rabbits can have whacky behavior. Older rabbits train much more easily.

As others have noted, as those hormones begin to kick in, they may start getting grumpy towards each other and can even begin fighting. If they do, separate them until they can be fixed.

I'd also agree the litter box is too small. There should be enough room for them both to lay down fully outstretched. It is pretty common for them to like lounging in their litter box. This is one of the reasons it is a good idea to top the litter (wood pellets --not shavings-- are my favorite) with plenty of hay. They like to munch while they graze. The hay on top also allows the urine to seep down to the pellets below. This keeps the surface in the litter box relatively clean. Of course, this means adding hay a couple times per day.

Expect wasted hay with rabbits! :) They like to pick through it and find the choicest pieces. But if you buy by the bale, it is waaay cheaper. Bagged hay from the pet store is outrageously expensive in comparison. Theo already gave my link on litter training. There is more detail and photos there.
 
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It's so interesting to hear other people's experiences. My friend who had a house bunny was insistent that they not associate the litter box with bedding and told me to put sawdust in it and not hay, so that they would know it wasn't a bed, but she had her rabbit in pre-internet days and didn't know anyone else with a rabbit and didn't know any better I guess. I'll definitely look for a bigger one! And stop using the wood shavings.

Good news. The vet has confirmed that they are both girls. I have these 2 because a friend of a friend got 2 girls, supposedly, and it turned out that one was male and the other female and there were lots of little bunnies a few weeks later. So I have 2 of the children.

I live in the city. I'm not really sure if I can get a bale. I get huge bags of compressed hay from the local pet shop. They seem to enjoy it.

I have enough space to separate them if need be.

I've had a read through the link. Thanks.
 

TheBuns

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I agree they need to be separated . As for the poop and peeing It took me a few weeks maybe a month to for my bun to fully understand where to go bathroom. I had her when she was 10 weeks old, she’d pee and poop everywhere on my carpet and bed I just clean it with white vinegar with a napkin and place it in there and her poop just as you are doing. Which is good they’ll get the hang of it eventually just keep up with them:)

I use care fresh paper base liter that’s quite pricey but there are cheaper brands. I put hay In the litter box also she likes doing her business while eating;)
 

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