Even though they look so innocent…
Rabbits can have different problematic behavior.
One very common issue is their ability to poop everywhere!
It can be overwhelming and leave you frustrated if you don’t know what to do.
So, read on to learn some useful info:
- When to take your rabbit to the vet.
- Reasons why your rabbit poops everywhere.
- Whether this behavior should alarm you or not.
- 19 tips on how to stop your rabbit from pooping everywhere.
- And many many more…
Why does my rabbit poop everywhere?
Your rabbit poops everywhere to be territorial. But if they’re spayed or neutered, they might also do it if they’re young or stressed. Their diet can also play a role in their poops. If your rabbit’s poop looks unusual, it can be a sign of diarrhea which is alarming for rabbits.
How to stop a rabbit from pooping everywhere? 19 tips
#1: Keep them entertained
As weird as it sounds…
But rabbits might actually poop everywhere out of boredom. Based on a study, bored rabbits can become unhealthy.
Yes, you read that right. When rabbits are out of things to do, they might do weird things too.
Though their weirdness is part of their cuteness, it can be troublesome at times.
Other than the messy poops, they might also show other problematic behavior.
They might dig more than usual. They can also start trying to chew on things they’re not supposed to chew.
So, one way to keep your rabbit happy is to entertain them.
You can please them in simple ways.
Your first choice is to play with them until they get tired of it.
They don’t have that much energy after all, given their small bodies.
If you’re too busy to play with them, you can consider buying them toys.
Letting them dig outside can also help keep them entertained.
Learn more: 29 Best Ways To Bond With Your Rabbits (Backed By Science)
#2: Potty training
If your rabbit is young or doesn’t know how to use the bathroom…
You have to teach them yourself.
Like real babies, rabbits can have poor control of their poop as a baby.
You will catch them hop… poop… hop… poop.
Leaving a trail of poop behind them without knowing.
But like real kids, they are as smart as a 2-year-old too.
This means it won’t be that hard to teach them where to poop.
You can train your bunny in a few easy steps.
First, buy a litter box. Make sure it’s large enough to keep them comfortable.
Next, scoop up their poop and place it at the bottom of the tray. And for the last step, put some of their hay or food pellets on the box.
The scent of their food and their poop will attract them to the box.
A lot of rabbits like to use the bathroom as they eat.
So while they eat their food on the box, their poop will go right below the tray.
It will keep their scent there. This way, you can convince them to keep using that area as their toilet.
#3: Use positive reinforcement
When training your bunny to stop pooping everywhere…
You can also use an old technique.
Reward them with treats. Praise them. Do it anytime they do something nice.
It will convince your bunny to keep up their good behavior.
This is a good approach for most bunnies…
Because some of them can even start rebelling if you yell at them instead.
Remember to use a gentle tone of voice whenever you talk to them.
They may not know our language…
But they can understand your tone or expressions.
As a tip, a lot of rabbits love bananas.
So you can try to use that as a treat to reward your bunny with.
#4: Give them enough space
Bunnies are active animals. It’s in their nature.
In the wild, they’re always on the move… looking for new adventures.
So if your rabbit is staying in a small room, they might get upset.
If they know there’s a bigger world out there…
The explorer inside them will make them want to go out even more.
When they’re upset, they might do things that will upset you too.
That includes pooping everywhere they can get to. It’s like their way of protesting against you.
“I’m not happy here. So I’ll poop everywhere to show you my feelings.”
If your rabbit lives in a small spaced room…
Consider giving them access to other parts of the house.
Make sure to bunny-proof each room to prevent accidents. If you have the time, you can also take your rabbit out to the park.
Like dogs, you can buy them a vest with a leash to take them out.
But be careful to avoid any dirt on the way that can make them sick. Walk on clean surfaces and avoid getting them wet.
#5: Give them a healthy, balanced diet
Sometimes, your rabbit will poop everywhere not because they want to. But it’s because they might have health issues.
It means that they can’t control it at all.
A common cause of the problem is a bunny’s unbalanced diet, as revealed by a study.
Bunnies can be prone to stomach issues because of their sensitive digestive system.
As a result, any change in their diet can have a big effect.
Too much imbalance in their diet can lead to an issue like GI Stasis or “Gastrointestinal Stasis”
This condition can affect their poop. In severe cases, it might even lead to diarrhea.
If your rabbit has wet, soft, and watery poops…
Then it’s a sign that they might have diarrhea.
