“My rabbit pees and poops everywhere!”
Rabbits can be litter-trained. However, they have natural marking-habits and sometimes health conditions prevent litter-training. In order to find the underlying reasons for these pee/poop accidents, please continue reading here: Litter-training
Cleanness is not only an issue with rabbits, but with all pets. It is not a proper solution to simply keep your rabbits in a cage for this. Nobody would put their cat in a cage for this, either. The underlying problemd should be identified and resolved.
“Help, my rabbit pees on my bed/sofa“
It is fairly common among litter-trained rabbits to still use the sofa, the bed or other comfy pieces of furniture for their daily needs. What are the reasons for this odd behavior and what can I do to prevent it from happening again?
It is common among rabbits to mark the bed or sofa via urine. By doing so, your rabbit leaves his odour behind at one of the best places: a high observation spot, which is further very soft and cozy.
The best counter-measurement is to offer another, higher, observation spot and provide it with a cozy cover. Most rabbits will mark this spot and ignore the bed. Otherwise, one should only allow the rabbits on the bed supervised and in the case nobody’s there, one should put a cover or picnic blanket with a tin cover with the wrong side up om the bed, crackling sounds scare rabbits and they will avoid them.
After some time, one can remove the covers under surveillance and check, whether the new spot will be accepted or whether the rabbit continues to use the bed or sofa as its toilet. Usually, rabbits adapt quickly. Nonetheless, we recommend to use “incontinence pads“ to protect the sofa or mattress and above that a blanket that is easy to wash. This way one can be sure that everything is easy to clean if another accident happens.
“Why does my rabbit relieve itself in its bowl?”
Many rabbits do so. There are two reasons behind this. On the one hand, rabbits tend to poop during eating and when the bowl is big enough to be sitting in, it will be covered in poop. On the other hand, rabbits mark their territory with droppings and urine and especially the bowl is an important object in their territory. A smaller bowl or no bowl at all might help. However, one has to live with a certain amount of dirt and stains and bowls, plates and dishes need to be rinsed daily.
“My rabbit eats (his) droppings!”
Rabbits have to kinds of droppings, solid droppings and cecotropes. Rabbits eat their cecotropes, usually directly at the anus, sometimes also after they dropped it already. Additionally, rabbits eat both kind of droppings from their partners or other strange rabbits in order to counterbalance a lack of intestinal bacteria or in case of a young rabbit in order to build up an intestinal flora. This behavior is completely normal and shouldn’t be sanctioned, since only via cecotropes the provision with certain vitamins and stearic acids is ensured.
“My rabbit drinks/licks his urine”
Often rabbit owners report that their rabbit urinates and then drinks its urine from spaces where the surface does not absorb it properly. This behavior is not properly analysed yet, but the affected rabbits seem to neither be sick nor show any deficiencies. However, if you want to make sure your rabbit is fine, you can offer a natural salt-lick-stone (not a simple salt stone from a pet store) in the enclosure and provide fresh twings and branches.