How Can You Stop Rabbits from Spraying? 6 Solutions

How Can You stop Rabbits from Spraying_

How Can You Stop Rabbits From Spraying

How to Stop Rabbits from Spraying.  Rabbits are small, soft, and beautiful creatures. These lovely animals are the most commonly kept pet animals. They are quite social animals and love to be cuddled. Rabbit rearing is done for various purposes including meat and obtaining valuable products such as wool In the case of angora rabbits.

Because of their rapid growth rate, no exact dietary limitations (they eat a variety of plants), and a great amount of compost production along with cheap cost and labor expenditure makes rabbit rearing a prolific business.

There are many behavioral habits of rabbits, Spraying is one of the common habits of rabbits, and rabbit owners mostly show concern and become worried about it. They always find the best way to deal with this problem which they have to encounter usually.

Here, we will have a detailed overview of spraying in rabbits and some latest strategies to deal with this undesirable behavior.
Rabbit Sraying Couch

What is Spraying and Why Do Rabbits Spray?

Spraying is a natural territorial instinct in domestic and wild rabbits to define their territories. They spray or scatter urine dropping all around their place or cage to mark their locality. Basically, spraying urine is a type of smelly message or signals for the other mate rabbits, that they have defined or selected their specific territory and to make that smellier like them to feel at ease.

Due to the lack of some sensitive receptors in human noses, humans are not able to properly interpret these signals but these signals simply mean ‘this belongs to mine’ by rabbits.
Should I neuter or Spay Your Rabbit

Is Spraying Associated With Maturity in Rabbits?

Another reason for spraying is said to be the onset of maturity in rabbits, depending upon the genetic makeup, generally, rabbits reach maturity somewhere between the age of three to eight months. There are many events, behavioral changes occur in rabbits because of changes in hormonal profile.

These puberty-associated behaviors are not so cute, as rabbits become restless; they start circling around your legs and become needy. One undesirable phenomenon during puberty is spraying urine, rabbits lose their good litter habits and start scattering urine all around their place and this is considered one of the major signs of puberty.

Well trained bunnies start scattering urine all around or spread poop during puberty. Male rabbits spray females during mating. Spraying a jet of urine on humans is usually a sign of love, the way they show love for their owners, or need anything from them.

Spraying a Bad Litter Habit?

In the case of pet rabbits, this natural behavior is considered as “bad toilet habit/ bad litter habit” and a very devastating thing for rabbit keepers as this creates mess all around the location.

What are Effective Ways to Tackle Spraying in Rabbits?

There is a diverse variety of methods and strategies which can be helpful in this regard to a great extent.


Neutering or Spaying, is it a Good Solution?

Neutering a male rabbit which means removing its testes or spaying female rabbits ( removing ovaries and uterus) is a nice way to prevent them from spraying urine and marking their territory.

This is the first step to encourage rabbits to prevent their habit of spraying. Neutering and spaying are only done in those rabbits which are not to be used for breeding purposes afterward. These surgeries are mostly performed on domestic/housed pet rabbits to train and inject good litter habits in them.

After neutering, the rabbits will urine only in the defined latrine area and learn gradually to improve their bad litter habit.

Should You Get Your Rabbit Neutered or Spayed?

As far as male rabbits are concerned, they can be neutered as soon as their testes hang, somewhere between the age of 12 to 18 weeks, whereas female rabbits can be spayed at the age of approximately six months.

Consult Your Vetrinarian

This is important to consult your veterinarian in this regard. It is recommended that rabbits can be neutered when they are in good health condition. This surgical process is very common and your vet can perform after taking the detailed history of your rabbit.

After neutering, the rabbit will experience alterations in its hormonal profile that will lead to the prevention of spraying urine.

How To Deal with Litter Training Problems in Rabbit?

