Stubborn rabbit refuses to use litter box

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brittanybotosan

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Hey all! Never used the forum before, but I am really stumped.. I got my Nina from a local rescue about 2 months ago, she is a spayed 4 year old mini lop. When I got her they told me she was litter trained, however when I brought her home that was not the case. She pees and poops everywhere outside of her litter box, and no specific areas. The only time she uses it is when she is in her cage eating her food (her food hanger is in her litter box). But when I take her out of her cage to play in our living room she just goes wherever she wants, even with her litter box close by.

Very frustrated that I don't even know how to start retraining her. Any tips would be appreciated!!ImageUploadedByRabbit Forum1404091804.969730.jpg
 

whiskylollipop

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Does she get a lot of time out? A bunny that is unfamiliar with her new home will pee and poop everywhere for a while to mark her territory because she's feeling insecure. Usually in fixed buns it will stop once she's gotten used to the whole house and the people in it. I'd say it normally takes 1-2 months, but if you're not letting her out of the cage much because you don't want her peeing on things, you'd just be prolonging the process.

It could be other things making her insecure too, like lots of strange people coming in and out, other pets nearby, especially other bunnies?
 

Sweetie

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Give her time. My Sweetie didn't use the litter box all the time until recently. I was so proud of her and she is continuing to use the litter box all the time. So give her time, it does take a long time for some to use the litter box all the time. Sweetie is going to be 6 years old this year in October.
 

sungura

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I would put the hay over the litter box. My bun started pooping and peeing everywhere and then completely quit until I put the hay area so she would have to sit in the box to eat her hay. She spends a lot of the day eating hay and since then I haven't had to clean up pee anywhere and about 99.99% of the poops are in there as well. Even though I let her out for about 5-8 hours every day, she still goes back to the cage to poop and eat her hay
 

PaGal

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As was mentioned she may simply be marking her territory.

To litter train you would want to keep a bun confined until it starts using the litter box. You want to provide a litter box that is large enough for the bun to fit completely in. You can use a cat litter box or any other item that would work such as a plastic storage tub. If using a plastic storage tub with high sides then simply cut one side or part of one side shorter making it easier for a bun to hop in and out.

Hang a hay rack above the litter box or place hay in a corner of the litter box. Buns tend to potty while munching so the point is to set it up so your bun has to be completely in the litter box while munching on the hay.

If the bun poops outside of the litter box, pick the poops up and place in the litter box. If the bun pees outside of the litter box then soak a small piece of paper towel in the urine and place this in the litter box. Wipe clean any areas with a mix of vinegar/water. This eliminates all odor so the bun will not return to that area based on smell.

A bun is considered litter trained when it pees only in a litter box. It is rare to find a bun that won't drop at least a few poos outside of a litter ox.

Once your bun is litter trained then slowly allow it more free space. For larger areas you may need to provide an additional litter box or two.
 

Azerane

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Can I also suggest draping something over that corner of the pen to act as a cover so that it feels more secure for her. Some rabbits like an area that feels more protected.
 

brittanybotosan

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We allow her time out of her crate every night, when we get home we hang out with her in the living room with a blanket on the floor because she is very uncomfortable on the hardwood floors. I have tried using hay in her litter box so she will poop in there while eating, but when we bring her to the living room when we come home from work she completely disregards the box. We do have a second rabbit that we got two weeks ago, and he has amazing litter habits. I will try the covering, and keep up with the hay though!
 

brittanybotosan

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She really is the most precious bun ever, but her habits are so confusing! She's only good about her box when she is eating. When she is done eating it's like she doesn't care where she goes.
 

melly

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Give her time. My Sweetie didn't use the litter box all the time until recently. I was so proud of her and she is continuing to use the litter box all the time. So give her time, it does take a long time for some to use the litter box all the time. Sweetie is going to be 6 years old this year in October.
Was there anything in particular that made her start to use the litterbox? My rabbit (female dutch) is 1.5ish years old, spayed and I have been trying unsuccessfully to train her for over a year.
 

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