Last Updated on December 10, 2022 by Rei Garnet
Your rabbit might be peeing on you due to a medical condition, fear, trauma, lack of litter training, or they’re marking their territory. The most common reason why a rabbit would pee inappropriately is if it is not neutered or spayed.
Unneutered rabbits will often spray urine everywhere to mark their territory. That’s why it’s always a good idea to get your rabbits neutered or spayed in order to eliminate this behavior and make your rabbit easier to litter train.
Now that I’ve given you the gist of the article, read on as I explain in more detail why your rabbit is peeing on you:
Reasons why your rabbit is peeing on you.
In order to stop your rabbit’s unwanted peeing, you must first know why they do it in the first place. Only then can you know what to do because each reason why they do it has different solutions.
Here are the most common reasons why a rabbit would pee on its owner:
1. Marking territory
The most common reason rabbits pee on their owners is hormonally related behavior like marking their territory.
Basically, rabbits spray urine to convey their dominance to other lower-ranked rabbits. Rabbits also spray their urine during courtship rituals.
Although both genders are capable of spraying urine to mark their territory, this behavior is more common in male rabbits.
Neutering your rabbit would usually fix this problem.
Be warned though, neutering your rabbit would not instantly eliminate this problem. It can take a couple of weeks for your rabbit to stop spraying urine everywhere.
If your rabbit has been neutered or spayed for a couple of months now and is still spraying urine everywhere, it’s time to take them to a veterinarian because it could be a medical issue.
This brings me to my next point:
2. Medical condition
Another reason why your rabbit might be peeing on you is due to a medical condition.
Polyuria, or excessive urine production, is usually caused by a medical condition such as lower urinary tract disease, diabetes, chronic renal failure, and E. cuniculi.
If your rabbit is already neutered or spayed and suddenly starts peeing inappropriately, there’s a good chance that your rabbit might be suffering from one of the medical conditions above.
If your rabbit is indeed suffering from a medical condition, you should observe your rabbit and look for additional symptoms.
Here are symptoms that your rabbit might be suffering from lower urinary tract disease:
- Urine scalding
- Pain on urination
- Loss of litter training
- Gut stasis
- Hunched posture
- Visual changes in urine (color change, presence of blood, increased turbidity or clarity)
Here are symptoms that your rabbit might be suffering from chronic renal failure:
- Weight loss
Here are symptoms that your rabbit might be suffering from E. cuniculi:
- Mascular weakness
- Excessive thirst or polydipsia
- Excessive urination or polyuria
- Occasional neurological signs
Here are symptoms that your rabbit might be suffering from diabetes (extremely rare in rabbits):
- Excessive thirst or polydipsia
- Excessive urination or polyuria
- Excessive eating or polyphagia.
If you notice any of the following symptoms, bring your rabbit to a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis.
3. Lack of litter training
Another common reason why your rabbit is peeing on you is that you haven’t trained your rabbit yet.
In fact, even if you neutered or spayed your rabbit, he or she can still pee inappropriately.
The only thing neutering or spaying would do with regards to your rabbit’s behavior is make it easier to litter train them.
Neutering or spaying would just remove their instinct to mark their territory by spraying urine everywhere.
So you still need to litter train your rabbit after getting them neutered or spayed, so they’ll know that it’s wrong to pee outside of their litter box.
Here’s a great video on how to litter train your rabbit:
Another reason why your rabbit is peeing on you is due to trauma. Rabbits can instinctively pee whenever they experience a traumatic event.
This is common for rabbits that are scared of heights and being picked up the wrong way, which can traumatize them.
If your rabbit is peeing on you while you’re picking them up, it might be traumatized by it in the past.
If this is the case for your rabbit, you need to either stop picking them up for a while or learn to do it properly.
Here’s a great video on how to pick up your rabbit properly to prevent them from being scared:
Fear can also cause a rabbit to pee inappropriately. The most common reason why this happens is when your rabbit is new and doesn’t trust you yet.
