One month post-neuter and still peeing/pooping everywhere? I don’t know what to do anymore?

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Odysseus6

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Hi everybunny,

I am starting to panic and worry about my bunny and his peeing habits. After cleaning up pee from my carpets several times a day for the last half-year, I am coming to my wits end. I thought neutering would help change things but it hasn’t. If this will go on for ever I genuinely don’t know if I can continue to be his rabbit dad.

My little bun was neutered 4 weeks and 3 days ago at age 8.5 months (vet delayed several times due to high liver enzymes) but still goes around leaving little poops that seemingly just fall out from his butt and peeing primarily on the edge of my room (sometimes in the center too). He has a litter box that he goes almost perfect in when he is caged, however whenever the cage is open it’s fair game and he just goes to the bathroom wherever. Whenever he pees on the carpet I dab as much as I can with towels/paper towels and then pour white vinegar on it for the smell (it doesn’t act as a deterrent to him whatsoever.) I also shrunk his play area so that he’s no more than a few hops away from the litter box, but it’s like nothing changed. For example, last night instead of being caged I gave him a 1’ deep play area in front of his cage so he wouldn’t feel confined and start digging at 4 am and he STILL peed here and pooped everywhere despite his litter box being maybe 18 inches away.

It’s funny because sometimes when he goes to the bathroom on the carpet and I start walking over, he HIGH TAILS it to cage like truly RUNS. So I think he knows he is doing something wrong – hopefully proof that it is hormonal and not just poor habits. When I first got him he was pretty good and never peed outside his litter box ever the first few months, another hopeful sign that once his hormones kicked in he got bad and are sole responsible for the issue.

I know it takes 4-6 weeks for their hormones to level out but a lot of people said they started noticing change earlier than that. Well he’s just as bad as always over 4 weeks in.

Please help.
 

Fuz

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Hello
There are plenty of threads here with advice regarding litter training, please try to search for those until someone advises you here.

In the meantime I would highly advise you placing suitable flooring over your carpet for 2 reasons: that the carpet is protected, and he doesn't smell his scent and thinks its his designated area to go. I also recommend placing as many litter boxes as needed on the spots your rabbit prefers to urinate on.

Could we have some images of his set up? What is his litter box filled with? Anything that might hurt his feet or bum? Is it large enough? I know you mentioned that he does use it while he's in his cage. How large is the cage?

Alternatively, if he's just a little naughty, I'm no expert but some of them just need extra patience and extra repetitive effort. Please don't give up on him!
 

JBun

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You still have another 2-4 weeks for hormones to completely fade. But even then, some rabbits will pee on soft things like carpet, no matter what.. neutered or not.

That means the carpet needs to be covered using rabbit safe water proof flooring, something like a cut of textured lino could work. If your rabbit has free roam of the whole house or you can't cover over the carpet, you could try and retrain those litter habits by restricting your rabbits area(with water proof flooring) temporarily. Tips on how to do this in the link below.

 

Odysseus6

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Hi everyone, here is his set up (fairly clean litter box because I just changed it. If you can see on that bottom right corner of the litter box, that is where he consistently turns around and pees when he actually uses it). The litter used is the same as day one (Kaytee wood pellets). It is now over 5 weeks since neuter and still no change; pees exclusively in the litter box when caged (and most poops) but when the cage is open he pees on the edges of the room. I tried shrinking his play area to only a foot in front of the cage and he still peed on the edge of the restraints. I rent a college apartment and cannot replace the carpet in here. However, he never pees on the soft blankets in his cage so I’m hoping the softness of the carpet isn’t a factor. Any ideas? Thanks!
 

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Blue eyes

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The carpet already smells like pee from his earlier accidents. That means he'll return to that smell again and again. What you can do is what's been suggested... cover the carpet (with something like rolled lino) for now. Once the carpet is covered, he may do much better. [It's also true that it can take up to 8 weeks for hormones to fully dissipate - especially when the neuter was delayed so long allowing those hormones to get in full swing.]

I was going to suggest a larger litter box and more hay... much more hay. It sounds like he's using the litter box well enough when confined to his cage. So it's possible it can still work. Normally, it would be better to have a much larger box as per the link given by @JBun . Once the solid floor is covering the carpet, you'll be able to see if the litter box will suffice.

The hay rack he currently has should have to be filled at least 4 times per day if he is eating enough hay. They should eat their body size in hay every day. That rack simply doesn't hold near enough hay and isn't the easiest for him to get to. They eat more if it is easier to access. One simple solution is to remove the grid on the litter box (perhaps get a larger box) and top the litter with hay as per the link. Not only will that allow him easier access to hay, it also makes the litter box more inviting (and so can help with training).
 

Odysseus6

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So in addition to dabbing all urine and dousing the spot with vinegar, I also block off each new accident area so he’s not smelling his last pee spot but rather finding a new one :/
 

Odysseus6

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I covered the entire litter box grate with hay so he has more now and hopefully will be more invited! I might try a new, regular litter box in the next few days as well
 

overhear

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My bunny (unneutered female) did that for a while. When she peed outside of her cage it was always in one corner of my living room. I washed that area down with full-strength vinegar and then placed a corner-style litter box there. She immediately began to use that litter box. Eventually (after 1 or 2 months) I decided to move her whole cage into that corner, so her litter is still technically in the same place, but she doesn't need extra litter boxes. Hope that helps!
 

Odysseus6

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Thanks everyone. So recently he’s been a little grumpy too - for example, whether he’s biting his cage in his hidey hole or the side of the litter box, I say “no” and put a stick, toy or paper towel in front of him to bite instead and he GRUNTS loudly and lunges and bites and digs at the object and tries to steal it away to get out of his way. Is this proof that he’s still hormonal and very territorial, even at the 5 week post-neuter mark? Sure enough, just a few minutes after the confrontation he flops and I’m petting him so I don’t think he has any underlying medical issues going on.
 

Odysseus6

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So now coming to the 6.5 week post neuter mark. I have removed the hay feeder and instead just place it in litter box which I think he enjoys but absolutely no change in bathroom location.

I will now be adding litter boxes to corners, but for example they will only be about 4-5 feet away from his current litter box... isn’t that kind of silly that they’re so close?? Plus he pees along the entire edge of the room so I’m worried that it won’t do anything and he’ll just pee next to them
 

TreasuredFriend

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Have you reached out to rabbit rescues in your area? Red Door Shelter in Chicago area may be able to refer you to a socializer who can also advise, in addition to rabbit parents mentioning thiings here.

I haven't checked out this article from start to finish yet, but i'll hop back here later. It may offer you tips in the meantime. Many good articles on the internet that can offer advice about litter-training your bun.

 

Odysseus6

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Every time he goes to the potty in the box or runs there mid-way through, I give him a pellet or a treat. I’ve been doing this for months now, for some reason it’s not catching on - especially if I’m not nearby
 
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