Rabbits can be very different from normal pets…
When taking care of them, you’ll learn a lot of new things.
One thing that can surprise you is the fact that they poop a lot.
They use their bathroom way more often than a regular cat or dog.
This can be alarming if you didn’t know that this is normal for them.
But when does it become “too much” that it should be a cause for concern?
Read on to learn:
- 15 reasons why a rabbit poops a lot.
- 11 tips on what to do when they’re sick.
- When should you take your rabbit to the vet.
- Different rabbit diseases that can affect their poop.
- And many many more…
Why does my rabbit poop so much?
Rabbits poop so much because they have a special digestive system. Their body works in a way that helps them recycle energy fast. With their small bodies, they need to take and use the energy from their food right away to make room for new ones. This helps them survive better in the wild.
15 reasons why your rabbit poops so much
#1: They’re young
Like human babies…
Young rabbits can also have a hard time controlling their bowel movements.
This is why it’s common for baby rabbits to leave fecal droppings everywhere.
They’d hop… poop… hop… poop.
You might notice them leaving a drop of poop every hop they make.
It’s temporary while their control is still poor. But as they grow up, these little poopy accidents will become less.
Though it doesn’t mean the amount will be lesser.
Most rabbits of all ages will poop a lot, no matter what.
It’s part of their nature because that’s how their bodies work.
Aside from baby rabbits with poor control…
Many young rabbits are also high in energy and spirit.
They are more active which means they use more energy too.
More energy means they eat more, digest more, and poop more often.
Bunnies that were separated from their mothers too early can also be at a high risk of infections.
More on that in the following tips.
#2: To get the nutrition they need
As prey animals, rabbits are foragers in the wild.
They eat what they can find, and they have to be fast whenever they do.
Because of this, they don’t always get the chance to get all the nutrition that they need.
That’s why their body evolved in a way that makes digestion easier for them.
Any nutrient they got from the food they found…
Will get converted into energy right away.
The other will become cecotropes poops, the poop that rabbits eat.
“What is a cecotrope poop?”
Cecotrope poop is that long, glossy coated poop sticking together.
It’s soft and it can be squashed when the bunny sits on it.
It can be rare to spot a cecotrope because rabbits will eat it right away.
But where does this shiny poop come from? Rabbits have a special organ called “Ceco“.
Inside that organ, there are microorganisms living.
Those organisms will process the rabbit’s food and turn it into a type of poop that contains nutrition.
To give you a visual idea…
The ceco “cooks” whatever the rabbit has foraged so it can turn into a healthier treat for your bunny.
The bunny receives the improvised meal through their poop.
This is how they survive and stay healthy even in the wild.
When a rabbit lacks nutrition…
They might start pooping out more cecotropes so they can eat it.
Further reading: Rabbit Poop Chart: 13 Different Types Of Bunny Poop
#3: They’re being territorial
“Territorial poops” is also common in rabbits, based on a study.
This can happen if your rabbit isn’t spayed or neutered.
Leaving their poop everywhere is their way to “claim” the area.
It’s as if they’re thinking…
“When they see my markings, they’ll know it’s my turf for sure.”
You can recognize if your rabbit is trying to pull this trick.
Most of the time, they will scatter the poop and line it up in a weird way.
It’s like they’re drawing a line to show you that it’s “their space” now.
Other than pooping too much, peeing is also a sign of them being territorial.
As soon as a rabbit reaches 3 months old, their hormones will go out of control even more.
This is applicable to most rabbits.
Some rabbits can also enter adulthood as early as 2 months old.
For larger bunnies, it can take up to 6 months.
You might also want to know: 7 Reasons Why Your Rabbit Poops On You + 7 Tips To Stop It & What Does Rabbit Spray Look Like? (Color + What It Means)
When a bunny has diarrhea…
They might also start making more cecotropes for their body. This will lead to them pooping more than usual.
There are a lot of things that can cause this problem in bunnies.
Young, baby rabbits are more at risk of true diarrhea.
Here are reasons why your rabbit has diarrhea, based on research:
- Too much sugary food.
- Eating too many pellets.
Regardless of the cause…
Diarrhea can be deadly for any rabbit and needs to get treated ASAP.
#5: Improper diet
Rabbits have a sensitive digestive system…
Any change in their diet can affect them right away.
Here are some examples.
If your rabbit is young, they are still getting used to eating other food.
Giving them fruits or vegetables too soon can affect their diet a lot
Only start introducing fruits and veggies to them at around 12 to 20 weeks old.
At that age, it becomes safer for them to have a different diet.
Having a diet too high in fiber can also cause them to poop more than usual.
To be more specific, it can cause them to make more cecotropes.
