It is understandable and natural when you first bring your rabbits home and they have little accidents around their new environment. But what if your rabbit is litter trained and urinates on you or your furniture?
Many new rabbit owners want to “why does my rabbit pee on me?” The reason could be fear, behavioral changes, medical issues, marking their territory, or they need to be litter trained.
In this article, we will take a comprehensive look at each conceivable reason. We’ll also go through medical concerns in detail and when your rabbit should see a veterinarian. Finally, we respond to some of the most commonly asked questions.
Why Do Rabbits Pee on Me?
Although rabbits may inadvertently urinate on their owners from time to time, a bunny that pees on you or on furniture regularly is unusual and unacceptable.
There are many things that can cause your rabbits to exhibit abnormal urinary habits. Let’s look at the causes of urine spraying and abnormal urination habits.
As prey animals, rabbits are quite skittish and can startle easily. This is especially true if they aren’t used to interacting with people or other house pets.
Picking up your rabbit for a cuddle may seem like a harmless act to you. However, to a rabbit, it feels like a predator-grasp. As a result, fear may be one of the major reasons your bunny pees on you when you pick them up. Because they are unsure of what’s going to happen next, your rabbit might pee involuntarily once they’re in your arms.
Rabbits, like people, react to change. A rabbit’s urine habit may change if it does not agree with a change in its surroundings, such as a new human, new pet, hutch location change, or food schedule change.
To circumvent this issue, ensure that changes to a rabbit’s surroundings are made gradually.
Marking Their Territory
As a natural inclination, healthy rabbits, particularly males will regularly mark their territory. Unneutered or unspayed rabbits housed together will attempt to mark their enclosures, each other, and you to assert dominance.
It’s possible that your bunny’s urinating on you is a sign of sexual maturity. Spraying occurs when rabbits intentionally urinate on other rabbits, objects, or their owner to identify them as their own.
If your rabbit normally uses the litter box properly, a sudden change in urine might indicate a life-threatening medical issue. Take your rabbit to a veterinarian as soon as possible if you detect a major difference in how he or she uses the litter box.
Here are a few signs and symptoms to look out for:
The condition of incontinence in rabbits is defined as a lack of voluntary control of urination. A lack of bladder tone or a bladder blockage caused by a calcium build-up is the most common cause.
Although incontinence affects older rabbits between the ages of three and five, it can also affect younger rabbits for a variety of reasons.
Neurological causes to consider:
- Local nerves that govern bladder and valve function are damaged.
- Injuries to the spinal cord
- Cerebellum and regions of the brain that govern voluntary urination injuries
- Hormonal imbalance
Other factors to be aware of:
- Inadequate water intake is a risk factor, which can be caused by filthy water bowls and dirty water
- Not cleaning your pet’s litter box or cage cleaning regularly may lead some rabbits to avoid peeing for unusually long periods of time.
A bladder stone is a mass buildup of calcium and oxalate salts that have formed over time. Bladder stones can cause your rabbit to have urine incontinence and constant dribbling.
Rabbits produce their own calcium and should your rabbit be fed leafy greens high in oxalates, will cause your rabbit to develop painful bladder stones.
Urinary Tract Infections
One of the most urinary tract infections that rabbits are prone to be commonly known as cystitis. This is when an accumulation of bacteria builds up in your pet rabbit’s bladder causing it to become inflamed.
One of the main causes of a urinary tract infection is when there are high levels of calcium. Too much calcium could also lead to bladder sludge.
Here are the symptoms to look out for:
- Bloody urine
- Urine that is thick and beige or brown in color.
- Urinary incontinence
- Urination is frequent, but only in tiny amounts.
- Urine scalds/burns the skin on your rabbit’s legs and around its genitals
- Your rabbit will grunt or cry when urinating
- Hunched posture when urinating
Polydipsia is caused by excessive drinking and eating, causing your rabbit to urinate more frequently. This disease is frequent in rabbits with undiagnosed diabetes, kidney and liver disease.
