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I know how embarrassing it feels when guests tell you that your house smells like one giant rabbit litter box. Your rabbits might be comfortable with the stink of rabbit pee, but your human guests are not going to be big fans. Let’s explore some strategies to eliminate your bunny urine odor problem.
We’ll start with the basics and then dig into the details.
To get rid of the bunny pee smell quickly, use white vinegar to scrub the area properly and then wash it well with water. If the smell persists, bleach the affected area until the smell is completely gone. Keep the bunny away from the bleached area until it is rinsed.
Normal Rabbit Pee Smell
What does Rabbit Urine Smell Like and why?
Ammonia is also harmful to rabbits, when they inhale large amounts of this gas they could go into respiratory failure. Therefore not. only does your house stink up, you might also have a stinky and ailing rabbit.
Rabbit urine smells very strong. Rabbit pee has a strong ammonia odor and stinks more than either dog or cat urine which we are all more familiar with.
Fortunately, you can mitigate the smell of your bunny’s urine with the tips we’ll share below.
P.S. To check if your Rabbit’s pee is normal, check out the video below:
Why Does Rabbit Urine Stink?
Rabbit urine has a strong odor because of its high concentration of Ammonia, Urea, and other natural and normal chemical compounds. As those compounds begin to break down, they really start to stink and produce a strong ammonia odor.
Ammonia is a gas developed when there is urine buildup. Ammonia is the result of bacteria acting on the urine. You see, rabbit pee has traces of nitrogen therefore, if a bacteria acts on this nitrogen then it is converted to ammonia, and that’s the strong smell that usually stinks up a house or a hutch.
There is always an ammonia odor present with bunny pee, but the amount of ammonia smell can be made worse by many environmental factors including dehydration, diet, cleaning practices, and more.
The smell of rabbit pee poses no danger to humans in the levels normally found in homes with rabbits. However, the persistent smell of ammonia and ammonia fumes from the rabbit urine can affect the health of rabbits. These fumes, if inhaled constantly, can cause respiratory problems.
Ammonia also causes itchiness, redness, and cloudiness when it comes in contact with the eyes of the rabbits.
It’s worth noting that rabbit pee can also stain carpet and hardwood floors, and we’ve linked to articles about getting rid of those stains.
If your bunny’s urine stinks more than normal, it may be because of consumption of junk food, dehydration, the wrong type of hay, indigestion, and in severe conditions, dysfunction of kidney or urinary tracts infections make the bunny pee more fetid and nasty.
In most cases, a buck’s urine has a bad strong pungent odor compared to a doe’s urine.
7 Tips for Preventing Bunny Pee Stink
1. Keep Bunny Hydrated
A dehydrated body makes urine that is highly concentrated with ammonia and contains less water. Therefore, the smell of ammonia predominates. To prevent that smell, your bunny should always have access to clean and fresh water.
Like most other living beings, water is a necessity for rabbits. When a rabbit’s body is hydrated, the pee does not stink as bad.
Rabbits need to drink a lot of water every day. Even a tiny bunny that 1 kg (2.2 Pounds) needs 50 – 160 ml (1/4 to 3/4 cups) of water in a day. This means that an average rabbit of about 9 pounds is going to need one cup to 3 cups of water a day.
Keep in mind that the amount of water above is how much your rabbit actually drinks. This doesn’t count what evaporates, drips, or is spilled. I’d never want our rabbits to have access to less than twice this amount of clean and fresh water.
Rabbits will not drink as much water if the water is dirty or stale. You should replace your rabbit’s water daily, and wash their water bowl or water bottle at least once a month.
2. Provide Nutritious Food
The smell of the bunny pee depends on the type of food it consumes. Human junk food must be kept away from rabbits. Though rabbits can usually digest it, you will have to deal with the smelly mess alone.
High protein food releases more ammonia in the body, thus urine can have a sharp ammonia odor. Hence, restrain your rabbit from overeating high-protein food such as Alfalfa Hay.
The ideal diet for rabbits has a foundation of high-quality hay, supplemented with fresh greens and high-quality pellets. If you’re not sure what you should be feeding your rabbit, you should take a look at this veterinarian-written article about the ideal bunny diet.
3. Sterilize Your Bunny
Unneutered mature rabbit pee smells worse than the pee of a neutered bunny. As soon as your bunny reaches breeding age, take it to the vet and get it spayed. It will significantly reduce the bunny pee smell.
Spaying and castrating your rabbits does not mean that the pee smell is going to go away entirely. However, it will sufficiently reduce the urine odor.
Bucks, male rabbits, show territorial marking behavior by spraying urine if two or more aggressive rabbits are inhabiting the same place. They will try to pee everywhere to mark their regime. Having them neutered will reduce this behavior.
4. Use Odor Control Bedding and Litter Box Material
Rabbits poop and pee when they sleep, and that urine smell can build up in their bedding.
We surveyed tens of thousands of our rabbit friends (from our email list, rabbit group on Facebook, and in other rabbit groups) asking them what they used for rabbit litter box material. We discovered that most people Pine Pellets or Paper Pellets in their litter box.
