June 4, 202286
There’s nothing more frustrating than finding your rabbit has dug through the litter box again. Unfortunately, rabbits are naturally curious creatures, and they often enjoy exploring in their litter box.
While this behavior can be annoying, there are a few things you can do to discourage it. In this article, we’ll discuss how to stop rabbit from digging in litter box. Read on for more.
Rabbits are curious creatures, and they enjoy burrowing and digging. This natural behavior can be more than frustrating for rabbit owners when it starts to happen in the kitty litter box. Rabbits will often try to dig their way through the cat litter, making a mess of everything.
But, of course, this behavior isn’t hardwired into your rabbit’s brain — he probably doesn’t even realize that he’s doing anything wrong!
Why Do Rabbits Dig In Their Litter Box?
Digging in the litter box is a common problem with rabbit owners, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Rabbit digging in the litter box can be easily fixed with a proper understanding of why rabbits dig in their litter boxes in the first place.
Rabbits are naturally attracted to soft, loose material for burrowing and nesting purposes. Their litter box happens to fulfill these needs perfectly to your rabbit, so all they have to do is throw some hay on the ground inside the cage and sleep easy at night, knowing their home is adequately equipped to meet their every need.
This behavior does not require much thought or effort, so it ultimately makes it when they start tearing up your carpet instead of digging in the litterbox.
It is usual for rabbits to dig and kick out hay, but excessive digging can also be a sign that your rabbit is not feeling well, stressed, or unhappy with its living environment.
Some symptoms that your bunny may be feeling sick and resorting back to the behavior it knows best, such as chewing on furniture or tearing up carpet, can include: lethargy (e.g., sleeping a lot), not eating, and diarrhea.
If you notice any of these signs in your bunny, take them to the vet immediately, as these could be signs of serious illness that cannot be ignored.
A Detailed Guide on How to Stop Rabbit From Digging in Litter Box
Step 1: Determine Why the Rabbit Is Digging in the Litter Box
The first step you have to take is to assess why your rabbits are digging in their litter boxes. There can be several reasons for this, and they may range from medical problems, behavioral problems, or even stress issues.
For example, some common behavior problems include separation anxiety (from owners), boredom (from lack of activity), and hyperactivity (when excited). Litter box digging is also frequently caused by a need to prepare for breeding.
Step 2: Clean Your Rabbit’s Litter Box Thoroughly
If there is a medical problem, then it is advisable to take your pet rabbit to see a vet. Often they will prescribe some antibiotics or other medication that will help improve their condition. In addition, you will need to clean their litter box on a routine basis.
This way, you can keep them from digging in the litter box again. On the other hand, a dirty litter box can cause significant stress even if they have an infection or ailment. Therefore, cleaning the litter boxes regularly should be of great importance before anything else. How often you should clean them depends on what type of litter you use and how many rabbits you have.
Step 3: Make the Litter Box More Interesting for Your Pet Rabbit
Adding hay is an excellent way to make your rabbit’s litter box more attractive. As a result, they can munch on it while they are doing their business. At the same time, this will allow you to keep them from digging up the extra mess around the house that could lead to potential hazards.
How much hay you should add will depend on how many rabbits you have and what kind of litter box they are using. For instance, if you are using loose bedding, adding less hay will suffice, whereas adding more hay will be necessary if you are using compressed pellets.
Step 4: Try a Different Litter Box
Alternatively, you could try switching up the litter box that your rabbits are using. If they were constantly digging in their old ones, it might be time to get them a new one.
How often you should change the litter box depends on what kind of design and how many rabbits you have in your household. When changing a litter box, fully clean out the old one before putting a different type in to avoid potential health issues.
Step 5: Determine if There Are Any Other Problems
Even when these steps have been followed thoroughly, there may still be issues with digging in their litter boxes. In such situations, it is advisable to add some additional elements into their environment which will help increase their activity levels (e.g., add a second or even third rabbit).
To begin with, how long you should wait to see if their behavior changes depends on whether there is an additional animal in the household and how severe the digging was. However, it can take several days to even weeks before any improvement occurs.
Step 6: Try Changing the Location of the Litter Box
When there are behavior problems, sometimes it is necessary to change the location of their litter box. How far you move will depend on how severe the problem was and what type of problems they had before.
