Rabbit Tipping Litter Box - Why and how to stop it.

Rabbit Tipping Litter Box – Why and how to stop it.

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Among many adorable things that your rabbits do that put a smile on your face; tipping a litter box over is not one of them. Being a bunny parent, I find it very annoying. If this habit of dumping the litter tray has become an incessant hassle for you, read this to find out the reasons behind this bunny behavior and useful tips to stop it. 

Rabbits usually tip the litter box either in excitement or in boredom. Other times rabbits kick and knock the litter box over if it is smelly or the size, surface, and bedding are uncomfortable. Just by providing clean, soft, and suitable litter boxes, you may stop rabbits from tipping litter boxes. 

In this article, I am going to discuss certain common reasons and basic easy-to-follow tips to get over this problem.

Rabbit Litter Box With Pine Pellets

Why Do Rabbits Tip the Litter Box?

Rabbits tip litter boxes deliberately or by accident. Aggression, boredom, fear, laziness, and cleanliness habits may make them tip their litter box. Occasional, rabbits suffering from arthritis cannot maintain their balance and tip their litter box and other things.

Let’s dig into the reasons that your bunny might be dumping their litter box.

1. Bunny’s Clumsy and Lazy Attitude

Active and energetic rabbits sometimes act clumsily. They bump into things and tip them over by accident.

Rabbits are high-spirited and lively creatures. But like most other living beings, they experience mood swings and boredom. Any environmental and biological changes can induce laziness in them. At that point, they feel low and tip the things around them like litter boxes accidentally. 

Read this article to learn why rabbits stop using litter boxes.

2. Too Big Or Too Small Litter Box

The size of the litter box is a common reason for tipping rabbit litter trays. Too big or too small, high edged or sharp rimmed, and too rough or too slippery litter boxes cause can make going to the litter box more difficult for your rabbit.

Rabbits need a comfy litter box for doing their business. Otherwise, it may annoy them and they may show their irritation by tipping the litter box over.

The litter box needs to be large enough that your rabbit can comfortably sit entirely in the litter without resting on the edge of the litter box.

Materials that are being used for litter box bedding can tempt rabbits to turn their litter box over if it is not up to your rabbits’ liking. Thin layered bedding is not considered a comfortable one for the bunny.

Here’s a link to an article where you can learn what most rabbit owners put in their rabbit’s litter box.

3. Rabbit’s Obesity and Arthritis

Are your rabbits getting heavy and obese? If that’s the case, plumpy and chubby buns will have difficulty climbing into the litter box and are likely to tumble and knock the box over.

Arthritis in old rabbits can be the cause of litter box mess, as their legs do not support them well as they jump in and out of the box.  

4. Stinky Litter box

Did you know that rabbits are clean freaks? They not only clean themselves but their surroundings too. Whenever they see dirty, stinky, used, and soiled litter boxes, they might just have the urge to flip the box.  

Sometimes, rabbits refuse to use the same litter box that has already been used by another pet. 

5. Unaccustomed Litter Box

Rabbits get attached to humans, fellow rabbits, and their inanimate belongings. They feel safe and relaxed with the things that have been around them for a long time. This includes their bed, toys, and even their litter boxes. 

Therefore, rabbits may feel scared and act jumpy when you buy them a new and unfamiliar litter box. 

6. Pet Fights

When you are having two or more rabbits, you’ll sometimes see territorial behavior between the rabbits. In these skirmishes, their litter box might become a casualty.

7. Untrained and Stubborn Bunnies

Sometimes bunnies are not trained well enough to use the litter box as we’d hoped. Potty training can take some time, especially for more stubborn rabbits.

Here’s a quick video to help you litter train your rabbit:

8. Litter Box in the Wrong Place

Be mindful of the places where your bunnies flip flop, run, jump and play. Most of the time, litter boxes remain in the places where rabbits perform their daily routines. As a result, they accidentally tip them over. 

9. Rabbits Digging in Litter Box

Digging is the rabbits’ favorite hobby. They start to dig the litter box out of instinct if they can not find proper soil or earth.

While doing so, rabbits are vigorous and get excited and most of the time cause the litter box to turn upside down. 