If you suspect your rabbit has a urinary infection, polydipsia, or has developed incontinence, seek immediate medical assistance from your vet.
Litterbox Training: Too Few Litterboxes
If you have a free-roaming rabbit or more than one rabbit, you should have more than one litterbox. A lack of cleaning the litterbox regularly, as mentioned earlier, can cause rabbits to urinate on you or on your furniture.
In the case of young rabbits, training them to use a litterbox does take time. The best place to place a litterbox is where your rabbit urinates often. Eventually, your little bun will learn where the appropriate places are to do their business.
Why Does My Rabbit Pee on the Couch / My Bed?
Bunnies, like other pets, want to claim their territory in our homes; they are territorial when it comes to fighting for the things they desire, and one of the ways they do this is by leaving their smell on the sofa or bed.
This can be as simple as a few chin massages, but they will frequently go a step further and use this region as a toilet to cement their position. This is especially true if your rabbit has not been spayed or neutered since their impulses and drives surrounding this behavior will be greater.
Now that you know why your rabbit is peeing on you or your furniture, you’re probably wondering how you might avoid it in the future.
Here are a few options for resolving the issue:
To ease your rabbit’s fear of being picked up, learn to socialize your rabbit to form a bond. Bonding with your bunny will teach them to trust you.
Rabbits can take up to a few months before they fully learn to trust you. Be patient. Get down on the ground and allow your rabbit to approach you. Speak softly to your rabbit and feed them a treat. Your bunny will eventually come around.
Don’t Encourage Bad Behavior
Don’t encourage their behavior. Train your rabbit to use a litterbox. there are positive ways to discipline your rabbits and change their destructive behaviors.
Neuter or Spay Your Rabbit
Spaying or neutering your rabbit is the greatest way to avoid dealing with inappropriate urinary behaviors. The reproductive organs, which are responsible for the generation of hormones that might influence territorial behavior, are removed during these surgeries.
Other behavioral issues connected with reproductive hormones, like aggressiveness, may be alleviated by fixing your rabbit. Altering also reduces the likelihood of reproductive issues, especially in female rabbits.
How To Get Rid of Rabbit Urine Odor
Not only is it inconvenient, but rabbit urine has a unique ammonia-tinged odor that is notably pungent. The urine of a male rabbit has a stronger odor than that of a female rabbit.
To get rid of odors and urine debris, use vinegar or baking soda. It will also come in handy for removing stains.
Here’s a quick and easy way to get rid of the smell of rabbit urine.
- Simply fill a spray bottle halfway with water and half a cup of white vinegar and two teaspoons of baking soda.
- Using a rag, cleanse the urine stains first, then the rest of the rabbit’s home with this combination.
- The ammonia in the bunny’s odor is neutralized by these two products: vinegar and bicarbonate soda. Allow it to dry after you’ve finished rinsing.
White vinegar and bicarbonate soda are safe products that will not cause any harm to your rabbit.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Does My Rabbit Pee in Her Water Bowl?
Bunnies also tend to like to go to the toilet where they eat so you want to avoid any association between feeding and their bathroom habits. Move their food and water bowl away from their litterbox.
Why Does My Rabbit Spray on My Dog?
Your rabbit is attempting to establish dominance as well as marking her territory. If at all feasible, keep them apart for a few days or weeks. Make sure they can pick up each other’s scents, and then allow them to be around one another when the time is right. Your rabbit should no longer spray your dog as a result of the separation.
As you can see, there could be a variety of reasons why your rabbit pees on you. They may urinate on you for a variety of reasons, including fear, marking their territory, and a distaste for change.
If your rabbit has a medical issue, don’t wait to get them the assistance they need. Urinary tract infections, bladder stones, and incontinence are serious problems that should not be ignored.
It’s a good idea to teach your rabbit to use a litterbox so they don’t urinate wherever they like. Place multiple litterboxes in your home and throughout their enclosure. Your rabbit will be litter trained in no time.