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Getting Down & Dirty: The Other Side to Life with Bunnies

Updated: Mar 10, 2018

My Instagram posts show a clean home and, for the most part, well-behaved rabbits, but it doesn't show the other side to life with bunnies. The not so cute side of litter training and cleaning up rabbit poops off your floor. I get a lot of messages asking about litter training and how I keep my home so clean, so this post is dedicated to answering all those questions I have received.

To start things off, I'll answer the most asked question I get: "What type of litter box do you use?" When it was just Moose, I actually used a ferret litter pan. Its high sides helped prevent litter from getting kicked out. I used this Marshall Ferret Litter Pan by Marshall Pet Products from #Amazon (pictured here).

Now that Moose and Hippo are both free roaming together in the same space, we switched to this bigger cat litter box from #Wayfair: the Standard Litter Box by Iris USA measures 5.88'' H x 14.88'' W x 18.88'' D (pictured below). It still has the high sides like the ferret litter box and is great at preventing litter from getting kicked out. Occasionally, some still gets out when Hippo gets startled and jumps out quickly. Nothing phases Moose while Hippo on the other hand freaks out if you so much as sneeze.

I am thinking of switching to this other litter box that I recently came across. It is the same width and depth as the one I have now (the "Standard Litter Box"), but the sides are a couple inches higher. This one can also be found on Wayfair and is called the High Sided with Scoop Litter Pan"by IRIS USA. It measures 7.94'' H x 14.88'' W x 18.88'' D.

Having litter boxes with higher sides minimizes the amount of cleanup around the pan. I always get asked how I keep place so clean. As I've probably mentioned before, I am a complete neat freak. That being said, I have more vacuums than anyone should probably need. Two of the vacuums I am obsessed with for quick cleanups of litter and hay are the BISSELL® Featherweight™ Lightweight Stick Vacuum from #BedBathandBeyond and the Dirt Devil Scorpion Quick Flip Corded Bagless Handheld Vacuum from Amazon. I would say the #DirtDevil works the best, but I love how the #Bissell is so light and easy it is to handle. I wouldn't recommend either of these for vacuuming large areas, but they are great for quick, small cleanups.

For the litter, I use two different types. For the bottom layer, I use Tractor Supply Pine Pellet Stall Bedding (pictured). It completely eliminates any odor. The family we got Moose from recommended it and has used it for their own bunnies for years without any issues. I was a little nervous about it because of it being pine, so I double checked with our vet who said it is fine since it is pelletized. The best part is it only costs $5.50 for a 40 IB bag! The downside though is that it seems only Tractor Supply Stores sell it and shipping it costs a fortune. We live in the Twin Cities and the closest Tractor Supply Store is about a half hour away. Luckily, there is one out by the barn my mom keeps her horse at and she is nice enough to get it for us otherwise I probably wouldn't use it regularly. I put a thin layer of these pellets on the bottom of the litter box and then put a layer of Carefresh Complete Pet Bedding (pictured) on top of the pellets. I order it on Amazon, but you can get it at just about any pet store.

Now, that we have covered what you need let's get to the actual litter training. I am not going to pretend like I know the best method or that the method we used will work for everyone especially since what worked for training Moose didn't work for Hippo and vice versa.

Moose and Hippo are fully litter trained now, but it definitely took a little work getting there (at least for Hippo it did). We got lucky with Moose. He caught on to litter training pretty quickly. He was a little difficult at first because we gave him too much room to run right away, so I think he was just too distracted and far away from his litter box to remember to run back to it. Once we cut back the amount of space Moo had, he started getting better about going in his litter box. When he consistently started going in it, we gradually gave him more space to run and now he is 100% free roam. I will say though he has always been a pretty clean and rather meticulous rabbit, so it didn't take long to train him once we started limiting his space.

Hippo on the other hand was the complete opposite of Moose. He pooped EVERYWHERE but his litter box. He was terrible! He was also horrible at cleaning himself and would somehow end up with smushed poop on his back, so we would have to take a brush and damp wash cloth and clean the poop off his back because he wouldn't do it himself. Once, he somehow managed to get poop ON THE WALL. There was literally smeared poop toward the bottom of my freakin wall. I still don't understand how he even managed to do this. Like did he roll in his poop then decide it would be fun to rub his back up against the wall!? I don't know, but I am still baffled by it to this day.

For Hippo, we tried doing the same thing we did for Moose: giving him less space until he started using the litter box. This completely backfired. The less space we gave him, the worse he got. He didn't start using the litter box until we basically gave him complete freedom of our home. He got a lot more freedom then Moose did early on, but luckily it worked for him. We tried putting the hay in the litter box method for both of them. Unfortunately, it didn't really work for Hippo, and Moose ended up with an eye infection from digging his face in his litter searching for his favorite hay pieces. I hear this method generally works great for most people though!

I get a lot of questions on where I put Moose & Hippo's litter box. I used to have it under this #Target Roma Tufted Cream Bench for awhile to help hide it, but I have this bad habit where I need to rearrange furniture or change my decor every month, so this bench didn't stay here long. Currently, I have it is just in the corner of the living room, which I am not a fan of, so I am slowly inching it away from this spot. My plan is to eventually have a new piece of furniture to put it or to get it hidden behind the side table I recently got from Wayfair and did a blog post on last week. I use this side table that is actually meant for a cat litter box for their hay because they cause the most mess with their hay, so it made sense to put this in an enclosed spot. It would definitely work great for a litter box.

I was looking for other items I could use to hide the litter box and found the below items from Wayfair. The first is this Litter Box Enclosure by #TrixiePetProducts. It doubles as a bench and also has a removable divider option to use one side of the bench for storage.

For something smaller, I found this cute, little End Table by #ClosetMaid. It wouldn't completely enclose the litter box, but it would at least hide it a little better than just having it out in the open. Any cute little bench or side table though with enough room underneath would work for hiding a littler box.

I just realized this has been my longest blog post yet, and it is literally just about litter boxes and training, so it is probably time to end it! I decided to write about this because of the number of questions and requests I've received on this subject, so please keep letting me know what you would like to see!

I hope some people found this information helpful. If anyone has any other tips or tricks for hiding litter boxes, please let me know. I would love to learn about some other options out there.

Thank you!


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