View Full Version : Bunnies Eating Litter

02-14-2002, 12:05 PM
Can anyone help me? I use the Carfresh litter for my "kids" because I am told it is all natural and it is good for them. Since I am that good mommy I try to give my kids things that are good for them. Well they like it too much...I think. :) Recently I have been noticing a decrease of litter in the litterbox. So when I changed the litter yesterday, they rolled in it and pushed it like they always do on a cleaning. Then they started eating it. Eating a lot of it. Is it going to hurt them. How much is too much for them to eat and what can I do about it? I will add pictures of my cute kids Boy Boy and Girl Girl real soon. Thanks for any help you can provide.

02-19-2002, 10:25 AM
When my buns did that the vet said a "Little" paper wouldn't hurt them. I guess I'd be concerned if you are noticing a difference in the amount of litter you put in. On thing I did that works very well is I went back to the pet store and bought my buns a litter box that has a grided
tray that sits inside the litter pan (on top of the litter)....the inner tray allows poop pellets to fall through to the litter.
Then I put some timothy hay in it since they like to sit in the litter boxes and relax (and eat) plus it protects their little feet. It wasn't expensive and I really think it works so well that I bought 3 more of them.

02-19-2002, 11:00 AM
GREAT IDEA !!! You are so wonderful !! Thank youi so much for that suggestion. They currently have 3 litter boxes. 2 are in the cage and one is at the door. Originally, they seemed to have to drop a little "present" on the way out so I put one there. Now that is their primary one. That is the one they eat, and roll in and kick around. The other one in the cage has hay in it and the other little one in there is because for some reason, there is ONE spot that they like to "tinkle" at and that is where they do it. Yes, they have me well trained. :-) But I am going to go today and find a litterbox with a grid. Thanks again, I am learning as I go along. ;)

02-20-2002, 09:15 AM
I hope the new litter pan works as well for your kids as it does mine. Care Fresh is really the best litter there is for buns and I think I've about tried them all. And while I admit Ithink it is a scream when the bunnies try to dig to China and throw litter everywhere, it is much easier to clean up afterwards. Good luck and let me know if it ends up working for you.

02-20-2002, 09:25 AM
I am going today at lunch to find it and to find a kitty scratching post because the "baby" has started the digging and chewing that her older sister just grew out of !! :mad: Patience Patience...we will make it through!! :)

02-25-2002, 12:48 PM
I'm a little confused by the scratching post, but whatever they use to dig up should be great.
Sorry, I've been out of town and didn't see your reply until today.... so how do your buns like the new litter tray?

If indeed the scratching post is what your buns use to dig on, another very good and maybe less expensive idea is to use new carpet scraps and put those down (anchored) in the corners or places your bunny likes to dig. I've also gone to carpet remanent/discount stores and paid a dollar each for their discontinued sample squares....they are usually a pretty good size...15 x 22" maybe??? I've also bought a remanent piece (5 foot) and then cut it up using one of those razor cutter to the size I need.
If you are unable to anchor the square down somehow (cuz when digging the buns sometimes move the carpet piece and then dig where they aren't supposed to--I have hardwood floors but others I know have "real" carpeting), I've also use heavy duty/industrial stapler and stapled a remanent to a piece of plywood. That's almost too heavy for them to move around.
Just another trick of the trade. Hope this helps.

02-26-2002, 08:34 AM
Daisy I have looked EVERYWHERE for a litter box with the grid and I can't find it. They were not interested in the scratching post, they want their corners. :) I will try the carpet remnants next. I am going to leave the house to them..they are in control. I have lost it !! :)

02-26-2002, 12:41 PM
I got my gridded litter pans at 2 different pet stores....Petsmart and Pet Supplies Plus. I also saw them at Petco. If you can't find one I should be able to pick one up and send it to you.
They're somewhere around $12 to $15.

03-21-2002, 09:21 AM
Daisey, I really appreciate that but if you can tell me what the litter pan looks like maybe they can order it but if not I may take you up on your offer and send you the money. Is it a big pan. My bunnies are kindda big. :) I saw the one that "sifts" the litter but that is all I saw. Thanks again for everything.