If there is too much imbalance in their diet…
It can lead to what we call “cecotrope dysbiosis”, as shown by a study.
A condition where the bacteria in the ceco lose balance.
This may cause bunnies to poop more cecotropes that have a foul odor.
In some cases…
Problems in the intestines can also affect their poops.
Here’s an example.
When a bunny doesn’t get enough fiber from hay but eats too many pellets…
It can cause problems in their stomach.
Additionally, it will make their body think that they’re lacking nutrition.
Because of that, they might start pooping more than usual.
But when there’s a problem…
Their poop won’t look and smell normal.
Some of them can look deformed and have a different color. Sometimes, the cecos can also be in liquid form.
#6: GI Stasis
In some cases of GI stasis or “Gastrointestinal Stasis“…
Diarrhea can occur. This happens when there is an imbalance in a bunny’s diet, as explained in #5.
With their sensitive system, rabbits need to have a slow and steady diet.
They also can’t have too many carbohydrates from pellets or too much sugar from fruits.
In case of GI stasis, their poops can become abnormal.
Some may have watery stool as a sign of diarrhea.
Sometimes, their poops can also be sticking to each other.
This can also cause stress in your rabbit…
Which can make them poop out more cecotrope.
Still related to #5…
A bunny with a poor diet can lead to obesity.
Some rabbits can become overweight to the point that they won’t be as flexible as before.
If this happens, whenever your rabbit poops out a cecotrope…
They may be unable to reach out to their back to eat it.
As a result, they don’t get the “recycled” nutrients that they need.
Since they can’t reach the cecotrope they’re producing…
Their ceco will try to produce more for your bunny to eat.
But due to their body weight, this makes it a challenge for them.
If you’re not sure about your bunny’s weight…
Pay attention to their butts.
A dirty or stained bum can be a sign of squashed cecotropes that your bunny failed to reach and eat.
Most average rabbits should be around 6 pounds (2.7 kilograms) in weight.
Their normal weight will differ depending on their breed.
Stress can affect a rabbit in many negative ways.
One of them is causing cecal dysbiosis.
When a rabbit is under stress, their internal organs can slow down.
As a result, it might create an imbalance in the ceco.
If there is an imbalance, their body might produce more cecotropes than normal.
Some of them might also poop out of annoyance.
Stress can annoy them and when they are annoyed…
They can start misbehaving as a way to “protest” against you.
Rabbits can rebel.
So if they know you don’t like it when they poop everywhere, they might start doing it even more.
To prevent this, know what can stress a bunny:
- Other animals.
- A dirty environment.
- Boredom and loneliness.
Read next: What do rabbits do when they are stressed?
#9: Old age
Just like when they’re young…
Rabbits can also have poor control when they reach old age.
An old rabbit should be around 4 to 10 years of age or more.
This is because their body grows weaker as they age.
It’s the same for us people.
With their weakened body, there are limits to what they can do.
They might not be able to control their poop and pee anymore too.
But when it reaches this stage…
It can be alarming for a senior rabbit.
It shows that their body is starting to shut down.
For your rabbit’s safety, take them to the vet if you notice unusual changes in their poop.
You might also like: 11 Reasons Why Your Rabbit Pees On You + 7 Tips To Stop It
#10: Head tilt
When a rabbit tilts their head, it kind of looks cute.
But the truth is, it shouldn’t be cute at all. This is because head tilting is a sign of an infection.
A bacteria called “Pasteurella Multocida” can infect their ears. This can also spread to their brain.
Once it reaches that stage…
A rabbit will tilt their head due to the pain.
But what does it have to do with their poop?
Well, if the brain gets damaged due to the bacteria infection…
It creates a whole new set of risks and problems.
It can lead to paralysis, stress, and disorder in their internal organs.
After all, the brain is the one in charge of commanding the other organs.
So if their head is in too much pain to function like normal…
You can expect changes in your rabbit’s poop.
Some of them may poop more than usual due to stress or lack of nutrients.
When a bunny gets “head tilt” due to P.Multocida, they might stop eating too.
Without the right amount of food…
Rabbits will need their cecotrope to help them survive.
This will go on like a cycle until the main problem gets solved.
Poison can also make your rabbit sick to the point of pooping too much.
This is because rabbits don’t vomit as other animals do.
Instead, they try to flush out foreign substances in their body in other ways.
For example, infection in the eye or nose leads to a runny nose or eyes.
This is their body’s way of trying to remove the bacteria.
So if your rabbit got poisoned, they will try to get rid of it by pooping it out.
If their poop has some weird odor, has cloudy bubble formations, or is very deformed…
It might be a sign of poisoning.
A rabbit can experience this in many ways due to their curious personality.
