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Rabbit Litterbox Training

The ease with which rabbits can be litterbox
trained makes them wonderful indoor pets.  
Rabbits in the wild select specific elimination
spots, or “latrines” or “scrapes” that mark their
territories.  Domesticated rabbits maintain the
predilection for selecting and consistently
using one or more elimination sites.  
To litterbox train, let your rabbit select his
elimination site, and place the litterbox there.  
Most rabbits will continue to use that specific
site.  If your rabbit is to be caged when not
being supervised, train the rabbit to use his
litterbox in the cage.  Once your rabbit has
selected a site in his cage and has used it with
consistency, place the litterbox in that
location.  Once your rabbit is trained, you can
let him out of your cage and leave the door
propped open so the rabbit can enter the
cage to use the litterbox.  If a cage is not to be
used, identify an area where you want the
litterbox to be, and then confine your rabbit to
that area until the site is selected and
continuously used by your rabbit.
Litterboxes should be large enough for the
rabbit to lay down in.  Safe substrates or litter
include hay, straw, aspen bark, sterile peat
moss, compressed sawdust, litter products
made from paper, alfalfa, or oat, and non-
clumping litter.  Do not use clumping litter,
cedar, or pine shavings, or clay litters with
deodorant crystals.
Rabbits may move their litterboxes; this is
normal behavior.  In the wild, rabbits
manipulate their environments, including
moving their latrines. Once a rabbit has
selected a litterbox location, it will generally
remain loyal to that site even if the litterbox is
Rabbits make wonderful inside pets, and with
a little time, patience, and care, litterbox
training your rabbit should not be a problem.

Article submitted by:
HealthPointe Veterinary
740 Shoals Road, Duncan,SC 29334 Phone 864-486-
8177 Fax 864-486-8006
Committed to maintaining and enhancing the quality
and wellness of your pet's life.
Rabbit Sanctuary, Inc.
PO Box 80036
Simpsonville, SC   29680

Buttons belongs to
Debbie Womack. She
rescued him from a
vet who was
supposed to
euthanize him due to
testicular cancer.
That simply means
that he had to be
Emmet belongs to
Debbie Womack & the
following is their story.
Will the Real Emmett just ….Blink??

I found this photo deep in a drawer and began to think back to how old my little friend really is.
The date on the photo is July 27, 2000. I calculated that by then Emmett was already an old
man. I’ll never forget when Heidi gave him to me for my birthday. Yes, I love all animals but
what possessed her to give me a live rabbit?! As I took hold of him I experienced that moment
when you loose your breath and your heart all at the same time. I had never felt anything as
soft as his fur. He was so small and those eyes seemed way too big. He squirmed and
struggled to be free but I held him under my chin and felt the rapid heartbeat slowly calm
down. Heidi said that she remembered when we had been a gift shop and upon finding a
rabbit figurine I commented that it would be great to have a pet rabbit. I still do not remember
that event but I’m really glad she did! The pet shop had told her it was a female rabbit so I
began to think of names. The name Emma kept coming into my head and I could not seem to
place why of think of any other name. So the rabbit became Emma, at least until the vet
determined it was indeed a BOY! Well Emma became Emmett Kelly. He was a real clown and
at the time I was a collector of clowns. It made perfect sense. Oh, and one day I realized where
the name Emma had come from. I had been to an art exhibit and fallen in love with a
watercolor painting of a white spotted rabbit named “Emma”.
My husband was enraged at the idea of a rabbit in the house. A week later an acquaintance
made a stupid comment about “eating it” and he flew to the rabbits defense. Emmett was now
a member of the family. He endured the presence of numerous cats and was never any
trouble. When I look back now I realize I didn’t give him enough attention.
But Emmett thrived and forgave until the day our world exploded around us. I left my husband
and my friend Emmett behind and moved into my mother’s house. I had to survive breast
cancer and I was overwhelmed with depression. My career was gone (I worked for my
husband) My security was gone. My health was gone. I finally convinced my mother to allow
Emmett to join me. I needed him desperately. We stayed  together for months until the
chemotherapy and radiation treatments were completed. An elder mother can hardly adjust to
the intrusion of a mature daughter and her pet rabbit. We had to go. Emmett and I took up
residence in a twenty-seven foot camper trailer in a park nearby. Space was small and
Emmett had the best spot on the dining table by the big sunny window. It was a very
entertaining year of heat, ice storms, and oceans of tears and hugs. Our exercise was pacing
and hoping the six feet of space between the bed and the bathroom. Many times I held him
under my chin and felt that rapid heartbeat that I love so much. We now have a good life
together in a three-room house! There is plenty of room for his cage right beside my bed and
In front of a big window. His age of almost fourteen years is beginning to show. His fur is still
soft as talcum powder but it sheds constantly and looks a little patchy. Emmett is smaller,
slower and a little irritable. He still makes me laugh when he yawns, rolls over and kicks. A
year ago he got a new friend, “Buttons”. I had hoped they would share company but they only
fought. Buttons, a seven  year old male, was someone’s classroom project. When the
students moved on he became abandoned at the vet’s office and he had testicular cancer.
Can one cancer survivor reject another? Hardly, I love to hold Buttons under my chin and feel
his rapid heartbeat. It is this rhythm of life and love that sustains us though our trials. Thank
you Emmett, Thank You Buttons, Thank You God
Debbie Womack         2008
An Update to the Emmett story

Emmett passed away in 2010 after
living an exceedingly long and
loved life. He is survived by Debbie,
Buttons and Max who miss him