03-27-2002, 12:55 PM
That is such a great picture of your bunny kids!

04-01-2002, 12:31 PM
Daisey, I found the litterpan, and it was only $11.99. Now I need to get some nice odor controlling litter and hope they like it. My buns do not like Timothy hay as much as Alfafa. I know they need the Timothy hay. You think it is the brand they don't like. I am going to go to the oxen site...I think that's what is called and see if they like that. I am going to use the last of my stock of Carefresh before I switch. Any kitty litter suggestions that smell good?

04-02-2002, 09:40 AM
I like the Tidy Cat for Multiple Cats formula. The important thing with it though is not to use it in a pan that doesn't have the gridded shifting tray. Since it has chemicals in it for odor control, if the buns accidently ate it, it could cause serious problems. I also tried a new paper litter last week called Kitty Soft. It's in the form of pellets, rather than in chunks, and I thought it had great odor control. My buns liked it fine and I do not believe they attempted to eat it. I paid $5.59 for 10 lbs, which may or may not be reasonable....I can't figure out how to convert from liters and quarts (which is how Care Fresh comes) to pounds (Kitty Soft). I did a posting on it but I'm not sure anyone read it and it may be gone by now.
Yes, do pursue the Timothy Hay....my guys would not eat the Kaytee brand but love the Oxbox brand. I also saw 2 ads for a pure tim hay in the 2001-2002 Rabbit Annual magazine that came out in Dec. 01. I am going to post a message in Pet Health shortly about a problem both Bunnicula and I discovered in the past week with alfalfa based hay and pellets.
Hope you end up liking the shifting tray litter pan as much as I do.

04-02-2002, 09:47 AM
I just put it together last night. They went in an used it. Can't tell if they were thrilled. I used the Arm & Hammer litter and I put the Timothy hay in there but I didn't take their other litter box with the Carefresh away yet. Didn't want them to suffer serious withdarw. I was scared they would be confused. hee hee I can't wait to read your posting.

04-04-2002, 04:02 PM
I was just in www.bunnybytes.com. They have really good info on the various litters and hays that are made just for bunnies. I thought it was great that they explained the diff. hays and in what circumstances they should be fed to bunnies.

They also gave hints on how to change a bunnies diet and not stress either the bun or yourself when you decide to go to a diff. hay. It's a worthwhile read.

04-05-2002, 08:01 AM
Hi Daisey, yes they had a lot of excellent information. Guess what? The bunnies love the new litterbox HOWEVER, "mommy" is holding back progress. I only brought 1 box because I wanted to be sure they liked it. Well they still had their other 2 boxes and the other day they litterally ate all the litter out of the box! I was so concerned but I wanted to use all of my Carefresh. Didn't want to waste it. Now I will go get them 2 more "sifters" this weekend. That can't be healthy eating that stuff no matter how natural it is.

04-15-2002, 10:35 AM
Yes, I know about wanting to finish up the Care Fresh... Something else I wonder and is a question for a bunny vet....with them eating so much of the Care Fresh litter (essentially, paper)...could they have a vitamin deficiency or something???? I never thought of that until just now. And of course you can put Care Fresh in the bottom of the new litter box with the sifting pan.....and here's why I say that...

My Velvet has started to sneeze like crazy. His nose is all raw and crusty.... the vet said it is allergies. Not much can be done, except put a triple antibiotic on his nose and keep it cleaned up. I don't recall where but I read that clay litters can cause this too since they are dusty and can aggravate bunnies noses. So I'm trying Care Fresh in the sifting pans for a while....(had a little extra money this month!!! .:) )

04-15-2002, 10:55 AM
It seems they want something to "rolls in" and "play in" and the hay isn't hitting it and that grid is work to clean where in when I had the carefresh, I just scooped the plastic bad up and put a new one in. Now I have to get the "pellets" out of the grid. WORK!! What have you gotten me into?:) :)

04-15-2002, 11:39 AM
Here's the scoop....... I put the sifting part of the litter tray in a garbage bag, dump it, and then with my hand in a second bag (usually the plastic grocery bags we get an abundance of) I rub at the poop pellets (lighly) til they fall off into the garbage bag. If a poop pellet is truly stuck in one of the grids (and they do) I just "PoP" them with my finger...my hand still being in the grocery sack and the pan still being in the garbage bag. I don't find this hard to do at all.