You might save the litter box by making them a digging box.

Dutch Rabbit
Dutch Rabbit – Photo Credit RabbitPros.com

9 Tips to Stop Rabbits From Tipping Litter Box

1. Right Size, Shape, and Style 

The size of the litter box has to be chosen carefully. The litter box should be double the length and width of your rabbit. Small-sized boxes are easily tipped over by the rabbit’s paws. 

The height of the rabbit also decides the right size of the litter box. Uncovered and open boxes for large rabbits are adequate. A heavy, smooth-edged, and mildly rough-surfaced box is a better choice. 

Unenclosed saggy and low-rimmed boxes go for the rabbits having mobility issues because of arthritis or obesity.

2. Comfortable Litter Material

Hard, rugged, uneven, and old shabby litter box material make rabbits butt scratchy. Comfortable, snuggly, and germ-free material is the key to preventing the litter box from kicking.

Bedding made up of carefresh material, recycled newspaper, soft, non-clumpy soil is ideal for bunny rabbits. 

3. Suitable Type of Litter Box

Choose a litter box that gives your rabbit ease, privacy, and ultimate safety.

Open boxes are affordable and easy to clean. You can keep an eye on your rabbit to fend off any mishap. The drawback is: the stench may make the air unbreathable.

Sifting boxes are cost-effective and alleviate the trouble of digging and scooping litter by hand. It separates the waste from the clean bedding material. 

Disposable boxes are cheap and save you from washing and wiping yucky litter. It can be thrown away after a week. However, it is not durable, gets cracked and leaky.  

Covered boxes are the same as the open boxes except with a lid and it slows down the unpleasant smell to permeate in the air. As you can expect, covered boxes are a bit harder to clean. 

4. Odor Absorbers

Stink remains in the litter box even though you are following standard cleaning. Your immaculate bunnies find it very disturbing and disgusting. 

Natural Odor eliminators like charcoal filters, baking soda, white vinegar can be mixed with litter box components. They have no adverse side effects on bunnies.  

5. Nutritious Diet

Yes, you read it right. Change in the rabbit’s diet can lessen the litter box mess. Unhygienic and junk food disturb her stomach and bring forth psychological distress and inconvenience. 

The wrong diet agitates bunnies. The nutritious rabbit diet of fresh drinking water, good quality hay or grass keep your bunny happy and healthy, therefore no litter box kicking.

6. Clean Litter Box

Set the reminders if you keep forgetting to clean your bunny’s litter box. Waste should be removed and discarded daily or at least every other day.

Cleaning and scrubbing the bunny after soaking in the hot water are requisite. If necessary, ammonia-based cleansers and detergents can be used along with hot water.

7. Multiple litter boxes

Some rabbit owners find that a single litter box is just not enough for their rabbit. I use at least two litter boxes for each of my rabbits. It is an additional precaution to get dirty. One litter box is for usual regular use. You should get your rabbit familiar with the other litter box once in a while.  

8. Fasten the Litter box

On a slippery surface, when a rabbit tries to jump in, the litter box can slide away and tip over. Use the rug or mat under the box.

You can also use zip tie or wire to secure the box with a heavy object. 

9. Ditch old nasty litter box

Litter boxes are usually composed of plastic. Plastic is vulnerable to molds and allows various germs to inhabit it. Therefore, plastic litter boxes should be replaced annually. 

10. Get A Better Litter Box!

If all else fails, get a better rabbit litter box, and by “better” I mean a solid heavy litter box that simply can’t be flipped.

My favorite litter boxes are made by the good people over at PhillyCreations on Etsy. { Click here to see their litter boxes on Etsy. >>> }

Image of A rabbit Feeder
Best Rabbit Litter Box – Photo Credit – PhillyCreations on Etsy

Did you know rabbit droppings is a great fertilizer for your garden? Dig a hole in the garden and dump the waste in it rather than disposing it of in the garbage bin. 

That’s all from my side — I hope you’ll be able to change your rabbit’s behavior in a positive sense after reading this post.


My name is Stacey Davis and my family has kept rabbits for decades. Here on RabbitPros.com we share our love of rabbits, our experience, and lots of research to help you enjoy your pet bunny even more.

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