Re-toilet training older bunny.

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Kellyxx

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Hopeing for some advice on my nethy, Shayla!

Shayla is about 7 years old, desexed, and used to be toilet trained. But 3 years ago she got two disabled (head tilt) bunny friends and they couldn’t use the litter tray, so as bedding they had vet bed, and over the years she picked up on their habits and stopped using the litter tray. Both of the disabled bunnies have passed away and I’ve been trying to retrain her without any luck. I started with not having any bedding, just the Lino flooring, and she will use the tray perfectly, but she will also just spend all her time in the tray as she doesn’t like sitting on the Lino. But as soon as I put a towel, blanket, carpet ect in the pen, she wees on it again. I want to be able to have something in the pen like carpet or a mat as she has a new baby friend and don’t just want them sitting on Lino, but also want to be able to litter train the new one and not have her pick up on shaylas habits! Help 😫
 

Blue eyes

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Could you post a photo of the current setup? How large is the litter box? The key may be to make the litter box more appealing than anything else. I think blankets and towels are more likely to be chosen as pee spots. I'd look more for an area rug -- one that has never been peed on in the past. If you tried putting in a cleaned rug that had been peed on, the scent may still linger and serves to encourage bunny to go potty there. Making the litter box more appealing than the rug will help.

Another alternative, if she's not a chewer, are those foam puzzle mats.

On a separate note, is the new baby friend still young (not fixed)? If so, they likely should be kept separate until neutered. Otherwise, 1. they may begin to fight once the young one's hormones kick in, and 2. the new one may litter train well (at least temporarily) and then forget that training with the onset of hormones (further exacerbating the litter training issues).
 

JBun

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I would suspect that you aren't going to be able to change back her habits at this point. Rabbits are already usually inclined to like to pee on soft things, and it can be hard to convince them otherwise once they've decided it's ok to do it.

I was in a similar situation with my group of 7 rabbits. My rabbits now are all older. I had one that became blind and less mobile. She could no longer make it into the litter box so I had to adjust their living set up. I had to start using puppy pee pads to cover the floor of their pen. The rest of the group who were still semi litter trained, also decided that because the momma bun was peeing everywhere, that it was ok for them to pee where ever they wanted too. Now the mom rabbit is gone, but after her passing, the other rabbits in the group didn't go back to using the litter box and still pee everywhere. So I've had to maintain the same set up, even with her gone.

If your rabbit won't chew the foam mats, I would try what Blue eyes suggested. It will provide a semi smooth surface that a rabbit is usually less inclined to pee on, plus still give some amount of padding and traction. If that doesn't work and your rabbit won't chew up pee pads, that's another option.
 

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