Need advice -- I don't know what to try next

by Helene
(Charlotte, NC, US)


I feel like I'm at my wits end with trying to get my rabbit, Paisley, age 8-ish to pee in her litter boxes. She is spayed. She uses the litter boxes, but she also pees in the middle of her cage -- usually once a day, but sometimes multiple times in multiple places. I'm just not sure what to try next.

I have the whole bottom of her cage (6' x 6') covered with absorbent bed liners (the kind used for incontinence), and I have to change out several pads every day. She uses the litter, but she also goes right in the middle of her cage, too. It has become a lot of labor to care for her. Her cage was double this size originally, but with her peeing, we made it smaller hoping she would litter train better. That has not happened.

Here are some variables, and I'd appreciate some guesses about what's going wrong.

1) I have three litter pans in her cage now. One is in each corner, with the door in the fourth corner. I use the cat litter made from newspaper, as recommended on many websites. I have her hay positioned in a box that just fits between two of her litter pans, so she can reach it from either side from one of the pans. I usually just pick out the wet litter and add some fresh. Maybe I need to be throwing out the whole contents of the pan, washing it, refilling it, and adding a little waste litter back -- every day? This would have me using a lot of litter daily, as there are three pans.

2) I have two beagle-sized rescue dogs who are fine with the rabbit. She grew up with a dog and cat in my son's home. I've had her for about 1.5 years after I offered to care for her while he was in grad school and in small living quarters. I thought it was good that she was comfortable with the dogs, who mostly ignore her, but maybe she's peeing to mark her territory -- every day? Maybe I should keep them off-limits, although I was guessing she enjoyed the companionship of all of us joining her every day.

3) She's been like this since she arrived, so I don't think it's new due to aging? I've had her to the vet, who just said it sounded like I was doing all the right things, and some rabbits just never litter train well.

I'm pretty discouraged thinking this is going to be my fate -- and our fate together. If anyone sees any nuances in what's going on and can spot some errors I'm making, I'd appreciate your advice. Thanks so much.

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