6 Small Pets You Can Litter Box Train

Cats aren’t the only pets that can use a litter box. Lots of small pets can also be potty trained with patience and consistency.

Apr 30, 2024By Molly Weinfurter
small pets you can litter box train

Litter boxes are commonly associated with cats. Domesticated cats can usually learn to use the litter box on their own, making them much more independent than dogs. However, there are other pets that can be litter box trained, too. They may not pick up on it instinctually, but with your assistance, you can help your small pets stay cleaner.

6. Bearded Dragons

bearded dragon on log
Image credit: Pixabay

Most animals that can be litter trained are mammals, but some lizard owners have found success in potty training bearded dragons. Bearded dragons are more intelligent than people give them credit for. They need lizard enrichment activities to keep their minds busy. So, with enough patience and consistency, these reptiles can be potty trained.

Bearded dragons don’t relieve themselves nearly as much as small mammals do, so it’s easier for them to hold it. They typically poop in the same area of their enclosure anyway, so try adding a litter box in that spot.

You may have to start by lining the litter box with a substrate that the lizard is familiar with. Then, when they start using their litter box, you can slowly add a bit of litter at a time to help them get used to it.

5. Guinea Pigs

guinea pig with litter box
Image credit: Pexels

Guinea pigs poop about 100 times per day, so litter training is a great way to make cleaning a guinea pig enclosure manageable. They’re likely to have the occasional accident since they can’t hold it for long, but keeping most of it to one spot can make a huge difference.

These small mammals poop so much because they need to be constantly eating. A healthy guinea pig diet consists of pellets, vegetables, and hay. So, setting up a litter bin near their hay basket can make it easier for them to make it to their litter box in time. Keeping the area with the litter box dark can also make it more comfortable for them to use.

As a guinea pig learns to use their litter box, don’t empty it completely. Leave some soiled pieces of litter so your guinea pig understands that’s where they’re supposed to go. If they keep pooping outside the litter box, scoop up the loose poops and put a few in the litter box. If you ever see your guinea pig use their litter box, reward them with a tasty fruit or vegetable snack.

4. Chinchillas

chinchilla elevated surface
Image credit: Pexels

Like guinea pigs, chinchillas are eating and pooping constantly. So, litter training a chinchilla could be life-changing for pet owners. Luckily, most chinchillas have a favorite spot to do their business, which can be a great place to put a litter box.

Make sure the litter box has plenty of space for the chinchilla to comfortably enter and do their business. If they urinate outside the litter box, pick up that piece of bedding (if you can) and place it in the litter box. You can do the same with poop but remember that even trained chinchillas will likely poop outside of the litter box now and then.

Treats can encourage chinchillas, so reward them when they do their business in the right place. Cheerios and dried hibiscus are great snacks for chinchillas.

3. Hedgehogs

hedgehog on pavement
Image credit: Pixabay

Pet hedgehogs require a lot of special care, but a litter box can make the cleaning part of their care much easier. Their waste is slightly bigger than similar species, and they tend to poop where they can. Sometimes, they poop in unideal places, like while running on a wheel.

To get started, choose a corner of the enclosure to place the litter box. Hedgehogs have a strong sense of smell, so scent is a great way to get them to use their litter box. If the whole enclosure smells like poop, they’ll be fine going anywhere. Whenever you spot urine or feces outside of the litter box, move the soiled bedding pieces into the litter box so all the smells are in one area.

Hedgehogs should be able to figure out where their bathroom is over time, but making sure the litter is a different texture than the rest of their bedding can help.

2. Rabbits

rabbit in hay
Image credit: Pixabay

Rabbits can be potty trained, which is great considering that they constantly poop. They like to have a large litter box, so a shallow, medium-sized cat litter box should suffice. If there’s a spot your rabbit regularly does their business, consider placing the litter box there.

Keep an eye on your rabbit as much as possible during the potty-training process. If you see them about to relieve themselves, gently pick them up and move them into the litter box. After they go in the litter box, praise them with a treat like you would for a dog or cat.

While your rabbit is learning, be patient with them. Don’t yell or scare them for having an accident because that could make the process take even longer while harming their trust in you.

1. Ferrets

holding white ferret
Image credit: Pexels

Ferrets only poop a few times a day. So, once they’re potty trained, they’re less likely to have accidents than other small pets. It’s one of the many pros of having a pet ferret.

Like other pets, they typically have a preferred spot to do their business, so place the litter box there. If your ferret has free run of the house, make sure there’s a litter box in every room they have access to. Keep the litter boxes away from where they usually sleep.

If you know your ferret’s routine, litter training should be a breeze. Around the times that they normally do their business, put them in the litter box. For example, many ferrets relieve themselves right after they wake up. Give your ferret a treat every time they pee or poop in the right spot.

These animals are just a few examples of pets that can be potty trained. Many small pets can learn to use a litter box if you take the time to help them understand your expectations.

Molly Weinfurter
By Molly Weinfurter

Molly has over 5 years of experience writing about animals for various websites. She has two pets of her own: a small dog (Mabel) and an axolotl (Wooper). She’s extremely passionate about helping animals in need, so she regularly volunteers with animal organizations by fostering pets, helping at adoption events, and educating about puppy mills.