If you are new to rabbit ownership, you will likely have some questions around their pooping habits and behaviors. Its a good idea to equip yourself with some knowledge on the topic so you know what to expect and how to prepare appropriately. In this article today I would like to share with you some expectations and considerations following a lot of experience and research into the topic.
So, how often do rabbits poop? Rabbits poop a lot and this is entirely normal and expected of them. You can expect several hundred dropping per day. This is due to the high amount of fiber in their diet that they need to consume for optimal digestion and nutrient assimilation.
There’s nothing cuter than a baby rabbit; they make a wonderful addition to any family. However, there is no such thing as the perfect pet, and your rabbit comes with some behaviors that need the training to rectify.
Failure to train your rabbit, especially in the bathroom department, can have some disastrous consequences for you and the health of your rabbit. This includes the spread and proliferation of germs and bacteria. Not only that, your rabbits environment and your home will ultimately pay the price. Therefore, the sooner you can correct your rabbit’s behavior, the better.
Let us now discuss a rabbits bathroom habits in further detail to obtain a better understanding of what to expect, do and other considerations as a rabbit owner.
How Much Do Rabbits Poop?
Rabbits require a lot of fiber in their diet, and they get this mainly from hay and the small amounts of fruit and vegetables that they eat. As a result of having a lot of fiber in their diet, they are very regular and poop up to three hundred pellets a day. As alarming as that sounds, this is a normal amount of poop for a rabbit to eliminate.
Their feces are round, dry, and odor-free. With an optimal diet for an abundance of hay, a small amount of nutrient dense pellet food, fresh greens and lots of water, your rabbit will poop healthy and freely.
Rabbit poop tends to vary in texture and consistency. Here’s the various type of dropping which they may pass and what it means:
- Large, Light Colored Droppings – that are not too dry or moist. These are optimal and suggest your rabbit is consuming the right amounts of fiber, consuming enough water and digestion working as intended
- Small, Hard Droppings – usually occur when your rabbit is not consuming enough fiber/hay.
- Droppings strung with Fur – suggests your rabbit is ingesting too much of their fur which can result in digestive tract blockages. This means you need to be more stringent on removing loose fur from the habitat.
- Wet, Soft Droppings – suggest too much sugar and/or protein is being consumed. You may need to reduce fruits/vegetables and other treats and increase hay here or seek out a better quality pellet feed.
Rabbits also eliminate a type of soft feces, known as cecals (cecotropes), which are partially digested foods that are passed to be reingested.
Cecals smell worse than their regular poop, as it’s also filled with yeast and other bacteria. Rest assured that you won’t see these cecals because rabbits eat them. Cecals have a lot of health benefits for rabbits and are a good source of B vitamins, microbial proteins, and nitrogen. It is from the consumption of cecal pellets that a rabbit gets the majority of their nutrition, not from the first passage of food through the gut.
Cecotropes are not feces. They are nutrient-dense and essential to a rabbit’s good health. Your rabbit will produce their own cecotropes at a specific time of the day, which does vary between rabbits. Some rabbits will drop cecotropes in the late morning, whereas others will in the late afternoon or evening. Perhaps most importantly, rabbits will mostly do it while you’re not watching. This is partly why they are sometimes referred to as “night droppings.”
Imagine it as a process whereby a rabbit is extracting the nutrition from the food, and it does so by digesting and extracting from the food multiple times.
So, you might even say that not only do rabbits eat where they poop, they actually eat their poop.
As a rabbit owner, its therefore crucial to note that unlike most other animals, rabbits produce two types of droppings, fecal pellets (the round, dry ones you usually see in the litterbox) and cecotropes.
There is also no such thing as too much poop (fecal) for a rabbit. For example, your rabbit may produce more droppings than they normally do if you change their diet. Otherwise, it’s par for the course. The only time you need to be concerned for your rabbit is if you notice any of the following:
- Obvious cecals stuck to the bottom of the cage – rabbits are meant to eat them, and you will notice their foul odor.
- Watery poop.
- Smaller than normal droppings.
- Red or black droppings.
If you notice any of the above, take your rabbit to see a vet immediately to determine what sickness your rabbit has, and decide what treatment is best for your pet.
Do Rabbits Sleep Where They Poop?
A young or untrained rabbit will have no qualms about sleeping where they poop, many even eliminate in their sleep.
