It can be frustrating when your bunny pees on the bed.
Cleaning up after their mess is one thing to worry about…
But wondering how you can stop it is a whole different concern.
It’s important to know why your rabbit is having behavioral issues…
By knowing the root cause of the problem… it becomes easier to stop it.
So read on to learn:
- 9 signs that your rabbit might be sick.
- 15 reasons why your rabbit pees on the bed.
- When you should get alarmed by this behavior.
- 15 ways to stop your rabbit from peeing on the bed.
- And so much more…
Why does my rabbit pee on my bed?
Your rabbit pees on your bed because they’re claiming their territory. They mark it by urinating to leave their scent. Your rabbit could also be too young to control their bladder. In rare cases, they might have a medical problem. They could also pee due to stress or fear.
15 reasons why your rabbit pees on your bed
#1: They’re annoyed
Some rabbits can develop a spiteful side to their personality.
But don’t take it personally…
It only means that rabbits want respect.
So… if you annoyed your bunny by accident…
There’s a chance they will show you their unhappiness.
And they will do so by peeing on your bed on purpose.
Despite being prey animals…
Rabbits know how to fight back their own.
So if your bunny acknowledges you as a member of their “colony”…
They won’t be afraid of showing you that they’re “the boss bunny”.
Your bunny might be thinking…
“This will show you what happens if you annoy me.”
There are ways to know if your bunny is unhappy.
Here are 5 signs of an annoyed bunny:
- Tense muscles.
- Wagging their tails.
- Thumping their feet on the ground.
- Avoiding you while staring from a distance.
But don’t worry.
It’s easy to avoid this problem if you know what annoys them.
So, here are 11 things that can trigger your bunny:
- Other pets.
- Unpleasant noise.
- Unpleasant odors.
- Unclean environment.
- Having a small space or territory.
- Eating the same food repetitively.
- Touching them in the wrong spots.
- Getting confined in one place for a long time.
- Getting startled by sudden sounds or movements.
#2: They’re nervous or in fear
Rabbits can get anxious a lot.
Their strong senses make them sensitive to their environment…
This is why your rabbit might pee by accident due to fear.
When they get nervous…
Bunnies might freeze on the spot and start peeing.
It’s their body’s response to fear…
And it’s something that can be hard for them to control.
You know how some people do the same thing when they’re too scared?
If you read crime books, you might have come across a sentence such as:
“They were so nervous. They ended up peeing their pants.”
Rabbits can experience the same thing.
It’s not a funny thing that people can brush off.
Warning: Fear and anxiety are dangerous for your bunny. It can cause a heart attack. Worse, it can even lead to death.
A study reveals that an anxious rabbit will have a rapid heart rate.
- Dilated pupils.
- Tense muscles.
- Rapid nose twitching.
- Irregular, rapid breathing.
- Flattened ears and posture.
- Showing aggression when handled.
- Staring into the distance and freezing.
Note: If this behavior doesn’t stop, consult a vet for safety.
Reading tip: What do rabbits do when they are scared?
#3: They’re still young
If your rabbit is still a baby…
They’re bound to have a lot of accidents.
They will pee on your bed not knowing it’s not the right thing to do.
Young rabbits can’t control their bladder like an adult…
In fact, a study shows that a rabbit’s bladder capacity only increases with age.
This means that… baby bunnies will have a small bladder capacity in their early weeks.
They’re like human children who can’t use the bathroom yet.
Rabbits start maturing as early as 3 months old.
Once your rabbit reaches this stage…
You can expect them to have better control of their bladder.
#4: Their litter box is too far
Though rabbits are popular for their cleanliness…
Some of them can get lazy.
If your bed is far from their litter box…
Your rabbit might decide to pee on your bed instead.
This can also happen if they can’t access their litter box at all.
If you invite your bunny to your bedroom…
Make sure they have their litter box somewhere near.
#5: They’re stressed
Stress can cause behavioral problems in your bunny…
In a sense, it can make them “rebel” against you.