The other secret I have is I dump 1/4-1/2 cup white vinegar in the bottom tray, put the shifting tray back in and gently swish it around....the "swish" and the vinegar removes urine that has dried on the grid. It's like magic.;)
The vinegar is also a disinfectant and a deodorizes the litter box.

Again with bunnies not liking change, and since they are stubborn, why don't you keep one of the old litter pans next to the new one for the next week then remove the old pan and put the new one in its place. And maybe if they are REALLY stubborn you could put 2 handfuls of Care Fresh on top of the grid for a week or so until they "move" to the new litter boxes completely. It will eventually be worth it! :) Good Luck!!!

04-15-2002, 11:45 AM
GOOD IDEA with the vinegar!!! You are wonderful!!! So what youi are telling me is that I have to go and buy some more Carefresh? Boy I tell you. I told you THEY run the house !! I am the occupant working to pay THEIR bills. :) :) I will give them their litter box back...temporarily. Now when i go to Hawaii for 2 weeks in June, who is going to cater to them like I do? The vet wants them to stay there but I think I need to find a "pet sitter" because I don't think they will do good "caged" for 2 weeks. What do you think? Let me know when you get tired of me asking so many questions. :D :D

04-16-2002, 11:09 AM
I JUST LOVE talking about bunnies and I never get tired of questions, so don't fret. In fact, our bunny sanctuary is giving a free class for new bunny owners on 4/25 and guess who the main speaker is?????

If we were closer I'd volunteer to bunny sit for you!!! But since I'm not....You might see if you have any friends who have older (i.e., reliable) teens going to maybe a local community college and who are still living at home, who would just LOVE to get away from mom and dad for a week or two and see if they could sit with the buns.

The other thing I mentioned to Bunnicula is have you thought (yes, this means spending more $s) about getting portable fencing from the pet store? I bought it to keep Daisy away from a new chest of drawers I had just bought. With this fencing Daisy gets 3/4rds of the bedroom to run loose in when I'm not home. I can also use it when I have enough energy to put the buns in my back yard and I can lug it to my Dad's or into another room of the house when I need to.... in fact I'm thinking of getting another one so I don't have to go up and down the stairs as often (lazy, eh?). I think it's really great pet supply to have. They're priced according to size but they do provide a good size for running around in and I think they are worth it....up here they start at about $60. This way the buns don't need to be caged when you aren't at home. Also, the House Rabbit Soc. is advising new rabbit owners to use this instead of a cage. You had mentioned in another thread that you were looking for a run....well, this could serve as one.

And Care Fresh...yeah...but I tell you I'm only using one bag a month instead of five or six when I put it on top the the clay litter.... :D

04-17-2002, 08:25 AM
ok Daisy, the binnies win !! I now know my place in the house. I went an put their old litter box down with some Carefresh and you know what they did? They went to bathroom in the litterbox and did not leave a DROP on the floor !! THEY WIN!! They ate it, rolled in it, and was so happy !! THEY WIN !!!:) :)

04-17-2002, 03:22 PM
So you have given up on the new litter boxes??? And you didn't try putting a couple of handfuls of Care Fresh in the sifting tray itself????
Well, I know how it goes...sometimes the bunnies are just too stubborn for their own good.
They are in command and we are but their loyal subjects. :D

04-18-2002, 06:36 AM
I did do that and they went in the new one too but they did MORE in the old one. I will slowly integrate them over. I think I was too hasty in taking away what they were used to. But I am learning. Question.....yes another one...I don't think they are eating enough hay. Is there a certain amount or they will eat when they want to or should I take something away so they will not have so many choices and eat the hay?

04-18-2002, 10:35 AM
You are right on the nose (no pun intended) about probably trying to switch the litter pans around too quickly...(or change their food too quickly, etc, etc, etc)....Stubborn, Stubborn, Stubborn is their motto. ;)

I too worried about my guys not eating enough hay at first. I can't claim any wonderous miracles on this one... I did cut back a little on their fresh veggies in order to try and force them to eat the hay. As I recall I only got so-so results... and then I felt GUILTY about depriving them of their nourishment, BAD, BAD Mom!!!!!