You must ensure that your rabbits living conditions are sanitary and clean. This is essential for their ongoing happiness and health.
Your pet rabbit may have no issue defecating and urinating wherever they like, but you have to manage their toilet issues, otherwise, germs, bacteria and diseases can spread quickly throughout your home.
The good news is that a litter trained bunny will not sleep where they poops. Its also relatively easy to do regarding the steps that you need to take and what is required.
Many owners, who have a good bond with their rabbits, have their rabbits sleep on their bed without any toilet troubles.
If you are just house training your young rabbit, it may seem they are far from this yet, but if you are patient and consistent, you will see the reward in the end.
Let’s look at the following section to learn the correct way to stop your pet rabbit from pooing everywhere and making unsightly mountains in their homes.
How Do I Get My Rabbit To Stop Pooping Everywhere?
One of the most challenging aspects of rabbit care is the issue of litter training. But it can be done if you follow the steps below.
The first step you must take, to stop your rabbit from pooping everywhere in your house, is to get a litter box. This will contain smells, enable you to clean quicker/easier and will also make their habitat far more hygienic, comfortable and homely.
You will want to ensure that you purchase a sufficiently large litter box. Thankfully, there are some excellent options for great prices over at Amazon.
- Locks to Cage to Eliminate Overturned Pans and Scattered Litter
- Made of Durable, Stain and Odor Resistant Plastic
- Plastic Guard and Wire Floor Keep Pets Feet Clean
- Attaches to Any Wire Cage, Easy to Remove and Easy to Clean
- Measures 16-1/2" Width X 10-1/4" Depth X 8" Height
Then you must decide where to put it. Location is crucial when it comes to toilet training your bunny.
As you think about where you want your bunny to do his business, you must factor in, the size of their environment.
If your bunny has more of a free-reign, you may want to have a few litter boxes placed strategically in different areas.
If your rabbit’s hutch is indoors, or smaller in nature, you will want to place the box in the corner of the hutch. The litter box should be in a place that is convenient for you to access. You’ll need to collect it and replace it frequently to clean so it makes sense to make this process easy.
Your rabbit may have different locations that they like to go. This will likely depend on whether it is night or day and whether you let them roam in a playpen.
So, if your rabbit is frequently placed in an open pen during the day, and their hutch is where they go at night, you will need litter boxes for each of those habitats.
You will need to get some form of litter that will go into the base and bottom of the litter box. This is what you will regularly need to replace and that collects the droppings.
Some rabbit owners opt for puppy pet pads as they are very absorbent and comprise of multiple layers. If you use these, you must insert a pad inside the box with the cloth side up, spread the pad flush to the bottom, and get it right into the corners of the box. Always change the pads at least once per day.
Other owners like to use sanitary litter to absorb the urine and feces, but, you must make sure that it is unscented and it doesn’t contain any clumps. It should also be non-toxic; this is to prevent your rabbit from being subjected to chemicals that are unsafe
You can use hay to encourage your rabbit to use the litter box. As gross as it sounds, you do want your rabbit to poop in the box as they’re eating the hay. This will get them used to the box for peeing and pooping.
You must be patient, especially with a young rabbit,. They need time to adjust to their new litter box and toilet. If your bunny leaves droppings all over the cage/hutch, sweep them up immediately, and place them in the litter box.
Rabbits have a keen sense of smell, and in time should associate the smell of their droppings with using their litterbox.
If you want your rabbit to quickly learn to use the litter box, spaying/neutering is another thing to consider. If you spay or neuter your rabbit, he or she will become less territorial and this results in them being more open to using a litter box.
It has also been reported that spayed/neutered rabbits are healthier and have a longer lifespan. However, you should do your own research into this and always seek the advise of an specialist like a vet when considering your options here and whats involved.
Rabbits do poop a lot; in fact, they poop in multiple ways.
While droppings are to be expected, you should frequently monitor the shape, size, texture and smell of your rabbits poop. From there, you can get an idea as to whether their diet and digestion is optimal or if they need a change (more hay, a better pellet food, less treats etc).
And remember – do not confuse cecals with fecal droppings! If you see your rabbit consuming what appears to be their poop – this is likely what it is. Its very healthy for them to eat them, so do not ever try to intervene and stop them doing this.
If you want a cleaner and healthier habitat for your rabbit, and a nicer smelling home, invest in a good quality litter box, litter and get them litter trained. You’ll be pleased you went to the effort!