After neutering, this is important to train your rabbits to use a confined latrine area by putting a tray. There are some issues which are common, let’s discuss them in detail.
How to Litter Train Your Rabbit

1) As you know, rabbits love to dig, and a tray full of soil (litter) is the perfect spot for your rabbit to perform its digging activity. A hooded or well covered or a tray with cardboard having an entrance hole inside will stop litter from getting anywhere. In addition, to that another digging area can be provided to rabbits can be a solution to this issue,

2) When rabbits urinate, they shuffle back into the corner and raise their tails. The tray must not be shallow; a tray with high sides, preferably 15cm/6inch depth is good.

How to Train Rabbits to use Designed Litter Box?

If your rabbit is sexually intact( not neutered), it will deliberately spray anywhere by leaving the tray behind.

But this habit gets improved with neutering, but if your rabbit is spraying even after neutering, this may be considered that it has got that habit again and needs a little retraining. Here is the simple technique to retrain them from using the tray again. If your rabbit has access to many rooms/areas, then you should keep multiple trays in each room or specifically target that area where your rabbit loves to go.

Once your rabbit becomes using the tray again, decrease the number of trays gradually, and be limited to that practical area where your rabbits spend most of the time. By this, your rabbit will get used to using the tray again.
Rabbit Litter Box Training

What if Your Rabbits goes somewhere Else than Litter Box?

At times, you can get the rabbit’s droppings or urine next to the tray like rabbits may skip the tray and can move to the next area. Again, it is recommended to use a high sided tray that will mark the clear boundary between the tray and outside the tray.

Be cautious while using the litter, don’t use the same litter material in the tray as you used in the rest of the cage.

Help rabbits to identify their litter area as a latrine. Thorough cleaning especially cleaning with strong scent disinfectants/chemicals is not advisable. It is recommended to keep some dirt/spots of urine and poop there so that they should clearly consider this their latrine area. Hay should be used as litter material in the litter box as rabbits love to urinate and poop in the hay.

How to keep Rabbits from Marking your Beds and Sofas?

There are some other spots just like sofa and beds where humans spend most of their time, which are quite tempting for rabbits to mark. There are some tricks to restrict the marking of rabbits to these areas.

This can be possible by placing the temporary litter tray on the sofa if your rabbits become habitual. You can gradually move the litter tray to the appropriate place again after doing some training.

If this training trick fails and doesn’t work, then their access to valuable furniture can be stopped by using some physical barriers, which can limit this problem to a certain level.

What to do If Your rabbit forgets his Litter Training?

Even if your rabbit is well trained about its toilet and litter practices, there are chances that it can lose the litter training again.

There are the following reasons, which have been enlisted here.

1) If you change home or any change happens in the territory of rabbits like a new cage or recordation, they will lose their training and their marking behavior will take some weeks to get settled.

2) As rabbits are very possessive about their territory, there is a need to keep the rabbits secure in their space. If you introduce any other animal in their space, they will start their marking behavior.

3) So, it is suggested to keep strange animals in different zones, only comfortable rabbits together,

4) It is also advisable to monitor the health conditions of your rabbits. Any kidney disease, stone, or bladder infection can stop rabbits from using their litter tray. Veterinary attention must be sought if you find any abnormality. Note: Rabbits tend to spray on vertical surfaces, and that urine has a strong odor but in case of any abnormality, they urinate on horizontal surfaces.

5) Making other changes in household or rabbits territory may confuse rabbits and provoke them to extra mark the places. Keep in mind, every possibility when using strong smelly cleaning agents in the household too.

6) Give more attention to your rabbit, if any other strange animal visits your home, as rabbits consider you their property.


Spraying is the instinctive habit of rabbits. This can be only dealt with by designing proper training strategies for your rabbit along with neutering as a top priority step to solving this problem. Planned designing of the litter box (must have high walls) should be done to prevent spraying of urine outside the box.