Really, one day they just started eating it on their own, kinda like Mikey in that old Kellogg commercial. Now they will often eat hay before the veggies....go figure. My Daisy was even worse...he would not eat hay at all....but I kept putting it down every day...it took me 2 years but he's finally eating it. :D

Wish I had a magic answer on this one but I'm afraid I don't. :(

OH...I wanted to tell you I'm running an experiment with my sifting litter boxes. I've got 3--one has clay litter, one has 1/2 clay and a covering of Care Fresh,and the other is just Care Fresh. I'm trying to see if those stinkers can REALLY tell the difference. it's a little early to draw conclusions and I'm thinking the location of the box is probably a factor as well.... ;)

04-18-2002, 10:49 AM
:D :D You are so funny!! Let me know how your experiment goes. As far as the hay goes, they BETTER start eating it. You know how expensive it is to just sit there and then you are supposed to put fresh hay everyday...not if they aren't eating it. That is wating money!! ;) I figure as long as they eat their veggies they will be fine. They ALWAYS eat their veggies. And guess what? I wasn't going to jinx it but we are at day 5 with NO CHEWING on ANYTHING!!! No baseboards or carpet!! :D :D :D I am doing backflips!!:D AND they haven't made any noise at o'dark thirty in the morning. Actually, they are being IDEAL well behave bunnies!! I think I will keep them !!:) :)

04-18-2002, 03:51 PM
FIVE days without chewing?!?!?!?!! I am VERY impressed.....You must be doing something right! ...That, or they are too full from all the Care Fresh you said they ate earlier in the week!!! ;)

From what I've read chewing is a female thing..trying to get ready to make a nest (even if neutered, you can't fool Mother Nature). Boys chew stuff too, just "supposedly" not as much or often. Maybe your two are finally settling down, now that they are more "mature" and have THEIR place just like they like it! Bunnies just love to do Home Improvements.... :rolleyes:

Don't get too relaxed though...sooner or later someone is most likely going to start up again...mine seem to go in spurts of destructiveness. Just what you wanted to hear, right? Oh well....gotta love 'em! :p

04-22-2002, 06:48 AM
Well, I went out of town this weekend and left them home alone and guess what? NO CHEWING !! :D :D My house was still in order !!:D :D I won't get too comfortable though.

04-22-2002, 11:27 AM
So what did you do about a pet sitter? And you let them stay loose...they had the run of your whole place??? Now, I AM really impressed!!!

I'm willing to leave my guys alone for a day and a half but after that I get antsy....(besides my family drives me crazy and the "I have to go home and feed the bunnies" excuse works quite well with them!!!) ;)

04-22-2002, 11:59 AM
Yes they run loose...they sleep under my bed or in the middle of the hallway looking down the steps...planning their getaway!! :) :) I am still looking for a pet sitter but I figure if I buy those disposable litterboxes, whoever comes to feed them can just get the litterbox and drop it in the trash and I will have more already prepared, just like their food. And as long as someone comes and rubs them and feeds them, they will be ok. Now they won't get the care like their mommy gives them but they won't be confined to a cage either.

04-22-2002, 12:41 PM
I really like your idea of the disposable litter boxes and getting their meals bagged up ahead of time. I am definitely going to remember that. I have a trip planned for the last week of July and I've been struggling with what to do with the buns. (I'd love to take them with me......)

I'd rather leave them at home, since that's where they are more comfortable (and since they don't like change) but I had problems with my sitter and haven't used her since... I've got a new sitter I've only used for long weekends or I probably could take them to the sanctuary and let the director look after them. It's hard to know what's best. Unfortunately, unlike your good kids, one of mine has a problem with using the litter box consistently to pee in.....leaving her loose might is just too chancy as far as the sitter goes.... Then there's the problem if I lock her up, she'll be lonely, so who will I put in with her.... :confused: Well, I guess I have time to think (and worry) about it yet.