However, moving it more than a few feet can be detrimental because it will make them think you are trying to punish them for being naughty. How many times you need to move it over depends on your rabbit’s personality and how often they were visiting this new spot.
Step 7: Make a Digging Box for Your Rabbit to Prevent Litter Box Digging
If your rabbit is genuinely in love with digging, you could try giving them an alternative box. But, of course, how big of a digging box you make will depend on how large and how many rabbits you have.
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For sure rabbits, this may also be the best option for them to use when trying to mate, so consider adding some hay inside this area if it is going to be their breeding place.
How long they need to be using it varies depending on your rabbit’s breed and personality (s). Still, it should last several days or up to two weeks before seeing any improvement in behavior.
Step 8: Cover Your Rabbit’s Litter Box with Cardboard/Towels
Some rabbits may not like to use their litter box because it is very large. How much you cover it depends on how many rabbits you have and their size.
How long this should be done before seeing any improvement in their behavior depends on everything mentioned above. It can take anywhere from one day to even several weeks until you notice any difference in how they act.
How often you need to do this step also varies if your rabbit(s) are particularly stubborn or just plain old, for that matter. How well they adjust to using a smaller litter box will depend on how small of an area you place the new box in and how much time has passed since you initially started training them.
Step 9: Provide More Toys and Ensure That Their Environment Is Stimulating
In some cases, a rabbit may be digging in the litter box because they are bored. How you determine this will depend on what kind of toys you have available for them to play with and how active they usually are when running around your house.
If your rabbits appear to be lethargic or not interested in any activities, then you can try adding more toys for them to run after around the house from time to time. How much additional playtime they need will vary depending on how old they are and what breed they are (e.g., dwarf species tend to take short breaks often).
You also need to make sure that their environment is enjoyable by ensuring that there aren’t any items that could potentially be dangerous for them on the ground (e.g., electrical cords).
How many other toys you provide will also depend on the amount of time they are running around, so it might take several days or even weeks before you notice any difference in their behavior. These steps will help pin how to stop rabbit from digging in litter box.
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We hope you have learned how to stop rabbit from digging in litter box. If you’re tired of your rabbit digging in his litter box, there are some easy ways to stop him. First, try adding more hay at the bottom of the enclosure so that it’s easier for them to dig without getting their feet dirty or wet.
You can also put a few treats on top of the hay so they’ll be too busy eating and not bothering with digging around. Finally, if none of these solutions work, consider building an outdoor run where he can go potty instead! Good luck!
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Why is my rabbit digging his litter box? ›
Some rabbits will enjoy digging into their litter box, making a big stinky mess all around it. Most rabbits behave this way due to boredom. If they are being kept in a cage that's too small or don't have enough enrichment activities they resort to digging at the only thing that's left to them.How do I stop my rabbit from chewing the litter box? ›
You can try applying a bitter apple spray (available at most pet stores) on inappropriate items that your rabbit likes to chew. Many rabbits don't mind the taste, though—some even seem to like it—so this may be worth a try but isn't usually effective.How do I train my rabbit to stop digging? ›
- Make sure your rabbits have LOTS of things to do. Provide lots of enrichment to keep your bunnies busy. ...
- Provide the opportunity for your rabbits to dig safely when they are outside of the hutch. ...
- Provide your rabbits with opportunities to burrow or hide. ...
- Desex your rabbits.
We recommend using CareFresh (a rabbit-safe pet bedding that does not contain any pine or cedar products) and fresh hay to prepare your bunny's litter box. Spread one inch of clean CareFresh covering the bottom of the pan, then add a big handful of hay. Remember to use rabbit-safe litters in your bunny's box.Why is my rabbit constantly digging? ›
Beyond instinct, digging might just be an expression of your bunny's thoughts. Curiosity, boredom, stress, fear, wanting attention, seeking a cozy spot to lounge in — any of these and more could be some of the less common reasons why a rabbit digs.How do you play with bunnies? ›
How to Play with Your Rabbit! - YouTubeWhy is my bunny eating his litter? ›
All rabbits eat their feces as it is an important part of the digestive process. Rabbits' digestive systems can't extract all the nutrients from food the first time it is digested. During the digestion process, soft pellets called cecotropes are formed. These contain valuable nutrients, such as protein and fiber.Does bitter apple spray work for rabbits? ›
Invented by a pharmacist in 1960, Bitter Apple spray leaves an unpleasant yet harmless taste on your rabbit's fur to discourage licking, chewing and biting. Keeps rabbits from licking wounds and hot-spots, so they have a chance to heal properly.What do you put in bottom of rabbit cage? ›
Cardboard, hay, and paper make excellent flooring for a cage or hutch. You probably already have some in your home right now. Wood bedding, marmoleum, and fleece work well, too.Can I use vinegar to stop my rabbit from chewing? ›
If you don't want to buy a product, put 1 part white vinegar with 3 parts water into a spray bottle and spritz it on the cage. This might be a strong enough scent to stop your rabbit. The bitter spray will fade after a few days, so spray the cage again if you notice your rabbit starts chewing it again.
