Litter training in the cage? - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-07-2008, 03:16 PM Thread Starter
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Litter training in the cage?

Outside his cage, Flash has trained me to put his litter box in the spot where he kept pooping, and to give him treats when he jumps in the box. So we're doing quite well in the litter training when he's not in his cage. I don't think he's peed or pooped outside his litter box and cage since I moved the litter box last week, so we're doing well in that respect.

The problem is that he doesn't seem to get the concept of the litter box inside the cage. He only pees in the litter box outside the cage, so he holds it in all day and waits for me to let him out for play time, then runs to his litter box right away and pees. Also, he poops everywhere in his cage except in his litter box. He just doesn't seem to realize what it's for. I even tried switching out the litter box in his cage for the outside one, so he'd smell what it's for, but that didn't help.

Any suggestions for how to get him to use his litter box when he's stuck in the cage all day while I'm not home?

I should probably mention that he's not neutered yet. I scheduled an appointment to get that done next month. I'm going out of town for a long weekend, and he'll be boarding at the vet, so they'll take care of that while he's there.

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-07-2008, 05:45 PM
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Lucky did the exact same thing. He would make so much racket in the morning so I would open his cage and run to use the outside litter box. He was not neutered at the time either...but the funny thing was...his litter box was really quite close to the cage. We slowly inched the litter box closer and closer to the cage until the outside one was right beside his inside one (cage wire separating the two. We kept it there for a couple of days then completely removed the outside one. It worked!!! He was now using only one litterbox inside the cage. In the meantime he was neutered...so I'm not sure if that was part of the solution. I kind of miss him reefing on the door to be let out.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-08-2008, 11:09 AM Thread Starter
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I may have to try that. The litter box outside the cage is only a few feet away from the cage. Once I move the outside box closer to the cage, I'm not sure if he'll realize that they're right next to each other, though, since the cage is elevated, so it's about 5 or 6 inches higher than the floor around it. I may have to elevate the outside box a little to match it, maybe by putting it on top of a phone book or something once it's right next to the cage. I'm beginning to realize that phone books are an essential bunny supply, as both toys and booster chairs. :p

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-08-2008, 11:59 AM
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Hmm... I've always convinced my boys to use their box by putting hay only in their litter box and no where else in the cage. If I put it other places in their cage, they'll go to the bathroom wherever I put it. You could try that if you're not already, it means cleaning the box more often to keep their hay fresh, but it's worth it. Also, I use yesterdays news and only keep it in their litter box, instead of putting it in the whole cage. If you have litter in the whole cage, and they pee on it, it will soak up the pee and then they'll keep going where they smell that they've gone before. So clean up any accidents as soon as possable, you can even pick some up and put it inside his box so that he smells it in there.

Other than that I would just keep working with him and getting him fixed should improve things.


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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-08-2008, 01:09 PM Thread Starter
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He's only got litter in the litter boxes, not in the rest of the cage. And he has a hay bin attached to the side of the cage, right next to his in-cage litter box, so he sits in the box when he eats hay. He just doesn't do anything else in the box.

Actually, he has a shelf in his cage, and I've noticed that he likes to poop up there more than any other spot, which is very weird, since that's where his pellet bowl is. Maybe he prefers to poop while eating pellets instead of while eating hay like most bunnies.

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-09-2008, 10:01 AM
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Could be - I think bunnies just like to poop while eating in general, no matter what they're eating. A get rid of the old to make room for the new sort of deal


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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-09-2008, 04:36 PM Thread Starter
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I decided to move the pellet bowl. The shelf is kind of small, and it took up a lot of the space up there. Besides, Flash gets pellets for breakfast in the morning and veggies for dinner at night, so he doesn't need both bowls at once, so I decided to just trade them out, and put them both in the same corner of the cage. He didn't have a problem eating his pellets there this morning. We'll see if that affects how much he poops on the shelf.

I also started inching the litter box closer to the cage. He still jumped in it to pee (and get a treat), so I don't think he really noticed.

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-10-2008, 08:06 PM Thread Starter
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Well, so much for that approach. I moved the box about 6 inches closer to the cage, and he left a pile of about a dozen poops in that 6 inches of space that the litter box used to occupy. I might have to wait until he's neutered next month to try this again.

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-11-2008, 09:42 PM
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What a silly bunny!! How is the shelf situation going? Any less poops up there?
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-12-2008, 08:57 AM Thread Starter
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He doesn't seem to be pooping as much on the shelf, though I still found a couple up there. He really likes sitting up there. Every time I leave him in his cage for a long time, I always find him sitting on the shelf when I come back. I'm glad I bought the cage that has a shelf, since he likes it so much.

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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-13-2008, 01:49 PM Thread Starter
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Apparently, Flash has figured out the litter box in the cage, after all. Unfortunately, the litter box has slightly rounded corners, and the cage has a perfect right angle corner, so when he backed up to pee in the corner, he managed to get the pee right in between, causing all the pee to end up UNDER the litter box. It smelled pretty bad when I got home from work yesterday. I may have to get him one of those corner litter boxes to see how he reacts to that. I'll give him points for trying, anyway.

He's also continuing to leave the occasional poops outside the litter box that's out of the cage. Not a big pile like he did when I moved it, but just one or two around. He's marking the whole room as his, I think. I'm hoping that'll stop when I get him neutered.

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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-13-2008, 05:36 PM
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Yeah - they use their little pooplets to mark their teratory. My rabbits are litter trained, but everytime I bring Zeus somewhere new or somewhere he hasen't been before, he'll poop in spots around the room to mark it as his. I think it makes them feel more comfortable about being somewhere if it smells like them. But after they settle down in the new area, Zeus doesn't poop around anymore. Hopefully your bunny get better with using his litter box over time, and getting him neutered should help too.


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