Moving a bunny indoors with cats. Litter?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by DaisyMeadow, Mar 4, 2013.

  1. DaisyMeadow

    DaisyMeadow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 25, 2013
    Willamette Valley, OR
    So I'm planning to have my first indoor bunny this weekend, as soon as she's weaned. I've heard that you can litter train them. I also have indoor cats. Can they use the same litter box? Or is bunny litter different? Also, any tips on getting them litter trained and introducing them to the cats and puppy? (One of my cats is a friendly, but large 18 pound Maine Coon)

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  2. PoultryPower

    PoultryPower Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 16, 2012
    Technically, your cat and rabbit can share a litter box depending on the type of litter you use. http://www.rabbit.org/faq/sections/litter.html (link to litter information)
    I'm not sure how happy your bunny would be with sharing a litter box with the cats. You may not be too happy either, because rabbits love to dig and the treasure it finds might not be all that appealing to you. I would suggest giving the rabbit its own litter box that only has its smell in it. I would keep the litter box in the rabbit's indoor cage, which will keep your dogs from being able to get at it (dogs love "coco puffs").
    As for introducing cats, dogs and rabbits to each other, I've never had a problem with my young rabbits. My rabbits are the friendly ones, they like to climb on the dogs and chase the cats. I would be more concerned about how your dogs and cats are going to do with the rabbits. From your picture, I can see that the dog has been introduced to the rabbits. How does he do with them? Does he try to get at them? Bark, scratch, etc? In the picture, it's hard to see the dog's facially expressions all that well, but it looks to be mildly interested, which is good. I would keep the dog on a leash with some treats at hand, and let the bunny come up to the dog, if the dog begins to mouth, tell it to leave it (or whatever you say) and when the dog does, reward with a treat. The dog will have to sniff, nudge and lick the rabbit in the begin for it to understand what the rabbit is and get used to it. Once the dog figures out that the rabbit isn't all that excited, it should begin to leave the rabbit alone. Rabbits do love to "binky" when they have a lot of space to run, and being that your dog is a cattle dog, it might set off the dog's prey instincts, so be careful with that. How your dog does with your cats is a good indicator of whether it can be trusted with the rabbits or not.
    As for cats, mine love the ears, they like to bat them around, which isn't too appealing to the rabbits. I'm not exactly sure how to train a cat, I guess you could use a spray bottle. My rabbits actually try to dominate my cat, which taught the cat to want to leave the rabbits alone. You'll just have to keep a really close eye on them for quite a while.

    To transition the rabbit to indoor life and litter box use. I would keep the rabbit in the indoor cage for a couple of days. Let the rabbit figure out that this is its space and establish the litter box. I would then let the rabbit out to run in an enclosed portion of the house for a little while, giving breaks to be put back into the cage. Once your rabbit gets used to this, and is using the litter box, I would allow for more free range of the house. I would still pen the rabbit back up into its cage when not being monitored, and to give breaks to use the litter box (she'll probably be too excited to care to return to her cage, by herself, for a potty break). Do this until you feel everyone can be trusted.

    Hope this helps, sorry it's so long, and good luck with your bunny!
     
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