You can help improve your bunny’s health by giving them a better diet.
Make sure you give them enough hay and fewer pellets.
Too many pellets can give them too many carbohydrates, which can be bad for them.
Make changes to their diet every 2 weeks. Sudden changes are not good for their sensitive tummies.
#6: Keep them hydrated
Because of their tiny bodies, rabbits can easily get dehydrated.
If this happens, they can get sick too.
Their bodies are sensitive to any lack of food or water.
So, to keep your bunny’s poop stable and normal, keep them hydrated.
Give them the right amount of water that they need.
Most rabbits only need 1.69oz to 5.07oz (50 to 150ml) of water on a daily basis.
If the season is hot, they might need more.
#7: Wash your hand before handling
Your rabbit can also get diarrhea from human contact.
This is because our bodies often carry a bacteria called ” Escherichia coli” a.k.a E. Coli.
It attacks an organ inside your bunny and it can lead to diarrhea.
This is why it’s important to wash your hands first.
This is to avoid getting them sick…
Especially if you’ll hold a baby bunny.
#8: Make sure they get enough exercise
As active animals…
Bunnies always move around to stay fit.
If not, their bodies can grow weak and sick.
And when a rabbit gets sick, it can affect their poop too.
Sometimes, their behavior changes if they don’t feel well.
Pooping everywhere can be an issue in sick and grumpy bunnies.
To help keep your rabbit happy and in shape…
Keep them active by letting them run around.
They love to run at high speed and jump in the air, a.k.a doing the binky.
This type of run uses up their energy enough to keep them fit.
Digging is also a normal exercise for them.
If you don’t have any land for them to dig on…
You can make a digging box for your bunny to enjoy.
If you want to learn how to make one, watch this video:
#9: Avoid giving too many sweets
Too many sweets can also be bad for your bunny.
Not only will it make them gain more weight and lead to obesity…
But it can also cause stomach problems like GI stasis as mentioned earlier.
It’s okay to give your bunny the sweet treats that they deserve.
But what’s not okay is giving them too much.
A common mistake new bunny owners often make is giving a bunny too many carrots.
It’s because rabbits are often shown to eat carrots as part of their main diet. But in reality, it’s not.
A rabbit’s main diet consists of hay and their very own poop.
Yes, a rabbit will eat their own poop. But it’s not their normal pellet-sized poops.
They get a different type of poop that looks like shiny berries.
It can be hard to see one because they eat it right away.
But enough about bunnies eating their poops.
It’s only mentioned to show that rabbits get a treat for themselves.
That’s why you don’t need to give them too many fruits or veggies. Otherwise, it can put their diet in disorder.
#10: Keep them away from other animals
As prey animals… rabbits can get nervous a lot.
They can get shocked even by the smallest things.
But an important thing to note is that the presence of other animals can stress them a LOT.
If your rabbit is not bonded with the other animals in your house…
There’s a chance that their stress can lead to problematic behavior.
Sometimes, the fear they get from other animals can send them to a state of shock too.
As a result…
They might end up freezing and pooping on the spot.
You know how some people pee themselves during horror movies? It works the same way.
#11: Get them a companion
Rabbits are social animals… They love being around other bunnies.
They’re used to having a close friend to rely on for comfort.
If your bunny doesn’t have any companions, they might get lonely.
It’s important to know that loneliness can be bad for your rabbit.
In fact, some people would even dare to say that loneliness can kill a rabbit.
They can be sad to the point of falling into depression.
In this case, they can get very sick.
When this happens, they might start pooping out of control.
To prevent this, you can get a companion for your bunny.
Having someone around will keep them happy and healthy.
#12: Assert your own dominance
When a rabbit is not spayed or neutered, they might poop everywhere too.
This is their way to “mark” their territory.
You can tell if your bunny is doing it if they scatter the poop on purpose.
It’s like they’re drawing a line around their claimed space.
If this is the case, you sometimes have to remind them that you’re the boss.
Of course, you don’t have to be harsh in this little game.
You only have to get rid of their scent and cover it with your own.
No, you don’t have to use the bathroom on that spot too, in case it gives the wrong idea…
You can place used blankets or clothes in areas they can’t reach inside the same room they’re trying to claim.
This way, your rabbit will recognize that the scent belongs to you.
If they can’t reach it, they will give up. But they might try it in a different room.
To get rid of their scent, make sure to remove their poop as soon as you can.
