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Rabbits/Spayed Female Rabbit Urinating Outside Cage

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Question
In mid July, I purchased a 1 year old black and white dutch rabbit, Lucy from a pet store.  I believe she had been returned or rescued, but have no additional information.  When she's in her cage (Living World, plastic bottom, 2ftx3ft size#, Lucy only urinates and drops pellets in her liter box.  However, when she is outside her cage #at least twice a day for an hour or so#, she drops lots of pellets and urinates in multiple places.  I had her spayed a couple weeks ago and for the first 9 days after her surgery, she was religious about urinating and dropping pellets only in her liter box#filled with feline pine and aspen bedding#.  On the 10th day after her surgery, she started dropping pellets and urinating again when she is outside her cage - including the vet's exam room when we went for her post surgery check-up.  I have tried placing liter boxes#with 3 or 4 pellets and a bit of her urine# outside her cage in her favorite places.  She examines them, and then drops pellets/urinates in another spot.  I clean Lucy's cage liter box every morning and she happily uses it when she is there.  I really think this is a marking problem, but I can't figure out why she feels the need to mark everything.  There are no other pets in the household.  My daughter and I are allergic to rabbit urine, and so I am trying hard to fix this problem and would appreciate any suggestions.  Lucy is very sweet and we really like her.  Her diet consists of 2tbs Oxbow pellets with 2 tbs Kaytee Fiesta Blend #moving her over to Oxbow#, lots of timothy hay, 3 leaves romaine lettuce and other vegetables #broccoli, celery, whatever we are having for diner#, and treats #2-4 blueberries per day).

Answer
Hi Karen:

The good news is, there is nothing wrong with your bunny! ☺
The bad news is, there is nothing wrong with your bunny!

Good and bad - perhaps.  Good because what she's doing is perfectly normal and bad because since its normal, there's nothing you can do about it.

Cute, fuzzy, pet rabbits are adorable and cuddly to us - no doubt about it.  However, in actuality, domestic rabbits are 99.8% identical to wild European rabbits in DNA and other than being much more people friendly, and having coat colors man built in, little else is different.

It's not normal or natural for rabbits to be litter box trained.  Its simply not part of their genetic makeup.  What people "think" is litterbox training in a cage, is in fact, the rabbit training the human!  See... rabbits don't like to lay in their poop or urine so when caged in, they will choose one spot too poop and urinate; its almost always a corner.  If we put a litterbox in the corner of the cage, the rabbit will use it because that's where the rabbit was going to go anyhow.

Out of the cage, rabbits don't need to pee/poop in any particular place because they don't have to worry about lying in the mess they made.  While we love our fuzzy bunnies, they actually have a very low intelligence level, which is why they are at the lowest level of the food chain to predators in the wild; they are the easiest prey to catch because they have low IQ and very few skills.

Rabbits don't mark - not even un-neutered male rabbit bucks; its just not something they do.

She's not marking and she's not doing anything that any other rabbit wouldn't do.  She's exhibiting perfectly normal behavior.  If you confine to her one room, and have several litterboxes in the corners and along the walls of the room, you may have some success with her using them - but that's about all you can expect.  

If you and your daughter are allergic to her urine, then she will need to be kept in her cage at all times; unfortunately - there is no solution, because there is no problem.

Your bunny is just doing what bunny's do.  They poop almost continuously around the clock and urinate several times per hour; some more than others.

Lisa L.

Rabbits

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Lisa L.

Experience

I was introduced to meat rabbits at the age of 3. Began working with them on my own at the age of 8 and started my own large commercial rabbitry at the age of 20. I'm 46 now and for the past 26 years I have owned a large herd of meat rabbits and have become well known as the turn-to person whenever a problem arrises.

Organizations
Member of the American Rabbit Breeders Association. Member of the Rabbit Industry Council. Member of the Yahoo - Meat Rabbits Group. Member of the American Council of Animal Naturopathy. Administrators of the FaceBook "Rabbit's as meat" group. Owner of Yahoo - Raising Meat Rabbit's for maximum yield group

Publications
Yahoo Meat Rabbits Group. www.rabbitzinger.com American Council of Animal Naturopathy www.raisingrabbits.com FaceBook "Rabbit's as meat" group. Owner of Yahoo - Raising Meat Rabbit's for maximum yield group

Education/Credentials
There is no formal training for raising rabbits; its all hands on. I have had a steady rabbit breeding operation for 24 years and have read every book there is on raising rabbits for meat. Additionally, I am a member of several rabbit groups and associations as listed below.

Awards and Honors
None - there are none in this field.

Past/Present Clients
I have helped countless people over the past several decades. These have been people I knew personally or those referred to me by one of the many rabbit organizations I belong to.

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