Litter training Bean

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alexandra the great

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So, upon bringing Bean home, I put the litterbox in the corner of the closet and put a hay bag above it. I made the mistake of giving him a hay-like toy in another corner of the room and he pooped and peed in that corner. I cleaned up the mess and put the soiled tissue in the litter box. but... he wouldn't go in the litter box. He likes to jump on top of his hideout and then jump into the hay bag. I binder-clipped the hay bag shut. so now I'm just waiting to see what he will do. I would like to train the accidents out of him as soon as possible. Do any of ya'll have any tips or tricks that I can do to help with the litter-training process?

On another note, when i was in his pen to clean up the mess, he started nipping at my feet and the back of my pants. I was very confused about this behavior and it caught me off guard when i felt his teeth. thoughts?
 

ISAC QUIN HOOER

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I have heard that you are supposed to put the rabbit in a small area with the litter box, and slowly make the enclosure bigger until the rabbit goes in the litter box when he is the whole room.

if bean cannot jump into the hay bag, he will realize that he is not getting anything, and he will stop.

i dunno about the nipping, could Bean feel territorial about his pen?
 

JBun

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Is your bun peeing in any one particular spot outside of the litter box? Is any of this happening on rugs or other soft surfaces? It might be helpful if you were to post a photo of your rabbits set up, so we can see where something might need to be changed.

The nipping could be him trying to tell you to move out of his area, could be him just wanting you to scoot out of his way, could be him trying to get your attention for pets or food. You don't want to encourage the nipping, so if he's nudging first to get your attention, try and respond to the nudge before it turns to a nip. But if he is nipping, I would gently but firmly scoot him away right after he does it. You can also try a loud 'eep' or clap/thump, to let him know that hurt. You'll have to try different things to see what he responds to best. Just make sure that you're not inadvertently rewarding the nipping behavior by giving pets, food, or moving out of his way, right after he's nipped. Make sure to reward after the desired behavior, like after nudging to get your attention.


 

alexandra the great

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Is your bun peeing in any one particular spot outside of the litter box? Is any of this happening on rugs or other soft surfaces? It might be helpful if you were to post a photo of your rabbits set up, so we can see where something might need to be changed.

The nipping could be him trying to tell you to move out of his area, could be him just wanting you to scoot out of his way, could be him trying to get your attention for pets or food. You don't want to encourage the nipping, so if he's nudging first to get your attention, try and respond to the nudge before it turns to a nip. But if he is nipping, I would gently but firmly scoot him away right after he does it. You can also try a loud 'eep' or clap/thump, to let him know that hurt. You'll have to try different things to see what he responds to best. Just make sure that you're not inadvertently rewarding the nipping behavior by giving pets, food, or moving out of his way, right after he's nipped. Make sure to reward after the desired behavior, like after nudging to get your attention.


Here is a picture i took of his setup before i brought him home.
I drew an arrow to where he had his accident; and the circle is where he's been sitting to get the hay.
1666193567188.jpeg
since that happened i opened up the closet door so that he doesn't have access to the corner so i'm hopeful that it will deter him from peeing there. Also, even after binderclipping the bag, he could still reach the hay so i had to make a barrier with the CNC grids.
I'm very hopeful because he's peed in the litterbox twice since then! Now i'll just have to wait and see if he gets the hang of soon.
 

JBun

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If he keeps peeing on the bed, you're probably going to need to take the soft bed out for a little while. Some rabbits can't resist peeing on soft surfaces. After his litter habits are good, you can try returning it, but if he keeps peeing on it then it might not be something you can use with him.

The other problem I think has to do with your litter box set up. I think your rabbit might not want to go in his litter box because he doesn't like the feel of the litter on his feet. I had a new rabbit that wouldn't go in hers either. I figured out it was the hard litter she didn't like. Once I covered it with a soft layer of hay, she was fine using the litter box.

So try spreading some hay out over the wood pellets, at least half an inch thick so it's thick enough to stay in place. It will get peed on and need to be cleaned out at least once or twice a week so it doesn't get moldy. If you use expensive hay, getting a bale of good grass hay(horse quality hay) from a farm store can make it more affordable. Kiln dried pine shavings could be used instead, but I find them too messy. Once the litter box is a comfortable place for your rabbit to sit in, I think you'll have less problems.
 

alexandra the great

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If he keeps peeing on the bed, you're probably going to need to take the soft bed out for a little while. Some rabbits can't resist peeing on soft surfaces. After his litter habits are good, you can try returning it, but if he keeps peeing on it then it might not be something you can use with him.

The other problem I think has to do with your litter box set up. I think your rabbit might not want to go in his litter box because he doesn't like the feel of the litter on his feet. I had a new rabbit that wouldn't go in hers either. I figured out it was the hard litter she didn't like. Once I covered it with a soft layer of hay, she was fine using the litter box.

So try spreading some hay out over the wood pellets, at least half an inch thick so it's thick enough to stay in place. It will get peed on and need to be cleaned out at least once or twice a week so it doesn't get moldy. If you use expensive hay, getting a bale of good grass hay(horse quality hay) from a farm store can make it more affordable. Kiln dried pine shavings could be used instead, but I find them too messy. Once the litter box is a comfortable place for your rabbit to sit in, I think you'll have less problems.
Thanks for the suggestions! I'll try putting more hay to see if it helps. I bought a 50 lb bale so it shouldn't be an issue at all.
I'll try taking the mat out too. He had another accident on  my bed tonight. We let him out for play time for the first time and my sister put him on my bed without telling me and you can guess what happened. I quickly put him into the litterbox after he peed and then his playtime was done for the day.🥲🥲
 
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alexandra the great

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It looks like there are quite a few poos in the litter box. That's good! How's he doing now? If it is still an issue, I'd try removing the hay bag altogether and just put hay directly on top of the litter.
Yes, well at that point majority of the poos were just transferred from where he had had his accident.😅😅 but he's been doing much better about pooing in the litter box.
 

JBun

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For now you may want to restrict access to all soft surfaces that he might want to pee on. It's best to get him litter box trained well first, and you don't want him developing that as a habit if at all possible. Though some rabbits will want to pee on soft surfaces no matter what you do, but it's worth at least trying to prevent it.

 
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