04-22-2002, 01:14 PM
I am still looking into options. But I am leaning toward my plan I stated and ask a few people to look in on the kids to come and pet them and show them some companionship.

04-27-2002, 08:10 PM
hi tazz,
I don't know if this is helpful or if it is too late to post, but my Pippi used to eat a bit of her Carefresh litter until I started putting a lot of timmy hay on top of the litter in the box. it seems that she really just prefers the hay now and won't touch much of the carefresh.

perhaps this would work for the mommy bunny. plus, putting hay in the box promotes hay-eating, and ingesting fiber is so vital for buns:-)

take care!

04-29-2002, 06:29 AM
Hi Jess...thank yoiu for the advice. You know this past weekend, when my greedy "kids" had again eaten the Carefresh, I noticed they did start eating more hay. I had told Daisey I was concerned they did not eat enough hay. But my thing is if I put the hay on the top of the litter, am I not defeating the purpose because they will go to the bathroom on the hay and they it will become contaminated. :( Help me if that is not what you were talking about. Thanks again.


04-29-2002, 07:25 AM
Hi again, Tazz:

Yes, putting the hay on top of the carefresh is what i'm talking out. It's safe as far as I am concerned, and I have read so in I believe the House Rabbit Handbook. Also, you should join the EtherBun Listserv if you can, because they have tons of information to answer this question.

I started putting hay in the litterbox about a month ago. Pipp jumps in the litterbox and begins munching munching munching. She eventually munches half of the hay up and reserves the other half for the "bathroom" area. She doesn't eat the "contaminated" hay.

Plus, remember that buns eat their own cecal feces...so their poo isn't completely toxic:-)

Hope this is helpful....and you might want to join the listserv below.

~Jess (and Pippi, who gets spayed tomorrow!)

EtherBun Guidelines are available at
To Post a message, send it to: [email protected]
To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to: [email protected]


04-29-2002, 07:45 AM
I was part of the list group but too many emails were coming in. (smile) I will try that tonight with the hay. Thanks for the information. Do you have any pictures of Pippi?

04-29-2002, 08:13 AM
Hi Tazz,
I know what you mean about that listserv. My hotmail acct keeps telling me my box is getting too full:-)

As soon as I develop my film I'll post a Pippi Pic:-)

Good luck with the litter! Hope you can distract the bun from eating the carefresh by adding the hay:-)

04-29-2002, 08:24 AM
I can't wait. Here is a picture of my "plump" kids. :) There are more pictures at webshots if you just can't get enough of them. :D :D http://community.webshots.com/user/taz1227

04-29-2002, 08:41 AM
Aww....they are so cute! My Pippi is an uppity-eared bun, so it's so nice to see some lops hopping around. Your kiddies really love their litterbox...it shows!


04-29-2002, 08:52 AM
They do love their litterbox. They have gotten so lazy !! But they are so cute. I am from Philadelphia. I see you are from Pennsylvania.

04-29-2002, 01:13 PM
As usual, here I am at the end of a bunny conversation.....

The other thing to remember is that no bunny will eat their entire allotment of hay (this used to drive me crazy)... I'm sure you've noticed that they will selectively pick and choose which strand of hay they will eat, it has to be JUST right! ;)
And yeah, they won't eat their soiled hay so I've learned just to toss and add fresh hay twice a day. Tazz, It sounds like you've given up on the sifting litter tray....?

04-29-2002, 01:17 PM
No never give up. They use their sifting tray in their "play room" but we are having a power struggle over them using it in their main room. I don't know why. So I was doing as you suggested and slowly migrating them in but once they saw and smelled the Carefresh...you know where they went. So I am going to cover the Carefresh with hay so they get used to the hay and slowly take the EXPENSIVE Carefresh away. :) :) You said you mix it together? I am always so busy trying to keep the hay and litter separate. So you are saying, they will separate the litter from the hay they want? I am SLOWLY being trained. I have a friend that wants to sit for them while I am gone coming over today to see if they like her. :D :D I know they will not....they are so spoiled.