Mykytowycz R: Territorial marking by rabbits. Sci Am 218:116-126, 1968

Whary M, Peper R, Borkowski G, et al: The effects of group housing on the research use of the laboratory

rabbit. Lab Anim 27:330-341, 1993

Rabbit Meat Profitability Table

RabbitsRabbits BornLbs Meat / YearAverage Price / LBTotal Revenue Possible
184252$ 8.00$ 2016
2168504$ 8.00$ 4032
54201260$ 8.00$ 10,080
108402520$ 8.00$ 20,162
2016805040$ 8.00$ 40,320
3025207560$ 8.00$ 60,480
40336010,080$ 8.00$ 80,640
50420012,600$ 8.00$ 100,800
100840025,200$ 8.00$ 201.600
20016,80050,400$ 8.00$ 403,200
Rabbits Have Average 7 Kits (Babies) /Month - Some have had up to 14

Rabbit Giant Angora Fur Profitability Table

RabbitsRabbits Born / Yr0z wool / Year
40 OZ / Rabitt
Average Price / oz
Feed Cost / Yr
$ .30 per day / $ 110 per Year

Total Revenue Possible
1843,360$ 33,600$ 9,240$ 24,360
21686,720$ 67,200$ 18,480$ 48,720
542016,800$ 168,000$ 46,200$ 121,800
1084033,600$ 33,6000$ 92,400$ 243,600
20168067,200$ 672,000$ 184,800$ 487,200
302520100,800$ 1,008,000$ 57,200$ 950,800
403360134,400$ 1,344,000$ 369,600$ 974,400
504200168,000$ 1,680,000$ 462,000$ 1,218,000
1008400336,000$ 3,360,000$ 924,000$ 2,436,000
20016,800672,000$ 6,720,000$ 1,848,000$ 4,872,000
Rabbits Have Average 7 Kits (Babies) /Month - Some have had up to 14
Average Giant Angora Weight 10lb
40 Oz shaved Fur per Rabbit per Year
Feed $ .30 per day for 10lb Rabbit

Rabbit Poop Profitability Table

Number RabbitsManure / day / .5lbManure / lbs WeekManure /lbs Year 
Manure per Rabbit ranges from .5 - 1 lb per day. We used .5 for Calculations

Breeds of Rabbits FAQ

Breed of RabbitOriginWeightPurposeKits / LitterBreed association
New ZealandsCalifornia5 kg
11 lbs
Meat8American Federation New Zealand Rabbit Breeders Assoc
CaliforniasCalifornia3 kg
7-10 lbs
Meat6 - 8California Rabbit Breeders
RexFrance4.5 kg
10.5 lbs
Meat2 - 4National Rex Rabbit Club
SatinsMichigan4 kg
9.5 lbs
Meat2 - 4American satin Breeders Association
PaliminosAmerican5.4 kg
12 lbs
Meat6 -8Palimino Rabbit Breeders Association
English AngoraEngland2-3 kg
5-7 lbs
Wool6 - 8National Angora Breeders
French AngoraFrance4.5 kg
10.5 lbs
Wool6 - 8National Angora Breeders
Giant AngoraTurkey4.5 kg
9 - 10 lbs
Wool6 - 8National Angora Breeders
Satin AngoraTurkey4.5 kg
6 - 10 lbs
Wool6 - 8National Angora Breeders
Mini LopUK3 kg
5.5 lbs
Dwarf2 -3American Mini Lop Rabbit Club
Dutch DwarfNetherlands1 - 2 kg
2,5 lbs
Dwarf2 - 4American Netherland Dwarf Rabbit Club
Pygmy RabbitNorth American500 grams
1 lb
Britania PetiteUK / Polish700 grams
1 1/2 - 2 lbs
Dwarf2-3American Britiania Petite Rabbit Society
Litter Size
Breed Association

Rabbit Breeder Associations

Rabbit AssociationLocationLink
American Breeders AssociationUnited StatesARBA
House Rabbit SocietyCaliforniaHRS
Ohio States Rabbit Breeders AssociationOhioOSRBA
Livestock Conservancy North CarolinaLC
Rabbit Welfare Association and FundUnited KingdomRWA
British Rabbit CouncilUnited KingdomBRC
European Association of Rabbits....EuropeEAP
Australian National Rabbit CouncilAustraliaANRC
Australian Rabbit House SocietyAustraliaARHS
ARBA - Rabbit ShowsUnited StatesARBA - Shows
Resource List of Rabbit Breeder Associations

Author: Dr. John Abbass
DVM M. Phil (Animal production and welfare)

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