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Rabbits/Bunny started peeing on sofa!!!!

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Question
Our 8 month old lionhead lop bunny,Gremlin, has been really good using her litter tray. We may have the odd accidental poop on the carpet but up until last week she has always peed in her tray. Now all of a sudden she has started jumping on the sofa and peeing on it !  We can't work out why, her diet hasn't changed and she has the same routine as usual. She isn't doing it anywhere else just the sofa so this week the sofa has been out of bounds. Please help, it's really hard keeping her off the sofa. Also is it normal for her to like to wash my partners face, she likes to lick it all over like a dog and follows him around the house.  She is rather bigger than we thought she was going to be and got mistaken for a dog by a workman who  was very shocked when he realised she was a rabbit.

Answer
Dear Susan,

Is your bunny spayed?  It sounds as if she's marking her territory (unfortunately the couch!), and that's typical of an intact bunny.  Please read:

http://www.bio.miami.edu/hare/spay.html

For now, you might have to simply put rubber-backed 100% cotton bath mats over the spot she's chosen to pee, or even put a litterbox there to protect the couch.  If you can block her access to the couch, that would be better, since you want to discourage her from peeing there and making it a habit.

But spaying should help the situation.  I'd find a rabbit-savvy vet ASAP:

http://www.rabbit.org/vets

and schedule that promptly. Then you can use this to help re-train her litterbox habits:

http://www.bio.miami.edu/hare/training.html

Hope this helps.

Dana

Rabbits

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Dana Krempels, Ph.D.

Expertise

I've lived with companion rabbits for more than 35 years, and consider them members of my family. I can answer any questions about the biology and health of rabbits, from the commonplace to the unusual. But please note:

RULE #1:
THE INTERNET IS NOT THE PLACE TO SEEK HELP IN AN EMERGENCY.

...it is an EMERGENCY.

Find a rabbit vet at www.rabbit.org/vet for immediate help, and don't risk your bunny's life by spending time asking questions online! If you can't get in touch with your vet, read these Emergency Sick Bunny Instructions.

If you have found a wild baby rabbit, please read these EMERGENCY INSTRUCTIONS FOR WILD BABY RABBITS and then use this link to FIND A LOCAL WILDLIFE REHABILITATOR who can give you the right advice.


RULE #2:
Help me help you! Please make your subject line informative if you have an urgent question. then LET ME KNOW IN THE SUBJECT LINE so I can give your question highest priority over non-urgent questions. If you don't do this, then I can't guarantee timely assistance!

For all the best, most accurate rabbit health, care and behavior information, visit The House Rabbit Society.

Experience

I have been rescuing and rehabilitating domestic and wild rabbits for about 30 years. I have written articles for many rabbit rescue publications, as well as for the veterinary journal, Exotic DVM. I own EtherBun, the internet's largest listserve dedicated to health, care, and behavior of domestic rabbits.

Organizations
Houserabbit Adoption, Rescue, and Education, Inc. (H.A.R.E., Inc.) president National House Rabbit Society (Board member)

Publications
Exotic DVM
Warren Peace (Journal of the House Rabbit Society of Miami)
Various newsletters of the House Rabbit Society, nationwide

Education/Credentials
Ph.D - Biology
B.S. - Biology
B.A. - English

Awards and Honors
Lightspan Academic Excellence Award for web site on rabbit health and biology
(http://www.bio.miami.edu/hare)

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