They’re venting their frustration out by peeing on your bed.
Even if you’re not the cause of their concerns…
Rabbits can still take it out on anyone around them.
This is something you can’t punish your bunny for…
They’re usually stressed because of valid reasons.
Here are 9 factors that could stress your rabbit:
- An illness.
- Loud noises.
- Other animals.
- Lack of attention.
- Hormonal changes.
- Messy environment.
- Lack of companionship.
- Small living space or territory.
Warning: Like fear, stress is unhealthy for rabbits… it will make them stop eating. It can also turn them violent.
Here are 3 signs of stress in rabbits:
- Pulling their hair out.
- Becoming more destructive.
Don’t forget to check out: 19 Alarming Signs That Your Rabbit Is Stressed + What To Do
#6: They’re traumatized
Some rabbits can also have traumas.
This is more common in rabbits with previous owners…
Or if they were wild rabbits captured to become pets.
Their negative experiences marked them forever.
One study shows that rabbits are afraid of getting picked up from the ground.
So if you carried your bunny to your bed…
There’s a chance that they peed as a trauma response.
It’s like a shock from fear. But the only difference is that…
Traumas take longer to appease.
Here are 7 subtle signs of trauma in rabbits:
- Excessive shaking.
- Freezing with tense muscles.
- Grooming themselves too much.
- They’re jumpier than normal rabbits.
- Their eyes are often dilated or bulging.
- They show signs of aggression and lethargy.
- Abnormal rapid breathing and nose twitching.
#7: They hold a grudge
Sometimes, rabbits can also hold a grudge.
Their grudge often lasts for only a few hours.
But some rabbits can hold on to it longer than others…
It can depend on what they’re angry about.
Even if you’re not the one they’re mad at…
Your bed could be their favorite punching bag.
They’ll use it to express their anger by peeing on it…
They could be thinking, “I don’t like you” or “I’m still mad” .
If another person stepped on them…
Your rabbit will remember it, especially their scent.
If that person’s scent is on your bed…
The bunny will get reminded of their grudge…
So they will pee on it to cover it with their own scent.
#8: They’re too excited
A rabbit might also pee all of a sudden because of excitement.
You can think of it as their reaction to the adrenaline rush.
They might be holding their bladder for a while…
But out of nowhere, something excites them.
For example… your presence can excite them.
If you left them in your room for a few hours…
They can burst with energy upon seeing your face.
This rush of serotonin for your bunny will make them lose control of their bladder…
As a result, they end up peeing on the bed by accident.
You know how some people say…
They’re laughing too much, they might pee themselves?
That’s exactly how it is for your rabbit too.
It’s easy to spot an overjoyed, hyper bunny.
Here are 7 signs:
- Doing the binky.
- Faster breathing.
- Running in circles.
- Digging excessively.
- Rapid nose twitching.
- Running with high energy.
- Following you wherever you go.
#9: They do it for attention
Your rabbit can learn that peeing on your bed will give them attention.
This happens if your bunny misses you a lot.
They want you to notice them so much…
To the point that they will act in naughty ways.
It shows that even if they get a negative response…
They’re willing to do it to make you pay attention.
Even if you give your bunny enough time and affection…
Some of them can be attention hoggers.
They think they own you so all your time has to be on them.
But… this is all because of their natural instincts.
When they reach maturity…
Rabbits will want to mate and if they think you’re their mate…
They will definitely beg for your attention at all times.
This behavior can get fixed by spaying and neutering.
You might also be interested in: Why do rabbits move their bedding?
#10: They do it for fun
Rabbits might pee on your bed… for fun.
But before you get angry, there’s a reason for this behavior.
Some bunnies can have mischievous personalities.
If you laugh whenever they do something silly…
Your rabbit will notice this reaction.
It will “register” as something “positive” in their minds.
“Oh, my human seems to like what I did. I should do it again.”
Yes, it can be hard to keep a straight, angry face at your bunny.
We tend to smile even when they do something bad…
Because they look so innocent.
