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Thinking about getting a bunny

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
I have heard that you can train a rabbit to use a litter box, but has anyone here successfully done it? I am thinking about adding a bunny to my household and I would like to litter train so that it can hop around the house most of the time. I don't want to keep it caged since it will be a house bunny but I also don't want it having accidents everwhere. My mom breeds and raises rabbits and she has the cutest little dwarfs right now and I want 1!
post #2 of 21
I have had several dwarf bunnies, they have been house bunnies, but I have never had luck litter training them, My neice had one , she just put out a litter box and it used it mine prefered to leave a little trail behind them
post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbjerkness View Post
I have had several dwarf bunnies, they have been house bunnies, but I have never had luck litter training them, My neice had one , she just put out a litter box and it used it mine prefered to leave a little trail behind them
With my luck, I would have little bunny trails leading to my bunny too ! I couldn't really even get my ferrets properly litter trained (they would find a corner when they were running around). Hopefully, I can pick 1 that just wants to use the litter pan-- yeah right, lol!

Did your cats bother your bunny? Did you have more than 1 so it wouldn't get lonely? Pepper isn't the brightest cat so I think that he would just think of the bunny as another play pal, which he would would not be allowed to play with until much, much later, but Petunia is a different story. I am not sure how she would react but I don't think she would try to kill it.
post #4 of 21
I had a bunny, and she was litter trained in her "place" (which was actually a double closet with one door open and a door screen in front to keep her in). She did go back to her litter box to pee when we let her out to run around, but she pooped everywhere! I always joked that she needed to leave a trail to find her way back home. Rabbit poop isn't bad though. If they are on the right diet they come out as hard little pellets that can be swept up easily.

My bunny got along great with my cats, but most my cats at that time were kittens when I got them, and they just adopted her as their surregate mommy. In fact, Tigger used to chase her around and try to imitate her hop! It was so cute!! Only one cat (Sassy) was an adult when I introduced her to Bunny, and she just couldn't care less.

Good luck and let us know what you decide!
post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by calico2222 View Post
I had a bunny, and she was litter trained in her "place" (which was actually a double closet with one door open and a door screen in front to keep her in). She did go back to her litter box to pee when we let her out to run around, but she pooped everywhere! I always joked that she needed to leave a trail to find her way back home. Rabbit poop isn't bad though. If they are on the right diet they come out as hard little pellets that can be swept up easily.

My bunny got along great with my cats, but most my cats at that time were kittens when I got them, and they just adopted her as their surregate mommy. In fact, Tigger used to chase her around and try to imitate her hop! It was so cute!! Only one cat (Sassy) was an adult when I introduced her to Bunny, and she just couldn't care less.

Good luck and let us know what you decide!
Thanks! I am so undecided because I am afraid of the cats reaction and they are first and foremost when it comes to a new addition in the house. I think it would be fun to have a bunny in the house but I am also moving in May and I don't want it to stress too much getting moved twice in 6 months. Petunia stresses enough for 10 critters! I've been doing my research and they don't look that high maintenance so that would be perfect. I'll have to post pictures of these little ones older siblings if I can find them. My new computer crashed so I am on my backup and can't remember if I have those pics on here.
post #6 of 21
I've had good luck reliably litterbox training altered adult rabbits I've adopted using methods I read on the HRS website (article link here), but it does take a lot longer when you are dealing with a baby rabbit. I don't think it is rocket science...more understanding why certain things encourage the rabbits to use the box and what mistakes people make. My last few females were perfect and would go back to the cage if they had to go or use the cat's litterbox. My baby boy is still a little less reliable if left running around the house for extended periods of time, but I don't know if that is because his neuter was put off for health reasons or if that is just as good as he gets with it.

Most of my cats were already adults when I got back into rabbits, and I don't remember most of them caring one way or another aside from needing occasional reminders that smaller rabbits are not toys. Otherwise my only issue is keeping the cats away from the rabbit's hay.
post #7 of 21
Because their diet is high in cellulose which is difficult to break down and low in other nutrients (relative to the quantities of cellulose), one go through the intestines is not enough to break it down and get all the available nutrition - so after the first run through the intestines, they produce "cecotropes" - which they then eat to digest again - in the wild they would just deposit these in the grass wherever they happen to be. Then the second time round, it is faeces, and is usually done in one place. The easiest way to litter train a rabbit is to see which place it picks to urinate and defacate, and then put a litter tray in that spot. I don't know how easy it is to stop a rabbit leaving its cecotropes all over the place though, because it's not going to do them in the same place as faeces and urine - but then it's not really poo at that stage either, so it depends how squeamish you feel about the possibility of treading semi-digested food into the carpet!

Other things to consider - they should be neutered/spayed, they need to chew things and should be provided with wood to keep their teeth from overgrowing, they like to dig (and those hard thick claws can damage carpets and soft furnishings!), in some countries (UK definitely and I think maybe Australia) they need vaccinations I think every 6 months, and they're not very cuddly pets - but they are entertaining. Mine always liked to play with footballs.

ETA: I wouldn't trust my cats with a rabbit even if I were standing over them, especially not a dwarf - if you do decide to consider a rabbit, a larger one may be less likely to be seen as prey by your cats!
post #8 of 21
I fostered a dwarf for over a month ... They are alot of work... but could be fun if it wasnt a scared bunny like the one I had... Zoey accidently fell in and was found sleeping with Barney ... My worry was my yorkie who lucky for me could nt get in with bunny... In the future I am planning to get a Large breed bunny pair since they are calmer and easier to handle
post #9 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by pipersjo View Post
With my luck, I would have little bunny trails leading to my bunny too ! I couldn't really even get my ferrets properly litter trained (they would find a corner when they were running around). Hopefully, I can pick 1 that just wants to use the litter pan-- yeah right, lol!