Rabbits are naturally fearful of unfamiliar things, places, or people. The reason for this is that, in the wild, those things are usually what would lead to their demise.
So if you just got your rabbit or you just moved to a new place, fear might be the reason why your rabbit is suddenly peeing on you.
You can confirm this by looking for additional symptoms that your rabbit might be experiencing fear, like:
- Hiding. The first instinct of rabbits when they fear something is to run and hide as fast as possible. Due to their size, they can’t really fight that well, so their best bet is to just hide.
- Squealing. Another sign of fear is squealing. Rabbits rarely make any sound, but if they’re suddenly attacked by a predator, they would most likely squeal loudly due to shock and fear of the situation.
- Heavy breathing.
How do you stop your rabbit from peeing on you?
Now that we know the reasons why your rabbit is peeing on you, it’s time to discuss the possible solution to this problem.
Here are the following things you can do to stop your rabbit from peeing on you:
1. Get your rabbits neutered or spayed.
The first thing you should do to stop your rabbit from peeing inappropriately is to get him neutered or spayed.
Neutering your rabbit would remove their natural instinct to spray urine everywhere to mark their territory.
It would also make it easier to litter train your rabbit and make the litter training stick.
If you tried to litter train your rabbit without getting them neutered or spayed first, you would find that the litter training would not stick or there would be more accidents like peeing outside their litter box.
2. Litter train your rabbit.
Now that your rabbit is neutered or spayed, it’s time to litter train them.
Here are the steps on how to litter train your rabbit:
- Find a spot where your rabbit regularly urinates. Rabbits are creatures of habit and would likely pee in the same spot.
- Place the litter box filled with litter bedding and hay in the spot where your rabbit regularly urinates. Rabbits like to eat while doing their business, so the hay would help a lot.
- Wait for your rabbit to show signs that they’re about to pee or when they’re lifting their tails. Carefully lift and bring your rabbit to the litter box when they show signs that they’re about to pee.
- If your rabbit jumps out of the litter box after you put them inside, carefully lift them back inside the litter box. You might need to repeat this a couple of times until your rabbit starts eating the hay you placed in the litter box.
- If your rabbit pooped or urinated outside the litter box, clean up the spot with a paper towel and place the paper towel inside the litter box. This would reinforce the idea to your rabbit that they need to do their business inside the litter box.
- Be patient with this. It might take a couple of days to a couple of weeks for your rabbit to understand that they need to do their business inside the litter box.
3. Find out if your rabbit is stressed out.
You need to find out if your rabbit is stressed out or if something is scaring him. Rabbits can lose their litter training if they are experiencing stress or trauma.
Here are the most common causes of stress in rabbits:
- Loud noises
- Unfamiliar things, people, and animals
- Presence of predators
- Inadequate space.
- Lack of stimulation (i.e. boredom)
- Lack of companion
- Lack of exercise
- Death of a companion
- Medical conditions (pain, illness, discomfort)
- Lack of ventilation
You can know for sure that your rabbit is stressed by looking for symptoms of stress like:
- Over/not grooming
- Lack of appetite
4. Bring your rabbit to a veterinarian.
Finally, if everything checks out and your rabbit is still peeing inappropriately, it’s time to take them to a veterinarian.
Your rabbit might be suffering from a condition that only a veterinarian can properly diagnose and cure.
Rabbits that are peeing inappropriately might be due to a medical condition, fear, trauma, lack of litter training, or hormonal behavior like marking their territory.
In order to stop your rabbit from urinating on you, the first thing you need to do is get him neutered or spayed.
Neutering your rabbit would eliminate their desire to spray urine to mark their territory and make them easier to litter train.
You should also look for things that might be causing stress or fear to your rabbit. This could also lead to them losing their litter training.
Finally, if you tried everything and your rabbit is still urinating everywhere (including on you), bring them to a veterinarian.
Your rabbit might be suffering from a condition that only a veterinarian could properly diagnose and treat.
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