Is it possible to housetrain a rabbit?

Rabbits can be taught to use a litter tray like cats, although it is better to offer them an open litter tray, as they prefer to be able to see their surroundings at all times, while cats will generally appreciate more seclusion.

Line the tray in the same way though, preferably using a lightweight litter, and place your rabbit here after it has eaten. Rabbits are very clean animals by nature, which is why even in a hutch, they will tend to soil in one area only.

Once the rabbit is using its litter tray therefore, it will usually continue to do so without problems, although it is not a good idea to wash this out using a strong disinfectant. Any lingering scent may be off-putting for the rabbit, causing it to see an alternative site. Stick to one of the proprietary disinfectants recommended for use with small animals for this reason.

You are likely to notice a breakdown in house-training when your rabbit is becoming mature, typically around 20-24 weeks old. It is actually a good idea to have your pet neutered at this stage, but try to find a vet who is used to carrying out such surgery, because rabbits can sometimes react badly to being anaesthetised.

Neutering will not only help to rectify any breakdown in toilet-training, but it will also assist in preventing female rabbits succumbing to diseases of the reproductive tract, which are a common cause of death in later life. It can also make bucks more docile.

* You can find more advice here about the different types of cat litter that are available.