Strict schedules for new bunnies

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Well-Known Member
Feb 13, 2012
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Tokyo, Japan
Hi everyone,

It has been mentioned by a few people on the forum that the key to training a new bunny (toilet training etc.) is to have them out and about on a schedule that they can get used to. I was just wondering how strict that schedule should be and if other people go by this as well? I'm just curious because I started our new bunny Horatio off with about 10 minutes out each time when we got him a week ago, and he is now up to 1 hour each time or more because he is learning to control his business more and leaving it until he goes back in the cage (even though there are more than enough litter trays out with him as well). He is in a confined space that has only changed once in the week we have had him. I also make sure I always give him a nurse before he comes out, and when he goes back in I like to give him a big belly rub.

All in all - this is my idea of a schedule. The times of day he is out depend on my uni and work schedule but he is usually out at least 4 hours a day.

Is this what is meant by a 'schedule' or is there something I'm missing? Will he get confused on the days I'm at uni all day and he isn't out during the dar compared to weekends when he is out a lot?

When he is better toilet trained and out a lot more, how do you keep a constant schedule? Or can that be much more lose when they get older? Horatio is only 11 weeks old.

Re-reading this it sounds like the dumbest question ever, but with Poe I gave up with a routine and just let him be out whenever I was home and I think that is a big reason why he still won't take to toilet training at my mums. I just want to get things right for this little guy so I can work on past mistakes.



Well-Known Member
Dec 31, 2006
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Calgary, Alberta, Canada
I don't really have a strict routine for exercise. I do feed at about the same time each day and cleaning usually happens around the same time as well. With the feeding, they do know if something is different if I feed them earlier (like if there is a rabbit hopping event).
Exercise usually happens in the evening or later afternoon, but it can vary from day to day. They are usually happy to get out whenever if happens.

I don't think having a strict schedule really helps with litter training. Rabbits should eat during the day (grazing) rather than big meals like a dog. They also tend to pee and poop more often. When he is out, you can try to get him to go back to a litter box every so often, but if he has access to the box he will use it if he wants to. One tricky thing for now is that he is a young male. Young rabbits tend to have less control over when (and where) they pee and poop, so it can take a little longer for them to litter train. Males tend to want to mark more, especially as they reach maturity, so can be harder to train as well. This doens't mean it is impossible to litter train them, I have 2 intact adult males that are almost perfect in their cages, but it will take some time.

New places can throw litter habits out the window. Rabbits tend to want to mark new territory, so it can take them some time to be comfortable in an area to use the litter box regularly. You can try using a litter box that he uses at home with come dirty litter, but making the area pee proof is still a good idea.

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