Don’t let it stay there too long to make them feel comfortable about it.
Another way you can stop them is to block their access to the said room.
Show your bunny that you’re inside that area.
If they seem to poop more around a certain corner, stand there for a while.
Show them that you own their space and they can’t do anything about it.
Don’t worry about upsetting your rabbit.
They won’t, because rabbits do this in the wild too. They follow a ranking system.
The dominant rabbit will show the lower ranks who’s boss.
So you only have to do the same thing… kind of.
Keep it up until your rabbit gets the message or gives up.
#13: Give them enough attention
Sometimes, rabbits want more than entertainment.
They want your affection. If your rabbit has bonded very close to you…
It’s normal for them to want your attention.
But what does it have to do with their poop behavior?
Well, rabbits can learn that bad behavior can get them attention.
For example, if they’ve been trying to get your attention for a while now but you only react to their poop…
Your rabbit might associate their pooping as a way to get your attention.
Though bunnies are smart, they can get the wrong idea sometimes.
You can think of it as a naughty yet desperate way to get your attention.
Other things they can do to be noticed by their humans:
Even if you do give them enough attention…
Some bunnies can be attention hoggers. A lot of them can be more clingy than other bunnies.
This is more common if they’re unspayed and unneutered.
They will start thinking that they “own” you in a way that they always want to be around you.
#14: Clean their room often
Rabbits have sensitive health. They can get sick from dust alone.
For example, inhaling dust can irritate their nose. This can lead to a nose infection if bacteria build up.
When bacteria builds up…
It can spread to their eyes, ears, and their brain. It will collapse one after another.
And when they’re sick, their behavior and habits can be bad too.
So to keep your bunny safe and healthy, always keep their room clean.
The ideal setting is to clean it 3 times a day.
One in the morning to help make their day fresh. One in the afternoon to keep their evening smooth and clean.
And one more in the evening to make sure they can be comfortable in their sleep.
If you’re busy, you can limit it to 2 times a day, one in the morning and one at night.
#15: Keep them in a peaceful, quiet room
Loud noises can also make your bunny nervous.
They have sensitive ears with a hearing range of 360 up to 42,000 hertz, revealed by research.
Even the slightest sound can make them feel uneasy.
This might lead to anxious pooping.
As a solution, try to keep them in a soundproof room.
Or at the very least, a room far away from the noise. Avoid making loud, uncomfortable sounds near your rabbit.
Check out also: 21 Proven Ways To Instantly Calm Down A Scared Bunny
#16: Avoid causing stress
Stress can do a lot of bad things to your rabbit’s health.
As you’ve read up until now…
There are many things that can stress them out.
Here are 7 examples:
- Loud noises.
- Other animals.
- Dirty environment.
- Hormonal changes.
If you can cut stress levels in your bunny, you can help keep them healthy.
This way, their poop will stay balanced and healthy.
Continue reading: 21 Quick & Effective Ways To Reduce Stress In Rabbits
#17: Treat them with medicine
If your rabbit seems sick and that’s why they’re having this issue…
Treat them with the right medicine ASAP. Do this right away before their condition gets worse.
Their poop might go out of control or turn weird because of illnesses.
Different kinds of bacteria will infect their body.
Here are a few examples of medicine you can use:
- Enrofloxacin for snuffles.
- Ponazuril for parasite infections.
But before you give them any kind of medicine…
Consult your vet first. Proceed to tip #18.
#18: Take them to the vet
If the problem seems to persist after you tried everything and something seems wrong with your bunny…
There’s no time to hesitate, you should take them to the vet immediately.
Rabbits try their best to hide their illnesses…
So when you notice even the slightest problem, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Only a vet can diagnose them and tell you what’s wrong with their poop.
The vet will also be the one to recommend the right medicine for your bunny.
At the same time, they might also recommend the next and final tip on this list.
#19: Spay or neuter your rabbit
Pooping everywhere is common for bunnies who aren’t spayed or neutered.
This is because of their hormones. It drives their territorial behavior.
To stop this behavior, getting them fixed by the vet is the only solution.
Most rabbits reach maturity as early as 3 months old. Some only need 2 and giant breeds can take up to 6 months.
When your bunny reaches this stage…
You can consult your vet about spaying or neutering them.
This is a healthy choice for your bunny if you don’t plan on letting them breed.
It will help improve their lifespan. It’s because it can get rid of the risk of cancer for your bunny.