Can You Litter Train An Older Rabbit?

Categorized as Bunny Care Tagged
A young rabbit in its cage.

Last Updated on August 2, 2021 by Rei

Yes, you can still litter train an older rabbit. In fact, it’s much easier to litter train an older rabbit compared to young ones. The reason is that young unneutered rabbits who entered sexual maturity would often forget their litter training or spray urine everywhere.

While old rabbits are more relaxed and easier to train given that they are already neutered.

The best age to litter train a rabbit is as young as possible. Just make sure that you get your rabbit neutered at 6 months to prevent any hormonally induced behavior such as urine spraying.

To properly litter train an older rabbit, just note where your rabbit usually urinates then put the litter box in that spot. This might take a few times so be patient.

The type of litter is also a factor in how quickly can you train your rabbit. Make sure that the litter you buy is specifically made for rabbits that are wood-based and scent-free.

Rabbits dislike scented litter and would likely stay away from it.

What’s the difference between litter training a young rabbit vs an older rabbit?

Two rabbits, one is older, the other one is younger.
“Two Rabbits / Zwei Kaninchen” by Robobobobo is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

The age of the rabbits is not that big of a factor when it comes to litter train a rabbit. What matters is whether or not they are neutered.

Unneutered rabbits are harder to train due to outbursts of hormones and an instinct to mark their territory. They mark their territory by spraying urine on the side of their cages or outside their litter box.

Unneutered rabbits who are litter trained young would often forget their litter training after reaching their puberty years or their sexual maturity.

Neutering the rabbit would tone down this instinct to urinate to mark their territory making it easier to train them. Not to mention unneutered rabbits have a stronger urine smell due to ammonia.

So make sure that your rabbits are neutered to make your life easier.

Best age to litter train a rabbit?

A black young rabbit.
“National Zoo Photo Release: Silver fox rabbits debut at Kids’ Farm” by Smithsonian’s National Zoo is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

You should litter train your rabbit as young as you can but make sure that you get them neutered at 6 months to make their litter box habit more stable and permanent.

But if your rabbit is older, you can still litter train them.

Summary

Litter training an older rabbit is much easier compared to litter training young rabbits. The reason is that once young unneutered rabbits reached their sexual maturity, they would often forget their litter training.

Sexually mature rabbits have an instinct to mark their territory by spraying urine everywhere. They would often spray urine around their cages and outside the litter box.

The best way to handle litter training is to train your rabbit as early as possible, then before reaching sexual maturity at 6 months, get your rabbits neutered to prevent forgetting their litter training.

Cite this article:

Bunny Horde (November 28, 2021) Can You Litter Train An Older Rabbit?. Retrieved from https://bunnyhorde.com/can-you-litter-train-an-older-rabbit/.
"Can You Litter Train An Older Rabbit?." Bunny Horde - November 28, 2021, https://bunnyhorde.com/can-you-litter-train-an-older-rabbit/

Sources and further reading

  • Buseth, Marit Emilie., and Richard A. Saunders. Rabbit Behaviour, Health, and Care. CABI, 2014.
  • Lebas, F. The Rabbit: Husbandry, Health, and Production. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 1997.
  • Patry, Karen, et al. The Rabbit-Raising Problem Solver: Your Questions Answered about Housing, Feeding, Behavior, Health Care, Breeding, and Kindling. Storey Publishing, 2014.
  • Neutering in Rabbits
  • Litter Training