Taking care of rabbits can be very satisfying, and this is why they have become such popular household pets. You might be a new rabbit owner who is just getting used to taking care of these cuddly creatures. One thing you’ve probably noticed is that rabbits seem to poop quite a bit.
If you’ve never taken care of rabbits before, then this might come as somewhat of a shock. Why do rabbits poop so much, and is it even normal for them to do this? Read on to learn about normal rabbit pooping behavior and what can be done to fix unusual problems that you might encounter.
Why Rabbits Poop a Lot
Rabbits actually poop a lot more than many other types of animals because their digestive systems work a bit differently. The digestive system is designed to move extremely fast in rabbits.
This is because rabbits need to be able to get energy from a high fiber diet, and this involves rabbits basically digesting their food twice.
The first pass through the digestive system sorts the food into digestible components and indigestible components. The small round pellets that rabbits poop out are indigestible fiber.
Rabbits will turn the digestible food into caecum that will then need to be re-ingested so that the rabbit can gain all of the nutritional properties of the food.
If this all sounds quite complicated, then don’t worry. You don’t have to possess an intricate understanding of rabbit digestive systems to raise rabbits. It’s just important to know that rabbits do indeed poop quite a lot.
In fact, studies have shown that rabbits poop somewhere around 200 to 300 fecal pellets each day. That is quite a lot of fecal pellets, and you’re not going to find many other animals on the planet that poop quite so much. Now that you know this, it’ll at least be easier to accept that rabbits poop very often and that it’s normal for them to do so.
It’s also worth noting that larger rabbits have the potential to poop more than smaller ones. How many fecal pellets a rabbit will produce in a day will be influenced by factors such as size, how much food the rabbit is eating, and more.
You can just use that 200 to 300 fecal pellets figure as a general estimate.
How Frequently Rabbits Poop
Some people make the mistake of thinking that rabbits poop constantly. There have been some myths out there about rabbits not really being able to control how often they poop. Some think that rabbits just constantly leave trails of fecal pellets in their wake no matter what.
This is actually not true, and you shouldn’t have to worry about your rabbit pooping all over the place. A healthy rabbit is going to poop around two hours after it has eaten. Rabbits do digest things pretty fast, but it certainly isn’t going to poop instantly after eating something.
How many hours it takes for your rabbit to poop will depend a bit on what it has eaten as well. For instance, chewed up hay will be digested a lot faster than some other types of food.
A rabbit could take up to five hours to digest something and poop it out, but it could take a shorter amount of time if certain foods are eaten.
Wild rabbits will often poop randomly as a way to claim territory, but this isn’t something that you’ll likely have to deal with in your home. You see, rabbits that have been spayed or neutered will stop exhibiting behavior like this.
You can even train your rabbit to poop in the litter pan that you provide it in its cage.
If you want to keep all of that rabbit poop contained, then it’s in your best interest to litter train your rabbit. This will ensure that the rabbit is only going to defecate in the designated litter tray area. You’ll have an easier time keeping your rabbit cage clean if you go through with standard litter training.
This is also beneficial because of how easy it is for rabbit pellets to get out of the cage if rabbits are just pooping randomly. It can become quite messy, and this could even make some people shy away from wanting to keep rabbits as pets. Luckily, the litter training process isn’t all that difficult.
The ideal method for litter training a rabbit is to get it to recognize the litter tray as the place it is supposed to use. If you notice droppings in the cage, then place them in the litter train. If the rabbit soaks parts of its bedding in urine, then place that in the litter tray.
Rabbits are actually very clean animals that will generally prefer to keep everything in one area. Most rabbits are going to take to litter training fairly fast. Some rabbits might be harder to litter train than others, but all of them will get it eventually.
Just try to be persistent about litter training without giving up. Over time, your rabbit is going to start using the litter tray as intended. Once this happens, it’ll be much easier to keep things clean and tidy.
Keep Track of Your Rabbit’s Droppings
Rabbit droppings can actually be an indicator of its health. This is why you should keep an eye on your rabbit’s droppings so that you can help to protect your pet. It might seem a bit annoying to have to look out for rabbit droppings, but it really isn’t that hard to do.
Keep reading to learn a bit about potential problems that you might notice by keeping an eye on your rabbit’s droppings. This will give you a bit of information about what you should do if you encounter certain situations. It’s also best to be prepared when you want to be the best pet owner that you can be.
1 – What If the Rabbit Isn’t Pooping?
If your rabbit has not pooped in the last 10 hours, then that is something that should be considered an emergency. This means that something is wrong and that you need to address it. You should contact your veterinarian to get advice about how to proceed.
In all likelihood, this is a sign that your rabbit’s digestive system isn’t working like it should. This could require some type of an emergency intervention. Your veterinarian will know what to do, and you should make contact as soon as you notice that your rabbit isn’t pooping.