They might’ve eaten something they’re not supposed to…
Or if they inhaled toxic chemicals around the room.
Check out also: Why does my rabbit shake?
#12: Dental issues
Rabbits with dental issues can have a hard time eating.
A common problem would be having overgrown teeth.
It can cause them to stop eating or lead to a poor diet.
As a result, they might not get the nutrients that they need.
Once again, it will cause their body to try to make up for it by making more cecotrope poops.
In some cases, overgrown teeth can also lead to infection in the mouth.
This invites the same bacteria like the one mentioned in head tilts.
P.Multocida can start in the mouth and spread all over the upper body.
When this happens, a rabbit can become very sick.
It will make the intestines slow down and affect their digestion.
Their health system will collapse like a domino…
But seeing it happen to your bunny is not fun at all.
#13: Respiratory diseases
When a rabbit has a hard time breathing…
They might lose interest in their food.
Because of this, their body will also begin to shut down.
This should tell you that…
A lot of other health issues will always lead to abnormal rabbit poop.
“Snuffles” is the term used to describe the symptoms of most respiratory diseases.
It can start off weak but it can develop into a deadly problem later on.
You can tell if your rabbit has snuffles with these signs:
- Changes in the skin and fur.
- Nasal discharges a.k.a runny nose.
- Rapid weight loss a.k.a emaciation.
- Mucus buildup and crust formations.
“What causes snuffles?”
There are many reasons that can create this issue…
But a lot of them involve having a poor environment.
Here are some common causes of snuffles in rabbits:
- Eye infections.
- Poor ventilation.
- Dental problems.
- A dirty living space.
#14: Bacteria infection
Other bacteria can be a health issue.
A common example is Escherichia coli, a.k.a E.Coli. It can be a risk for your bunny’s health.
This bacteria is common in us humans.
While it’s not as deadly as it is for people, it can make a bunny sick.
E.Coli can harm the bacteria inside their ceco and lead to an imbalance in their poop.
Though it may not seem too alarming, it can lead to diarrhea.
Diarrhea can be deadly for bunnies.
This is why we should always clean our hands before handling.
Disinfect your hands before you touch them especially if they are still babies.
#15: Parasite infection
Abnormal rabbit poop can also be a sign of parasites.
This type of case is a very alarming issue.
Parasites can kill your rabbit, and they can get it in many ways.
Intestinal parasites to watch out for are:
Most of the time, a rabbit can get them from the food they eat.
It can also be due to a dirty living space.
When any one of these parasites infects your bunny…
There will be big changes in their poop.
Some may poop more than usual as an attempt to flush the worms out.
Meanwhile, some rabbits may not poop at all.
Poop covered in mucus can also be a sign of an infection.
To make sure if your rabbit is healthy…
A trip to the vet can save them before it’s too late.
How many times do rabbits normally poop a day?
Most rabbits will poop over 100 times a day or even more. They might poop more depending on their age and diet. Sometimes, their health can affect their normal poop too. If they’re not spayed or neutered, they might poop even more.
Is it bad if rabbits poop a lot?
It’s not bad for rabbits to poop a lot because it’s their way of getting their energy. In fact, it’s actually more alarming if your rabbit doesn’t poop a lot.
You can think that too much poop for rabbits isn’t bad at all.
But the only thing you need to pay more attention to…
Is how their poop looks like.
Does it have a normal color? Is it a normal shape? Is it too small or big? Is it too smelly? Too dry or too soft?
These are the factors that you need to examine.
Runny stools are a sign of diarrhea. This can be deadly for most rabbits, so treatment is very important.
In some cases, poop covered in mucus is also a serious problem. It can be a sign of a parasitic infection.
If your rabbit doesn’t poop at all…
It might mean that they have a problem in their digestive tract.
What to do when your rabbit poops a lot? 11 tips
#1: Potty training
If your rabbit doesn’t have health problems…
Then all you need to do is train them how to use their bathroom.
As much as possible, it’s best to train them early.
But since rabbits can catch on patterns right away, it can be easy to train them no matter the age.
They also love being clean and organized, it’s in their nature.
This means that your rabbit would like it if you can give them a “proper bathroom”.
Potty training a rabbit can be simple.
There are different methods, but here is the best and easiest one.
“How to potty train a rabbit”
First, you need to buy a litter box or a litter tray.
Most of them are big enough for an average rabbit. Place it anywhere in their room where your rabbit can reach it with ease.
Next, you can put a layer of their food pellets at the bottom of the tray.
If you can also collect some of their recent fecal droppings…
You can also transfer their poop to the bottom of the tray.
The scent of their food or poop will encourage them to go to that area.
You can also place their feeder right next to the litter box.