How often should you change rabbit litter? ›
Regardless of the amount of paper you use in the litter box, most of the time you will need to change the box every two days or so. Paper pulp pellets will need to be changed less often than newspaper. Recommended by many veterinarians, especially when learning how to litter train a rabbit.Should I put hay in my rabbits litter box? ›
Rabbits often pass stool when they are eating and placing some hay in the litter box can help with litter box training. First, place some rabbit safe litter on the bottom of the litter box and pile up the hay. They will not eat soiled hay, so you need not worry about sanitation.How long does it take to litter train a rabbit? ›
Some are more trainable than others. But usually, rabbits can be litter-trained in 1-2 weeks on average. Rabbits are creatures of habit and will defecate and urinate in the same spot every time to mark their territory.Why is my rabbit so destructive? ›
Health problems, boredom, or a lack of enrichment commonly lead to destructive behaviors. This is most likely to happen if you have a lone rabbit, no toys, no wood to chew on, and no place to dig. Negative behaviors can be controlled by offering enough stimulation, play, and chewing materials.Should I let my rabbit dig a burrow? ›
Offering them digging space in an open area or giving them a sand-box is a good idea. Allowing them to burrow in this way is good for relieving their stress, keeping them busy and active.Do rabbits like to be held? ›
Most rabbits love to be cuddled and stroked when approached in the right way. Few like being held or carried as being so high up from the ground makes them feel insecure, however, many will happily sit on your lap or snuggle up next to you for a cuddle.How many hours a day should you spend with your rabbit? ›
At a minimum, you should spend at least an hour with your rabbit every day. However, 3-5 hours (or even more) are ideal. You do not have to be giving your rabbit undivided attention during this time, but instead, make yourself available to interact with them if they want to.How often do you feed a rabbit a day? ›
The total amount of fresh food that you may give to your rabbit daily (once your bunny has been gradually introduced to it), is a minimum of 1 heaping cup (loosely packed), per 5 pound of body weight, given two times a day.Are female or male rabbits friendlier? ›
In general, male rabbits are touted as being easier pets for rabbit beginners. They will usually get into less trouble and show fewer aggressive tendencies than female rabbits. This is especially true of rabbits who have been neutered.Do bunnies understand no? ›
Your rabbit will quickly pick up simple instructions like “no,” but try not to sound too angry when you give these commands. Once “no” has been mastered, you might be able to move on to more complex instructions such as “don't do that,” and “come here,” as well as telling them when they need to jump off your lap.
Can I spray my rabbit with water? ›
Yes, you can spray your rabbit with water in order to discipline them or to help them cool off. It is not recommended that you drench your rabbit; one spritz of water will get their attention just fine, there's no need to do it more than once at a time. If you are trying to cool them down the go for the ears.How long do rabbits remember their owners? ›
Generally, your pet rabbit will have a short-term memory which can only last for about 5 minutes. But when it comes to important information or someone they are affectionate towards, then that memory can last for a longer time.Is it OK for rabbits to eat their litter? ›
No clay cat litter! Rabbits are nibblers and clay litter can cause blockages in bunny's tummy if she eats it. Also avoid corn, wheat, alfalfa and oat based litters as bunny too commonly ingests them. A cat litterbox works great.Is rabbit poop harmful to humans? ›
Is Rabbit Poop Harmful? While rabbits can carry parasites like tapeworm and roundworm, their waste is not known to transmit any diseases to humans.How long does it take for a rabbit to poop after eating? ›
Hard waste feces (what is found on the floor of the cage) which have a high fiber content, are produced for approximately the first four hours after the rabbit eats its food and the cecotropes are produced during the next four hours (therefore not only at night).What scent do rabbits hate? ›
Rabbits have a strong sense of smell, which they use to find accessible food sources. You can take advantage of this trait by using scents they dislike, such as garlic, vinegar, chili powder, predator urine, sulfur, blood meal, chives, lavender, geraniums, and wax begonias.What taste do bunnies not like? ›
If your rabbit chews the carpet, some rabbits will dislike the taste of bitter sprays for pets, hot pepper sauce or flakes, vinegar, or rubbed-in Ivory soap, but they can be a hit and miss. Some bunnies will not care or even love the taste.
