Help! Rabbits weeing everywhere

Discussion in 'Nutrition and Behavior' started by Tamara Bromberg, Dec 11, 2018.

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  1. Dec 11, 2018 #1

    Tamara Bromberg

    Tamara Bromberg

    Tamara Bromberg

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    Hello!
    I'm completely new to forums and owning rabbits!

    I've had my two minilop does for less than a month, they're both about 3 months old.
    They're hutch living, currently in the house due to in being winter.

    They were litter trained with their breeder and I currently have three litter trays in the bottom of the hutch, which I know is overkill but they're weeing every where. They're using all three trays but also the rest of the hutch other than upstairs and their bedroom.

    I'm at wits end! I clean out the litter trays daily and the floor is soaked. How do I stop them from weeing on the floor and just use litter trays. Do I need all three? I feel that's too many but there are two of them.

    I have a friend with one minilop and she is so well trained and just uses the tray which cuts down cleaning her out, whereas I have to clean out the entire bottom hutch daily.

    The pictures show location of trays and you can see where they are also choosing to wee since picture I have covered the bottom in thick layer of shavings.

    Any tips and advice would be great!
    I don't know what else to do.

    Thanks!
     

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  2. Dec 11, 2018 #2

    Blue eyes

    Blue eyes

    Blue eyes

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    You've got several issues going on. First is that the bottom of your hutch is not waterproof which means the wee is soaking into the wood. This leaves the urine odor in the wood. Rabbits tend to wee wherever they smell their wee -- which, unfortunately, means the whole hutch right now. I'd suggest getting something down (laminate or vinyl flooring) to line the bottom of the hutch that can't absorb urine.

    Next is that your girls are 3 months old. This alone can play a factor. Their hormones may begin to kick in (that may not occur at the same time for both of them). Hormones can cause even previously litter trained rabbits to forget those habits. So hormones alone can cause them to stop using the litter box. In addition, since you have two females, they can be piddling to mark territory. Hormonal females don't always get along. They can become highly territorial (again with the onset of hormones). This means that not only may they be marking territory but they could also begin to fight. (Baby "bonds" don't count as true bonds.) You'll need to keep a close eye out for this and separate them if this happens. [So hormones can cause bad potty habits, territory marking, and fighting.]

    Third, is that the litter boxes are too small. To encourage good potty habits, use a large litter box and top the litter with hay. They like to potty while they graze so by putting hay directly into the large litter box, it encourages them to hop in there (1), eat their hay (2), and potty while they are there (3). Check here for photos of an appropriate size litter box and how it is set-up. Do bear in mind that hormones are still a factor until they get spayed.

    And on a side note, if you put shavings down (some types emit harmful phenols), then that effectively makes the entire hutch one large litter box. Bunnies like to potty where it is soft. I would discourage filling the whole hutch floor with shavings in favor of getting the laminate or vinyl flooring on the hutch floor. One large litter box (as in link) should be fine as it will fit both rabbits. If you get two that size, that is also a fine option -- might actually be a better option until the girls are spayed.
     
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  3. Dec 11, 2018 #3

    Tamara Bromberg

    Tamara Bromberg

    Tamara Bromberg

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    Thank you, that's really helpful. Definitely got a few steps to follow! Will look to crack down on it at the weekend!
    We're looking to have them both spade soon so hopefully that'll help as well!
    Just hope we can get a handle on it, my partner and I are complete novices but love them so much!
     
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  4. Dec 11, 2018 #4

    Blue eyes

    Blue eyes

    Blue eyes

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    They are adorable in your avatar! Look so cute together. The rest of the site linked above should help as well. :)
     
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  5. Dec 11, 2018 #5

    Tamara Bromberg

    Tamara Bromberg

    Tamara Bromberg

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    Thank you :) Bonnie and Luci. They're from separate litters (chocolate butterfly and chocolate otter) and a week in age between them but they've bonded so well! They're inseparable. But from what you said, that may change with hormones! But I hope not and get them spade early if and when they're ready.
    Yes the link is great, read through it and was loads of useful tips!
    I've never been on a forum before so thank you for being helpful and welcoming :)
     
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  6. Dec 11, 2018 #6

    Chelsey

    Chelsey

    Chelsey

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    Hope you get your issue sorted. I also found urine odour removers help remove the scent made when they wee but definitely putting down something waterproof will help. Also try not to clean out their little trays so much your removing their odour from it each time you change the litter as blue eyes said they urinate where they have before so leaving the litter trays for a few days can be a good thing.
     
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  7. Dec 16, 2018 #7

    Tamara Bromberg

    Tamara Bromberg

    Tamara Bromberg

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    Hey guys.

    Today we laid down some vinyl and bought a bigger, hopefully better litter tray. What do you guys think?
     

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  8. Dec 16, 2018 #8

    Blue eyes

    Blue eyes

    Blue eyes

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    The vinyl looks great. You may need to put something (length of 1" x 2" wood or corner beading) on the edges to prevent bunnies from chewing it. Don't want them ingesting the vinyl as some are prone to do if they can access the edge.

    I'm not a fan of corner litter boxes. They don't allow easy access. I don't see any hay in the box either. The cheap ($5) wal-mart storage boxes are rectangular and more suitable for litter topped with hay. The rectangle shape allows bunny to hop in without having to turn around and face a certain way to get his rear inside. The corner boxes also make it harder for bunny to get to the hay unless they stand outside the box (which is the opposite of what we want them to do).
     
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  9. Dec 17, 2018 #9

    JBun

    JBun

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    I would recommend caulking the edges with 100% silicone caulk(no mold inhibitors added), to prevent urine from seeping under the laminate and the rabbits chewing at the edges of it.

    I agree with using a large rectangular litter box, either an under bed storage container or a large cat litter box, with sides 6-8 inches tall to prevent peeing over the edge, but low enough to hop into it easily. You want them to have lots of room to be comfortable hanging out in it, one thing those corner litter boxes don't work well for. The sides are also usually too low in the corner boxes and bunnies bums can hang over the edge, which means you may end up with a puddle just outside the edge of the litter box instead of in it, even though your rabbit is trying to use the litter box like a good bunny.

    One other thing that might be contributing to the problem is the rabbits not liking the feel of the hard pelleted litter on their feet, so they might be less inclined to go in there to pee(had this problem with one bunny). I still recommend using the pellet litter as it works best for absorption and odor control, but like blue eyes recommended, have a soft layer of hay covering the litter, that's thick enough to not shift around a lot. That way it makes it soft on bunny feet and encourages them to hang out in there and eat hay. If you are getting expensive pet store hay, I would suggest either buying bales of horse quality hay(no mold, no noxious weeds, not dusty, not sunbleached, good quality) from a local livestock feed store(cheapest if an option for you) or buying online from a hay supplier.
    https://www.thehayexperts.co.uk/
    https://www.timothyhay.co.uk/

    So large rectangular box with sides 6-8 inches(150-200mm) tall, 1-1.5 inch(25-40mm) layer of pellet litter, topped with a layer of hay and a pile of fresh hay in a non peeing corner or hay rack on the side. I use a large 20x27inch mortar mixing tray for mine.

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    Last edited: Dec 17, 2018
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