How to Litter train a rabbit?

My dearest reader,


You can feel it in the air, can’t you? The chill is back, the frost is beginning to kiss your windscreen and mince pies and firesides have become even more integral. Winter isn’t coming, it’s here, and the interior of the home is the new normal. With Christmas on the way it’s only fair we discuss the core issue of a bunny in the house, toilet time!

Litter training might not be the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of the noble rabbit but, I can assure you, if you’re going to have a rabbit indoors you WILL have to litter train them. The good news is that it isn’t difficult to do, and with this erudite guide you’ll have all you need for success.



As I once told Jessica Rabbit when she had her litter, how to litter train a rabbit is easy if you have the right preparation. The first step to understanding litter training is to know that rabbits will instinctively try to keep their waste in a single location. We’re just as keen on keeping things clean as humans are. The other important feature about this location specific toilet time, is that often the first place a rabbit chooses will be where they decide their toilet will be. So, make sure you can help them find a place that is suitable for everyone.

Part of your preparation will also be making sure that you have all the appropriate tools to make sure you get results. Your checklist should have the following items:

  • Litter tray/s – Size should be a key factor in your decision here. Your rabbit will need enough space to feel comfortable. A good idea is to buy a cat litter tray as that will guarantee more space than a specialized rabbit tray. When learning, it also helps you and your rabbit to have more than one tray to make sure accidents are at a minimum.


  • Pooper scooper – this is an obvious one. Keep your hands as clean and sanitary as possible.


  • Litter - old newspapers; paper litter; Aubiose (100% natural hemp); non-toxic softwood saw dust pellets all make for excellent, safe litter. Avoid litters like clay, clumping litters or anything with pine or cedar. These can all cause damage to very sensitive rabbit digestive systems.


  • Timothy hay – I’ve been led to believe it’s uncommon for humans to eat while on the toilet, but that isn’t the case for us rabbits. We’ll eat while we poop away so be sure to have your rabbit eat luxuriously with some delicious Nibble and Gnaw timothy hay.


  • White vinegar – When it comes to clean, this humble tabletop condiment will be your best friend


  • Neutering – This is a crucial step not only to the overall temperament of your rabbit, but it will also avoid spraying. You do NOT want spraying.



Training – I love the smell of pellets in the morning

Now that you’re suitably prepared and ready for the task at hand, your next step will be to introduce your rabbit to it’s litter tray. As I mentioned earlier, rabbits will instinctively gravitate to an area to conduct their business, but in terms of consistency age plays a part. As a general rule of thumb, the older the rabbit, the easier to litter train. So, if you have a younger rabbit then an introduction to the toilet area and some patience will be needed.

A great way to start is to procure some pellets and hay/newspaper with urine and place it in the litter tray you want your bunny to grow accustomed to. This ‘scent training’ will help your rabbit feel at home and provide a greater degree of trust in the process.

Once you’ve got the toilet potpourri in the air you can let your rabbit loose to explore and experiment. To keep things simple for all involved, it’s best to make sure that you keep the area of exploration small to begin. Then, as your rabbit becomes accustomed to the litter tray, you can slowly start to expand their field of roaming.

We rabbits have a saying that the carrot is always mightier than the broom. So, if you feel like you need an extra hand to get the message through then don’t be afraid to throw a few in every now and then. Encouragement will get you a long way in this process and make the litter tray a safe space for your bun.

And, finally, just because we come from the wild doesn’t mean that we like to live that way. If you’d seen Peter Rabbits trailer on set you’d understand – luxury is an understatement! What I mean is, some degree of cleanliness is important. Of course, you don’t want to remove the smell completely, but you will need to keep the area clean to help your rabbit feel comfortable. After all, wouldn’t you want to be comfortable too?


What happens if my rabbit isn’t using the tray?

If you’ve prepared properly, tried treats and been patient but results aren’t improving there could be a number of things to fix. These might include

  • Injury or disease - Rabbits can’t talk so we can suffer in silence if not properly watched. Be sure to have your rabbit check for any health issues that might prevent successful training.


  • Neutering – As mentioned previously, if you haven’t had your rabbit neutered it will be more difficult to litter train.


  • Litter tray – Make sure the tray is clean/big/safe enough. Litter training is a process so patience and vigilance is needed. Always double check things that are working well just to make sure no hidden issues have cropped up.



Thanks Mr Bingley, we’ve had some success. This means there will never be a mistake again, right?

Well, no. You shouldn’t be too surprised to find the occasional pellet pile here and there. Territorial habits are hard to dismiss when they’ve been a pat of your species for thousands of years, I’m sure humans know what I mean. Luckily, pellets are easy to sweep away and they should be rather infrequent if all the above steps are followed.


Now if you’re keen on some hay to keep beside your rabbit while they visit the ‘throne room’, look no further than Nibble and Gnaw’s delicious Timothy Hay. It’s so good, I’ve often found myself passing entire afternoons in my litter box! Check out their extensive range for yourself here.