04-29-2002, 03:20 PM
(pssst...sshhhh!!! I had started a reply earlier today and then decided discretion was the better part of valor...in other words my boss came in... and got off POTD pronto!!!!) :D

Remember that experiment I was running about litter and litter boxes??? Well, I'm depressed. My guys tell me they love the Carefresh, no matter if it's underneath a sifting tray or not. But mine don't eat it like yours do. I think they like it because it's soft to lay on. :confused:

No I never mixed the hay in with the carefresh....I put it on top in a pile at one end of the tray and then THEY distributed it over the rest of the Carefresh or sifting tray when they were selecting which strand of hay they thought was worthy of their attention. However I did con them by putting a layer to Tidy cat in (about an inch) and then an inch or two of Care Fresh in both the sifting tray as well as the pan without the sifting tray....they didn't seem to notice, or if they did, they didn't tell me about it. And by combining using the two diff types of litter I'm still not buying as much of the Carefresh as I was when that's all I used.

They're stubborn and they are smart. ;) I guess I'll keep using some Care Fresh after all.:o

04-30-2002, 07:14 AM
So they broke you down too???:p It is true...they love the softness of the litter box and I am not fighting anymore !! THEY WIN!!:D :D I am still not giving up on the sifting box in the playroom. It is working. It just seems in their bedroom they want the softness. Not worth fighting over.

Heather Wallace
04-30-2002, 11:05 AM
Hope you don't mind me butting in to the conversation, you are all so lucky, my buns are not litter trainned at all.

Poor me, They just won't take to it at all.

I have to go around with the vacum, so when they are in the house I have to limit them to 1/2 rooms.

04-30-2002, 11:19 AM
First Heather, you are not butting in. All input is welcome. :) :) I am kindda lucky, they are litterbox trained but they still "drop" a little but nothing a dustbuster can't pick up and that only seems to happen near their play box and they kick out their newspaper and bedding. :( But they litterbox trained themselves. I put it in their cage and they went. I was doing the happy dance !! They love their litterbox !:D :D

04-30-2002, 12:10 PM
Heather, have you tried to get them to use a litter box? Bunny should have no problem with it at all since she is older. Older buns are so much easier to train because they've figured out they don't want poop and pee in their food, etc. Even wild bunnies will select one area of burrow as their watercloset.

As I mentioned to Tazz, the key to get them using the litter box is to put some of their timmy hay in at one end in a pile. The other trick is to put the box(es) where THEY want it, not necessarily where you want it. Just put out a pan (or two or three) and see where they go, then if necessary move the pan to where the location they choose. You usually should start out with several pans and then gradually take them away as the buns get used to them. You should also have at least one in each room they have access to as they won't they the living room (especially if they are having fun) to use the litter box by the back door. There's ways to hide the litter box too if you're concerned about appearances..... You might check the house rabbit soc website on litter training. It really is easy! ;)
Try it, you'll like it!

04-30-2002, 12:20 PM
It was SO EASY !!!!:D :D :D

Heather Wallace
05-02-2002, 06:13 AM
Thanks guys, Each hutch has a tray in it, as it is easier when cleaning the hutch. The two girls are the cleanest and do most of their toliet it. Twinkle is quite clean to but Cadbury just drops where he is standing.

It's when they come out of their hutches in the spare room that the problem starts. I have put trays down but still they prefer to do it on the floor.

What I shall do is try again by putting trays in both rooms when they come out of the hutch and I will let you know how it goes, it would be so much better for them if they done it in trays as I could leave them to roam about on their own a bit more.

05-02-2002, 06:54 AM
Don't give up Heather. I have had to move trays to accomodate them more than I can count.

05-02-2002, 10:39 AM
Originally posted by tazz1227
Don't give up Heather. I have had to move trays to accomodate them more than I can count.

I agree, don't give up. Just remember that they will tell you where they want their litter pans.... Start putting the pans where they are doing their business and putting one right in front of the cage door/or hutch door is an excellent idea, since most rabbits will go immediately upon release from their cage. You might take a quick look at the House Rabbit Soc website,www.rabbit.org, they have litter training advice. ;) Just remember that they are stubborn and this will take a lot of your patience. Good luck!!