Most vets and rabbit experts will tell you when a rabbit urine sprays or urine marks your home, he’s just staking his claim on what he sees as his territory. They will also tell you, if you have your rabbit neutered or spayed, nine times out of ten he will stop.
Of course, as always seems to happen in my life, I was the tenth person — you know, the one whose rabbit still continues to urine spray their home, even though he’s been neutered. And yes, I was tired of cleaning up random pee and, of course, hated the smell.
Now, I love that little blighter just as if he was my own child, so there was no way I would ever give him up – urine spraying or not. I had to figure out a way of getting him to stop, though, before my home became a ‘No Go Zone’ for any friend who felt like stopping by.
Luckily, several years later, I’m happy to say, after just a few weeks of trying a few tricks I thought up myself or was told to do so by friends, my otherwise lovely bunny stopped urine spraying almost completely and has rarely done it since.
If you have a rabbit that is urine spraying or urine marking your home, you could be at the end of your rope, just as I was. That’s why you should try these few tips. They definitely worked for me.
Spray the area with perfume – The male rabbit I owned that was constantly urine spraying gave me his little present in the same spot at least 75 percent of the time. So, once I’d decided enough was enough, I armed myself with my favorite perfume and I sprayed that area with it.
The first time he came back to do his usual spray, he looked aghast when he realized that spot just didn’t smell right. But……he went ahead and peed anyway. Whatever happened after that, though, the resulting smell must have been quite horrific as he refused to go into that corner of the room for weeks afterwards — for peeing or otherwise.
Wipe up the pee immediately – As soon as I saw him going in one of his other spots (I figured I’d tackle them spot by spot), I would rush over and wipe up the pee with a paper towel. I would then pick him up and deposit him and the pee-soaked paper towel in the litter tray, where he should have gone in the first place.
A week or so of this, and that was another spot he stopped going in as he started to favor the litter box over it, particularly as I made sure there was always a nice fresh paper towel in it that he could play with while he was “doing his thing”. Stinky rabbit zero, resourceful owner two.
Move the litter tray – One thing I hadn’t thought of, but a friend pointed out, was if the litter tray is too close to where a rabbit sleeps he may not want to use it. That is because rabbits are normally clean creatures and don’t like a smelly litter box anywhere near them when they’re trying to sleep any more than we would.
So, at my friend’s suggestion, I moved the litter box from one side of the pen to the other, which immediately put a further five feet distance away from the smell of urine and my rabbit’s bedroom. This seemed to do the trick as, not long after the litter tray had been relocated, my urine spraying bunny spent a lot more time in it and less time spraying my living room wall.
Put a tray in the preferred spot – After several weeks of trying these things, and with a bunny now all but litter tray trained, there was still one spot I just couldn’t get him to stop peeing in. Right next to my living room sofa and near a wooden statue of Buddha (maybe my bunny liked giving a daily offering?). I’d tried the perfume trick, the wiping up pee trick and even the chasing-the-bunny-away trick, but none of them seemed to be working.
That’s when I decided I may just have to have two litter trays in my small apartment — one in the cage where he was now peeing 80 percent of the time, and the other in my living room under a table and covering the spot where he normally urine sprayed. Let me just say, it worked like a charm.
Ever since then, most of his urine is deposited in the litter tray in his cage. He’ll even run back to it when he’s off playing in the kitchen somewhere. The remainder of his urine, probably once a day, gets deposited in the litter tray in the living room and, now it’s not being sprayed all over my floors and wall, it’s much much easier to clean.
The main thing with owning house rabbits is, even if you think they should do something one way, very few of them actually will. That means you have to either figure out a way of stopping them from exhibiting their bad behavior — like a rabbit urine spraying — or you must be the one to compromise (a second litter box). I did, and both me and my bad boy are much, much happier.
Meanwhile, for more information on why a pet house rabbit may be urine spraying, or depositing poop outside their litter tray, the Rabbit Welfare Association has an excellent article that will help.