How to stop your bunny peeing on your carpet
If you have litter trained your bunny it can be very disappointing if they suddenly without any reason start peeing on your carpet. This bad habit when it starts can also be hard to stop and you can end up spending the time you should be enjoying together worrying about it happening again or tidying up the mess. In this guide we show you how other bunny moms have fixed this problem. We have suggestions as to what may be triggering this behavior and show you what you can do to break this habit so thing can go back to normal.
Re litter training a bunny that's started peeing on your carpet
If your bunny starts peeing on your carpet the first thing to do is go back to some basic litter training principles. Make sure your bunnies food and water bowl or feeder are right next to their litter tray and avoid giving your bunny food, especially treats away from this area. Bunnies are quite happy going to the toilet where they eat so by bringing these things together you can build up good litter training habits again. It's good to even put their hay feeder right above their litter tray.
If you have moved home, moved the litter tray from its regular spot or introduced your bunny to an additional space in your home, this can cause confusion and break their litter training. Sometimes just moving furniture around in a room can all disturb your bunnies litter training routine and if they can't easily find their usual spot they may try and establish a new area to go in, typically on your carpet in the corner somewhere. If you think this is the case, you may need to go back to basics and re-litter train your bunny.
Bunnies like most pets want to establish their place in our homes, they are territorial and one of the ways they will establish their place in a room, especially if it's a long way from their litter tray, is by marking it with their sent. This can just be a few chin rubs however they will often go a bit further and try and start a new toilet spot. You may need to accept you will have to put a second litter tray in the area they have favored. No ideal for everyone but it can stop the mess.
Make sure you're not part of the problem
Another reason your bunny may have an accident can be due to their reluctance to go to their litter tray because they are content where they are. If for instance you are giving your bunny lots of cuddles or treats on the carpet, they may decide they would rather stay there then go to their litter tray so will simply go to the toilet where they are.
They go to the toilet frequently so It's important for you to recognize when they will probably need to do this and break away from what you are doing with them and literally lead then to their litter tray before it's too late. Some of the signs that your bunny is getting ready to go to the toilet is they will become fidgety, often grooming themselves, they may start to try to back into a corner of where they are. That said this may not always be the case and they will simply pee where they are sitting mid cuddle!
Where the vet may help
If your bunny has suddenly started peeing on your carpet after many years of good litter tray habits this it's worth checking if this problem is being caused by restricted mobility which can come with age or a health problem. If you have noticed an older bunny slowing down or a change in your bunnies general behavior firstly speak to a Vet specializing in exotic pet that will be able to advise you. If this is the case, make sure you bunny has easy access to their litter tray with without having to climb over high sides or obstacles to get there.
In a lot of cases people find that having their bunnies spayed or neutered can reduce the problems with unwanted toilet behaviour and we recommend this for these as well as other reasons.
What to do if you catch you bunny peeing on your carpet, training and disciplin.
If your bunny seems to have forgotten its litter training and suddenly starts peeing on your carpet this can be a really upsetting and unfortunately even though it's easy to do, telling them of for doing this will probably not stop them. However, some gentle and well-judged guidance will help and in this guide we give you some simple rules to discipline your bunny without causing harm or causing antisocial behavior.
Only use discipline when you catch your bunny in the act or any telling off will be wasted. If it's a second afterwards they won't associate the punishment with what they are doing, and it will be wasted.
Never shout at, scare or hit your bunny as this sort of overreaction won't discourage them and in the long run can make them timid, antisocial or even aggressive towards you.
The best way to let your bunny know it's not allowed to do something is by saying their name followed by a firm NO! Then take them to somewhere you can leave them while you tidy up the mess.
When your bunny is safely out the way you will then need to clean up and make sure you remove any scent where the accident happened or your bunny will want to keep going back to this spot and add to it. If it's just some poops then toss these in the litter try and give the surface a quick spray with some fabric freshener. If it's a pee stain then it's important to soak out any mess and again treat surfaces with a fabric freshener.
An unusual way so stop peeing accidents that works for some people is to use some voice commands. You can start this by noticing when your bunny on the litter tray repeat a key word like to them like 'Wee Wee, Wee Wee'. Then if you think your bunny needs the litter tray next time you lead them to it repeat the words again along the way. This will help your bunny understand what it is you are doing different to other activities. Given enough time and practice this voice command can even be given to your bunny as an instruction and if they need the toilet you will find they will often trot off on their own.
A stronger deterrent can be to keep a water mister to hand and when you catch your bunny in the act spray a mist of cold water over them. Never squirt or spray water directly at them.
Need more help? Why not ask the Bunny proofing group!
We are a community of house rabbit enthusiasts that love to share our experiences of living with these special pets. We like posting tips on enriching our bunnies environments, preventing damage to our homes and making them safe for our bunnies to live in.