After all, a lot of rabbits poop right where they eat. So if their food is close to their bathroom…
It can make it easier for them to learn how to use it.
If your rabbit still poops somewhere else in the room, pick it up and transfer it to their litter box.
Avoid letting them leave their poop around to let them know it’s not their “territory”.
As stated earlier, rabbits might poop more often on purpose to claim territories. Cleaning it up right away will discourage the said behavior.
As a tip, you can also use positive reinforcement in their training.
Praise them and give them a treat whenever they use their litter box.
This will convince them that using it is the right thing to do.
#2: Keep them in a flat, open-spaced room
If your rabbit is healthy…
You only have to make sure that they can poop in a comfortable space.
Some rabbits can feel lost if they’re not sure where to use their bathroom.
Many rabbits will prefer roaming around clear areas.
This will also help make sure that their poop doesn’t get to places where it shouldn’t be.
#3: Turn their poop into fertilizer
Not sure what to do with all their poop?
You can actually turn it into fertilizer.
If you like gardening or know someone who does…
Your rabbit’s hundreds of fecal pellets can be useful.
Since rabbits eat healthy foods such as leafy greens, their poop can be a fertilizer.
If you want to know how to convert it into one…
You can watch this video to guide you:
#4: Avoid causing stress
As mentioned earlier…
Stress is not good at all for rabbits. It can turn deadly.
To make sure your rabbit is healthy, avoid the things that cause them stress.
Keep them in a clean, healthy, and peaceful environment.
Avoid exposing them to the presence of other animals…
Don’t carry them around for too long, keep them entertained too.
Loneliness can also stress them out.
Knowing the things that can stress your bunny…
Will help make it easier for you to avoid them.
Don’t miss out on: 21 Quick & Effective Ways To Reduce Stress In Rabbits
#5: Lose weight
In case of obesity…
Your rabbit needs your help to lose weight.
Start controlling their diet and reduce their food intake.
But remember to do it slowly.
Don’t make sudden changes in their diet to avoid GI stasis.
You can also help improve their physical activity by playing with them more.
Let them run in open areas and watch over them.
They should get enough exercise as much as a dog going on regular walks.
For a strict diet to lose weight, you can consult your vet to come up with the best plan for your bunny.
#6: Give them antibiotics
If your rabbit is suffering from any infection…
You must treat them with medicine ASAP.
For example, enrofloxacin is very effective against P.Multocida or snuffles.
In case of a parasitic infection…
A study reveals that ponazuril is also a great drug for them.
Before you give them any drugs, it’s still best to consult your vet for safety.
#7: Keep their room clean
Cleanliness is very crucial for rabbits.
With their sensitive bodies…
Being clean will save them from a lot of health risks.
In fact, a lot of bunny health problems start because of poor or dirty living space.
As long as you keep their environment clean, rabbits will have better health.
#8: Give them a balanced diet
To make sure their body stays healthy, rabbits need a healthy diet.
A good, balanced diet for rabbits should have enough hay and a few vegetables.
Avoid giving too many pellets. Instead, offer more hay.
Timothy, Brome, and Orchard are good options to feed them.
Hay is their main source of nutrients needed for their ceco to work.
#9: Keep them hydrated
Aside from giving them the right food, giving them enough water also matters.
If a rabbit doesn’t drink enough water, they can get sick.
This is because they have small bodies…
Which means they can get dehydrated pretty fast.
The average rabbit needs to drink 1.69oz to 5.07oz (50 to 150ml) of water per day.
If they don’t get the right amount of liquid in their body…
The sickness can cause changes in their poops.
Their body will try to produce more cecotropes as an attempt to make up for the lack of water.
#10: Spaying and neutering
If your rabbit is showing territorial behavior…
They will poop everywhere to mark those places.
One way to stop them is by spaying or neutering.
It will keep their hormones in check.
As a result, it will fix a lot of problematic behavior they might have.
Other than that, it can also bring other health advantages for your bunny.
For example, it will help improve their lifespan.
This is because it can remove the risk of cancer for your rabbit.
So if you have no plans of breeding your rabbit, getting them fixed early is a good option.
For your rabbit’s health and safety…
Consult your vet as soon as they reach at least 3 months of age.
#11: Take them to the vet
Even if you already tried everything, visiting the vet is still a good choice.
Spotting diseases in rabbits can be difficult…
Because of their natural instinct to hide their pain.
There are some tests that only a vet can do for your bunny.
Only a professional can give them a proper diagnosis.
With a rabbit’s fragile body…
It’s best not to hesitate.
Contact a vet immediately before it gets too late.
But while waiting…
You might also want to check out: 21 Effective Tips To Treat A Sick Rabbit At Home (How-To)