Both of these materials are absorbent and will help dry out the rabbit urine before it begins to break down and really start to stink.
Here’s a link to the data about what people use in rabbit litter boxes. It also tells you how often most people change and clean their litter boxes.
Here are some convenient affiliate links to our recommended litter box materials on Amazon.
5. Litter Box Training
Proper litter box training can save you from rabbit’s many pee accidents. An untrained bunny will do its business to unknown places and after some time those places will start to reek. Therefore, make his access to limited places and train him to curb the frequent accident happenings.
6. Make Your Bunny to Visit the Litter Box
Bunny needs to pee 2 – 9 times a day. Infrequent urination leads to many urinary infections and makes the urine excretion stinky.
Investigate why your bunny is refusing to go to the litter box. Dehydration and a dirty litter box are the more common reasons for the rabbit’s few litter box visits. Make him visit the litter box so that you don’t have to smell unpleasant odors so often.
7. Everyday Maintenance
Keeping the litter box, hutch, and the rabbit’s belongings clean prevents the smell of the urine from spreading. Filthy litter boxes should be replaced from time to time.
Maintaining your house, garden, and rabbit hutch; and disposing of the litter to the right place will prevent your home from foul-smelling.
Tips for Removing Bunny Pee Stink
We’ll start with the easiest ways to get rid of rabbit urine smell and work our way to the most effective. You should really read them all, but if you want to jump to the best way to eliminate rabbit pee smell, scroll down to #7.
1. Sponge Up
Bunnies take urine droplets with their paws and body outside the litter box. Moreover, litter box accidents also spill the urine outside the box. If rabbit pee drops are left ignored in the places outside the litter box, urea decomposition starts and produces an unbearable smell.
Here’s another article on How To Get Rabbit Urine Out Of Carpet
A large chunk of sponge can be used to clean the urine. The sponge will soak all the pee readily. After that, use another piece of sponge, soak it with water and clean the area. You should sponge up the urine immediately so that it does not stain your floor.
2. Cleaning and Ventilation
The world-known efficient method to get rid of bunny urine stink is cleaning. Put on your gloves and wash every stinky thing that you can find. After cleaning, let all damp, wet, stinking things and rabbits belongings dry under the scorching sunlight.
Ventilating the hutch, house, and every other place where urine smell hovers, is the cheapest and fruitful strategy to remove the stink.
3. White Vinegar
Urine leaves the smell and stain on the furniture, clothes, floor, carpets, and all other places. So, different kinds of vinegar can be used to remove smells and stains. But the use of white vinegar is preferred. White vinegar is a strong acid therefore an effective cleaner, stain remover, and odor eliminator. Fortunately, it is safe to use near rabbits.
Dilute white vinegar with water in the ratio of 1: 1. Shower the mixture in the suspected places and leave it for a few hours. Afterward, clean the area with a wet towel or rinse it with cold water.
4. Baking Soda
To remove the urine smell and stains, baking soda comes in handy. It is alkaline and thus extracts the odor and stain by neutralizing the acidity of the urine. It is also a powerful odor absorber.
You can apply the baking soda in the form of powder or can mix it with white vinegar. Sprinkle the baking soda on the damp, moist place where the rabbit has created the mess. Baking soda takes some time to neutralize the urine, so let it be for 24 hours. Later, vacuum the place or rinse it with cold water.
5. Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is a strong disinfectant, therefore; It can effectively remove the urine odor and stain. Its sweet aroma freshens up the stinky atmosphere. You can safely use it on fabric, cushions, mattresses, tiles, carpets, and all types of floors as it prevents discoloration.
Mix the hydrogen peroxide with warm water in the ratio of 2: 1. You can also add drops of soap detergent. Apply it to the smelly area. After a few hours, cleanse the area with cold water. In the case of fabric, wash them with regular detergent.
Keep in mind it is not safe for rabbits to let roam around that place.
Get a Hydrogen Peroxide Bottle today!
6. Corn Flour Powder
After everything you have done in your power to remove the urine smell and still you can detect the whiff of the pee, now it’s time to sniff the rabbit. If the pee smell is coming from the rabbit fur, don’t worry. Sprinkle a little amount of cornflour on your bunny and brush its fur gently. Soon the smell will be gone for good. Dust baths also take away the urine smell from the rabbit.
Here’s a video for your further help:
6. Commercial Rabbit Urine Odor Eliminator
When all else fails or when you just don’t want to take the time to try the DIY rabbit pee smell eliminators, then it’s time to buy a science-backed cleaner.
“Enzyme-based cleaning products” are the best option to clean long lingering urine smells. They use non – odor-producing bacteria to break down the urine components.
We’ve used these products for countless odors, all the way from the stink of rabbit urine to the smell of skunk on our dog. These really do work.
Here is a link to our recommended enzyme-based cleaning product on Amazon.
With great rabbits comes great responsibility — I hope this article will help you become a good bunny parent.