But your rabbit might take this the wrong way…
You have to make it clear to them that you’re unhappy to not confuse them. More on that in the tips section, so stay tuned. 🙂
#11: They’re upset
Bunnies know how to protest when they’re upset…
And they might know you don’t like it when they pee on your bed.
It means that you might’ve done something they didn’t like…
For example, you were busy the whole day.
Some rabbits don’t like it when you ignore them.
Here are 3 signs of an upset rabbit:
- Avoiding and hiding from you.
- Ignoring you and wagging their tail.
- Thumping the ground and grunting.
If you also have the scent of another animal on you…
Bunnies can get jealous too.
They will leave their scent on your bed to remind you…
That you “belong” to them.
This type of behavior needs to get corrected.
Further reading: 23 Reasons Why Rabbits Thump Their Feet (At Night) + 7 Tips
#12: They’re lonely or bored
Like fear and stress…
Boredom and loneliness are also bad for your rabbit.
It can lead to destructive behavior…
Which includes peeing on your bed.
Other examples of destructive behavior are…
Excessive digging, biting their fur out and chewing on anything within their reach.
A study states that… bunnies live with other rabbits in their colony.
They are social animals and they can get lonely a lot.
Additionally… rabbits are also very active animals.
They always want to have fun.
If they run out of things to do…
They can get frustrated and vent it out by misbehaving.
Here are 7 signs of boredom and loneliness in rabbits:
- Wagging their tail.
- Excessive digging.
- Staring into the distance.
- More destructive behavior.
- Showing aggression when handled.
#13: They have a medical problem
Rabbits can have poor bladder control when they’re sick.
If they also pee all over your house…
It’s a sign that something’s wrong with their bladder.
A research reveals that urinary incontinence can happen due to hormone imbalance.
This means that an unspayed or unneutered rabbit can experience this problem.
There are also other conditions that can affect your rabbit’s ability to urinate.
From the same research, here are a few examples:
- Urine scald.
- Bladder stone.
- Uterine cancer.
- Bladder sludge.
- Spine or pelvis arthritis.
- Urinary Tract Infection a.k.a UTI.
Based on a study, bunnies try their best to hide their pain.
But… there are many ways to check if your rabbit could be sick.
Here are 9 signs to watch out for:
- Tense muscles.
- Irregular breathing.
- Rapid nose twitching.
- Mild teeth grinding noises.
- Screaming and whimpering.
- Bulging eyes or dilated pupils.
- Changes in their bowel movements.
Warning: If you suspect that your rabbit is sick, take them to the vet immediately.
#14: To assert their dominance
Many rabbits can have a dominant personality…
It’s in their nature.
In the wild…
Rabbits have a social ranking…
And your bunny is trying to show you that they’re number 1.
A study states that bunnies often try to improve their ranking in the colony.
This is more common in unneutered male rabbits…
But unspayed female rabbits can be dominant too.
Your rabbit could be thinking…
“I can take this bed because your ranking is lower than mine. It’s my bed now.”
You can tell your rabbit is trying to be dominant…
If they’re only peeing on your bed and not anywhere else.
#15: To claim their territory
Followed by asserting dominance…
They will also pee to claim their territory.
According to research… territorial scent marking is common in rabbits.
This can happen more with recently adopted rabbits.
Since your bed has the most foreign scent to your bunny…
They will try to cover it with their own scent.
How do I stop my rabbit from peeing on my bed? 15 tips
#1: Put a plastic cover on top of the bed
Try placing a plastic cover on your bed.
When your bunny hops on it, the plastic will make a noise.
Rabbits don’t like hearing sounds every time they move…
They try to be as silent as possible.
Especially if they’re going to the bathroom.
This is a great way of controlling young rabbits.
#2: Block their access to your bed
Sometimes, you just have to cut off their access.
Keep your bunny away from your bed for a while…
Until they lose interest in claiming your bed.
Sometimes it can take a month to make them forget about it.
You can do this by removing objects they can use to hop on the bed…
Or by installing a small barrier to block their entry.