2 – Smaller Stools Than Normal
Have you noticed that your rabbit’s stools seem to be smaller than they normally are? This is most likely a sign that your rabbit is distressed or in some type of pain. You might need to get your rabbit checked by your veterinarian soon so that this can be addressed.
If you only notice one or two pellets that are smaller than usual, then it’s not going to be so worrying. It’s when your rabbit’s stools are consistently smaller than normal that you need to worry. Just pay attention and you should be able to get your rabbit the help that it needs before anything bad happens.
3 – Deformed Rabbit Pellets
Seeing deformed rabbit pellets will be a bad sign because it means that your rabbit isn’t eating enough. If a rabbit isn’t eating enough for the poop to form into balls like usual, then that’s something that needs to be figured out. There could be an issue that is keeping it from eating like it normally would.
The only situation where this is normal is when a rabbit is recovering from surgery. When a rabbit is recovering from surgery, this is going to be seen as a sign that the digestive tract is starting to return to normal. If your rabbit hasn’t had surgery recently, then you should contact your veterinarian.
4 – Doubled Rabbit Pellets
Sometimes you might notice that your rabbit will have droppings that are doubled up. This means that two pellets seem to be mashed together into a sort of double pellet. Having this happen now and then isn’t too alarming, but it isn’t normal for this to happen regularly.
When this is happening consistently, it could be a sign that your rabbit is getting sick. Just keep your eye on your rabbit’s droppings to see how often this is occurring. You might be able to catch an illness early before it gets too bad.
5 – Mucus in Stools
Mucus will sometimes be present in rabbit stools when a rabbit is dealing with certain problems. Most often, this is an indication that your rabbit has some type of parasite impacting its digestive tract. This is an issue that you will want to address as soon as you can.
The best course of action is to call your veterinarian to let them know what has happened. Your veterinarian should be able to figure out how to help your rabbit get back to normal. It’s another situation that shows that it pays to be aware of your rabbit’s stools so that you can be a proactive pet owner.
6 – Signs of Diarrhea
What should you do if you happen to notice signs of diarrhea in your rabbit’s stools? This isn’t healthy for your rabbit and it certainly isn’t normal. If your rabbit is pushing out mushy stool, then you’ll want to inform your veterinarian right away to figure out how to treat it.
You can’t ignore signs of diarrhea in your rabbit because it is an emergency situation. This is not normal at all, and you’re going to have to figure out what the cause of this is. Your veterinarian will know how to get to the bottom of the situation.
Give Your Rabbit the Right Diet
Your rabbit is going to be a lot healthier if you take the time to ensure that it has the right diet. Poor diet has the potential to lead to various digestive issues that can harm your rabbit. Keep reading to get some information about what you should be feeding your rabbit to keep it healthy.
Rabbits should have access to an unlimited supply of hay if you want them to be healthy. This hay is going to be the perfect thing that your rabbit needs for its digestive system. It keeps the digestive system stimulated so that it can work properly.
Typically, your rabbit should want to munch on hay throughout the entire day. It’s normal for rabbits to chew on hay regularly because they need to eat it often for their digestive system to stay normal. Hay is going to be the staple food of your rabbit’s diet.
If you find that your rabbit is refusing to eat hay, see what to do.
Leafy greens are the next most important type of food that rabbits will enjoy eating. These types of foods are very high in fiber, and this makes them perfect for rabbits. Generally, you’re going to want to give your rabbit between one and two cups of leafy greens each day.
It’s good to give your rabbit leafy greens so that it can get the right balance of nutrients. If you need specific advice related to leafy greens, then you should try to discuss things with your veterinarian. Just try not to feed your rabbit more than two cups of leafy greens in a single day.
Pellets can be good supplemental food for your rabbit when you want to give them more vitamins and nutrients. However, it’s important to understand that this shouldn’t make up the bulk of a rabbit’s diet. You can feed a rabbit around half a cup of pellets each day if you would like to do so.
It’s also not entirely necessary to feed your rabbit pellets if you don’t want to. You can choose to use this as a supplemental food option, but you could just stick with hay and leafy greens as well. Just use your better judgment about whether your rabbit could use more vitamins and nutrients.
Rabbit owners also like to give their rabbits special treats from time to time. These are fine to give your rabbit as a special thing, but it’s not something that you should feed rabbits often. Examples of special treats for rabbits include carrots, apples, and bananas.
Giving a rabbit too many treats could have a negative impact on its digestive system. This is why treats should only be given out in moderation. To keep things safe, try to only give your rabbit one tablespoon of special treats or less per day.
I have a bachelor’s degree in Film/Video/Media Studies, as well as an associates degree in Communications. I began producing videos and musical recordings nearly 15 years ago. I am a guitarist and bassist in Southwest MI and have been in a few different bands since 2009, and in 2012 I began building custom guitars and basses in my home workshop as well. When I’m home, I love spending time with my three pets (a dog, cat, and snake) and gardening in my backyard. I also like photographing wild birds, especially birds of prey.