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Thread: Litter issues after moving into a new apartment

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    New Kit Vale&Doyle's Avatar
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    Default Litter issues after moving into a new apartment

    Hi every-bunny,
    I am in need of some of your precious suggestions.
    I have recently moved to a new flat (just under a month ago) and my two rabbits seem to have adjusted quite nicely. They do seem to love the new place
    They are free roam buns and perfectly litter trained (of course spayed/neutered). However, whereas my girl didn't have any issue and started using the litter box right away, my boy is a bit more naughty. He does some of his business on the floor outside the litter box. Mostly poo drops, but sometimes even pee. Which is really annoying. I try to clean right away and put the poo drops inside the litter, but it's a constant struggle. The positive thing is that there were no "incidents" in the rest of the apartment. Just the area outside their litter box.


    side note: I have used Ikea's HOL and carve two doors as their litter box/ hidey house - and moved that from the old apartment to the new one, so the buns could feel like their space didn't change

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    New Kit Vale&Doyle's Avatar
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    Any advise? 🙏

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    Wise Old Thumper
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    Sorry no-one has answered. Sometimes a change in environment throws rabbits off course and they seem to forget their good habits. It might be just a matter of time before your boy gets back into using the litter tray. Do you put hay in the tray as this encourages them to hop in in order to eat the hay? I am sorry I have no positive answer but hope he starts to remember.

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    Wise Old Thumper
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    I have no insight why this happens. However, and I suspect you'll not be happy to hear this, my two bunnies live outside and have 3 separate litter trays in different areas of their accommodation. Every day for 2-3 years there are a few poos and very occasionally a wee puddle very close to one of the trays, always the same tray. Both bunnies are responsible. It happens early in the morning and so every day when I know it's happened I remove it all, putting the poos in the litter tray. The behaviour has not changed and I have no idea why it happens with that one litter tray apart from the fact it could be seen as being the edge of their territory.

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    Mama Doe Scrappy's Little Helper's Avatar
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    Just a couple of questions. How big is their litter tray? In the past I've found that the small corner litter trays or the rectangular cat ones where a bit of a nightmare for accidents. I now use a 32 litre storage box which is much better.

    Do you know if he's actively doing his business next to the litter tray? My boy bun often takes a few poos with him when he jumps out. And has also on occasion parked his bum so close over the edge that he's peed over the edge. Could either of these be what's happening with your bun? Unfortunately I've not found a solution to this other than cleaning up after him!

    Other than that, I think it may be as tonibun suggests in that a change of environment may have put his litter training a bit off kilter. It could be just a territorial thing which should hopefully start to abate once he's fully settled.

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    New Kit Vale&Doyle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tonibun View Post
    Sorry no-one has answered. Sometimes a change in environment throws rabbits off course and they seem to forget their good habits. It might be just a matter of time before your boy gets back into using the litter tray. Do you put hay in the tray as this encourages them to hop in in order to eat the hay? I am sorry I have no positive answer but hope he starts to remember.
    Thanks for your answer. Yes, they do have plenty of hay, and they both use the litter box. However my boy tend to live "souvenirs" all around the area where their house is. Let's hope that it's just the new apartment and that he can settle soon.

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    New Kit Vale&Doyle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scrappy's Little Helper View Post
    Just a couple of questions. How big is their litter tray? In the past I've found that the small corner litter trays or the rectangular cat ones where a bit of a nightmare for accidents. I now use a 32 litre storage box which is much better.

    Do you know if he's actively doing his business next to the litter tray? My boy bun often takes a few poos with him when he jumps out. And has also on occasion parked his bum so close over the edge that he's peed over the edge. Could either of these be what's happening with your bun? Unfortunately I've not found a solution to this other than cleaning up after him!

    Other than that, I think it may be as tonibun suggests in that a change of environment may have put his litter training a bit off kilter. It could be just a territorial thing which should hopefully start to abate once he's fully settled.
    Thanks for all the advices. The litter tray is a rectangular cat litter. It is inside their "house" (Ikea's HOL - where I carved two entrances so they can get in and out). So I don't think it's just an "accident" or my bub jumping out and bringing some poops with him . In the other apartment my bunny was perfectly litter trained. Whereas in the new apartment it's not just the odd poo drop here and there, but it's a lot. Some morning I can find even 30-40 poo balls outside the bunny house (and rarely some pee too)
    I am totally ok with the little accident here and there, comes with the territory of having buns, it's all good. But this is getting quite annoying and I truly hope to find a solution.

    Hopefully, as you suggested, it's just territorial. I mean Doyle is clearly the top bun so maybe he needs to claim his territory. And also, I can definitely see that he doesn't like very much that I collect is poo and put it in the litter box. Most times he come close to me and start pooing again (while I am cleaning)


    Omi, thanks to you too. Hopefully my story will have a happier ending ehehe

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    New Kit Vale&Doyle's Avatar
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    Oh my 😱
    things have taken a bad turn this morning. I was working and both my buns where in the room with me. At one point, I hear a commotion and I noticed Doyle (my boy, the top bun) trying to bite Molly (my girl). Luckily he didn't hurt her, but he removed a big chunk of her fur. They have been bonded since September and never had a fight before (not even during the bonding process - which honestly was a piece of cake).
    So maybe it's really the buns being unsettled by the new apartment and trying to reinstate the chain of command

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    You might need larger litter trays, they do need to be able to both fit in them at the same time comfortably. I have 2 low underbed storage type boxes and a smaller litter tray like a cat litter tray size in their room. The 2 underbed storage boxes are the most used ones, that’s because their hay is in racks at the end of each one. I’ve found having bigger trays, and more of them, encourages them to use them.

    Sometimes changes in territory causes things to kick off. If you can confine them to one room that might help cement the bond and help with the litter issues.

    Are both bunnies well? Sometimes tiffs can happen if one bunny notices the other is off colour and takes advantage of that.

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    New Kit Vale&Doyle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zoobec View Post
    You might need larger litter trays, they do need to be able to both fit in them at the same time comfortably. I have 2 low underbed storage type boxes and a smaller litter tray like a cat litter tray size in their room. The 2 underbed storage boxes are the most used ones, thatís because their hay is in racks at the end of each one. Iíve found having bigger trays, and more of them, encourages them to use them.

    Sometimes changes in territory causes things to kick off. If you can confine them to one room that might help cement the bond and help with the litter issues.

    Are both bunnies well? Sometimes tiffs can happen if one bunny notices the other is off colour and takes advantage of that.
    thanks so much for your precious advice. I have already purchased a second litter box. Hopefully things will get better.

    The riff between them seems just a one off, but I do think, at this point, might have been caused by moving into a new apartment, and them trying to re-establish the "chain of command" in this new territory

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