Some people only had to use cardboard boxes as a fence.
#3: Start litter training
You can start potty training your rabbit as early as possible.
Though they are clean animals…
Some rabbits still need you to teach them how to use their bathroom.
You can watch this video for a visual reference:
#4: Leave items that have your scent on them
Your rabbit can lose interest in your bed…
If you cover it with many items that have your scent.
For example, you can use unwashed clothes…
Or even unwashed blankets that you used.
Leave them around the bed…
But make sure that your bunny has no access to your bed.
It will only let them know that you’re the boss of that room.
This will make them give up on claiming it as their territory.
#5: Keep your rabbit entertained
Bored and lonely bunnies can misbehave…
So make sure to keep your bunny entertained.
If you’re a busy person…
You can find a companion for your bunny.
Or you can buy them a lot of interactive toys.
You can buy a toy set that they can chew on… which is also healthy for their teeth.
Or a bunny hideout that can make them feel relaxed.
Giving them time to play outdoors can be an option too.
#6: Catch them in the act and make a noise
You can also try “disciplining” your bunny.
Try to catch them in the act of peeing then clap your hands.
Do it loud enough to catch their attention…
But not too loud that it can give them a heart attack.
The mild shock can show them that they’re doing something bad…
It will tell them not to do it again.
Repeat this until your bunny understands the goal.
#7: Show your bunny that you’re upset
As mentioned earlier…
Bunnies can misunderstand your reactions.
You need to make it clear to them that you’re upset.
You can do this by changing your tone of voice when talking to them…
Or by raising your voice a little higher than usual…
Your facial expression needs to show disbelief too.
Be clear with your words and expressions to not confuse your bunny.
#8: Keep your rabbit away from stress
Stressed bunnies will also misbehave.
You can keep them away from stress in simple ways.
Make sure their living area is clean and peaceful…
Away from other animals that can make them uncomfortable.
They should also have enough space to explore for fun.
Further reading: 21 Quick & Effective Ways To Reduce Stress In Rabbits
#9: Establish your dominance
When your rabbit is being dominant…
All you have to do is not submit.
Instead, establish your own dominance.
This will remind your rabbit that you’re the boss.
You can do this in simple ways:
- Make them leave the bed.
- Force them to leave their spot.
- Stand on the spot they vacated.
- Stay on their spot for a few minutes.
- Take some of their belongings away.
You can make them leave their spot by poking their behind.
This way, you can make them move in a gentle way.
At the same time…
You are showing them that you have more “strength” than them.
This can get your bunny to acknowledge your dominance.
#10: Add more litter boxes
If the problem is laziness for your bunny…
It can get resolved by adding an extra litter box.
When your rabbit doesn’t change their behavior…
Apply the other tips on this list.
#11: Wash the sheets and the bed immediately
You can get rid of their scent by washing the sheets right away…
Don’t let their scent stay there for too long.
Otherwise… your rabbit will get interested in peeing on it again.
#12: Spray strong scented perfume on your bed
If you can tolerate strong perfumes…
You can use it as an option to drive away your rabbit.
Their strong noses can make them sensitive to it…
They will want to avoid your bed and forget about peeing on it.
#13: Train them with positive reinforcement
You can try training your rabbit in a positive way…
Try to leave the room whenever your bunny misbehaves.
You can ignore them for a moment.
Show them that you’re unhappy with what they did…
If they follow you, give them a treat.
Your rabbit will remember that you want them to stay away from your bed.
It shows them that you’re pleased if they leave your room.
Repeat the process until your bunny gets it.
#14: Take them to the vet to check for sickness
If you suspect that your rabbit’s behavior is strange…
Then you need to take them to the vet immediately.
As mentioned earlier…
There are a few illnesses that can affect their bladder.
#15: Spay or neuter them as soon as possible
Spaying or neutering will fix many behavioral problems in your rabbit.
This will help relieve their stress and correct their hormones…
It can also help reduce their dominant behavior.
Moreover… it will also remove the risk of reproductive cancers.