Having a bunny urinating on carpets, beds and sofas can be very frustrating. If it becomes a habit, the rabbit will never learn to relieve Itself in the litter box and all this will make your routine stressful.
In this article, we will talk about the causes of such behavior and we will explain what to do to change this uncomfortable habit.
Rabbits are clean and tidy animals. Therefore, if they purposely avoid going to the litter box, you need to understand what the reasons are. This problem can arise for several reasons: for example, there may have been a change in your home and the rabbit may feel the need to mark the territory.
Another possibility is of a physical or psychological change in the rabbit, which causes incontinence; or, again, a young rabbit that is reaching sexual maturity. If your bunny starts to urinate in every part of the house do not be alarmed: it can happen, and in this article, you will find several tips to re-educate your little friend.
How to behave when your rabbit goes to the wrong place
If you catch your bunny urinating where It shouldn’t, it’s essential to react immediately. You never have to scream or clap your hands to scare It: rabbits have very sensitive hearing and, by doing so, you will only create a lot of stress for your little friend.
Do not hit it at all and do not forcefully move it. These gestures are useless, if not counterproductive: in this way, you only risk that the rabbit becomes shy or aggressive. Instead, try saying the name of your little friend, followed by a well-marked “NO”, and repeat it a couple of times.
Then take It gently in your arms and carry It away from where It was doing the needs. In this way, the bunny will understand that, when It goes to the needs where It shouldn’t, It will be moved and excluded from the affected area.
Timing is essential: if you wait more than a few seconds, the rabbit will not understand the reasons for the move. It’s also important to clean the area that is soiled well because if the rabbit passes by and smell its odor, it will tend to go back to its needs there. If your rabbit has only produced a little stool, remove it and spray the affected area with an air freshener.
If, on the other hand, the rabbit has urinated, carefully wash fabrics and surfaces, dry and spray some air freshener.
Like most pets, rabbits also tend to mark their territory. Their main focus is on areas they don’t have access to and we do, such as a bed or sofa. When the rabbit has access to these areas – especially if you are not around – it’s likely to want to mark territory, and the best way to do this is to urinate or defecate.
If this happens, it’s important to carefully remove all traces of odor so that the rabbit does not smell it when it comes back. It’s best to keep the rabbit away from the area where it has been relieving for some time so that it can forget what happened. Later, when you let It log in again, keep an eye on It and monitor the situation.
Changes in the home can be confusing for the rabbit
If you have moved, if you have moved your rabbit’s litter box, or if you have recently allowed the rabbit to enter a new room, your little friend can get confused. Sometimes it’s enough to move some furniture to disorient the rabbit and unaccustom it to the litter box.
If you think this is your case, there are a few strategies you can implement. If you want, you can let the rabbit choose where to litter, and you can then place a second litter box there; in this way, you will notice that the bunny will abandon the old litter and prefer the second, so you can eventually remove the first one.
If your rabbit seems to have completely forgotten where it needs to be, you may have to completely get it used to the litter box again. Frequently accompany the rabbit to the litter box and place food on it; in this way, you will encourage the bunny to spend time there, and you can gradually get it used to go to the right place.
When rabbits reach adulthood, problems related to needs can arise: unsterilized bunnies tend to urinate everywhere, forgetting the litter box. The sterilization intervention is an effective solution: the bunny will resume using Its own litter for its needs.
This operation also significantly affects the health of the rabbit: it prevents the onset of various diseases and reduces the stress levels of your little friend, making It more serene.
Keep an eye on your rabbit
Supervising your bunny and predicting when It’s going to go to the toilet can be a good way to educate It, as you will have time to stop It and direct It to the right place before it is too late.
Keep an eye on It: if It gets on the sofa and sits in a corner – particularly near the cushions – It’s probably about to urinate. You can also notice if It puts Itself in the same position It takes when It goes to the litter tray.
In these cases, it’s good to take it quickly near its toilet bowl. It’s preferable, in these circumstances, to leave the bunny in a confined area, so that It can take care there. Once done, you can get it back to explore the rest of the house.
As you take It to the litter box you can repeat ” pee, pee” in such a way that It can associate your sounds with going to the litter tray. With time and patience, you may even be able to turn these words into instructions, and you may see the rabbit running alone to do the litter box.
It’s good to place the litter box in a place where the bunny tends to go to the toilet; this way, it will be easier to get used to it. Always place the tub against a wall or in a corner, so your little friend can feel safe and comfortable.
If your rabbit has its own space protected by a fence, place the tray inside that area. You can also place the bowls and hay feeder next to the litter box so the bunny can eat while in the tray. Once your bunny gets used to toileting in the litter box, you can reward it with cuddles and a tasty snack
Changes in attitude towards the litter box can result from age-related health problems.
Reduced mobility due to age can cause changes in needs. To help and facilitate your rabbit, in this case, you can get a larger tray with lower edges, so that it can access it without effort. If you are worried, take the bunny to an exotics vet: they will surely know what the problem is, and can help you decide which solutions to adopt.