Homemade Bitter Apple Spray for Dogs - YouTubeWhy is my rabbit kicking his litter out? ›
So, why is my rabbit kicking his litter out? The quick and easy answer is that rabbits are surprisingly clean and tidy animals, and will aggressively remove soiled bedding or litter from their space. In short, your bunny is telling you that they need their litter changed.Why do rabbits knock over their food? ›
Rabbit's will often turn their water or food bowls over because they are bored and want to play with something. A lightweight plastic water dish or food bowl is easily picked up with their teeth and tossed. It is something to do.
How do you enrich a rabbit's life? ›
In general rabbit enrichment includes: providing a large enclosure with objects to climb on, hide, sleep in and an area to dig or burrow. Toys to encourage natural behaviours and for chewing, plus social companionship are crucial to their wellbeing. Regular exercise and routine.What toys are best for rabbits? ›
Objects to play with or throw - such as untreated straw, wicker, sea-grass mats and baskets, balls and plastic flower pots. Solid plastic baby toys such as 'key rings', rattles, stacking cups and some robust cat and parrot toys can make good rabbit toys.What kind of cat litter can you use for rabbits? ›
Clay-based and clumping litters which are often used with cats are not recommended for rabbits. Rabbits are more likely to ingest the litter, which can lead to intestinal blockages. For rabbits, use litter made from aspen shavings or recycled paper.Do rabbits eat out of a bowl? ›
If you want to feed fresh vegetables in a bowl, a wide/shallow dish or plate works best. The downside with bowls is they make everything very easy for your rabbit; the food is in exactly the same spot and requires no effort to obtain.Do female bunnies mark their territory? ›
From wild rabbits to domestic rabbits, these mammals share a way of expressing themselves and behaving. Thus, rabbits, whether male or female, naturally mark their territory.Why does my rabbit throw himself on his side? ›
Flop: when a rabbit tips over or throws themselves onto their side. Often mistaken for dead. Generally a sign that the rabbit is very happy and relaxed and trusts you. Can also be used as a mild insult with rabbits that are not good friends.How do you entertain a bored rabbit? ›
Unwanted Cardboard boxes and newspaper always make fun toys. Cut rabbit sized holes in two sides of a large cardboard box, then at the bottom fill with scrunched up newspaper, hay or anything rummage-worthy. Your rabbit can burrow through, searching for perhaps a few treats amongst it all. A rabbit-style lucky dip!How do you spoil a rabbit? ›
Bunnies must chew to keep their teeth healthy. Offer Floppy lots of fun playthings to keep her amused. Many household items can be upcycled into great, inexpensive, bunny toys. Stuff fresh hay or herbs into a paper bag, or crumple up pieces of paper and toss them to your adorable pal.How do I make my rabbit room fun? ›
Things such as tubes, boxes, Cottontail Cottage, Little Tykes toys, cardboard house, and other things can be used to create a fun, safe and stimulating environment for a bunny to exercise, play, hop, leap and dance.Can a rabbit recognize its owner? ›
Yes, rabbits can know their owners from face features, smell, and even from your voice. These creatures can be great friends. They remember you for a long time, even without seeing your face for years.
What do bunnies need in their cage? ›
- A spacious and secure hutch. ...
- Bedding materials. ...
- Litter trays and fillings. ...
- Plenty of hay and other food. ...
- A food bowl or dispenser. ...
- A bottle or water bowl. ...
- Toys. ...
- Rabbit-safe cleaning products.