Did your cats bother your bunny? Did you have more than 1 so it wouldn't get lonely? Pepper isn't the brightest cat so I think that he would just think of the bunny as another play pal, which he would would not be allowed to play with until much, much later, but Petunia is a different story. I am not sure how she would react but I don't think she would try to kill it.
My cats never bothers them, one of my dogs loves them, the other thought they looked pretty tasty ,
post #10 of 21
My mom and sister always have inside rabbits. I don't think you can ever really "train" a rabbit to use a litter box. The only reason they only go in one spot is because they are clean animals and they get used to their territory and where they use the restroom. My mom has a cage that is multi levels and has two pull out pans underneath. The rabbits will pick which side they want to use and will keep to that side pretty well. If you let them out of their cage they will run back now and again and are pretty good about always using their homemade restroom.
post #11 of 21
You can train them (I never tried with my bunnies) but I would NOT be letting a bunny hop around the house unsupervised for 2 main reasons: (1) the cat is a predator and the rabbit is prey - enough said and (2) rabbits are notorious chewers and will go after wires, wood, etc.

If you want the bunny to be let loose, you lock up the cat and let the rabbit run a little while - then put it back into the cage where the cat can't get to it.
post #12 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
You can train them (I never tried with my bunnies) but I would NOT be letting a bunny hop around the house unsupervised for 2 main reasons: (1) the cat is a predator and the rabbit is prey - enough said and (2) rabbits are notorious chewers and will go after wires, wood, etc.
True, a rabbit really shouldn't roam unsupervised. However, houses can be easily rabbit-proofed and many, many people have rabbits that safely 'free range'. Check out the House Rabbit Society for more info: www.rabbit.org

I have a rabbit that has free run of my bedroom and unsupervised interaction with the cats, and there has NEVER been any issue between Rex and the cats. In fact, most of the people I have talked to that own cats and rabbits say that the cats are by far more intimidated by the rabbits than the rabbits are by the cats. It's a situation that can definitely work
post #13 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by emchelle View Post
True, a rabbit really shouldn't roam unsupervised. However, houses can be easily rabbit-proofed and many, many people have rabbits that safely 'free range'. Check out the House Rabbit Society for more info: www.rabbit.org

I have a rabbit that has free run of my bedroom and unsupervised interaction with the cats, and there has NEVER been any issue between Rex and the cats. In fact, most of the people I have talked to that own cats and rabbits say that the cats are by far more intimidated by the rabbits than the rabbits are by the cats. It's a situation that can definitely work
I had read this in www.rabbit.org as well. I want a bunny, but I am moving in a couple of moths. How are they with adjusting to change? If I get one, I have decided to get a male and get it neutered so that might help a little.
post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by pipersjo View Post
I had read this in www.rabbit.org as well. I want a bunny, but I am moving in a couple of moths. How are they with adjusting to change? If I get one, I have decided to get a male and get it neutered so that might help a little.
When I brought Barney home he hide for about 2 days ... when I found him a perm home he hide for a week
post #15 of 21
I spoke with my mother, I lied about what bred of rabbit they have. They had mini lops years ago Now they have Holland Lops. THEY are the bred that are known cuddlers.
(She's got both of these colors and a grey. The grey and the tan are having babies soon!!! *wink**wink*)

And like someone else said, rabbits do have a very nasty habit of chewing things. Especially wires.
post #16 of 21
If I got a bunny it would be the full size Dutch (black/white or chocolate/white) - I had both of those colors - love the B/W ones the best. I want my bunny's ears to stand up
post #17 of 21
I want a bunny so badly, but John won't let me get one. I fell in love with a little mini lop bunny at the pet store, he was soooo sweet.
post #18 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by EnzoLeya View Post
I spoke with my mother, I lied about what bred of rabbit they have. They had mini lops years ago Now they have Holland Lops. THEY are the bred that are known cuddlers.
(She's got both of these colors and a grey. The grey and the tan are having babies soon!!! *wink**wink*)

And like someone else said, rabbits do have a very nasty habit of chewing things. Especially wires.

They are so cute! Ahem, how far from me are you? I may have to make a roadtrip to help your bunnies find homes, lol!
post #19 of 21
Did you get your rabbit?

I've had house rabbits for four years. They are wonderful little critters, but most don't like being handled and can be difficult to care for. They are also prone to a variety of illnesses. I lost three of mine this year alone - one to a heart condition, one to cancer and one to E. Cuniculi.

One of my cats is okay with them, but the other one wants to kill them.

I learned everything I know here:

www.rabbitsonline.net

There's a wealth of knowledge there and always someone on to help with any questions or problems.
post #20 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by snuggy's mom View Post
Did you get your rabbit?

I've had house rabbits for four years. They are wonderful little critters, but most don't like being handled and can be difficult to care for. They are also prone to a variety of illnesses. I lost three of mine this year alone - one to a heart condition, one to cancer and one to E. Cuniculi.

One of my cats is okay with them, but the other one wants to kill them.

I learned everything I know here:

www.rabbitsonline.net

There's a wealth of knowledge there and always someone on to help with any questions or problems.
I think I am going to wait for a while. I am moving the beginning of May and I think have 1 cat freaking out is going to be the most I can handle at 1 time! The bunny could be fine with the move, but then again, it might not be. It's a 4 hour drive (where I am moving to) on a good day and Petunia is going to be drugged or something to get there. I don't think I can handle a bunny freaking out too.
post #21 of 21
The two "foster rabbits" I had used litterboxes inside their cages, which was a good thing because they produced a LOT of waste! However I don't know how they were trained because they were trained when I rescued them already.
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