How to train rabbits to live indoors
Many people don’t realise that rabbits can make fantastic indoor pets; just as a cat or dog would.
If you’ve thought about getting a rabbit but don’t feel you have enough outside space then fear not; just because you don’t have a garden doesn’t realise you can’t have a rabbit.
Rabbits are incredibly clever animals and can be trained to use a litter box just as you would with kittens or puppies; you will need to spend a couple of weeks intensively focusing on training them to live inside but once you do you will soon see that house rabbits have just as much quality of life as garden rabbits – and they don’t get cold in the winter!
So you’re about to bring home your new house rabbit – what do you need to do? Rabbits, even indoors, still need to have some form of hutch – this is their safe space and although they can eventually sleep in a cat bed they will feel much more comfortable in a hutch initially.
This hutch needs to contain a litter tray; hay, bedding, food, water and toys, put a little hay at one end of the litter tray as well as you’ll soon realise rabbits like to poop whilst they eat – no idea why but that’s the way it is.
You also need to look at your home and all the areas your rabbit will be allowed to play in once trained – any exposed wires absolutely must be concealed – not only will you end up replacing a lot of electrical items if you don’t do it but chewing through wires could kill your bunny, and you wouldn’t want that.
Also if you have any wicker furniture you might want to move it – wicker looks like hay for rabbits and is ever so fun to destroy! Remember – you really can never have enough toys, if your rabbit has stuff to play with whilst you’re out you will have a much better relationship as your furniture and your rabbit will remain intact.
Now your home is set up for your new rabbit you can begin training them; prepare for a few accidents initially, toilet training can take a little time but when you learn to spot the signs of an impending wee you’ll soon help your rabbit to get the hang of it.
By nature rabbits like to go to the toilet in corners, and they tend to have a favourite corner where they will keep going to whether or not there’s a litter tray there, so as soon as you see a pattern put a tray down.
The next thing is to watch for your rabbit slowly reversing up against something – this means they’re about to go, so pick them up quick and pop them on their litter tray – as soon as they use it give them a rabbit treat.
Repeat this intensively for a couple of weeks as you would do with a puppy or kitten and your bunny should be set to go!
Just a word of warning though; your rabbit should never be free to roam the whole house whilst you’re out – they will get into mischief, and lots of it.
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