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Thread: Litter tray

  1. #1

    Default Litter tray

    Hi,

    Sorry probably a long post, but just trying to give as much info as i can:

    We have 2 male lop eared rabbits that are now around 6 moths old. They have both been neutered. They live in a utch in the garage during the winter. Its a double hutch that stands off the floor. During the evenings when i'm home and during the weekend, they come into the conservatory into a play pen for them to have a bit of a run around.

    I did buy another playpen to put around the bottom of their hutch so they could have a little more room when we're at work, however they kept escaping! After securing a net over the top of the cage, it seems they were lifting the bars up and getting underneath. It looks like this, so its easy to move around to any shape you need

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Business-8-...c=1&th=1&psc=1

    When we got the rabbits, they were litter trained. We even took the litter tray they were using in the shop to make sure they continued to use it in their new home. I bought another one to go in their play pen to make life a little easier.

    Recently they have stopped using the one in the bottom of their hutch. It hasnt moved, i havent changed the pellets in there, just just dont seem to use it. I was finding that they were tossing it about in the hutch, so i used some velcro to attach it to the bars so it cant move, but its still not used. I think this pretty much tied in time wise as to when i took the external cage away from the bottom of their hutch - although they are secure in the garage if they escape, i dont really want my bike tyres, cabinets, tools, kids toys etc eaten (and they wil eat them)

    They now tend to urinate in one corner of the sleeping area of the hutch, which is really annoying as i have to change it pretty much every night. This sleeping area of the hutch is the only area that has woodshavings and hay ,the rest of the hutch has newspaper down, which they destroy every night and i have to replace also

    They do however use the one in their playpen no issues. Again they did used to toss it about, so ive secured that one too. 1 of them does tend to just sit in there a lot when theyre just chilling out. I havent seen the other one in there very much but there's no urine on the floor so he must be using it also. I dont believe when theyre in there all day he doesnt go for a wee! This litter tray does get very messy thoughout the day

    So my questions are:

    1. Do they actually use the sleeping area for sleep? Its not massive, they are a fair size so i cant imagine them both laying in there sleeping?
    I do put the microwave snuggle safe thing in this area over night to help provide some heat. Is there a better option here? The bottom of the hutch seems a little expoed to sleep. I do have a big blanket that goes over the to and front of the hutch, and being in the garage there is no wind, however the sides at the bottom of the hutch are bars too, not a wooden panel liek some other hutches.

    2. Are they having a strop that i took the extra run area away from them, and having a dirty protest?

    3. Should i be concerned?

    4. What can i do to encourage them to use it again - ive tried all of the usual stuff (leaving soem soiled pellets in there, it hasnt moved etc)

    I think if i move the litter tray to the sleeping area, they'll then just move to urinating at teh bottom of the hutch where it used to be (is now)

    They have toys to play with, constand supply of water and hay! Theyre very socialble rabbits and are great with the kids. They are really well bonded (they did start to himp a lot and start to fight a little, but after the neutering they've been fine together, no issues)

  2. #2
    Wise Old Thumper
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    IOW
    Posts
    17,132

    Default

    Because you are putting hay in the "bedroom" this is why they are using it as a toilet. I have large litter trays with newspaper and hay in them and all my rabbits love this idea. Rabbits like to eat while going to the toilet. If they are biggish rabbits they shouldn't need any extra warmth plus they can cuddle up with one another! If they are big bunnies they might not have enough room in their hutch. Have a look at the Rabbit Welfare Association's website for all sorts of good advice.

  3. #3

    Default

    I agree with tonibun! I work in a rabbit rescue and I’ve seen how easily rabbits can be ‘un’litter/trained but putting hay outside of their litter tray. Rabbits tend to go whilst they eat so I would always recommend putting a fair amount of hay in their litter tray (keep in mind that rabbits should eat their body size in hay per day so use this as a guide). I would also questions if the litter trays you are using are a suitable size. The small corner litter trays that you get from a pet shop are far too small for rabbits, and as they have grown from babies to the size they are now they are to find the litter tray more cramped and therefore not want to use it. A rabbit should easily be able to do a 360 degree turn in their litter tray which the corner ones simply do not allow room for. I think large cat litter trays are the best ones you can get for rabbits in my experience, whether it be hooded or open top, just make sure that it has high sides. Also remember to provide two or more litter trays in their living area incase one rabbit gets territorial over a litter tray. Always fill a litter tray with half litter (wood pellets are great I’ve found) and half hay (relative to the rabbits’ size as I mentioned above). As you mentioned your rabbits have been going in a certain place I’d move at least one of the litter trays to this spot as your rabbits have clearly claimed it. In order to properly litter train your rabbits again you’ll have to be very observant and try to reward them (with treats/praise) whenever they use the litter tray. Also remember to completely clean the hutch if they have gone outside of the litter tray as the smell encourages them to go outside of the litter tray again. Although, this scent may be difficult to completely remove as the wood in a hutch will absorb the urine and smell, one of the many reasons I would always encourage people to house rabbits indoors in a suitable play pen or free roam ideally but I understand this is not always possible. Hope my advice helps anyways!

  4. #4
    Wise Old Thumper tulsi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Hampshire
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    16,580

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    My rabbits have 32litre underbed storage boxes with newspapers and hay for litter trays.

    I give them one tray per pair.

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